How Can You Get Your Outdoor Tools Ready for Summer?

by Roger PhelpsJune 19, 2014

This post is brought to you by Roger Phelps of STIHL, Inc.
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As warm weather approaches and the landscapes start turning green again, it’s time to pull out your equipment for those gardening projects in order to improve your home’s outdoor spaces. These tips will help you get the most out of your tools this season, but also be sure to check the manufacturers’ instruction manuals for other recommended maintenance.

Keep It Clean

It sounds basic, but cleaning your equipment, especially if you did not do so before storing for the winter, can make a big difference in the way it performs.

Check It Out

Thoroughly inspect your equipment, including the safety features, to ensure all is working properly. If you are unsure about anything, take it to a dealer to have it checked and serviced. For all your tools, visually check for cracks and other damage you may not have noticed when you stored it and re-tighten all accessible screws and nuts.

  • Chain Saws: Check that the hand guard and chain brake work properly.
  • Trimmers: Inspect that the deflector is in place, tightly attached, and not damaged.
  • Edgers: Check that the cutting guard for wear or damage.
  • Hedge Trimmers: Ensure the cutter blade guard is tightly attached and not damaged.

Don’t Get Strung Out

Trimmer line dries out over time and older line will break more easily, which wastes time and money. Stock up for the season and replace the trimmer line on trimmers and brush cutters.

Stay Sharp

Not only will your tools work better when sharp, but it is better for the health of your plants as well. Dull tools rip more than they cut, leaving jagged edges that turn brown and leave the plant open to disease. Inspect and sharpen, or replace, blades as necessary on all cutting tools and attachments, including hand tools, edgers, hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, etc., following the directions in the manufacturers’ instruction manuals.

Start Fresh

For gasoline-powered equipment, you’ll also want to start with fresh fuel. Old fuel can cause issues with the engine, leading to problems running the equipment. Dispose of old fuel properly (including fuel left in equipment over the winter). Check and change oil and oil filter in your lawn mower and other applicable equipment, as required per manufacturer’s recommendation. For more information to keep your mower running smoothly, check out these tips from Consumer Reports.

Don’t Get Shocked

If you are using battery or corded electric equipment, maintenance is a bit easier. After checking your equipment for damage and cleaning it, charge the batteries for your battery-powered equipment like the 36-volt STIHL Battery KombiSystem. If you find that your battery is not holding a charge, then find a recycling location today to drop off your old batteries.
For corded electric equipment, be sure to inspect power cords on the tool, as well as any extension cords that you are using. If the insulation is damaged or any wires are exposed, do not use it. Get the cord replaced.

Now you’re ready to keep your yard looking its best all season long! In addition to following these tips, always review your instruction manuals at the start of a new season and wear all the recommended protective gear. Doing so will not only help protect your equipment, but will help protect you, the operator, as well. For more information about STIHL, visit STIHLUSA.com today.

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About The Author
Roger Phelps
Roger is the Promotional Communications Manager for STIHL USA, Inc.

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