Allotment Tools Repair & Care

Allotment Tools Repair & Care is an essential part of owning an allotment. Taking good care of tools, particularly cutting tools will ensure you expend the least effort on the plot instead of the most.

Allotment tools with blades are classified as cutting tools and all cutting tools require a sharp blade to be effective. Occasionally tools will break and this is generally the wooden shaft of the tool, a rake handle or spade handle. A cherished spade passed down from a parent has enormous sentimental value and is worth repairing. We have assembled a range of tool cleaning and maintenance items along with replacement handles for most of the common tools.

Tool Maintenance

Allotment tools such as spades and shovels are cutting tools and all cutting tools require a sharp blade to be effective. Other tools that have a more classic blade such as bill hooks, weed slashers and grass hooks will also work much better, and hence require less effort, if the blade is sharp. A sharpening stone is a simple cheap item to keep on the plot to sharpen blades as you are working. Digging in stony soil in particular will make the blade of a shovel or spade blunt quite quickly. Grass or nettles may seem soft but repeated slicing with a blade will take the edge off the blade, and striking stones will also blunt the blade.

Sharpening stones cost a small amount but could bring the following major benefits:
Longer tool life from the reduced corrosion
Less effort required to dig or clean your plot

Likewise clean blades also perform better so the removal of soil and plant debris from the cutting surface will reduce corrosion, keep blades sharp and reduce the effort required to complete the task.
It is a worthwhile investment to take a few moments at the end of the digging or cutting and clean the blade with a wire brush.

Long Term Maintenance

Remove any corrosion you can see on the blade with a wire brush and apply some general purpose oil, olive or vegetable oil is fine if you do not have any DIY type oil.
This will keep the blade free from corrosion during storage over the winter months when the air is more likely to be moist and will start rusting tool blades.
For any wooden shafts and handles on spades, forks and shovels, bill hooks or hand tools lightly rub down with a piece of not very coarse sandpaper to remove dirt and grime. Then apply a thin coating of olive or vegetable oil to preserve and keep the wooden handle in good condition.