How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades. Lawn mower blade machete

Lawn Mower Blade

The Lawn Mower Blade is the standard knife for the Berserker.


“Primary. fast slash attack, Hold Primary for combo attack. Secondary. heavy slash attack. Alt. block/parry.”

Flavor Text

“Yes, it is actually a lawn-mower blade. Enjoy it!”

Technical Information

Damage (Primary) = up to 32. Damage (Secondary) = up to 64. Damage (Stab) = up to 15.

Damage Type = Slashing, Piercing (stab).

Rate Of Fire: Primary (combo) = 150. Secondary = 66. Stab = 160.

Equip Time = 0.32s. Putdown Time = 0.63s.

Parry: Strength = 1. Duration = 0.39s. Damage Reduction = 20%. Block Damage Reduction = 20%.

Weapon Powers: Melee hit power (alt-fire) = 50. Melee hit power (primary) = 50. Melee hit power (stab) = 25. Stumble power (alt-fire) = 50.


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  • Berserker
  • Commando
  • Support
  • Field Medic
  • Demolitionist
  • Firebug
  • Gunslinger
  • Sharpshooter
  • SWAT
  • Survivalist
  • Cyst
  • Alpha Clot (Rioter
  • VS)
  • Slasher (VS)
  • Crawler (Elite Crawler
  • VS)
  • Stalker (VS)
  • Bloat (VS)
  • Gorefast (VS)
  • Siren (VS)
  • Gorefiend
  • Husk (VS)
  • E.D.A.R variants
  • Quarter Pound
  • Scrake (VS)
  • Fleshpound (VS)
  • Bosses ( Patriarch (VS)
  • Dr. Hans Volter
  • King Fleshpound
  • Abomination(spawn)
  • Matriarch)

How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

Some time ago I was in a hardware store and an associate told me I should bring in my mower blades to have them sharpened as they “had a machine to make them razor-sharp.” I remember thinking, “Why would I want them to be razor-sharp? It’s a lawn mower for crying out loud. I’m not shaving with it. I am essentially trying to achieve the same look on my lawn as a pair of goats could do.”

So, here’s a quick article to show you how to sharpen your lawn mower blades to a reasonable honing. Considering you are cutting a plant which rabbits nibble, your 6.5 HP engine with blades spinning at 3,600 RPM is probably on the side of overkill.

How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

There is one rule I always follow when dealing with sharpening blades of any type: Leather Gloves, Always! Whether you are using this technique on mower blades or a machete, put on a pair of heavy-duty leather gloves or some other kind of protection.

Tools You’ll Need

The tools you need. A metal file, leather gloves, and a vice.

  • Leather Gloves
  • Metal Flat File or Bench Grinder
  • Socket Wrench
  • Hammer\Mallet\Wood block
  • Bench Vice

Step 1: Turn the mower upside down and take the blade off

Some folks will tell you that turning the mower upside down is bad, as the oil will go to places it is not supposed to. I usually do this at the beginning of the season and my oil has already been drained. However, I have done this before with oil in the engine and as long as I let it sit upright and settle for a while, there have been no issues.

Use the socket wrench and appropriate socket to get the work done.

Hint: The bolt is screwed in like normal (righty-tighty, lefty-loosey), but since the blade also spins it can be a pain to loosen. I find it helpful to use a block of wood or hammer to hit against the blade while I hold the socket wrench (gloved of course), rather than trying to torque down on the wrench and a potentially sharp blade.

Turn the mower upside down, preferably after you have drained last years oil and gas. Remove the blade with a socket wrench.

This mower blade is pretty bad off.

Step 2: Place the blade in a vice and sharpen with a file

I have two types of blades for my different mowers: one is a mulching blade (with the extra curve) and the other is a regular blade. The process for sharpening either blade-type is the same.

Run the metal file across the blade and away from you, at an angle, filing on the forward stroke as in the video and pictures shown below.

Note: If using a bench grinder, be careful how much metal you remove (See the next step on leveling). It can be easy to try to remove any imperfections in the blade which may remove more metal than necessary. This is fine as long as you keep both sides the same weight.

Run the file across the blade at an angle and away from you. Place pressure on the file on the forward stroke.

The angle of the file can be determined by the existing edge of the mower blade. Only one side needs to be sharpened.

Step 3: Repeat on the other side and check the balance

While I don’t believe your blade has to be razor-sharp to get the job done, it does need to be balanced. An unbalanced blade will lead to unwanted vibration and noise as well as increasing overall engine\mechanical wear. If you don’t have a handy tool for checking the level of your blade, just rest the blade across your finger, like checking the balance of a good knife. If you have severe leaning on one side, you will need to take off more metal, which means more filing.

Check the mower blade for levelness by using a tool which you can pick up at any hardware store in the mower section.

Step 4: Reattach the blade

Put the blade back on the mower the same way it came off. The concave side of the blade faces the grass. Be sure not to over tighten the bolt; you’ll have to do this again next year!

Happy Spring!

