15 Ways to Keep Your Garden Tools Ship-Shape!

If you take care of your tools, they will last a lifetime.

By FamilyTime


You may not be quite ready to put your gardening tools away yet, as there is still a lot of work to be done in the garden, but when you do, take good care and come spring they will be in good shape. The key is to keep them this way always, not just when you are storing them over the winter.


A little prevention will not only save you money because the tools will last for a long time, but it will make gardening more enjoyable and productive. Good tools make gardening easier and more effective!


Here are 15 practical tips for maintaining your tools:


  1. Use a whetstone or similar sharpening stone to hone the blades of small tools.
  2. Use a metal file to hone the blades of large tools.
  3. Sharpen the blades frequently during the season.
  4. Rub rust and caked-on dirt from tools with wire brushes or steel wool.
  5. Clean your tools every time you use them.
  6. Wipe excess dirt and grime from the metal parts of the tool.
  7. Swish the working parts in a bucket filled with soapy water; don’t submerge wooden handles.
  8. Clean hinges of tools to keep them in good working order.
  9. Dry each tool (including the hinges) with a soft cloth.
  10. Take care to remove sticky sap from branch clippers, loppers, and shears.
  11. Rub the metal, working parts of your tools with a cloth lightly soaked with oil (such as WD-40). If you don’t do this every time you put your tools away, do it regularly during the season.
  12. Lightly sand any wooden handles that look like they could use it.
  13. Rub the wooden handles with linseed or similar oil to add some moisture to the wood.
  14. Hang tools for storage.
  15. When you carry tools around the garden, try not to let the edges bang against each other; this promotes dulling and chipping.