Having gardening equipment surely makes maintaining your lawn and garden easier and more effective. However, these tools are not what we normally consider as affordable. They get the job done, which is why it’s important that we know how to maintain them.

Lawnmower

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When caring for your lawnmower, refer to this checklist below to make sure that its optimal performance:

  • Change oil – Begin the mowing season by changing the oil of your lawnmower. Before you start, double-check that the spark plug wire is disconnected. Furthermore, before you lift your mower, make sure that the gas tank is empty.
  • Change the spark plug – To do this properly, read your manual when to change the spark plug and how to do it. However, a lot of people recommend that you change the spark plug at the beginning of the mowing season.
  • Clean the air filter – To blow off dust and debris from an accordion-type, use an air compressor. If you cannot clean it properly, then it’s strongly recommended that you replace it instead. It’s smart to keep additional filters so you can change them easily at the start of the mowing season. With warm, soapy water and foam, clean the filter and leave it to air dry. Before changing, lightly coat the air filter with your lawnmower oil by putting it in a zipper bag. Add one to two tablespoons of oil then work it into the air filter. Before you replace, blot the air filter with a paper towel.
  • Sharpen the lawnmower blade – You can do this by using a sharpening stone, grinding attachment, or a metal file. Pass the sharpening tool over the beveled edge and always do this in an identical direction.
  • Tighten the bolts – Inspect all lawnmower screws and bolts and tighten those that are loose. This is essential each time you perform maintenance to your lawnmower as a loose screw or belt is almost impossible to find once it gets detached from the equipment.
  • Refill gas – Begin the mowing season with new gas. Also, make sure to add fuel stabilizer to the gas can. Many fuels today tend to lose their efficiency in a short time. This means that older fuels could result in no start or a rough one. Check your manual to make sure that you supply your mower with the right gas type.
  • Clean the mower – After you mow, remove debris and grass clippings from your lawnmower. If the cutting deck is lowered to chop leaves, do not forget to raise it before you beginning a new season.
  • For battery-operated lawnmowers – Charge the batteries, adjust the cutting height, and sharpen the blades. If you noticed that a fully-charged battery does not last too long like before, it may mean that it needs changing. Mower batteries often last up to five seasons.
  • For riding lawnmowers – Inspect tire inflation and belts for cracking or fraying. For other tasks, check your user’s manual.

Chainsaw

Asian man cutting trees using an electrical chainsaw

Maintaining a chainsaw may demand work and if not maintained properly, can surely cause serious problems. One of the importance of maintaining a chainsaw is the safety of the user and everyone who is near it.

  • Inspect the chain tension – Before you use the chainsaw, double-check that the chain tension is in level with the specifications of your equipment.
  • Clean the air filter – If you have used the chainsaw for at least eight hours, check the air filter. Using a soft brush or soapy water, clean the air filter, and leave it to dry. Refrain from using an air compressor to remove dust and dirt as this can blast the holes of the filter. This will then allow bigger dirt and debris to get into the carburetor.
  • Use the right fuel – Check the user’s manual to see the right fuel mixture of your chainsaw. Make sure to put in the recommended ratio and always remember to shake the oil and fuel mixture before adding to the chainsaw’s tank to prevent them from separating.
  • Select the proper oil – Your chainsaw will need a certain oil type so make sure you have the right one before supplying the tank.
  • Keep the chains sharp – Consult your manual to learn the proper way of sharpening the blades of your chainsaw.
  • Be extra careful – Always be mindful when using your chainsaw. Make sure that your equipment does not come into contact with larger and harder materials that may cause damage to your blade or worse, to you or anyone nearby.

Pruners

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These gardening tools do not demand exhaustive maintenance. What you should always remember is to clean them regularly to keep them from becoming rusty.

