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.
Dirt tools, shovels and the like, should get a good hosing-off after
any job where they accumulate junk. If you have been working in
questionable soil - as in having a soil born fungus problem - you
can disinfect using the alcohol water
best all-around lubricant for any pruning tool is cheap vegetable
oil - the cheaper the better!
Keep your tools organized in a dry area. I like to hang tools whenever
possible to keep floor space open. I also find this keeps the tools
in a less dangerous way. You don't want to have to sort through
tools to find the want you need. I have seen small tools stored
in buckets - I keep my knee-knocker in its bucket, they go together
- but I hate to see long handled tools standing out of a tall trash
can. There is just no safe way to get them out one at a time!
: Scissoring Tools | Saws
tools - pruners, loppers, shears:
tools derive their effectiveness by "shearing" more than
"cutting". That is to say that the blade passing cleanly
across the anvil is the actual cutting force. Having a sharp edge
on the blade is HELPFUL, but not the source of the actual
cutting force. Shears typically DO NOT get sharpened. If you DO
need to sharpen or hone an edge of a shearing blade, be sure to
work only on the BEVEL side of the blade, and do everything possible
to preserve the flatness of the "back" of the blade. If
you sharpen both sides of a shearing blade, you will ruin
the blade, and ever after that the blades will only spread away
from each other whenever pressure is applied. You should only
ever need to hone off the "burl" from the bevel side of
a shearing blade - that is the slight rounding (usually to the bevel
side) along the cutting edge. If this kind of blade develops chips,
any protrusions to the "back" of the bade can be filed
down so that the surface is "flush" again. A few little
nicks along the edge are no big deal. It is up to you to decide
when there are enough chips and nicks in your edge to warrant replacement.
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.
Man has been sharpening wooden handle since the dawn of
time. The time honored tool for sharpening a wooden handle is FIRE.
You sit around a camp fire and use your wooden handle to poke and
play with the embers, allowing the wood to heat up evenly. After
about an hour or so, the wood will appear to catch fire. These are
the impurities burning off. What you need to do is rub the wood
against a hard surface - a rock or a brick - to extinguish the flame.
Do this repeatedly for another hour or so, letting the wood catch
flame from heat at the coals of the camp fire, and rubbing the flame
out vigorously. Rotate the wood as you rub off the charcoaled impurities,
and in "no time" you'll have a fairly sharp, fire hardened