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Tip of the Week: Tune up your tools

Warmer weather is expected along the Front Range this weekend, which can be a good time for wintering watering. Since you’ll need to be outside to monitor the sprinkler or hose, why not take the opportunity to give your tools a little love? Get them ready now instead of waiting until the moment you need them.

Lubricate your shears, pruners, or other cutting. Sand or replace wooden handles. Go shopping for tools that need replacing or could use an upgrade. Look for ergonomic tools that make the work less taxing.

If the mower wasn’t winterized by draining gasoline, changing the oil, etc., do it now. Have it serviced and sharpen the blade long before it’s time for that first mow.

To clean and sharpen your tools yourself, you’ll need rags, steel wool, oil (mineral or linseed), and a metal file.

Then, follow these steps:

Remove all rust before sharpening the blade. Because rust shortens the life of garden tools, it’s always best to keep implements rust free.

Wipe off the worst grime with a rag and use steel wool to scrub off the rust. To make this step easier in the future, always wipe down your tools after use. Never put away a tool with dirt on it or while it’s still wet from cleaning.

Wipe down both the metal tool and wooden handle with oil. Oil can help prevent rust in metal and preserve the wood.

A little effort now will make work easier when spring arrives.

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