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Long-handled Garden Tools - How to Care

2016-10-21

Long-handled garden tools, such as rakes, hoes, shovels, and long handled cutters have been around for many centuries. People used to relied on long-handled garden tools for their very livelihood as they toiled for survival in harsh circumstances. Today, long-handled garden tools are still important as back saving, efficient ways of carrying out a garden or agricultural task where mechanical methods will just not work. Furthermore, long-handled garden tools can become trusted long-term companions that will last many years and save you money if you care for and maintain them.

Certainly, your garden tools will get dirty, to some degree or other, every time that you use them. When you have finished with your tools for the day, use a garden hose or pressure washer to remove any dirt and allow them to dry naturally or dry them off with a cloth or an old towel. Then, once your tools are clean, dry store them away in a sheltered location such as a garage, a car port, a garden shed, or other types of outbuilding. Furthermore, it is a good idea to keep your tools tidy, so they will be easy to find and your storage space will be maximized.

Your new long-handled garden tools should be freshly painted, sharp, and the handle should be new and varnished. Everyday use, however, will take its toll. Where the paint has been scratched away, metal parts will rust and the handle could begin to gray and crack. Put together a kit of items to keep your long-handled tools working for as long as possible, such as a wire brush or a wire-brush wheel for an electric drill, oily rags, old towels for drying rust resistant paints, rust removal products, grease or lubricant products, etc.

To protect your tools from rust, use a wire brush occasionally on the metal parts and wipe them down with an oily rag. If necessary, apply rust resistant paint on metal areas that rarely come into contact with the soil.

Sharpening tools such as shovels, hoes, and shears or cutters with a file or sharpening stone and use grease or lubricant to move joints. Remember that always file away from the tool’s head on the push stroke only. Sharp tools always work more efficiently

Pay attention to the wooden handle. Once a handle starts to crack, there is little you can do to stop it becoming worse. When the varnish starts to crack and wear, sand down the handle and apply a coat of marine varnish or boiled linseed oil

You do not have to be a slave to your tools. A little time spent on regular maintenance will give you a surprise in the long run. As a rule, with a little care, your long-handled garden tools could last many years longer.