Scythe Supply carries a wide variety of stones
for sharpening & honing your blade.
Sharpening a scythe blade is a two step process. First, the blade
edge is hammered very thin on a small
anvil or with a peening jig. After peening, the edge is honed
with a stone, or series of stones from coarse to fine, to prepare
the blade for mowing. Resharpening
with a stone is done frequently during mowing.
Our sharpening stones range from a coarse synthetic that removes
metal quickly to a fine natural stone for honing an extremely sharp
edge onto the blade. All the stones have a unique oval shape and
the narrow faces are used to sharpen the scythe blade. A coarse
followed by a finer stone will set an excellent mowing edge.
Following is a description of use for each stone we offer:
|• Synthetic: An open pore stone that removes a lot of metal quickly. It is
comparable to 60 to 80 grit sandpaper. It is milled smooth on all sides
but generally only the narrow faces are used to shape an edge. This coarse
stone works well for setting the initial bevel on the blade’s edge,
especially after peening with the jig. Follow with the finer grit
Bregenzer for a finished edge. The synthetic stone is not recommended as
your only stone or for continuous field honing. Use the coarse stone
lightly and infrequently as it will wear away the sharp edge from the
blade quickly. It stands up well to the harder steel of the North
American/British style blades but needs to be used with great care on the
much thinner European style blades. This stone can be used in conjunction
with a file for repairing blade damage. 9" long. order #7026 - $8
|• Natural Stone, Medium Grit:
A general purpose stone the Bregenzer is included with all our
outfit packages. The Bregenzer is comparable to 150 - 200 grit
sand paper. Known as a “field stone” it is the most
common stone used to hone the blade after peening or while mowing.
The Bregenzer stone is milled on the curved edges only, the
two wider faces left rough, as quarried. The curved edges are
used to hone the blade. order #7010
|• Natural Stone, Fine Grit - Rozsutec:
This is the perfect stone for putting the final, razor sharp
edge on any blade. These stones are quarried in Slovakia and
milled on all four sides. The Rozsutec is similar to the Arkansas
stones from the US and is excellent for all tools, not only
scythe blades. order #7025 - $12.00
Keeping Your Stones Clean:
Always use your stone with water. Keep enough water in your stone
holder to cover at least two thirds of the stone. As the stone moves
over the blade small particles of metal, mowing debris and stone
grit become trapped in the stone’s pores. As the pores fill
the stone becomes smoother and it does not “cut” as
well. Sloshing the stone around in water washes the debris away
maintaining the grit. (the sloshing happens automatically as you
mow; very convenient). If a stone does not seem to cut as well as
when new wash it in warm, soapy water using a fine, stiff brush
(a toothbrush works well) to dislodge material from the pores. A
tablespoon of vinegar mixed in with the water helps the cleaning,
too. Touching the tip of a bar of soap into the water improves the
Honing Following Peening:
Use the narrow, curved face of the stone. For a grass or
ditch blade rest the stone’s curved face simultaneously
on the blade’s rib and edge. Stroke the stone towards
the edge keeping its face in contact with both rib and blade
edge. This will produce the correct bevel required for a grass
or ditch blade. Continue in this manner from heel to the toe
of the blade overlapping the strokes. To remove the wire edge
from the underside of the blade, turn the blade over with
the edge facing away from you. Lay the narrow edge of the
stone against the blade edge and pull the stone backward,
away from the edge. Do this lightly overlapping the strokes
from heel to toe.
A bush blade is sharpened the same way except the heel of
the stone is raised above the rib slightly as the stone is
run along the edge. This gives the edge a higher angle and
more metal behind the edge for strength. For a full description
of stoning a bush blade please refer to our article “Tips
on Using a Bush Scythe”.
By raising or lowering the heel of the stone while sharpening you
can vary the angle of cutting edge. A shallow cutting angle helps
the blade slice through light grass or clover. Raise the heel of
the stone off the rib for a higher angle and greater strength for
mowing in heavy weeds or brush.
If you wish, we will sharpen your blade by peening and stoning
it at our shop. You will receive the blade ready to mow. If you
are new to mowing with a scythe having us prepare & sharpen
your blade gives you an idea of how a peened and honed blade looks
and feels. This service may be selected from our order form. Blades
ordered with an outfit can be sharpened by us for a $7 charge each.
Blades purchased singly can be pre-sharpened at $10 per blade.
What are the best stones to choose?
Our Bregenzer stone is a general purpose stone & all a mower
needs which is why we include it with our outfits. It will do the
job of sharpening very nicely and does not remove metal too quickly
so you don’t have to worry about wearing out your blade before
you mow. The quickest and easiest way to get an edge on a blade
after peening is to use a medium synthetic stone followed by the
Bregenzer. This is an especially good combination with ditch and
While mowing, especially in rough, dry grass or in grass with thatch
(both conditions dull a blade quickly) carry both stones with you.
Every third or fourth time the blade needs touching up with a stone
use the medium synthetic stone followed by the Bregenzer stone.
The medium synthetic stone restores the original bevel quickly and
the Bregenzer will hone the edge smooth and sharp.
For the thin, light weight grass blades a good combination of stones
is the Bregenzer followed by the Rozsutec. The Rozsutec is an excellent
follow-up to the Bregenzer for putting a fine edge on your blade.
If you purchase two stones you may want to choose our durable plastic
holder as it carries two stones nicely. Our galvanized holder fits
only one stone at a time.
We hope you find this explanation of stones helpful. If you have
any questions please email or call us. “The Scythe Book”
included with our outfits has many pages devoted to the details
of peening and stoning. We are always ready to help with any questions
not answered there.