Keeping garden tools in good working order contains no real secret. All you need to do is buy good quality tools to start with, then take proper care of them. The main enemies of garden tools are moisture (causes rust) and lack of maintenance (means they can’t do the job they’re designed to do). So, getting rid of rust and properly maintaining your tools will keep them working for years. In fact, if you make taking care of your tools part of your gardening routine–your grown children will be using them long after you’ve given up gardening. Here are some preservation tips.
Clean your tools after each use. This means removing any clumps of dirt from the heads of shovels, hoes and cultivators as well as wiping and cleaning the blades of pruners and cutters.Store your tools off the ground and in a dry place, out of the weather.
Remove any rust on a tool by first sanding it or rubbing it with a stiff wire brush, then wiping the bare metal with a light coating of oil.
Before putting your tools away for the season, give them a thorough cleaning and rub the metal parts with oil. Keep wooden handles and shafts smooth by sanding and oiling them with linseed oil.
How to Sharpen Shovels and Hoes - Fasten the tool in your vise or workbench, so the head is held securely.Beginning at one side of the shovel and holding your file at a 45-degree angle to the shovelhead make a series of long strokes along one edge.
Work your way slowly into the middle of the shovelhead filing only one edge. (When sharpening a shovel or a hoe, you only need to sharpen one side). When you reach the middle, start over at the other side of the shovelhead and work your way back into the middle.
After sharpening the tool spray it with WD-40 or rub it with oil to prevent rust.
How to Sharpen and Clean Pruners - Take the pruners apart. (Quality pruners will have a screw at the base of the jaws that you can remove.)
Remove any sap buildup on the blades using mineral spirits and a rag.
Once the pruners are apart and cleaned up, you can sharpen the cutting blade using a kitchen knife sharpener or a whetstone.
Spread some oil on the blades to prevent any rust buildup before reassembling.