The best way to keep all of your tools in great shape is to take care of them year-round. To keep them pristine, do the following after each use:
1. Tap tools to remove clumps of soil.
2. Remove soil from blades and hinges with a clean cloth and brush.
3. Always use a proper cleaner to remove sap from tools after use.
4. Clean metal tools by plunging in a bucket of oiled sand. To make oiled sand, pour 3/4 quart motor oil or mineral oil into a 5-gallon bucket of sand (the sand should be damp but not moist). Push blades of tools into sand. This helps clean and condition the metal.
5. Store tools in the oiled sand, or hang on pegs.
6. Establish a regular schedule of maintenance. Once a month, you should sharpen blades, oil springs, and replace failing parts.
7. Create an area for tool storage and maintenance.
Once you’re organized, keeping tools in pristine condition will become an easy habit.