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I Forge Iron

Angles and bevels for tools


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Ask to sharpen a mattock, a little research came up with the following:

Mattock 30*,  Another source said 30* each side.

Shovel 70* on the dirt side

Hoe 80* on the dirt side. or either side,  45* for weeds.

Draw knife 33* on one side.


The internet is a wonderful place. You can get different answers depending on who does the actual sharpening, and who posts to the web. After a while you start to see similar answers.

What angle do you use to sharpen a mattock? 

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I tend to use about 20° on one side for draw knives, planes  and wood chisels but this is slighty misleading since I grind on a wheel (wet slow going) so the actual cutting angle is slightly less. I then sharpen on a fine flat japanese water stone. or a small diamond sharpener if in a hurry or away from the shop. The slightly concave shape gives a consistent angle (which is again 20°) to the actual edge and very little material is removed in each sharpening. Eventually the convexity is gone and I then grind it back again. It is a little on the idea of a cut throat razor but with much less convexity.

I do not use hoes or mattocks but gardening tools get around 30° with no sharpening. These angles work well for me but YMMV

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