Mowers to Shears: A Guide to Effective Lawn Care Tool Maintenance

Taking care of your lawn not only enhances the aesthetics of your property but also contributes to a healthier environment.




Jan 21, 2021

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To maintain a well-manicured lawn, you need a variety of tools, from mowers to shears.

However, these tools require proper maintenance to ensure they work efficiently and have a longer lifespan.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps for maintaining your lawn care tools effectively.

The Importance of Lawn Care Tools Maintenance

Lawn care tools, whether they're large mowers or handheld shears, undergo considerable wear and tear during use. Neglecting their maintenance can lead to decreased efficiency and a shorter lifespan.

Proper maintenance not only saves you money but also ensures your tools work effectively, making your lawn care routine feel less like a chore.

Basic Cleaning Techniques

One of the fundamental aspects of lawn care tool maintenance is keeping your tools clean. Regular cleaning not only enhances their functionality and performance but also prevents rust and other forms of damage.

Cleaning Mowers

Regularly cleaning your lawn mower after each use is essential to prevent grass buildup and debris accumulation. Start by:

  • Removing Debris: Turn off the mower and disconnect its spark plug to ensure safety. Then, use a brush or your hands to remove any large debris, such as grass clippings and twigs, from the top of the mower and its blades. 
  • Cleaning the Undercarriage: Flip the mower on its side (with the carburetor side facing up) and use a scraper or hose to remove caked-on grass and dirt from the undercarriage. Be thorough, as this area is prone to heavy buildup. 
  • Clearing the Grass Chute: The grass chute can get clogged with clippings, obstructing the grass discharge. Use a stick or a narrow brush to clear any blockages.
  • Brushing or Hosing Hard-to-Reach Areas: Utilize a brush to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as around the engine and in between components. Alternatively, a hose can be used to rinse off remaining debris.
  • Inspecting for Damage: While cleaning, take the opportunity to inspect your mower for any visible damage, such as bent blades or loose parts.

Cleaning Shears

Shears can become clogged with plant residue and sap, affecting their cutting ability. Clean the blades after each use by:

  • Wiping the Blades: After using the shears, wipe the blades clean with a dry cloth to remove any visible debris.
  • Using Soapy Water Solution: Prepare a solution of soapy water in a bucket. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the solution and gently wipe down the blades, removing any plant residue or sap.
  • Removing Stubborn Debris: For stubborn residue, you can use a brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the blades gently.
  • Thorough Rinsing: Rinse the blades thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Drying and Storing Properly: After cleaning, make sure the shears are completely dry before storing them. You can apply a light coat of oil to prevent rust if necessary.

Regular Inspection and Repairs

Checking for Damage

Inspect your tools regularly for any signs of damage, such as bent blades, loose handles, or rust spots. Address these issues promptly to prevent further deterioration.

Sharpening Blades

Dull blades can damage grass and plants rather than providing a clean cut. Sharpen the blades of your mowers and shears using a sharpening stone or a specialized tool. This ensures precise cutting and reduces strain on the tools' motor.

Lubrication and Rust Prevention

Oiling Moving Parts

Lubricate the moving parts of your tools, such as the mower's wheels and shears' pivot points, to reduce friction and ensure smooth operation. Use a lubricating spray or oil as recommended by the manufacturer.

Preventing Rust on Metal Surfaces

Metal parts are prone to rust, especially if exposed to moisture. Apply a thin layer of oil to the metal surfaces to create a barrier against moisture and prevent rust formation.

Proper Oil Capacity For Lawn Mowers

Overfilling or underfilling the oil can lead to engine problems. So, it's essential to understand the oil capacity of your lawn mower to ensure its proper functioning.

Regularly check the oil level using the dipstick provided and change the oil according to the manufacturer's guidelines. For instance, the Briggs and Stratton oil capacity chart is included in their user manual. Check your mower's user manual to find the recommended oil type and capacity.

Storage Tips

Proper Storage for Winter

Before winter arrives, properly clean and store your tools. Remove any dirt or grass clippings, and apply a light coat of oil to prevent rust during storage.

Keeping Tools Dry

Store your tools in a dry and sheltered area to prevent moisture buildup. Moisture can accelerate rust formation and damage the tools over time.

Safety Measures

Using Gloves and Safety Goggles

Wear gloves and safety goggles while using and maintaining your lawn care tools. This protects you from potential injuries and keeps your hands and eyes safe.

Proper Tool Handling

Handle your tools with care and avoid excessive force. Rough handling can lead to premature wear and damage.

DIY vs. Professional Maintenance

When to DIY

Basic routine maintenance tasks can often be handled at home. These tasks include cleaning, oiling, and inspecting for damage. However, following the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for these routine tasks is crucial.

DIY maintenance allows you to better understand your tools’ workings and quirks, giving you a control over your lawn care equipment.

Benefits of Professional Maintenance

For complex repairs, adjustments, or specialized maintenance tasks, especially those involving technical components or intricate mechanisms, turning to expert technicians is a wise choice.

Professionals possess in-depth knowledge, specialized tools, and experience to diagnose issues accurately and provide comprehensive solutions. 

For example, when it comes to blade sharpening, which requires precision and expertise, a professional has the know-how to achieve optimal blade angles for cleaner cuts and reduced strain on the equipment. 

Extended Lifespan and Improved Performance

Regular upkeep, whether DIY or professional, guarantees that your mower, shears, and other tools function optimally.

As you strike the right balance between DIY and professional maintenance, your lawn care tools will reward you with years of reliable service and an inviting outdoor space.


Maintaining your lawn care tools is a crucial aspect of achieving a beautiful and healthy lawn. With proper cleaning, inspection, lubrication, and storage, you can ensure that your lawn mower and shears remain in excellent condition, ready to tackle any landscaping task. 


Q: How often should I clean my lawn mower?

It's best to clean your mower after each use to prevent debris buildup and rust.

Q: Can I use any oil for lubricating my tools?

It's recommended to use a lubricant specifically designed for tools to ensure proper performance.

Q: Can I use the same oil for both my mower and shears?

It's important to use the recommended oil type for each specific tool. Mowers and shears have different operating mechanisms and requirements. Mowers often have engines that require specific engine oil, while shears might need a lighter oil for their moving parts. Refer to your user manuals for guidance on the appropriate oil types to use for your specific tools.

Q: Are there any safety precautions while sharpening mower blades?

Yes, wear protective gloves and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for blade removal and sharpening.

Q: Can I use the same oil for my lawn mower that I use in my car?

It's not recommended to use automotive oil in your lawn mower. Lawn mowers and other small engines require specific oil formulations designed for their air-cooled systems. Automotive oils may not provide the required protection against high-temperature conditions, and using the wrong type of oil can lead to engine damage. Refer to your mower's user manual for the recommended oil type to ensure proper performance and longevity.

Q: Is professional maintenance expensive?

The cost varies, but professional maintenance can be a cost-effective way to ensure your tools last longer and work better.

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