Maintenance Basics

Good gardening tools can represent a sizable investment. Inexpensive tools are available but the better ones are not cheap. Even if we do not splurge for top of the line Felco pruners for some $50.00 a good pair will cost upward of $20.00.

felco No. 2 pruners

We can start with just a handful of inexpensive tools, but slowly most of us add to our collection of hoes, shovels, trowels, and cutting devices of various kinds until our collection is fairly large.

Good tools are a joy to use. It only makes sense to maintain them so they will last and work well.

What Skills Are Needed?

Honestly, the skills needed for good tool maintenance are not many, nor are any of them especially difficult. Anyone can learn to take good care of their own tools. The most important skills are:

  • Cleaning
  • Rust Removal
  • Sharpening
  • Preserving

Nevertheless, not everything is as simple as it looks. There are a good number of mistakes people make that contribute to tools functioning poorly or wearing out sooner than necessary.

What Supplies Are Needed

Very few supplies are needed for hand tool maintenance. Some are common to most any household so little needs to be purchased just for this use.

  • Wood or metal scrapers
  • Rags or scouring pads
  • Wire brushes or sandpaper
  • Files or whet stones
  • Oil and preservatives

A few tools do require special treatment, but for the most part there are numerous ways to accomplish any given task. The key thing is to do the right thing, not so much to use some right method.

whetstone and diamond file

Often the choice of a method is a matter of personal choice and experience. My grandfather loved his pocket whetstone; I favor my pocket diamond file. Each does a fine job if you know how to use them.

Getting Started

Our website is divided into several sections. There are articles on cleaning, rust removal, sharpening, and preservation.

A glance at the navigation at the top of this page with its drop down menus will make it easy to find just what you need. Make your gardening more fun with well tended tools.