Before you put your tools away for the winter, give them just an hour or so of your time. This will keep them from rusting and prepare them for next spring.
Follow this basic winterizing checklist.
Storing and Winterizing Hand Tools
- Drain the water from all hoses; then coil and hang them so they won’t sag and kink. Hang them from hose hangers, available in hardware stores.
- Clean all tools, from shears to shovels. Use a wire brush to remove any caked-on dirt or vegetation. Lubricate all pivot points and springs, then spray all bare metal parts and cutting edges with penetrating oil to prevent rust.
- Check all hand tools for loose screws or nuts and tighten where necessary. Check for any broken or bent parts and replace or repair them.
- Wipe all wooden handles down with boiled linseed oil, warmed in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes.
- Sharpen all cutting edges, then wipe down the blades with an oily rag or spray with penetrating oil.
- Hang the tools in their proper storage spot so you can find them next season.