How to Sharpen Scythe

Have you ever had a weed or tall grass growing in your yard that was too thick and high to mow down? If so, you’ve thought about investing in a scythe. Scythe is a potent tool for removing overgrown vegetation in gardens, lawns, fields, and anywhere else where the grass needs some heavy-duty cutting.

How to Sharpen Scythe

Before using your new device, though, we recommend you take some time to learn how to sharpen your scythe – if properly sharpened, it will make short work of those pesky weeds! In this blog post, we will discuss how to sharpen scythe for you to get started with honing your scythe.

We’ll cover everything from proper technique to avoiding common mistakes; by implementing these tips into practice, you’ll have no problem perfecting the art of sharpening your trusty blade before any job. Let’s go!

What Will You Need?

Before sharpening your scythe, ensure you have a few tools on hand to get the job done correctly. You should have the following:

  1. Scythe
  2. Waterstone
  3. Oilstone
  4. Crock stick
  5. Scythe hammer
  6. File (optional)
  7. Protective eyewear (gloves and apron are also recommended!)

Once you have these items, you can start the sharpening process.

10 Easy Steps on How to Sharpen Scythe

Step 1: Inspect and Clean Your Scythe

Before you sharpen your scythe, it is important to inspect it first for any signs of wear or damage. You should also take some time to clean off any dirt, rust, and other debris that can accumulate on the blade over time. Try to remove any burrs or nicks that may be present as well.

Step 2: Peening the Blade

The next step in sharpening your scythe involves a process known as peening. This is where the scythe hammer comes into play. Peening involves gently hammering the blade’s edge to thin it out and make it sharper.

The Scythe Hammer Comes Into Play

To do this, position your scythe on a hard, stable surface and lightly tap along the blade’s edge with your scythe hammer. Make sure to hammer evenly across the entire edge, and be careful not to hit too hard, as this could damage the blade. Once done, you should notice a significant improvement in sharpness.

Step 3: Honing the Blade

After peening, the blade will need to be honed. This is where the Waterstone comes in. Start by soaking your Waterstone in water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, hold the blade at a 20-30 degree angle against the stone.

Slide the blade along the stone, moving toward the blade’s edge and not against it. Repeat this process on both sides of the blade until you achieve the desired sharpness. Always maintain the same angle to ensure an even sharpening across the blade’s entire length.

Step 4: Polishing the Blade

The next step after honing is polishing. This process refines the edge of the blade, making it smoother and more efficient. After honing, switch over to your oilstone, which has a finer grit and is perfect for polishing.

Using the same technique as with the Waterstone, hold the scythe blade at a consistent angle against the stone and slide it along, sharpening the edge. Remember to always move in the direction of the blade’s edge. Repeat this process until the blade is as sharp as you desire. At the end of this step, your scythe blade should be ready for action.

Step 5: Testing the Sharpness

Now that your blade is polished, it’s time to test it. The easiest way to do this is by lightly running your gloved hand along the edge of the blade. Be very careful not to apply too much pressure as you could cut yourself. If the blade slides smoothly and doesn’t catch on your glove, it’s sharp enough. Alternatively, you can test the blade on a piece of paper. If it cuts the paper cleanly without tearing, your scythe is properly sharpened.

Running Your Gloved Hand Along the Edge of the Blade

Step 6: Cleaning and Storing the Scythe

After ensuring your scythe is properly sharpened and ready for use, it is essential to clean it thoroughly. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the blade, removing any remaining grit from the sharpening process. Once cleaned, dry the blade thoroughly to prevent rusting.

To store your scythe, hang it up in a dry, safe place out of the reach of children. Make sure the blade is not exposed to humid or damp conditions to prevent rusting and ensure the longevity of your tool. Apply a light layer of oil to the blade, which will serve as additional protection against oxidation.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance

Maintaining your scythe blade is key to preserving its sharpness and longevity. After every use, take the time to clean and dry the blade to prevent rust and buildup of dirt or plant residue. Additionally, depending on how frequently you use your scythe, consider peening and honing the blade every few uses to maintain its sharp edge. Remember, a well-maintained scythe makes your task easier and ensures your safety while using the tool.

Step 8: Safety Measures

When sharpening a scythe, it’s important to achieve a sharp edge and ensure your safety during the process. Always wear protective gear such as eyewear, gloves, and an apron to protect yourself from sharp edges and metal filings.

Moreover, always work in a well-ventilated environment to prevent inhaling dust or particles produced during sharpening. Lastly, take your time with the sharpening process. Take your time and handle the tools with care to avoid any accidents.

Step 9: Handling and Using a Sharpened Scythe

Once your scythe is thoroughly sharpened, handling and using it properly is crucial. Remember to hold it correctly; a scythe should be held with both hands, one on the grip and the other on the snath. This ensures full control of the scythe, reducing the risk of accidents.

Always swing the scythe in a wide, sweeping motion at a consistent angle to the ground. Do not use it with a chopping or hacking motion, which can damage the blade or strain your body. When using your scythe, take regular breaks to prevent fatigue and maintain your focus. A sharpened scythe is powerful, but only if used correctly and safely.

Always Swing the Scythe in a Wide

Step 10: Preserve Your Skills and Techniques

As with any craft, maintaining and improving your scythe sharpening skills requires practice and consistency. Each time you sharpen your scythe, pay attention to the feel of the blade, the honing angle, and the polished edge’s shine. Experiment with different methods and find the one that suits your style and the specific design of your scythe.

Following these steps, you can sharpen your scythe and keep it sharp for a long time. With practice, you’ll be able to achieve perfect results and extend the life of your tool. Happy scything!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. When storing your scythe, it is important to keep the blade covered to protect it from dirt and dust. Use a cloth or waxed paper to cover the blade when not in use.
  2. When sharpening your scythe, do so on a stable surface that won’t move while hammering the blade.
  3. It is best to sharpen your scythe on a warm day. The metal will absorb more heat from the hammering, which will help maintain its shape and form.
  4. When honing or polishing your scythe blade, use an even pressure throughout the process for consistent results.
  5. Regularly clean and oil your scythe when not in use. This will help keep the blade rust-free and prolong its lifespan.

Sharpening your scythe can become an easy task that yields excellent results with some practice. Remember these tips, and you can sharpen your scythe like a pro!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Only sharpen your scythe with a protective glove and eyewear in place.
  2. Use the right honing stone for polishing, which could damage your blade.
  3. Never use your scythe with a chopping or hacking motion. This can cause the blade to chip or splinter and damage its edge.
  4. Avoid sharpening your scythe in a damp environment, as this could cause rust to form on the blade.
  5. Take your time with the sharpening process. Take time and consistently check for burrs or uneven edges while honing and polishing the blade.
Use the right honing stone for polishing

By following these guidelines, you can sharpen your scythe safely and effectively. With practice, you can achieve a sharp blade every time!


In conclusion, sharpening a scythe is a simple task. With the right tools and some knowledge of the process, anyone can finish the job quickly and effectively. When sharpening your scythe, it is important to remember that you must be precise with the filling angle and the surface of the steel. Also, regularly checking your file to ensure it is sharp enough will ensure that your scythe is always ready for work.

With these few steps in mind, you can guarantee that your tool will function optimally for years and be ready to tackle any task you set out.

Hopefully, the article on how to sharpen scythe has provided enough insight for you to get started. With some practice, you can sharpen your scythe like a pro! Good luck and happy scything!

Photo of author

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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