Best Sharpeners for Gardening Landscape Tools: Guide Recommendations

Does it really make sense to buy a new pruner, lopper, lawnmower blade, machete, hatchet, axe, shovel, hoe, hedge shear, or knife just because the one you have is dull? Does it make sense to take time out of your busy day or precious weekend to drive to a tool sharpening place that may or may not have same day service?

We think there’s a better way. All it requires is a little education and the purchase of some affordable sharpening tools.

But with so many options for sharpening your gardening and landscape tools, where do you turn? There are clearly a lot of choices, so we’ve taken the guesswork out by reviewing a wide variety of tool sharpeners so we can recommend the best options for your sharpening needs.


We did not cover every conceivable sharpener currently on the market as we’d never get this review written. But what we did do is pick some well-known manufacturers with a history of providing good to excellent quality gear that will get the job done.

We focused our attention on the following types of tool sharpeners:

  • Metal files
  • Bonded abrasive whetstones (man-made, rather than those cut from the earth)
  • Carbide sharpeners (“V” shaped, chisel-shaped, and flat shaped)
  • Diamond impregnated tapered rods
  • Diamond impregnated double-sided sharpeners (sometimes called “paddle” sharpeners)
  • Ceramic stones and diamond impregnated triangular stones
  • Electric motor, belt-driven sharpeners and grinders

For details on each type of sharpener, as well as our top recommendations, jump down to Types of Sharpening Tools: Details Recommendations.

Sharpening Tool Brands

Brands included in this review include:

  • DMT (Diamond Machining Technology)
  • Lansky
  • Corona
  • Smith’s
  • AccuSharp
  • Spyderco
  • Work Sharp

Quick Links

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To adequately test the performance of each type of sharpener, we tried them on a wide range of common gardening and DIY landscaping tools. Believe it or not, there’s a sharpener for every kind of tool, including:

  • Hori horis / digging knives
  • Shovels and spades
  • Lawnmower blades
  • Machetes
  • Hatchets and axes
  • Hoes
  • Bill Hook (Fiskars)
  • Loppers (both bypass and anvil)
  • Hedge shears
  • Hand pruners (both bypass and anvil)
  • Stick pruners
  • Landscape bars
  • Scissors
  • Knives
  • Multi-Tools
  • Box cutters
  • Wire cutters

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Sharpening Tool

Choosing the right sharpener for the job is both subjective and objective. It’s also a function of what tools you own.

Here are some questions to help you figure out what you need.

  • What’s my budget?
  • What sharpening tools do I already have?
  • What gardening and/or landscaping tools do I own?
  • Can I get by with just one sharpener for the tools I own, or does it require multiple types of sharpeners?
  • Do I want to deburr the edges of my tools to make them very sharp?
  • Do I care if the sharpened edge is a little ragged or do I prefer a finely polished surface?
  • Is MY take-away “It’s good enough” or “I’m a perfectionist”?
  • Am I a tool junkie or a minimalist?
  • Am I planning on sharpening friends’ and family tools? If so, what kind of tools do they have?
  • Do my tools have straight, curved, or serrated edges, or all three?
  • Do my tools have serrated edges, how close together are the serrations?
  • Am I a “tool for life” person or would I rather just rather buy a new one when needed?
  • Should my sharpener be multi-function (with the ability to sharpen many different types of tools)?
  • Is size/transportability important?
  • Are corded and/or cordless sharpeners a consideration?
  • How hard is the metal I’m sharpening?
  • How quickly do I want to get the job done?

With those questions in mind, take a look through the following sharpening tool descriptions to see which will be the best option(s) for you.

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Sharpeners Included in this Review

We evaluated as many sharpeners as we could, being careful to try similar products within sharpener types and to compare products from multiple brands. We’ll continue to add more items to the sortable list below as we review more sharpening tools.

For details about these tools, click on the tool name or see the section below where each type of tool is described in detail.

Brand Type Product
AccuSharp Carbide ShearSharp (single carbide)
AccuSharp Carbide 001C Knife Sharpener (double carbide)
AccuSharp Carbide 006C GardenSharp (single carbide)
AccuSharp Carbide Axes/Machetes/Knives/Hatchets (double carbide)
Work Sharp Belt drive grinder/sharpener Knife Tool Sharpener
Corona Carbide SolidCARBIDE (single carbide)
Smith’s Carbide Mower Blade Sharpener (single carbide)
Smith’s Carbide Pruning Tool Sharpener (single carbide)
Spyderco Ceramic 400F (4 ceramic file set)
Spyderco Ceramic Triangle Diamond Rods (204D)
Spyderco Ceramic Triangle Sharpmaker
DMT Diamond flat file DiaFold Flat File
AccuSharp Diamond paddle Diamond Paddle Sharpener Dual Sided (051C)
DMT Diamond paddle Diafold Double-Sided Sharpener
Smith’s Diamond paddle Diamond Combination Sharpener
DMT Diamond rod DiaFold Serrated Knife Sharpener (extra fine 1200 grit, fine 600 grit, coarse 325 grit)
Smith’s Diamond rod BE SHARP Diamond Retractable Sharpener (DRET)
AccuSharp Diamond rod 030C
Smith’s Diamond rod/carbide/ceramic PP1-Tactical (knife sharpener)
Corona Flat file (mill bastard file) Flat smooth cut file
Lansky Diamond paddle Diamond Sharpening Paddle
Lansky Whetstone (bonded grit) Lawn Garden Tool Sharpener
Smith’s Whetstone (bonded grit) EdgeEater Multi-Purpose Tool Sharpener
Smith’s Carbide Axe and Machete Sharpener (double carbide)

Types of Sharpening Tools: Details Recommendations

Click on each sharpener type below to view the details.

