Winter is almost over, which means it’s time to dust off your outdoor power equipment and get it ready for the spring and summer seasons. From lawn mowers to planting trowels, well-maintained lawn care equipment can help make lawn and garden care easier. Plus, it keeps your lawn tools working longer and more efficiently.
Here are a handful of tips to get your outdoor power equipment and garden hand tools ready for the seasons ahead.
Outdoor Power Equipment Tips
- For your lawn mower, change the oil, put in fresh gas, check the spark plug, replace the air filter and lubricate moving parts. Check out this article for additional information on routine spring mower maintenance.
- If your mower is more than a year old and you haven’t sharpened the blades, then make sure to do so before spring. If the blades aren’t sharp, then they are more likely to cut unevenly or shred the tips of grass, which can weaken blades and turn grass brown.
- To sharpen, use a file or grinding wheel and follow the original angle of the blade and grind. Grind each cutting edge equally to keep blades balanced. Always remember to read your owner’s manual for proper instructions and remove the blade from the mower before sharpening to ensure safety. A blade removal tool for walk-behind mowers and riders can help by safely holding the cutting blade while you remove it.
- Consider using a lawn mower blade sharpener and balancer kit, which ensures a safe, vibration-free operation and maximizes cutting performance.
- Replace the mower blades if they show signs of extreme wear.
- Also, be sure to check the tire pressure, and clean under the mower deck to remove any grass and dirt left from last season.
- Here is another good resource for some additional lawn mower maintenance tips.
- If you have a string trimmer, check the owner’s manual for a suggested maintenance schedule. Be sure to remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug before doing any maintenance on your product. Ahead of the season, check to see if you have enough replacement trimmer line. Check out our how-to videos on replacing trimmer line for a variety of different cutting heads. Other typical trimmer maintenance tasks include inspecting the cutting shield and gearbox for damage or debris, cleaning and re-oiling or replacing the string trimmer’s air filter, replacing the spark plug, and, for 4-cycle engines, checking the oil level before every use. Some models of 4-cycle-engine string trimmers should also have an oil change after the first 10 hours of use and every 28 hours thereafter.
- If you find you do need professional help, locate or contact an authorized Troy-Bilt® servicing dealer.
Hand Tool Tips
- Wash off any dirt from your rakes and shovels and check for rust. Remove any rust with sandpaper or steel wool.
- Sharpen your shovels and other garden hand tools with a hand file. Don’t use a handheld grinder or bench-mounted grinder for this work. Doing so will likely destroy the garden tool, and you’ll end up taking off more than you need to create an edge.
- Prevent rust from forming on garden hand tools and keep the edges sharp by using a bucket of sand and used motor oil to protect them. To do this, fill a container with dry mortar sand, then mix in used motor oil until the sand is almost saturated. Plunge your tools repeatedly into the bucket and then hang them up to store. A thin coat of oil will remain on the tool, helping to keep rust from forming. The sand will also help remove any rust or stuck-on dirt.
- Clean the bucket of your wheelbarrow, and if there’s any exposed metal, then spray with metal paint to prevent rust.
- Check your garden hoses and nozzles for leaks. If needed, you can find replacement couplings at any home and garden store.
While inspecting and prepping your lawn care equipment for spring, keep in mind to review the projects you have planned for this season and make sure you have the outdoor power equipment you’ll need to complete them. Troy-Bilt is here to help with reliable equipment that can make yard work a little easier.