I recently found an incomplete set of dull, rusty spade bits that belonged to my father. They are likely 40-45 years old. Are they worth trying to clean up and sharpen or should I just throw them out? I don't have a grinder so I imagine it would cost more to have them sharpened than to replace them.

  • I kept some of my dear old pop's chisels but I didn't sharpen them. I put them in a shadow box with a wood pistol grip he had partially finished checkering, and hung it on the wall. Still sad when I look at it sometimes but pretty cool reminder of one of his passions. Sep 27, 2016 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


I have had mine for quite some time and have sharpened them many times with a hand file.

Just be careful how much you remove on each side and keep the angles consistent for proper cutting. The thin metal of the bits would heat up too much under machine grinding or the angles would not be easy to reproduce, IMO.

  • I also use a hand file to sharpen spade bits it only takes a few strokes unless you hit a nail then it takes a bit longer but they can be sharpened dozens of times+
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 27, 2016 at 14:22

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