It’s the holidays. For some of us that means taking time out to lay around, soaking up the sun, sand and surf and enjoying what living on the Sunshine Coast is all about.

For others, it’s the only time of year we can get our yearly household chores done, including cleaning and sharpening our tired and worn gardening tools.

So, let’s start with the year’s most worked tool, your mower.

It’s good practice to sharpen the blade twice each season to help maintain a green, healthy lawn. A sharp blade not only helps keep the grass healthy and thriving, it helps reduce your lawn mowing time.

At Sunshine Coast Mowers, we offer full mower servicing, including sharpening of the mower blades. If it’s spare parts you need, or mower accessories, our stores have the largest range and our helpful staff will be able to give advice on how to best maintain your mower for the coming months.

Other gardening tools can be cleaned and sharpened with much less effort than a mower.

To sharpen spades, trowels and so on, pass a metal file over the edges of the blade. Keep the angle shallow and work your way along both the front and the back of the blade. If you have one, use a vice to clamp the tool still while you work. Finish by sealing the blade edges with oil.

Don’t forget to look after wooden handles. These can be cleaned then smoothed off with sandpaper, before polishing with a natural, protective oil.

Well cared for pruning tools will give a cleaner cut, which reduces the risk of introducing plant diseases and it also makes the effort of pruning a lot less strenuous.

Pruners, loppers and shears are all sharpened in much the same way. Hold the tool firmly in position then pass the sharpener over the edge of the blade. Use a file, whetstone or sharpening stone appropriate to the size of the blade. Only sharpen the cutting blade itself, working the stone in the same direction as the bevel. Smaller blades may need to be worked in a circular motion. It should take between two to five passes of the file or stone to complete the sharpening.