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These are the kind of metal files that come either individually or as a set. They’re often referred to as a mill Bastard file and are typically available online or at a hardware or big box store.

Metal files are not only useful for sharpening gardening and landscape tools, but have other filing uses as well (for example, squaring off a PVC pipe that has a been cleaved with a rough cut, removing the end of a bolt down to the nut).


Quickly removing a lot of material from a gardening or landscaping tool’s edge


  • Low price
  • Takes off a lot of metal relatively quickly (depending on how sharp the file is)
  • Comes in different shapes (flat, round, half found, triangular, etc.)
  • Comes in different lengths for easy storage or for longer filing strokes
  • Lasts a long time (if properly cared for)


  • Uncomfortable to hold the “tang” unless purchased with a handle (the handle is often sold separately and can be used on multiple files)
  • The file’s metal cutting ridges tend to collect filings and debris and have to be cleaned often. A “file card” brush is used to clean the cutting grooves but must be purchased separately.
  • Tends to rust easily (if not oiled or protected from the elements)
  • Tends to leave a rougher cutting edge. Don’t use a metal file on fine knives, scissors or anything requiring a very clean/fine edge.
  • Can leave groove(s) in the material if you’re not careful to keep the file moving in a sweeping motion (not just back and forth in one area).

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Metal files come in a variety of shapes. Buy a handle and “file card” when you purchase one.


You can’t go wrong with owning at least one metal file. Just make sure you purchase a “file card” (to remove excess filings and debris from the grooves of the file) and a handle. Your file and palm will thank you for both. These two items shouldn’t set you back more than 15.00, perhaps a little more if you want to purchase multiple file handles.

There are many manufacturers of metal files. We reviewed a set of metal files by Corona and can highly recommend their brand. Corona also sells file “kits” that have multiple shaped files and include a handle.

If you don’t own a file card, it’s best to buy one when you purchase your metal file. The file won’t work for long without the file card.

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Manmade sharpening stones typically remove a lot of metal and may be substituted for a metal file

These types of whetstones are man-made (with a bonded grit surface), rather than natural whetstones which are made from a slab of specialty stone.


Removing a moderate to large amount of metal in a short period of time


  • Low price
  • Takes off a moderate to large amount of metal on each stroke, depending on the coarseness of the grit
  • Can last a long time (if properly manufactured and cared for)
  • Is a good alternative or supplement to a metal file
  • Does not require oil or water to lubricate the surface while in use (some of the natural stones may require lubricant)
  • Makes a good deburring tool


  • Can easily chip or break if dropped
  • If the grit is not bonded tight enough in the manufacturing process, a lot of excess grit will wear off the stone and fall to the floor, making for an after-sharpening cleanup chore.
  • Tends to develop concave or convex wear patterns on the stone’s surface if used repeatedly in one area.

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I preferred the round cap of the Smith’s sharpener (used to hold onto the sharpener) over just a straight stone like the one from Lansky But in terms of overall performance, I recommend the Lansky Lawn Garden Tool Sharpener. It held up better to the rigors of sharpening heavier, blunter tool edges, like shovels, hoes, and lawnmower blades.

The real deciding factor was that the Smith’s stone was much softer and a lot of grit scraped off the stone and ended up on the floor. Also, because the stone was not as hard as the Lansky sharpener, the Smith’s whetstone developed grooves in the stone very early into the sharpening test.

An excellent choice for sharpening heavier, blunter tool edges, such as shovels, hoes, and lawnmower blades.

sharpen, lawn, mower, blades

AccuSharp carbide sharpeners

Carbide sharpeners are made with either a single or double set of tungsten carbide inserts (they’re incredibly hard) that are dragged over the edge of the implement being sharpened.


For quick touch-ups or aggressive metal removal


  • Low price
  • One of the easiest and quickest ways to put an edge on a tool (as long as the width of the edge will accommodate the carbide spacing)
  • Reversible carbides (except the Corona AC 8300) for longer tool life
  • Replaceable carbides can be purchased for the existing tool without having to buy a brand new tool (except the Corona AC 8300).
  • Lightweight
  • The tungsten carbide inserts (the sharpeners) will not rust
  • Certain models will sharpen scissors, others will put a knife edge on axes, machetes, hatchets, knives and more. And still other designs will put a chisel edge on lawnmower blades, loppers, pruners, hoes, shovels and virtually any chisel ground edged piece of gear.

