How to Care for and Sharpen Gardening Tools

How to Care for and Sharpen Gardening Tools


[Music] Where would we be without our trusty
gardening tools? But to get the most from them we have to show them a little tender loving care. Treat them well and they should last for
many years. In this video, we’ll show you how to keep your tools as good as new. Any tools coming into contact with the
ground should always be cleaned off before storing. Mud can usually be blasted off with a jet of
water, but if dirt has hardened you may need to soak metal parts first before wiping
clean with an old rag. Digging tools and other ground contact tools such as hoes benefit from an occasional coating of oil which helps to protect the blades or
tines from moisture and rusting. Start by passing a wire brush over the tool to
remove any ingrained dirt and rust spots. Work both the front and back of the blade,
then wipe clean with a rag. Now apply your oil using a clean cloth. You can use any
vegetable based oil for the job – just avoid petroleum-based oils which could taint your soil. Tools boasting a keen, sharp edge will cut into the soil with much less effort. To sharpen spades, trowels and so on, pass a metal file over the edges of the blade like this. Keep the angle shallow, and work your way along both the front and the back of the blades. If you have one, use a vice to clamp the tool still while you work. Finish by sealing the blade edges with oil. Don’t forget to look after wooden
handles. These can be cleaned, then smoothed off with sandpaper or a sanding sponge. Now polish the wood with a natural protective oil such as teak oil. Well cared for pruning tools give a cleaner cut,
which reduces the risk of introducing plant diseases and makes pruning physically less effort. Start by making
sure your pruning tools are clean. Remove any ingrained dirt or sap, if
necessary using a wire brush or wire wool. Wash them in soapy water, then dry
them. Pruners, loppers and shears are all
sharpened in much the same way. Hold the tool firmly in position, then
pass the sharpener over the edge of the blade. Use a file, whetstone, or sharpening
stone appropriate to the size of the blade. Only sharpen the cutting blade itself,
working the stone in the same direction as the bevel. Smaller blades
may require working in a circular motion. It should take between two to five
passes at the file or stone to complete the sharpening. Now tighten up any loose bolts on
moving parts. This is also a good time to order
replacement parts, for example new blades, springs or handles for a hard-working pair of pruners. Finish by spraying with a tool lubricant. Don’t forget to apply lubricant throughout the year, particularly after heavy periods of pruning. Look after your tools and they should serve you well. What about you – how do you treat
your tools? Drop us a comment below and let us know. We’re always sharing handy
advice like this so if you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s the time to do so. I’ve got some more tools to clean here, so I’ll catch you next time! [Music]

32 thoughts on “How to Care for and Sharpen Gardening Tools

  1. 10* My (Norwegian ancestry) Grandfather always cleaned and oiled every tool he used, even saws, and there were no rusty, abused, or miscared for tools (metal and wood).

  2. A bucket of fine sand saturated in oil (old frying oil is fine) is a great place to store and lubricate small hand tools. Hand spades, fork and shears can be simply "jabbed" down in the oil soaked sand to both store and protect them. For larger tools like shovels and spade forks, use a 5-gallon bucket the same way. Also, it's probably OK to use petroleum based oils as long as they are fresh and not used.

  3. I own a plethora of hand tools, but can honestly say I have never maintained them in the manner suggested here.😔. Maybe 2016 will be different now that I have been properly educated!

  4. I've also used a paste made of baking soda and water to remove rust. These techniques were described under topics related to preparing metal surfaces for painting.

  5. Hello and congratulations. I love to watch all your videos. I have a different tip to clean out the rust of your tools. You can soak them over night on vinegar and all the rust will came of easily. Then wipe them with oil after sharpening them of course if is needed.

  6. Great tips and I wish I kept my tools as nice as you do. I have found that the tools I let to for a winter can be cleaned up by soaking them in a bath of Vinegar. Sometimes it takes overnight, but using a light brush afterwards with a wire brush like you said, it takes the rust off and they look as good as new. I use this method with my pliers and other tools in the work shed also. They can then get the coating of veg oil. I just wish I bought better garden tools, but here in the US, you pay a lot for cheap products that don't last unfortunately.

  7. I only really started gardening last year. Didn't even know I had to sharpen a shovel before I found some YouTube gardening channels. Imagine my surprise. My entire life was a lie. 🙂

    They just don't seem to teach important things like caring for garden tools in school anymore. Great video. Thanks for all the fantastic advice.

  8. Thank you! I received this email from you tube about sharpening tools and it was right on time. I was getting ready for spring and my tools were very very dull and I wasn't sure how to sharpen and keep them functional. Great tip. I can't believe how much time I saved. Also, I'm "up in age" and your tips helped my perform my landscaping with a whole lot less effort. Thanks Again.

  9. I would respectfully encourage you to learn proper use of a file. The way you're using it is, choosing my words carefully here, wrong.

    I'd also echo earlier comments about your use of WD-40 as a lubricant, which it is not, and your dramatic overuse with gobs of spillage of a petroleum product despite saying earlier in the video not to use petroleum products.

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