How to Sharpen a Hollow Tine Aerator

How to Sharpen a Hollow Tine Aerator in 3 Easy Steps

Keeping your hollow tine aerator sharp is an essential requirement in prolonging its lifespan. It would be best if you sharpened your hollow tine aerator blades frequently to ensure they work well when you aerate your lawn.

You can sharpen your hollow tine aerator blades using a bastard file or a tool sharpener. Clean out any soil stuck on the tines, and then start sharpening the outer part of the blades using a file. Repeat the sharpening strokes until you’re satisfied with the results.

A dull hollow tine aerator is challenging to work with and may not provide the best results when aerating your lawn. This guide will walk you through the crucial steps on how to sharpen a hollow tine aerator.

How to Sharpen a Hollow Tine Aerator

Hollow tine aerators help reduce soil compaction on your lawn. Aeration is an essential process if you want your lawn to remain healthy. It is also necessary to make sure the blades on your hollow tine aerator are in good condition before aerating.

Some homeowners don’t care to sharpen their hollow tine aerators since they can easily replace them when they get old. However, learning how to care for your tools is important.

A hollow tine aerator has many metal parts; therefore, any form of maintenance like sharpening will help prevent rusting and prolong your aerator’s service life.

Before you start sharpening your hollow tine aerator, there are a couple of steps you need to do.

1.  Clean First

Before you start sharpening the blades, make sure you get rid of all rust and soil from the aerator. Depending on the level of dirt, you can apply different cleaning techniques to remove the soil, from a simple rinse to scrubbing using a wire brush.

Let your hollow tine aerator dry in the sun first before you begin sharpening.

You can find out more about cleaning and removing rust from your aerator.

2.  Sharpening

Now that your aerator is clean and ready to be sharpened, the next thing you need to do is get the right tools for the job. You will need a single-cut file and a medium-cut file to get the job done.

Crescent Nicholson Double/ Single-cut File

KALIM Flat Medium-Cut File

To sharpen your hollow tine aerator, use the tool sharpener to stroke the outer edge of the blade. Scrape on the outside of the blade with a downward motion for a few minutes using the single-cut file. Angle the file diagonally and direct the strokes away from your body for the best results.

Depending on how dull your hollow tine aerator blades are, you can control the intensity of the strokes as you file. Another thing to keep in mind is that you risk injuring yourself in the process of sharpening. Wear protective equipment such as gardening gloves to protect your fingers.

You can test whether your hollow tine aerator has become sharp enough using your lawn. The tines are sharp if they cut through the soil with ease. If you feel some resistance while pushing the aerator through the soil, then you might want to sharpen the blades a bit more.

Also read: Commercial lawn aerators reviews

Sharpen aerator blades frequently to increase their efficiency when loosening the soil on your lawn. Also, remember to prop up your aerator well before you begin sharpening. You can place it on a workbench to make it stable or lean it against a wall.

You can also lay it on the ground and prop up the blades with a stool, giving you more maneuverability when sharpening. If your aerator blades are removable, you can remove the tines and hold them using a vice if that makes it easier to sharpen.

3.  Lubricating

A good maintenance practice after sharpening your hollow tine aerator is to lubricate it before you store it. Lubricating keeps the joints and the aerator body from rusting. Don’t leave your aerator lying outside after sharpening.

Also read: Best plug lawn aerator

Things to Keep In Mind

  1. Rocks and hard soil will make your lawn hard to dig out, which dulls your lawn aerator blades much faster than if the soil is soft and loose.
  2. If your lawn is overgrown, the grass can clog the tines of your aerator.
  3. Remember to store your hollow tine aerator in an upright position after sharpening.
  4. Store your sharpened aerator in an area free from moisture to prevent it from rusting. However, if you need to get rid of rust, sandpaper or a wire brush can easily do it for you.
  5. The tines on your lawn aerator are sharp! Make sure to sharpen it away from pets or children and store it in a safe place where the blades won’t cause harm to anyone.
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FAQs About How to Sharpen a Hollow Tine Aerator

How Do I Sharpen My Lawn Aerator?

Sharpening your aerator requires patience and keenness. You should only use proper tools and make sure you wear protective equipment as you sharpen. As explained above, you should use:

1. A coarse cut file
2. A medium cut file
3. A fine-cut file

You can use these different files to sharpen the blades on your aerator to your satisfaction by varying the strength of the strokes and the number of strokes.

You can also hire a professional lawn aerator technician to sharpen your hollow tine aerator for you.

Also read: How do you transport a lawn aerator?

How Often Should I Sharpen My Aerator?

This depends on your lawn’s needs. You won’t need to use your lawn aerator every month. Depending on the state of your lawn, you may need to aerate once or twice a year during specific seasons. So you will need to sharpen once or twice a year before you aerate your lawn.

In summer, you will primarily use your hollow tine lawn aerator to improve drying on your lawn as you prepare for autumn rain.

A hollow tine aerator helps improve the soil quality of your lawn. During summer, the traffic on your lawn from pets and people compacts your lawn soil and forms clumps. This makes it hard for your grass to perform well. Aeration involves digging out plugs of soil to allow your lawn to ‘breathe’.

 When using a hollow tine aerator, the blades need to be sharp to penetrate the soil. It’s more economical to sharpen your hollow tine aerator than to buy a new one every time. So the next time you’re thinking of aerating your lawn, this guide will help you sharpen your hollow tine aerator.


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

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