All three manufacturers of the carbide sharpeners we reviewed had a clear winner, depending on the use


  • The sharpened edge is more ragged (and can leave burrs) than when sharpened with diamond impregnated tapered rods/triangular stones, paddle files or ceramics.
  • A lot of material can be taken off quickly from precision cutting blades if too much pressure is applied, leaving an uneven cutting surface.
  • Based on the design of some of the carbide sharpeners, they will not fit in tight places to fully sharpen a blade.

Carbide Sharpeners We Reviewed

  • AccuSharp ShearSharp (single carbide)
  • AccuSharp 001C Knife Sharpener (double carbide)
  • AccuSharp 006C GardenSharp (single carbide)
  • AccuSharp Axes/Machetes/Knives/Hatches (double carbide)
  • Corona SolidCARBIDE (single carbide)
  • Smith’s Mower Blade Sharpener (single carbide)
  • Smith’s Pruning Tool Sharpener (single carbide)
  • Smith’s Axe and Machete Sharpener (double carbide)

Overall Impressions

If you’re primarily interested in an inexpensive tool that does a good job at putting a pretty good (but not the best) edge on a variety of tools, a carbide sharpener is definitely something to consider.

I’ve had a lot of experience with these sharpeners. I owned a tree care company for many years and used one of the AccuSharp sharpeners to put a chisel grind edge on my chipper blades. Although the blades were sharp and did their job, I found that the aggressive carbide put slight ridges in the blades. These ridges were exacerbated the more I used the sharpener. Eventually, I had to send the blades out to be machine ground to remove the ridges.

I also found the same to be true for fine cutlery. The factory edge was replaced with one that was sharp but not as sharp as one honed by diamond impregnated tools or ceramic sharpening technologies.

In my recent testing, I found the carbides very aggressive. If you’re not careful, they can take off more than you intended. I’ve also found that when the carbide inserts get dull, they take off inconsistent amounts of material or virtually none at all.

BUT, with all that said, carbide sharpeners are a great bang for the buck. If you want a quick edge and you’re not a perfectionist, you definitely can’t go wrong with a carbide sharpener.


Depending on the task, I had favorites from each manufacturer.

For sharpening the chisel grind edges of bypass pruners, loppers, stick pruners and hedge shears, and the cutting blades on anvil loppers, I preferred the Corona AC 8300 SolidCARBIDE.

The best choice for sharpening the chisel grind edges of bypass pruners, loppers, stick pruners and hedge shears, and the cutting blades on anvil loppers.

For knives, axes, and similar tools, I preferred the AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener and the AccuSharp Sharpener for Axes/Machetes/Knives (non-serrated)/Hatchets

Perfect for a range of sharp-edged tools, such as axes, machetes, large non-serrated knives, and hatchets.

For lawnmower blades, shovels, hoes, and hori horis/digging knives, I thought the Smith’s Mower Blade Sharpener was the clear winner.

My recommendation for lawnmower blades, shovels, hoes, and hori horis or digging knives

I experimented with the AccuSharp ShearSharp on a pair of kitchen scissors and found that it did the job but left significant burrs, which I had to remove with a ceramic stone. A great concept, but something I would leave for other sharpeners (like the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker).

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In their closed position these types of sharpeners are an easy carry in your

These steel rods have small diamond particles bonded to the surface. When moved across the surface of a softer material (such as the steel used in garden and landscape tools), the diamond particles wear down/off the softer steel.


For precision sharpening a variety of edged tools


  • Diamonds are really hard and when properly applied to a steel rod, they last a long time.
  • Great for getting into circular s of tools like hori horis, the Lesche Digging Tool, the wire cutting notch of a bypass pruner, and scalloped s of hedge shears.
  • Excels in sharpening knives, chisel ground edges and serrated blades
  • Leaves a smooth cutting edge
  • Fits into tight places where other sharpeners fail
  • Nice deburring tool
  • Collapsible handles or storage tube minimizes carry size


  • Not recommend for taking off large amounts of metal
  • Takes some practice to get a factory knife-edge angle (without over or under doing it)

Diamond Impregnated Tapered Rods We Reviewed

  • Accusharp 030C Diamond Rod Sharpener
  • DMT DiaFold Serrated Knife Sharpener. Extra-Fine
  • DMT DiaFold Serrated Knife Sharpener (Fine 600 grit)
  • DMT DiaFold Serrated Knife Sharpener (Coarse 325 grit)
  • Smith’s DRET Diamond Retractable Sharpener
  • Smith’s 50979 PP1-Tactical Knife Sharpener (Black) – combination diamond rod, carbide, and ceramic sharpener


Right out of the gate, I’ll tell you I’m a “tool for life” guy. I believe in spending the extra money on quality as I want it to last for a LONG time. Other might disagree.

For me, the clear winner in this category is the DMT DiaFold Serrated Sharpeners. They offer three different grits (coarse, fine, and extra fine). If you want a highly polished, frighteningly sharp edge, then the three-rod package is for you. It will set you back though. Each grit size is in the 25. 30 range. Part of the cost comes from the quality of the diamonds and substrate steel, and the other is that they are made in USA (which tends to be more expensive than overseas production).

I can attest to the longevity of the DMT sharpeners. I’ve had a set of DMT Dia-Sharp Bench Stones, have used them regularly for 25 years, and they are still going strong.

