Home Cutting Tools Maintenance
If you have a passion for cooking, gardening, or DIY projects, you will likely have gathered a collection of indispensable tools over time. Whether it’s kitchen knives (including knife sharpeners), garden shears, grass shears, or wire cutters, your tools have a variety of uses and require care to keep them in good working condition. If left without maintenance, cutting tools easily become damaged or unsuitable for their intended purpose. This can end up costing you more money to replace the items or to pay for someone else to fix them.
But remember, not all tools are created equally and some will require much more care and maintenance than others. While items like scissors or wire cutters won’t need much maintenance beyond a wipe down, knife sets and pruning shears require a little more attention. Thankfully, keeping these tools sharp and in working order is a quick and easy process, using items found around the house and with some sharpening tools.
Why Is It Important To Check The Condition Of Tools And Equipment?
After some time, tools can become damaged and show signs of wear and tear which stop them from working at their optimum. It’s important to regularly inspect and clean tools to ensure they’re in the best condition they can be. This can help prevent accidents which is crucial when sharp tools are involved. Checking and maintaining your tools also makes sure they are suitable for their intended purpose. After all, you wouldn’t want to allocate time for maintaining a healthy lawn only to find out your pruning shears are blunt and won’t do the job.
It’s also important to check the condition of tools as it can save you a lot of money. Replacing damaged tools or paying for tools to be repaired can easily amount to high costs over time. But you can save money simply by investing in some sharpening equipment which will maintain your tools, keeping them in tip-top condition, ready to be used whenever you need them.
How To Maintain Cutting Tools
First, it’s important to know the tools you’ll need. For cleaning/general maintenance, most cutting tools can be wiped down with a dry or wet, soapy cloth depending on how dirty they are. Steel wool and scrubbing brushes help to remove tough stains and rust, while Linseed oil (or another suitable alternative) will prevent future rusting.
The method for keeping your cutting tools sharp depends on the blade length and can require one of two sharpening tools, a knife sharpener, or a diamond hand file (medium or coarse). These additional tools work by removing the outer, damaged layer of the blade edge, filing it down to an even and sharper finish.
- Long Blades (Knives, Long Scissors, Garden Shears) – Sharpening long-bladed tools requires a simple knife sharpener that can be purchased easily and affordably. Simply hold the sharpener at a 45-degree angle in front of your body, steadily stroking the blade edge upwards and away from the rod in order to cover the full length of the blade. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the blade, ensuring the full length has been evenly sharpened.
- Short Blades (Small Scissors, Wire Cutters, Lawn Edger, Pruning Shears, Corded Lawn Mower, Cordless Lawn Mower) – In order to sharpen smaller tools, you’ll need a vice (or another way of safely securing the tool to a surface) so that the blades are pointed upwards. Using a medium or coarse diamond hand file, follow the same process as described above, taking care to follow any curves or contours in the blade.
After cleaning and sharpening your tools, use a cloth to lightly cover the blades with Linseed oil to prevent them from rusting. Ensure the tools are stored in a dry, protective bag or box as this will prevent further damage or rust build-up while they’re not in use.
Maintaining your cutting tools in good condition is an important habit to get into. Not only will it help you organize and save time on other tasks, it can even save you money too!