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Spring Clean Your Power Tools

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1-garage-flickr-@abrunvoll
Photo credit: @abrunvoll / Flickr

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Ah, Spring. Winter’s cold grip is finally broken, the snows have receded, and the days are getting longer. Now is the time we can look forward to birds twittering in the trees, the winds softly rustling in the grass, and bees can begin their yearly dance around the flowers.

It is also time to get out the chain saw and cut down those bird filled trees, the lawn mower to cut that rustling grass, and the weed eater to prune away the flowers before we get stung by those bees. If you own power tools, now is the time to clean them up and get them ready for another year of work.

Your power tools have been packed away in the garage for months. They’ve not been used, they’ve not been started, and they may not have even been looked at. This means they’ll all need attention before you use them the first time.
Here are a few tips to make sure they’re ready to go.

If they are gasoline powered like a lawn mower or a chain saw, the first thing to do is change the gas. Gas degrades over time and even the gas/oil mix in 2 cycle engines can cause damage, if it is severely degraded.

While using a product like Sta-bil to prevent corrosion in metal gas tanks is good, the gasoline still needs to be replaced.

Also, change out the oil in machinery that has an oil reservoir. While oil doesn’t degrade the same way gasoline does, all of the particulate matter it has captured over the months has settled to the bottom.

“Flushing” your oil system replaces the used oil with fresh and also removes that particulate matter.

Lubricate. Before you get into the field for the first time, take the opportunity to grease axles, hinges, wheel bearings and other areas that need it. It only takes a few minutes to clean out the old grease and replace it with fresh.

Not only will this make your power tools work smoother, it also removes all the old dirt and grime that has accumulated.

Sharpen the blades. Now is also the right time to sharpen the blades on your lawn mower and the chain on your chainsaw. Also, if you use blades on your weed eater, don’t waste your time, but either sharpen them or buy the new ones.

Needles to say, taking the time to clean up your power tools after each use, and doing periodic maintenance on them will keep them running well all year. Even if you’ve done a good cleanup on them before you stored them for winter, devoting some time to do the above steps will ensure they’re just as ready for Spring as you are.


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