And as a final note, they have the smallest tip diameter (for getting into those really small serration s) of any of the rod sharpeners I tested (except the Smith’s PP1 –Tactical, which I’ll address below).

Available in a variety of grits, these are the best diamond impregnated tapered rods I’ve used to date.

Next comes the rods from AccuSharp and Smith’s. At a first glance, they look identical except for the color of the tubular housing (Smith’s is a yellowish/orange and AccuSharp is black). With the diamond tapered rods extended to their proper length, the AccuSharp is just a hair longer. The tip diameter is the same for both, and both are made in China. To the touch, the diamond grit appears to be the same (coarse). Based on Amazon pricing, the Smith’s would be about two dollars less expensive. They both had the same performance. I’d go for the Smith’s.

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Smith’s PP1-Tactical Sharpener

Here was the wildcard of the bunch. Not only does it have a tapered diamond rod, but also has a carbide (coarse grit) sharpener and a ceramic (fine hone) knife sharpener, plus an emergency glass breaker. This is a 4-in-1 tool. It also has a handy clip and a lanyard slot.

But let’s talk about the diamond rod. Of those tested, it had the smallest diameter tip by 0.01”. But in practical terms, this is not a replacement for the above rods. The above (DMT, Smith’s, AccuSharp) tool tips will fit most serrations AND they have an upper limit rod diameter that will sharpen the larger serration s of most knives on the market. I found in my tests that the PP1’s largest rod diameter would not properly sharpen standard sized serrations.

However, used as an edge-sharpening rod, it worked great. The grit felt coarse, just like the coarse grits of the other tapered rod sharpeners.

I did try the carbide and ceramic sharpeners on anvil pruners (they have a knife edge) and it worked. But it doesn’t have the proper guards for this application. I slipped and got a little nick on my finger (nothing to write home about).

This is definitely a knife sharpener, with the tapered rod used mostly for sharpening knives and less for sharpening serration s. It’s a handy tool for the right application.

If you’re a landscaper or gardener who carries a straight bladed knife on you as part of your kit, then I would definitely consider this all-in-one sharpener. Cutting string, rope, burlap, landscaping fabric, roots, soil, etc. can mean you’ll need to sharpen a knife daily (or many times per day). This well-designed tool would be perfect for these applications. And at about 19.00, I think it’s a bargain.

  • Ceramic (fine) sharpening slot, Carbide (coarse) sharpening slot
  • Lanyard hole for easy carry
  • G10 handle
  • Diamond coated sharpening rod

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With handles folded or the sharpener inserted into the handle (Smith’s), these types of sharpeners are easy tp transport

These flat sharpeners, sometimes called “paddle sharpeners” or “paddle files”, have two usable sides. Depending on your preference, these can have extra fine, fine, medium or coarse grit (diamond particles bonded to the metal substrate). In this review, we looked at paddle sharpeners with a fine and a coarse grit side.


To sharpen a variety of garden, lawn and landscape tools

Diamond Double Sided Sharpeners have both a coarse and fine side making them useful in material removal and honing


  • Has two different grits, one on each side (we looked at fine/coarse grit paddles), making it a multi-use tool
  • Long-lasting diamond impregnated surfaces
  • Best used for medium metal removal and edge touch-ups and deburring
  • Compact when files are folded or inserted into the handle
  • Leaves a nice clean, sharp edge (when using the fine grit)


  • Difficult to use on tight concave surfaces
  • Not an aggressive metal removal tool (in comparison to a whetstone, metal file or carbide)
  • Won’t fit in a lot of places that a diamond tapered rod will

Diamond Impregnated Double Sided Sharpeners We Reviewed

  • AccuSharp Diamond Paddle Sharpener Dual Sided (model 051C). Coarse 320 grit, Medium 600 grit
  • DMT DiaFold Double-Sided Sharpener. Coarse 325 grit, Fine 600 grit
  • Lansky Diamond Sharpening Paddle. Coarse 120 grit, Fine 600 grit
  • Smith’s Diamond Combination Sharpener. Coarse 325 grit, Fine 750 grit


DMT Diafold Double-Sided Sharpener

I know you probably think I’m biased by saying that the DMT DiaFold Double-Sided Sharpener is my favorite in this class of sharpening tools. Quite simply, it’s an excellent sharpener (for the same reasons as described above for their tapered rod). But it’s expensive. Enough said.

  • Diamond Knife Sharpener: Offering 2-stage sharpening and a compact design, this lightweight DMT diamond sharpening stone is great for the home, camper, tool box, gardening shed, and more
  • Dual-Diamond Stone Surface: Specialized fine diamond (25 micron / 600 mesh) hones any blade or chisel to a razor-sharp edge; Specialized coarse diamond (45 micron / 325 mesh) quickly restores.
  • Portable Knife Sharpeners: Compact, lightweight knife sharpener features convenient fold-and-go handles, which enclose and protect the diamond plate when not in use; Measures 9.5 inches open.
  • Fast Easy: A micronized monocrystalline diamond surface sharpens edges faster and easier than conventional sharpening stones; No messy oils are needed either — sharpen lapping plate dry or with.
  • Made In The USA: Preferred by professionals for their superior quality and versatility, our durable diamond sharpening stones are built to provide years of consistent performance and reliable service

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Smith’s Diamond Combination Sharpener

Of the other three, I’d have to go with the Smith’s Diamond Combination Sharpener. I like its handle design. Instead of having two handles that fold around the stones (also the reason that this class of sharpener is called a “paddle sharpener”), there’s a single handle into which the double-sided sharpener is inserted. At first I thought this would make for a wobbly product, but after use it was rock solid.

