How to Sharpen a Shovel with a Dremel

Sharpening a shovel can be a tedious yet necessary task when it comes to gardening, landscaping, and other outdoor projects. However, with the right tools and a bit of knowledge, you can make it an easy job that will help your shovel perform better. With the advent of modern craftsmanship tools such as drill drivers and Dremel tools, sharpening your shovel is easier than ever.

How to Sharpen a Shovel with a Dremel

If you’re in need of learning how to sharpen your shovel quickly or frequently but don’t want to invest in professional sharpening services, then this article is for you! Today, we’ll teach you exactly how to sharpen a shovel with a Dremel so that you can easily keep your garden or construction tool clean and sharp whenever necessary.

What Dremel Bit Is Used for Sharpening?

The best bit to use when sharpening a shovel with a Dremel is the grinding stone bit. A grinding stone is designed to remove material from metal, ceramic, and even plastic objects, meaning it can be used for many different types of sharpening projects. In additionltos being able to sharpen your shovel blade effectively, this type of bit is ideal for smoothing out rough edges and can be used to create a more even finish.

The grinding stone bit will not damage the metal of your shovel blade, as it will only remove material rather than create sparks or chips. When choosing which grinding stone bit to use on your shovel, make sure you select one that has the correct size and grit for the type of shovel you have. A smaller, finer grit bit is better suited to shovels made from softer metals such as aluminum or steel, while a larger, coarser bit works best on tougher metals such as stainless steel or cast iron.

Once you have chosen the right bit for your project, it is important to use the bit at a slow and steady speed to ensure that it doesn’t overheat. Remember, the goal is to sharpen your shovel, not create sparks or damage the blade.

Using a Dremel with a grinding stone bit is one of the best ways to get your shovel sharpened quickly and easily. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to sharpen your shovel in no time at all. Just remember to always select the right bit for the job and use it at a steady speed to ensure that you get the best results.

10 Methods on How to Sharpen a Shovel with a Dremel

1. Remove the Shovel Blade

The first step is to remove the shovel blade from the handle. This can be done by unscrewing the bolt that holds the blade in place. After it has been removed, check for any rust on the blade and remove it with a wire brush. If the blade is heavily rusted, it may need to be replaced. However, if the blade is only lightly rusted, it can be salvaged with a good sharpening.

2. Mount the Blade in the Dremel

Next, you will need to mount the blade in the Dremel. There are two ways to do this: either by using a clamp or by holding the blade in your hand. If you are using a clamp, make sure that it is securely attached to the work surface.

Remove the Shovel Blade

Make sure the blade is centered in the clamp before you start grinding. If you are holding the blade in your hand, use firm pressure and make sure the blade is securely held in place. While grinding, be sure to move the blade in a circular motion. This will help to ensure an even sharpening of the blade.

3. Select the Appropriate Bit

Once the blade is mounted, you will need to select the appropriate bit for sharpening. The type of bit you use will depend on the material of your shovel blade. For most shovel blades, a grinding stone or carbide wheel will work well. Be sure to select one that is compatible with the power tool you are using.

If you have a grinder, use a grinding stone of the appropriate size and shape. For a Dremel or similar tool, choose either an abrasive wheel or a carbide bit. Though they will both work well, a carbide bit is better suited for metal blades as it can handle higher temperatures without wearing out as quickly.

4. Begin Sharpening

Now, you are ready to begin sharpening. Start by applying light pressure to the blade and moving the Dremel back and forth across the edge of the blade. As you sharpen, regularly check the edge of the blade to ensure that you are removing any burrs or nicks. As you sharpen, the blade should begin to take shape and eventually develop an even edge all around. Try to keep the angle of your strokes consistent across the blade.

5. Flip the Blade Over and Repeat

Once one side of the blade is sharpened, flip it over and repeat the process on the other side. Be sure to use light pressure and move slowly to avoid damaging the edge of the blade. Use the same angle that you used for the first side. Once both sides of the blade are sharpened, you can use a whetstone or a honing stone to put a finer edge on the blade.

Remember to keep your Dremel moving in a smooth motion, don’t press too hard against the blade, and don’t forget to wear a face mask for protection. With just a few simple steps and a Dremel, you can have a sharp shovel in no time.

6. Test The Sharpness Of The Blade

After both sides of the blade have been sharpened, test its sharpness by slicing through a piece of paper or cardboard. If it cuts cleanly, then your shovel is ready for use! If not, continue sharpening until it is as sharp as you need it to be. If the blade has a beveled edge, make sure that the angle matches up with the original edges before use.

Regularly Check the Edge

7. Clean The Blade After Sharpening

Once you have finished sharpening your shovel, be sure to clean off any debris from both sides of the blade. This can be done with a brush or cloth and some mild detergent.

If you are using a Dremel, make sure to clean the bit after use as well. This will ensure it is in good condition for next time. After you have cleaned the blade, use a dry cloth to buff it and make sure there is no residual moisture or dirt on the surface.

8. Reattach The Blade To The Handle

Now that your shovel is sharpened, you will need to reattach it to the handle. Be sure to secure the bolt tightly so that the blade remains firmly in place while in use.

Place the shovel handle into the hole of the blade and align it so that the hole in the shaft is directly over the hole in the blade. Secure the handle with the bolt and nut by placing them through the holes. Tighten the nut using a wrench to ensure that it is secure before use.

Reattach It to the Handle

9. Sharpen With A File If Necessary

If your shovel’s blade is still dull, you may need to use a file to sharpen it further. Select a file that has the same grit as the bit you used in the Dremel and begin filing away at any remaining burrs or nicks.

Make sure to work in the same direction that you used with the Dremel bit. Keep filing until your shovel is sharp and looks like new. Once you’re satisfied with the sharpness of the blade, wipe it clean with a cloth to remove any residual metal filings.

