Now is the perfect time to take stock of what’s in your tool shed and get your equipment ready for the season ahead. Garden tools of all types will benefit from a few maintenance steps before they are used again.
Clean your Tools
– clean the metal parts of your tools using a wire brush and a bucket of soapy water to eliminate any built-up dirt or rust
– wipe down the tool with a clean rag and wipe any wooden handles with boiled Linseed oil (adding a protective coat from moisture)
File the Edges
– secure your tool with a clamp or vise and move a flat or mill file (available at most hardware stores) away from the body, along the edge of the blade towards the shovel’s point
– try to keep the angle consistent to ensure a good edge
– repeat several times to make sure you have filed the entire edge
– keep your eyes and hands protected from the tiny shards of metal
Clean back of the Tool
– turn the tool over and remove any rough edges on the back side using sandpaper
– use the sandpaper as well to remove any remaining rust
Sharp, clean tools will make most jobs easier, saving time and backaches. Well-maintained tools will last longer and will be a pleasure to use!