I also like that the Smith’s has an oval polka dotted surface (similar to DMT’s), to catch the metal filings (called swarf). This makes the file more efficient and less likely to clog up. It also has a Micro-Tool Sharpening Pad TM giving it the ability to file small tools (such as points on a metal gardening stake) “that require an uninterrupted sharpening surface”.

Finally, of all the diamond double-sided sharpeners, Smith’s Diamond Combination Sharpener has the finest grit on the fine side of the sharpener, making it that much easier to obtain a super sharp edge. I found it especially great for sharpening hedge shears and deburring a nice smooth edge on a tool that had been sharpened with a more aggressive tool, such as a carbide, metal file or whetstone.

  • Coarse and fine diamond stones in one compact sharpener
  • Soft grip rubber handle
  • Thumb guard
  • Sharpening groove for fish hooks and pointed tools
  • Micro-Tool sharpening pad

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The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker sharpens so many tools and them some

Ceramic stones are made from synthetic sapphire, making them very hard and an excellent tool for sharpening metal implements. Diamond impregnated triangular rods have small diamond particles bonded to a metal surface.


Multiple sharpening applications


  • Fits into very small serrated s (not reachable with a tapered diamond rod).
  • Extremely long life (equal to if not longer than diamond impregnated sharpeners and certainly longer than a metal file).
  • Great for keeping what is already sharp. extremely sharp vs. heavy duty material removal.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can sharpen a variety of knife edges or chisel ground tools including scissors and chisels (for tree root pruning).


  • Ceramic sharpeners if dropped can chip or break.
  • Remove the least amount of material of all the sharpeners (except the diamond impregnated triangle rods).


Spyderco 400F

This tool was initially designed “for sharpening detailed tools like woodcarving tools, gouges, and dental devices”. I specifically requested this set to file some super small serrations in the Fiskars Billhook. The triangular and teardrop files were absolutely perfect, reaching all the nooks and crannies in the blade and making the Billhook extremely sharp. In contrast, even the smallest diameter diamond tapered rod ground the tops off these serrations, making them useless. (As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m a perfectionist and needed the right tool for the right job.)

The Spyderco 400F set also includes a square and round file. These are nice to hone the edges of pruners, loppers, hedge shears, stick pruners and the like. Their small size (5” long) makes them ideal for intricate work and easy to carry into the field. They come in a nice leather pouch.

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For intricate filing of extremely small, serrated edges and honing other precision tools, the 400F by Spyderco is absolutely terrific

  • Sharpeners. All Spyderco Sharperners share the same key qualities; they are quick and easy to use, do not require oil, water, or complicated clamps and fixtures, and do not need electricity.
  • Specifications. Shapes: Round, Square, Triangle, and Slip (Teardrop), Material: Ceramic Stone
  • Easy-to-Use. Our ceramic files are easily cleaned with household cleanser, a scouring pad, and water.
  • PREMIUM Design. Spyderco
  • SUGGESTED USE. They are used by gunsmiths for trigger jobs, deburring, and detail finishing.

Spyderco Tri-Angle “Sharpmaker”

The utility of this sharpening tool is almost endless; it will sharpen just about anything that is already semi-sharp. The sharpener comes in a case that holds four rectangular stones (two coarse grit and two fine grit). Both sets of stones are made from synthetic sapphire and are extremely hard. They’re so hard, you can even use them to remove metal from the edge of a hardened metal file.

In addition to conventional stones for the Sharpmaker, you can also purchase diamond-impregnated (hardest) and cubic boron nitride (second hardest to the diamond) ones. I found the diamond-impregnated stones to be indispensable in removing a little more material faster than just the ceramic stones. They were also great for sharpening a hatchet.

The system is made for sharpening all kinds of tools, but for the gardener and landscaper, it excels at knives (both straight edged and serrated), hatchets, pruners, loppers (both anvil and bypass), machetes, box cutters, diagonal cutters, scissors, and more.

The stones are tough but are not designed to remove large amounts of metal (like a metal file or manmade grit stone). The Sharpmaker ceramic stones are ideally suited for keeping what’s modestly sharp, razor sharp.

The sharpener has a base plate for inserting the stones at either 30 0 or 40 0 angles, a set of brass rods as a safety system to; protect from accidentally cutting yourself; or tilting up unit for other sharpening tasks. A slot positioned at the end of the base plate is for sharpening scissors, etc. There are also stone holders on both the top and bottom of the base plate that hold the stones flat for sharpening things like chisels (for tree root pruning), etc. And finally, another important feature of this sharpener is that the triangular stones can be used on their own (not installed in the base plate) for sharpening pruners, loppers, hedge shears, or any type of gardening tool that has a knife or chisel grind edge. And as a side note, it works like a charm for kitchen knives as well.

