Tools For Life: A Guide to Caring for and Organizing Tools
As the growing season comes to a close, spend some of that new-found time caring for your garden tools. With a small time investment, your garden tools can serve you for years to come.
Organizing Your Garden Tools
Rearranging your tools is a big project; here are some simple tips for getting started. Take note of your tools and separate them according to use-cases, such as pruning, trimming, digging or fertilizing. Using cabinets, shelves, crates and pegboards you can create zones for those categories. This will help you locate the tools you need, when starting a project.
Pegboards are an inexpensive and customizable way to organize smaller tools that would otherwise be crowded into drawers. You can purchase different hanging hardware for any variety of equipment shapes and sizes. This will free up space in the garage or shed and lay everything out in an easy to navigate format.
Cleaning Your Garden Tools
Although it may seem tedious, cleaning your tools plays a big role in how long they last. It will keep them looking nice while preventing stains and potential damage or deterioration. Before cleaning, research the best method and cleansing solution for the job. Some solutions can be a catalyst for rust and discoloration. Be sure to read the tool’s manual to see manufacturer recommendations for cleaning. An old rag and dish soap is a good option for tools with blades such as pruners. It will not stain or rust the metal as long as it is dried thoroughly. After cleaning, spraying a layer of WD-40 on the blade will keep dust away.
Sharpening Your Garden Tools
With a whetstone, sharpening your tools is made simple. Start by soaking the stone in water for 10 minutes or until bubbles stop coming from the stone. After soaking, lay down a cloth underneath the stone, grab the tool you want sharpened and angle it 10-15 degrees. While applying gentle pressure draw the full length of the blade along the stone, repeating this stroking pattern for a few minutes. This will keep your tools in pristine cosmetic and functional condition.
Lithium-Ion Battery Care
Lithium-Ion batteries are found in tools such as drills, blowers, and trimmers. Storing your batteries properly is crucial to them maintaining their charge and power. Exposing the battery to subzero temperatures or heat over 140 degrees Fahrenheit can reduce battery life by up to 15 percent. Keeping them in a temperature controlled environment is ideal. The battery should not be stored in direct sunlight. Before long-term storage, charge the battery to capacity. If the charge drops critically low while in storage, capacity can be permanently reduced.
Performing these tasks will keep your tools working effectively and looking nice. Comment below any other tool care tips we may have missed!