How to Sharpen Tiller Tine Blades


In general, tiller blades are not sharpened once the tiller leaves the factory. By the time they wear away enough to dull the edge, they are usually also scored, bent or rusted to the point that sharpening is not a possibility. However, if your blades are straight and haven't yet begun to rust, it is possible to sharpen them without destroying them.

Step 1

Remove the spark plug wire before doing anything else with the tiller. This prevents accidental starts, which can cause severe or fatal injuries. To determine where your spark plug wire is located, consult your owner's manual. If you do not have one or have misplaced it, you may be able to find a free copy at

Step 2

Raise the tiller to a comfortable work height by placing it on ramps, blocks or a workbench.

Step 3

Grind the edge of each tine square and sharp using a 24-grit wheel on a right angle grinder. Measure each tine's angles and thickness with a ruler, calipers and protractor or other gauge to ensure that they are even with all the other tines.

Step 4

Grind the tips of each tine to a sharp triangular edge on both sides. Check the angles on each tine tip to ensure that they are as equal as possible.

Step 5

Lower the tiller to the ground. Replace the spark plug wire and test the freshly-sharpened blades to ensure that they are turning smoothly and digging into the ground effectively.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not try to grind away deep gouges in the tines. This will remove too much metal, weakening the blades and resulting in them snapping or breaking during use.

Things You'll Need

  • Owners' manual
  • Ramps, blocks or workbench
  • Right angle grinder with 24-grit wheel
  • Ruler, calipers and protractor


  • Free Tiller Owners' Manuals
  • Metal Fatigue: Is Fatigue Loading Cumulative?
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About this Author

Jane Smith received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University in 1995. "Giving Him the Blues," was published March 2008. She provided educational supports 11 years, served people with multiple challenges 26 years, rescued animals 5 years, designed and repaired household items 31 years and is currently an apprentice metalworker.