For someone who wants a keep sharp and deburr a variety of gardening and landscape tool, you can’t go wrong with a Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker. I’ve had one for over 15 years (with the original stones) and it is still going strong.

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The Sharpmaker comes packages with a base plate and cover that holds the entire sharpening kit

  • Easy-to-Use, Outstanding Results. This has everything necessary to sharpen any type of edged or pointed tool in just a few minutes‘ time. Simply keep the plane of your knife
  • Durable Design. The Sharpmaker has an ABS plastic base/storage case and contains keyed holes that accurately set the stones
  • Ready to Travel. The 204MF is designed to be handheld and portable. Simply snap all the components into the self-contained ABS Durable plastic base and lid. You are good to go!
  • Works on All Knives. Every Sharpmaker comes complete with a detailed instruction book and DVD that guides you step by step through the process of sharpening kitchen knives, chef knives,
  • Must Have Essentials. Instruction book and DVD. Aluminum Safety Rods, 2 Fine and 2 Medium Grit High Alumina Ceramic Sharpening Stone for aggressive sharpening and Professional-Grade finishing.
  • Sharpeners. All Spyderco Sharperners share the same key qualities; they are quick and easy to use, do not require oil, water, or complicated clamps and fixtures, and do not need electricity.
  • Specifications. Shapes: Round, Square, Triangle, and Slip (Teardrop), Material: Ceramic Stone
  • Easy-to-Use. Our ceramic files are easily cleaned with household cleanser, a scouring pad, and water.
  • PREMIUM Design. Spyderco
  • SUGGESTED USE. They are used by gunsmiths for trigger jobs, deburring, and detail finishing.
  • Diamond Coated. These steel triangle stones are blanketed in a bonding agent, then covered in diamond particles
  • Professional-Grade. Diamond hard abrasives are recommended when you wish to remove stock, for restoration purposes and to aggressively re-shape, re-bevel and re-profile a cutting edge
  • Multifunctional. Sharpen all types of edges including serrated edges and fits into the 204 Sharpmaker Sharpening System
  • Easy to Clean. Simply rinse with fresh water and let the product air-dry
  • Specifications. Sold as a pair, Overall Length (Inches): 7, Coating: Diamond

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This combination belt-drive grinder and sharpener isn’t your typical hand-held tool like the other sharpeners in this review, but if you have space for an electric sharpener, these types of tools can be invaluable.


Sharpens knives (straight blade and serrated), scissors, garden, and landscape tools


  • Powerful electric motor for grinding applications
  • Various grit belts from grinding to honing
  • Pivoting head for easy conversion from sharpening to grinding
  • Two different guides (for sharpening specific tools at specific angles)
  • Three position switch (Off, Grinding – ON, momentary sharpening)
  • Belt tracking adjustment knob
  • Quick-lock tensioner for belts
  • Belts are easy to change
  • Great for sharpening gardening and landscaping tools where a lot of material needs to be taken off


  • Won’t set a factory ground chisel angle on bypass pruner and lopper blades, or on anvil lopper blades
  • Has an electric motor so can’t be used to sharpen tools in the field (unless you’re near an electrical outlet and have an extension cord)
  • Too aggressive on fine cutting tool blades (such as pruners and loppers), based on the recommended grit for performing these operations

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The Work Sharp package comes complete with sharpener/grinder, guides and various grit belts


Sharpener shown with kitchen knife guide installed on motor drive

This is a really awesome tool. The design was well thought out and it is easy to use. If you want to remove some serious material from a gardening or landscape tool (such as a shovel, hoe, hatchet, tines, axe, lawnmower blade, or landscape bar) then this is the tool for you. It converts into a grinder and makes quick work of a variety of tools.

The unit comes with several grinding/sharpening/honing belts (two 80 grit, two 220 grit, and two 6000 grit), a 25 0 Outdoor Guide (for sharpening serrated edges, hunting knives, knives and scissors), and a 20 0 Kitchen Guide (for sharpening kitchen knives and filet knives). After a Guide is removed, the head of the unit can be rotated forward to turn it into a belt grinder.

Also included is a well-written instruction manual. Plus, Work Sharp has an excellent website tutorial to get you up and running.

This is a real winner in my book and a must have for the serious gardener and/or landscaper. It won’t accommodate all of your sharpening needs but it comes pretty darn close.

sharpen, lawn, mower, blades

The Work Sharp with the belt drive head rotated into the grinding position

Comes with easily-replaceable abrasive grit belts (coarse P80, medium P220, and fine 6000) and precision sharpening guides. 1-year warranty.

Days Gone: Every Melee Weapon, Ranked

Though Days Gone features useful ranged weapons, it never hurts to know what melee weapons are at your disposal.

