While tools are essential to completing any job, tool maintenance can be easy to forget. However, a regular maintenance regimen can help preserve the integrity and effectiveness of your tools. Here is a guide to make sure you keep your tools in optimal working order.
Keep your tools sharp
To prevent you from having to work harder, make sure you always keep your tools sharp. Cutters, loppers, pruners, shovels and hoes all dull with use, so pick up a sharpening tool from your local Ewing store, and keep it on hand.
Sometimes, the blades may be beyond repair, are chipped, or have stopped cutting effectively. In that case, it’s time to replace that tool.
Keep your tools clean
No matter what, your tools will get dirty while working, so it’s important to clean them up when you’re done using them to avoid rust and dirt buildup, which will diminish the life and effectiveness of the tool. You can wipe down your dirty tools with a towel and WD-40, or clean them under a hose.
If you choose to clean your tools with water, make sure you thoroughly hand-dry them afterward. Leaving water on your tools can cause them to rust.
Some suggest cleaning off your tools in an abrasive mix of motor oil and sand. If you want to avoid contaminating your soil or edible plants, try the mixture using vegetable oil instead.
If your tools have already accumulated rust, use a stiff wire brush to remove rust from the surface. Avoid using steel wool as this can introduce burs to the metal, leaving your tool more prone to rusting.
Keep your tools healthy
Plants, trees and soil can harbor various harmful bacteria, viruses, pests or fungi. If you do not clean your tools every time you use them, you could potentially spread infestations from one job site to the next.
To avoid spreading harmful diseases to different landscapes, wipe down your tools with alcohol wipes when using your tools on different trees or in different soil. You can also sanitize your tools in a solution of two cups of bleach for every gallon of water.
Keep your tools moving
If you have a tool with moving parts, such as springs or pivot points, be sure to keep the moving parts lubricated and cleaned out as best you can. You can wash smaller tools like you’d wash silverware. Be careful not to cut yourself on the blades.
If your tools have a lot of dust lodged in the pivot points, or leftover water after washing them, you can use compressed air to blow it out of the small crevices. Then, lubricate your tools using WD-40.
Use the right tool for the right job
One of the most effective ways to maintain the integrity of your tools is by using the right tool for the right job. Be sure you consult your local Ewing branch to ensure you are choosing the most appropriate tools for the job at hand.
Now that you’re aware of some tips to maintain your tools, make sure you have everything you need! There are only eight more days to take advantage of Ewing’s 2018 Tools Early Order Program. Head over to our website and shop online, or visit your local Ewing store today!