Winter jobs: tidy the tool shed and check your lawnmower

Check over your lawnmower
Check over your lawnmower in winter Credit: Tim Stocker/Moment RF

The new year lends itself to a tool overhaul: a satisfying winter ritual of cleaning, sharpening, and setting up for the growing season to come.

Stainless steel tools have made the process much simpler, but they still need looking after, and many of us have older tools that will rust if left damp and muddy in a shed all winter. Given a little bit of annual TLC they will keep going for years. 

First, give muddy tools a dunk in warm, soapy water and a scrub with a stiff brush, then leave to dry. Stainless steel tools are then good to go, but older tools with patches of rust should next be rubbed with a wire brush, then washed again and left to dry again.

Take a file (such as the engineer’s flat...

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