  • Clean the blades – After using, wipe the pruners using a dry cloth in a top to bottom direction. It’s recommended that you use a lubricating oil like the WD-40 to clean your pruners as this will remove the sap stuck on the blades.
  • Sharpen the blades regularly – Always make sure that your cutting tools stay sharp. Use a specialized pruner sharpening tool or a regular sharpening tool and sharpen the blades in one direction.
  • Oil joints – To prevent the pruners from becoming stiff, apply penetrating or lubricating oil to the joints.
  • Store them open – If your pruners have springs, it’s best to store them open to prevent tension from the springs.
  • Sterilize them as necessary  – Use a disinfectant or rubbing alcohol to sterilize the pruners’ blades. Remember not to use bleach as it can cause the material to corrode.

Digging Tools

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Digging is already hard work and it may even be harder if the tools you are using are not in perfect condition.

  • Clean the blades – Every after use, clean the blades of your digging tools, such as trowels and shovels. Rinse the dirt off and if it is difficult to remove, soak your tools in water and combine churning and swishing motions. These will help in removing stubborn dirt. Wipe the handles as well. Then, leave them to dry.
  • Avoid rust – After cleaning your tools, wipe with light lubricating oil their metal parts to avoid them from getting rusty. You can also use silicone spray or machine oil if you prefer.
  • Attend to the handles – Do not forget to rinse the handles as well, as they may likely to have traces of soil, dirt, and other debris. If you have wooden handles, coat them with cheap olive oil or boiled linseed oil to maintain their quality.
  • Sharpen the edges – Repeated use of digging tools can cause the edges to become dull. If you notice they are not at their best performance, sharpen the edges of your tools.

Leaf Blower

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The best things about a leaf blower are that they surely make the work a lot easier and faster and they are easy to maintain.

  • Inspect the air filter – At the beginning of the leaf blowing season, inspect the air filter of your equipment. If you did not change it the last season, it’s highly recommended that you replace it this time.
  • Check the air intakes – Make sure that the air intakes do not have any dirt or debris. Check the carburetor as well and clean it as necessary.
  • Scrutinize the zipper and bolts – Check the bolts, screws, and nuts and tighten those that are loose. Check the bag zipper too and see if it requires waxing.
  • Replace the spark plug – Check your owner’s manual on how and when you should replace the spark plug.
  • Refill gas – If your leaf blower is gas-powered, change the fuel to begin the season.

Wheelbarrow

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A wheelbarrow surely comes in handy when there is heavy work involved. Here’s how you can take care of your wheelbarrow.

  • Clean up – Clean your wheelbarrow after each time you use it. Use water and wired brush to remove dirt. Leave it to dry and make sure there is no water left. This is especially true if you have a metal wheelbarrow as water can cause it to rust.
  • Inspect the handles – With medium-grit sandpaper, smooth out the rough areas in the wooden handles. Apply cheap olive oil or boiled linseed oil then leave it to dry under the sun.
  • Lubricate the wheel – To make sure that the wheel axle is turning properly, lubricate it with machine oil.
  • Inspect the tires Check the tires and inflate them with the right pressure. You can use a bicycle pump for this.

Wood Chipper

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A small wood chipper is an effective tool when handling tree branches, large woods, and even leaves. This is why this machine can be costly. If you have this gardening equipment, then it is essential that you know how to take care of it.

  • Keep it clean – Always clean your wood chipper every after use. This is to keep the metal parts from rusting and to keep debris from going into the fuel tank.
  • Keep the blades sharp – Check your manual so you will now if you are using the right torque settings for the blade bolts. Keeping the blades sharp not only ensures better productivity but will make your wood chipper last longer as well.
  • Adjust the brakes properly – If you use the handbrake often, then it’s recommended that you check the brakes regularly as they will most likely need readjusting.
  • Inspect the chips – Inspecting the chips regularly will prevent any problems when feeding materials to the chipper. Not only that, but you will also make sure that the chips are in high-quality, contributing to a longer service life of the chipper.
  • Grease the bearings – Check the manual on how and when to grease the bearings. This is to make sure that your chipper is in its optimum state, ensuring high performance and efficiency.
  • Clean the air filter – Every gardening equipment is exposed to a dusty environment so it’s imperative that you remember to check and clean the air filter. This is to avoid it from clogging up that could lead to an overheated engine.
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