Hand Tools Maintenance
pruning tool is going to collect sap from what it cuts. Pruning
and cutting tools, like pruners, loppers, shears, and saws, are best
cleaned after every use with a few sprays of alcohol-water from a hand
sprayer with a drop or three of liquid dish soap in the spray bottle.
The soap cuts through saps and keeps them from accumulating and gumming
up the moving parts or teeth (and then collecting dirt and grime), and
the alcohol disinfects! Just spray a few squirts across all working
parts and surfaces, and give it a quick wipe with a rag or towel to
remove excess alcohol-water - just to not make a mess. No need to rinse.
Reciprocating saws use back-and-forth motion to cut. Folding pruning saws or the saw on the end of your pole pruner are the most common examples. These saws don't really get sharpened. Any reciprocating blade that sees enough action usually breaks or is lost long before it becomes dull enough to warrant replacement. Using a light vegetable oil as a lubricant during cutting reduces friction, making the work easier and reducing the possibility of snapping the blade.
saws use a continuous chain of teeth to bite through material. The fastest
way to dull a chain saw is to allow the teeth to run through dirt. The
most common ways this happens are when there is dirt in the wood being
cut, or when the wood is close enough to the ground that the end tip
of the saw grazes the ground unnoticed...until you realize that you
are no longer making any progress! The teeth on the chain can be sharpened,
but take care to file down the depth teeth, too, or it won't matter
HOW sharp your cutting teeth are. Chains are rated at how much bite
the depth teeth should allow the cutting teeth (look on the back of
the package the chain came in). If you don't file them down enough,
the chain will act as though it is dull, taking very tiny bites. If
the depth teeth are filed down too far, the biting teeth will take larger
bites, cutting faster (maybe dangerously faster!) and creating more
heat...which can lead to increased stretch of the chain...which is a
danger for the chain flying out of its guide along the bar!
are a variety of shovels, each designed with a specific use! Shovels
with a serrated blade DO NOT get sharpened as that is counterproductive
to having the serations!! Flat and otherwise smooth-edged shovels can
be sharpened, but they don't need to be razor sharp. Furthermore, consider
whether you want to create a bias in the direction the shovel cuts.
Think of a shovel as a dirt chisel. Bevel the edge on the side you want
it to cut away from...in other words, sharpen the face, not the back
of the shovel blade.