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Despite being helmed by Sony Bend, one of Playstation’s oldest and most prominent first-party studios, third-person zombie-apocalypse actioner Days Gone wasn’t expected to be a hit. After a seven-year development cycle, Sony allowed review codes to go out with the game in a buggy, messy state. Early reviews were hardly inspiring and likely hurt early sales of the game. Bend’s Day One patch fixed many of the issues reviewers had reported, such that those who played the game at release found a much different experience. This can be seen in the widely varying Metacritic scores the game received.

The game the public eventually received is now seen as a very good action game with a middle-of-the-road story and some interesting mechanics. The “Freaker” hordes are the game’s most popular feature, but many feel they were under-used, only showing up in the latter half of the adventure. One thing most agree upon though is the quality of the arsenal at the player’s disposal. Guns, thrown objects, and the ever-popular “use what’s at hand” style of melee weapons are all put to good use. Players would do well to keep this pecking order in mind when searching the game world for their implements of choice.

Most Important Skills For Melee Combat

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Days Gone has a skill system that allows players to acquire new abilities with skill points garnered from levelling up the main character, Deacon. For players wanting to FOCUS on melee combat, there are three skills in particular that will make for the most successful run through post-apocalyptic Oregon.

The most important of these is Field Repair, which allows the player to use scrap metal found throughout the game world to repair the oft-brittle weapons. The Home Run and Hard Hitter skills both increase the amount of damage that melee attacks cause, so acquiring all three of these melee-centric skills will really put the hurt to the Freakers.


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As non-crafted weapons that can be found early in the game, this one isn’t bad. They aren’t difficult to find, as they are in seemingly every horde cave and can be found lying around randomly as well. Being a bladed weapon, they are better than blunt options like the stool leg. Better than fists, and easily replaceable when it inevitably breaks.

Fire Axe

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Axes are the top-level melee weapons in the game, so that’s a good reason to grab this straight-away when Deacon’s adventure begins. Though it doesn’t do a ton of damage and breaks relatively quickly, the weapon is easy to find and replace. Stuck to the side of nearly every fire truck in the Oregonian countryside, this is likely the first melee weapon to be accessible to players, and thus there are worse ways to start.

Ripper Blade

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Crafted weapons naturally have an advantage over non-crafted ones in Days Gone, as there is an additional means of destruction grafted onto the basic weapon. In the case of the Ripper Blade, the marriage of a Stool Leg and a Saw Blade makes this a good early weapon. Remember that using scrap, and thus crafting, requires picking up the Field Repair skill, so be sure to do that as soon as possible.

Spiked Bat

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One of the best weapons that is easily craftable early in the game, the spiked bat can hold its own even into the mid-game. Bats are plentiful and needing only a box of nails and some scrap, its easy to turn the Louisville Slugger into the pointy stick of death.

Find this one after clearing out the ambush camp in the “Chasing Leon” mission, where the plan is one of the mission rewards and all the supplies needed to craft it are inside the room at the camp where the storyline advances.

Lawn Mower Machete

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This will be the first machete-type weapon the player will come across, and it is extremely useful for the time it is found. In the “Chasing Leon” mission, when clearing out the ambush camp, the machete is stuck into a crate in one of the outbuildings of the camp. It doesn’t do a ton of damage but has medium durability, and can take out a regular enemy in 3-4 hits.

Superior Club

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Clubs lose out to axes and other bladed weapons in the world of Days Gone, but this is the best of the group. A crafted weapon, this is a baseball bat with several metal gears attached at the top; it hits hard but is very slow to swing.

This one may be the most useful in a scenario like clearing out freaker nests, where the majority die when the nest is burned and there are just a few stragglers to clean up in the aftermath.

Baseball Bat Axe

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The best craftable axe weapon, the baseball bat axe is exactly what it sounds like, a wooden bat with a saw blade lashed to it. This will be a one-hit kill on many enemies in the game, but it won’t be craftable until some work has been put in. All ambush camps must be cleared before this one is available, but it’s the absolute finest melee weapon the player can craft for themselves.


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For a weapon this good, it is surprisingly easy to find, and in such an early part of the game. In the “He’s My Brother” mission, the machete is inside the red truck on the side of the road at the Nero Checkpoint. This is a traditional machete, with a genuine handle and a long narrow blade. It makes short work of most enemies, even freakers, but it is prone to damage. Keep a lot of scrap on hand to maintain it in tip-top condition, but the damage it does makes the upkeep worth it.

Superior Mace

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The two best weapons in the game can’t be crafted, they must be found in the world. The Superior Mace is one of those, and it is a beast of durability. A single strike takes only 3% of the durability, meaning it can handle 30 swings before it needs repair. It will take down nearly all enemies with just 1-2 swings, but it is a tad slow in making a full swing, so it may not be the best weapon for tight quarters. Look for it in the Crater Lake area.

Superior Metal Axe

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There is absolutely no argument among players about which is the best melee weapon available to players. This weapon is maxed out for durability and damage and requires relatively little scrap to be repaired. They say that greatness requires few words, and so it is with the Superior Metal Axe. This one checks all the boxes, so there’s no reason not to look for it in the Crater Lake Area.

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