Shovels, hoes, trowels and spades work best when sharp. A sharp tool cuts through tough soil, tree roots, grass and layers of mulch easily and makes the work easier for you. Store your tools by hanging them in the garage or tool shed to keep the blades sharp, and clean them after each use, since dirt and dampness can also dull the edge. Yard tools will last for many years if they are well maintained.
Clamp the C-clamp around the tool, or clamp the tool into the vise to enable you to maintain a consistent angle while sharpening the blade. Clean and burnish the tool with steel wool to remove dirt and rust.
Hold the file in your dominate hand and stroke away from you across the edge of the blade at a 45-degree angle. Lift the file away from the blade to bring it back to you. File in one direction only.
Clean the file every few strokes with the wire brush to remove metals filings and debris that can clog the teeth of the file, then smooth fine-grit sandpaper over the backside of the blade to remove any burrs.
Coat the sharpened blade with a fine layer of machine oil to protect against rust.