We have started to see (and hear) gardens getting turned over. (I know, it’s only January, but the weather’s been great this last week!) Make sure your gardening tools are sharp before the spring. Shovels, Hoes, spades, All work better and easier when they are straight and sharp.
Also, pruning shears should be sharpened in order to protect the plant you are cutting. Dull shears crush the stem instead of cleanly cutting it. This leads to extra stress on the wound, and can cause problems later on.
One of the biggest area of concern I have is with Ax safety. An Ax, Splitting Maul or Hatchet MUST be sharp to cut wood safely. A dull ax can bounce or glance off of the wood, causing a ricochet, and can injure the user. The head must be secure to the handle, and the handle should have an overstrike pad on it. This prevents the handle from splintering when you miss the wood with the handle and strike the handle instead. If your handle is cracked, it needs to be replaced. (We can help you replace the handle, or do it for you.)
Keep the head cleaned of dirt and rust. Wipe it down with WD-40 after use to clean off any dirt or debris. Maintain the edge with a file. If there are large chips or nicks, bring it to us for a regrind.
Never use an ax as a wedge, and hit the back of the head with a hammer to split the wood It is NOT designed for that. Use a splitting wedge instead, available at any hardware store.
When splitting wood, Make sure you are cutting on soft ground. Cutting on stone or concrete causes more problems if you miss. The ax can come back at you, make rock chips, or even break the head! Be careful.
We can sharpen your blade while you wait, and have you safely chopping wood.
Hey. It’s been awhile since our last blog. Let’s have a visit about hand saws.If you use hand saws, (cross cut, rip, tree) keeping them sharp will make your life easier. They cut easier, safer and leave a better cut edge. Use a good oil on the blade after you are done with the saw. Spray it with WD-40 and wipe off all wood gum/ dust, etc., then leave a light oil sheen on it when you put it away. This will keep rust from building up on it.
Keep the tool sharpened regularly. We sharpen most hand saws, and are one of only a couple of providers in the area who keep this lost art alive! Look up our facebook page at www.facebook.com/mnmsharpeningservices.com for pictures of our work.
Always hang the saw so that the teeth are not banging against the shelves and other tools.
Treat your tools well. Remember, tools are an investment, not a commodity!
Going green with a people propelled reel mower? Here are a few tips.
1. Buy quality first. Remembers, tools like reel mowers are an investment. I recently worked on one that was over 40 years old! ( Look for good reel mowers at yard and estate sales!) Look at the quality of the parts, the fit and finish of the welds and connectors. Check the warranty information, and the availablity of replacement parts.
2. Learn how to properly adjust your mower. The blades should just touch the bed. You should hear a little “click, click, click” as they turn. If they clank together, you can ruin the blades. If you don’t know how to adjust your blades, consult your owners manual. If you don’t have a manual, your local reel mower sharpening shop can teach you.
3. Remember, some grasses are harder to work with than others. Bermuda, Zoysia, etc. are a LOT harder to cut than Fescue. If you have lots of weeds, consider using a regular rotary mower. Reel mowers aren’t made for cutting tall weeds. Make sure you clear the lawn of any rocks and sticks, as these can damage your mower.
Going green can be good for the environment, but also reel mowers have several side benefits. You get more exercise, your lawn has that nice, lined look, and for smaller yards, you don’t have to store a large mower.
You just hang the reel mower on the wall of the garage!
Just a short blog today. We are happy to sharpen higher end knives (SOG, Benchmade, etc) and Tactical/hunting knives (KaBar, Buckmaster,etc). Don’t forget, these knives have a different edge than an average kitchen knife. Tactical knives have a blunter grind (almost 30 degrees versus the average 22.5) to keep the edge true during heavy use. High end knives can be scratched by amateurs, and that can affect the resale value.
Here at M&M;, we use a combination of hand and machine work to get your knives to that razor edge. Don’t forget our shop motto, “It shaves or it doesn’t leave!”. Meaning, if the knife isn’t sharp enough to shave the hair on your arm, it doesn’t leave the shop!
As a former tree cutter, folks ask me when they should sharpen their chainsaw chain. Here are couple of tips.
Whenever you feel the chainsaw strain while cutting at a safe angle, that could be a clue your chain needs a touch-up. Listen to the sound of the saw.
If you see smoke coming off of the wood you are cutting, STOP! I have seen trees catch fire from this. It is time for sharpening.
Watch the sawdust coming off of the chain while cutting. It should mostly be comprised of large chips. If it turns into a powdery dust, with pieces of ash, It is time to call your sharpening professional.
Dull chains can also lead to extensive kick-back, the number one cause of chainsaw accidents. Don’t ever force the saw to cut. Let the saw do the work for you! Otherwise, get an ax!
It’s time we talked about knife care. With proper care, your knives can last for years. (The knife you see in my videos is one my grandmother used for over 60 years, and is almost 70 years old.)
Never put your knives in the dishwasher. The heat and hot water can destroy the handle, take the temper out of the edge, (dulling the knife more quickly) and if the knife has a burr on the edge, can actually put small pieces of steel on your dishes and cups! Nobody likes to eat steel!
Carefully hand wash your knives as soon as possible after use, dry them well, them place them back in the block. Wipe down wooden knife handles with olive oil every two weeks. This will keep them from splitting and cracking by replacing the natural oil in the wood.
If you have a knife block with vertical slots, place the knives in upside down. This keep the knives sharper longer, because your’e not dragging the edge over the wood every time you withdraw the knife for use.
I will revisit this topic from time to time.
Here’s a trick if we ever get any snow this year. Before you go out to shovel snow, spray your snow shovel with silicone cooking spray, or even vegetable non-stick spray, and the snow won’t stick to your shovel. It just slides right off!! Works on plastic and metal shovels alike. Try it, you and your back will thank me!
Welcome to our first Blog entry. I wanted to introduce ourselves to you, and let you know a little about us. We are a professional knife and tool sharpening business here in Wichita, KS, but we serve the outlying counties as well. We can professionally sharpen knives, scissors, mower/edger blades, Chainsaws, and most farm/lawn/and garden tools. (including Eco-friendly reel mowers) We also sharpen woodworking hand tools such as planes, chisels, and hand saws. We can handle commercial accounts (restaraunts, prof. tree and lawn services, farmers) with multiple items, and our turnaround time is 24-48 hours. Our quality is second to none, and our quality statement for our knives is simple, “If it doesn’t shave, it doesn’t leave!” Meaning, if the knife isn’t sharp enough to shave the hair on your arm, it doesn’t leave the shop!”
We can also sharpen other things, like fishing hooks and gaffs, metal tipped darts, and industrial and household paper cutters.
If you have a problem with my links, please drop us an e-mail.
Never A Dull Moment!
Owner, Sharpening Technician
M&M Sharpening Services