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Garden Tool Maintenance

2016-04-01

Modern tool design includes ergonomics considerations. Tools are being designed that induce ever less stress on the human body when used. The most efficient tools keep the body in a neutral position while being used. This helps to lessen the stress on joints and muscles. An advantage of this approach is that it requires gardeners to exert less energy whilst using the tools.

Your garden tools represent a sizable investment that, if properly maintained, can last many seasons and help you produce delicious, low-cost meals.

If you garden year round, you may want to do this maintenance periodically. (It never hurts to clean them after every use if you have the time.)

If tools have gotten severely rusted, you may need to use rough sandpaper, and even perhaps a wire bristle brush. For the most rusted, you may need to use a drill with wire brush attachment. For the latter in particular, make sure to wear safety glasses. Then make sure to wipe and coat with oil.

Sharpen tools too, at least at the end of the season. Best is to sharpen them regularly as used during the season. This is more important if tools have rusted. For dull large tools such as shovels, axes, and spades, you can use a hand file available from hardware or home stores. If very dull, you may need a high speed grinding stone or drill attachment. As with cleaning, make sure to wear eye protection if using a high-speed grinder.

Many tools now have plastic handles, but if you have one with wood, treat it as well for longest life. Rub wooden handles with a rag, slightly moistened with linseed oil or other wood protection oil product.

Once tools are cleaned and sharpened, store them properly in a closet, garage, or shed out of the weather. Keeping them off the floor helps prevent any moisture and rust, and dulling. I like to hang mine by the handles. If straight handles, I hang upside down with ten-penny nails used to hold the tool itself. When buying new tools consider stainless steel ones, if available, that are easier to keep clean.

Wherever you find them, high-quality tools, even if they have seen better days, usually still have a lot of life in them. You just have to care for them properly.Please visit: http://www.vertak.com/ to see more information.