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How to Sharpen a Sickle

By Traci Joy

A sickle is a cutting instrument with a half-moon-shaped blade. In former times, sickles were the tool of choice for cutting down brush, vines, tall weeds and any other plant that stood in the way of tending the land. Being lightweight and portable, sickles are still used by many when doing outdoor projects No matter what shape the blade on your sickle is in, there is a simple way for you to sharpen it so it can function efficiently.

Sharpening stone

Point the blade of the sickle away from you. Take your sharpening stone and stroke the sickle blade along the cutting edge. Keep your touch firm, but don't use force.

Slide the stone from the handle edge to the tip 15 to 20 times. Every four or five strokes, dip your stone in water to wash off the small bits of steel and grit, since these tiny particle pieces can grind into the blade.

Keeping the blade away from you, turn it over and run the sharpening stone down the back side of the blade five to 10 times.

Run an oily rag over the blade. When you have completed sharpening, store your sickle with the blade wrapped in the oily rag. This will help protect the blade.


Things You Will Need

  • Sharpening stone
  • Water
  • Smooth rag
  • Oil


  • Sharpen your sickle after every two uses.


  • Be very careful when handling a sickle blade, especially after sharpening, since you can underestimate how sharp the blade is, and serious injury can occur.

About the Author


A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."