10. Apply Oil To The Blade

After sharpening, it is important to apply some oil to the blade. This will help protect it from rust and corrosion while in storage or use. Use a light machine oil to lubricate the cutting edge, and make sure you wipe off any excess. Doing this after each sharpening will ensure your shovel is always in good condition.

By following these steps, you can easily sharpen a shovel with a Dremel. With just a few minutes of your time and the right bit, you can get your shovel back in shape and ready for use. Remember, always select the appropriate bit for your project and use it at a steady speed to ensure that you get the best results. With regular maintenance and sharpening, your shovel will last you for many years!

Select the Appropriate Bit for Your Project

Do You Need to Get Help From a Professional?

In most cases, sharpening a shovel with a Dremel is a simple and straightforward process that can be done at home. However, if you are not comfortable using power tools or do not have access to the necessary equipment, it may be best to seek help from a professional.

A hardware store or garden center may offer sharpening services for shovels and other tools at a reasonable price. This may be a good option if you do not own a Dremel or are unsure about using one.

Ultimately, the decision to sharpen your shovel yourself or seek professional help depends on your comfort level and access to resources. Just remember, with proper maintenance and regular sharpening, your shovel will always be ready for any digging task that comes your way.  So, don’t hesitate to give it a try and see the difference a sharp shovel can make in your gardening or yard work!

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of sharpening a shovel with a Dremel will vary depending on the type of Dremel you use, the bit you select, and the condition of your shovel blade. However, in general, it is an affordable and relatively quick process.

If you already have a Dremel at home, the only additional cost would be purchasing a compatible bit if you do not have one already. These can range from a few dollars to around $20, depending on the type and size.

Overall, sharpening your shovel with a Dremel is a cost-effective solution compared to purchasing a new shovel or taking it to a professional for sharpening. Plus, with regular maintenance and care, you can use your Dremel for many other projects, making it a versatile and valuable tool to have in your collection.  So, invest in a Dremel today and keep all of your garden tools sharp and ready for use! No more struggling with dull blades – just graze through the dirt with ease and efficiency.

Additional Tips:

  • Always wear protective gear, such as gloves and a face mask, when sharpening your shovel or using power tools.
  • Make sure to use the appropriate bit for your project and the correct grit for the desired sharpness.
  • Regularly clean and oil your shovel after use to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Consider investing in a Dremel kit with multiple bits for future versatility and projects.
  • If you are not confident in your sharpening skills, start with a small test area before tackling the entire blade.
  • Practice proper safety measures when using a Dremel, such as keeping long hair and loose clothing away from the tool.
  • When handling sharp tools, always keep them out of reach of children and pets for their safety.

 So go ahead and give your shovel the sharp edge it deserves with a Dremel! Happy digging!  So, go ahead and give your shovel the sharp edge it deserves with a Dremel! Happy digging!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I Use a Dremel to Sharpen Other Types of Tools?

A: Yes, you can use a Dremel to sharpen a variety of tools such as knives, axes, and garden shears.  Just be sure to select the appropriate bit for the tool and follow the same steps outlined for sharpening a shovel. You may also need to use a different technique depending on the shape and size of the tool. It is always best to consult the tool’s manufacturer for specific sharpening instructions.

Q: How Often Should I Sharpen My Shovel?

A: It depends on how often you use your shovel and the type of work it is used for. If you notice the blade becoming dull or difficult to use, it may be time to sharpen it. As a general rule, it is recommended to sharpen your shovel at least once a year for regular use. You may need to sharpen it more often if you use it for tougher jobs or in harsh conditions. It is always better to keep your shovel sharp to avoid the risk of injury and ensure efficient use.

Q: Can I Sharpen a Shovel Without a Dremel?

A: Yes, you can sharpen a shovel without a Dremel using alternative tools such as a flat file or sharpening stone. However, these methods may take longer and require more effort than using a Dremel. It is always best to use the appropriate tools for the task at hand to achieve the best results.  If you plan on sharpening your shovel regularly, investing in a Dremel can make the process quicker and easier.

Q: Is There Anything I Should Avoid When Sharpening a Shovel?

A: Yes, there are a few things you should avoid when sharpening a shovel. These include using too much pressure, working at an inconsistent angle, and not wearing protective gear. Using excessive force can damage the blade or cause injury if it slips out of your hand. Also, not maintaining a consistent angle can result in uneven sharpening and may even make the blade duller. Be sure to wear proper eye and face protection to avoid any potential injuries from flying debris. 

Q: How Can I Tell If My Shovel Needs to Be Sharpened?

A: There are a few signs that your shovel may need to be sharpened. These include difficulty cutting through soil or debris, visible nicks or dents on the blade, and a noticeably dull edge. If you notice any of these signs, it is probably time to sharpen your shovel. Regular maintenance and sharpening will help prolong the life of your shovel and make your gardening or digging tasks easier.  It is always better to be proactive and regularly check the condition of your tools rather than waiting until they become difficult to use.

Q: Can I Sharpen a Rusty Shovel?

A: Yes, you can sharpen a rusty shovel using a Dremel or other sharpening tools. However, it is important to first remove as much rust and debris from the blade as possible before sharpening. You may need to use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove the rust and clean the surface of the blade. Once the blade is free of rust, you can follow the same steps outlined in this guide for sharpening with a Dremel. Regular maintenance and cleaning after use can help prevent rusting in the future.  If the rust is extensive, it may be best to replace the shovel altogether.


With a few household supplies and some elbow grease, you can take an old shovel and make it look and work like new. Although it may seem like a daunting task, sharpening your shovel with a Dremel is actually quite simple.

Follow the steps outlined in this blog post on how to sharpen a shovel with a dremel, and you’ll have a sharpened shovel before you know it!

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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