A good gardener must take care of his tools for their long-term use. Either after each use, or when the gardening season ends, it is more than recommended to pay special attention to the condition of the tools to perform proper maintenance.

If you like gardening, you’ve probably invested in a number of specific tools. Contact with the ground, wear and tear can damage them, not to mention the risk of injury to the gardener and the spread of plant diseases. To avoid this and keep gardening tools for a long time, it is essential to maintain them constantly.

Cleaning

Spades, rakes, hoes and other utensils worked the soil from spring to autumn. The earth sticks and then acts on every inch of your tool. To remove it, rub the blades, teeth, handles and glove areas with a wire brush and sandpaper. It is also possible for metal parts to be dotted with rust stains; in this case, it is necessary to clean them.

In terms of cutting tools, such as garden shears, sickle, scythe, hand saw, methyl alcohol removes stubborn resin or soil residues, glued to the blades. Remember that to facilitate cleaning, you can disassemble the tools.

Finally, cleaning the cutting tools always ends with disinfecting the blades with 90 ° alcohol or alcohol. And if you want to postpone the cleaning operation until the end of the year, try to wash the tools regularly with soap and water (black soap, for example), remembering to wipe them carefully, so that no bad rust stains appear.

After use, immerse the tools in a container containing dry sand. Its abrasive qualities make them cleaner.

Repair or replacement

The instruments are weakened by regular handling. If any of them break during use, it may cause injury to its user. Therefore, it is advisable to monitor the areas affected by wear first, namely the tails and fasteners: if long cracks appear on the handles (especially in wood), do not hesitate to replace it. When the fasteners start to come loose, tighten the screws or replace the nails. Be aware, however, that a screwed handle is more durable than a nailed one.

By cutting and trimming, the firmness of the cutting scissors tends to relax; for better comfort of use, think about changing it.

Handles and tails

Hand tools are usually equipped with handles that require special attention. Right from the purchase it is recommended to choose ash wood handles, solid and more flexible, rather than pine wood handles, which break quickly. If you need to completely replace the handle of your instrument, consider these details regarding the nature of the wood and make the right choice.

Tail wear often occurs at the fasteners: tighten the screws or replace them if necessary. Sometimes it is enough to immerse the handles overnight in water, so that the wood swells and thus prevents the play of the tool.

A light sanding with a little paraffin can restore the youth of the old handles; thus, you can simply cover the wood with a cloth soaked in linseed oil. Currently, some tool manufacturers opt for plastic handles. If you gain strength for tools that require this quality, such as pickaxe or shovel, plastic handles facilitate the formation of corns on your hands, because this material does not absorb perspiration.

Sharpening

The teeth, claws or blades of garden tools lose their “bite” over time. After cleaning the tools, sharpen with a metal grinder, the sharp part or the blade of the spades, screeds, shovels or shovels, respecting the initial angles.

Grafting knives, scissors or knives are sharpened using a sharpening stone; this method remains the most efficient, even if hurried and well-equipped gardeners most often use the wheel. Be careful, because it removes more material than a simple stone. Proper sharpening is always done from the inside out and on both sides of the blade.

The protective layer

Once cleaned and reconditioned, it is useful to protect your instruments well, not only to increase their lifespan, but also for your own comfort. Thus, the metal parts are covered with paraffin to protect them from rust, while the wooden handles are brushed with linseed oil to make them softer and more weather resistant. Also grease the articulated tools (cutting tools), pouring a few drops of liquid oil on the parts subject to friction.

Motor tools

Instruments with internal combustion engines, in turn, require some precautions. Always start by disconnecting all spark plugs to avoid accidents. 4-stroke motorized mower and other tools require an annual oil change. To sharpen the blades, you must disassemble them and use a special file.

Wheel cables and axles must be oiled. Keep the tank empty during the winter, except for regular maintenance sessions where you will need to run the engine to lubricate the inside and keep it easy to start.

Rust removal on garden tools

Over time, the metal parts of your tools can be covered, in different percentages, by rust, especially if they are exposed to moisture or have been neglected. To eliminate it, several solutions are possible: you can rub the affected surface with a cloth or a newspaper impregnated with white vinegar or pass half an onion or a lemon cut in 2 on the attacked areas.

If the rust is more extensive, it may be helpful to soak the tool overnight in vinegar and add an abrasive product, such as coarse salt or baking soda, then rub the metal with a brush. Then, rinse very well and dry the “pickled” areas.

storage

Finally, so that your efforts are not wasted, keep your tools in a dry place. Ideally, hang them on a wall, with the blade up (so that the handle can evacuate any remaining moisture), taking care to place the sharp parts, such as the teeth of the rake (the list of models compared by us is here ) more facing the wall.

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