Deciding whether you should replace or repair your garden tool can be a difficult decision. How do you make that decision? Sometimes repairs are easy, and you can do them yourself. Other times, you need to take the garden tools to a professional.
While there are times tools break and need to be repaired, maintenance can help to prevent these problems. So, you need to take into consideration the cost of replacement versus the cost of repairs and maintenance
For example, you may find that replacing your outdated whipper snipper with a new quality brand whipper snipper may be cheaper than having yours repaired. But if you break a blade on a mower, repairing it would probably be the best option.
Is it Worth Repairing Your Garden Tools?
If you have been working with garden tools for a long time, you have made temporary fixes. These fixes can get you back to work and save you money right then. However, these fixes never last.
If you continue working with this damaged piece of equipment, you should have it fixed or replaced. The decision can be complicated, but it needs to be done.
Below are a few things to consider before you make your decision:
How long will you be down?
Will the downtime cost you money? If the broken garden tool is costing you money in downtime. It may make more sense to replace it. If you are in the landscaping business, you need tools to work every day.
When your mower is broken or your whipper snipper quits working, this can be detrimental to your income. Sometimes, the loss outweighs the cost of the repair. Instead of waiting for the tools to be repaired, look at getting a new lawnmower or quality brand whipper snipper.
Are you constantly repairing it?
If you are constantly having to repair the tool, it may be cheaper to replace it. It is not cost-effective to continue to make repairs. If this is only the first or second time, the tool needs to be repaired, having it fixed instead of replacing it can save you money.
Is it harming the environment?
Older garden tools are not as environmentally friendly as newer tools. If the tool you are using is harming the environment, buy something new.
Will there be a disposal cost to get rid of the garden tool? Sometimes this cost will be higher than it will cost to have the tool repaired.
Will there be training?
Training someone to use a new garden tool can take some time. Is the cost of the training worth replacing the old tool?
Garden Tools Preventative Maintenance
The best way to keep your garden tools in proper working condition is with preventative maintenance. Keeping your equipment clean and properly maintained will delay potential repairs and replacement costs.
Each garden tool is unique, so there are different ways to maintain each piece of equipment. If the tool came with a manual, the best thing to do is read the manual and follow their care tips. However, there are cases where there are no suggested maintenance tips.
In these cases, consider these general maintenance tips:
Clean your tools
When you are done working for the day, clean your tools thoroughly. This includes spaying off all dirt and mud. You should also use a scraper or wire brush to remove any stuck on debris.
Keep your tools dry
If you just washed your tools, dry them thoroughly. This will prevent them from rusting. And never leave your tools outside in the elements.
Prevent and remove rust
While keeping your tools dry will help prevent rust, it will not stop it. Another way to prevent rust is to treat the tools with linseed or mineral oil. If there is rust on the tool, remove it using a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water.
Keep sharp tools sharp
Using a dull blade will not only damage your plants, but it can also damage your tool. You will have to apply more pressure, which can damage joints and components.
Care for the wood parts
Wood handles and components need proper care. You can use heavy duty tape to fix small cracks. If there are major cracks, the wood needs to be replaced. Continuing to use tools with damaged wood can lead to an injury. Clean and condition all the wooden tools after each use.
Remove sap from your tools
Sap may be one of the hardest things to deal with when cleaning your garden tools. However, if you do not remove it, the sap can ruin the tools, making them unusable. To remove the sap, you can often use solvents, such as turpentine or mineral spirits.
Oil your garden tools
Oiling your garden tools will help prevent rusting and condition the wood. You want to use a natural product such as linseed oil or mineral oil. Do not use petroleum based oil. This oil you use will transfer to the ground and plants. Petroleum based oil is harmful to the environment.
Repairing Garden Tools vs Buying New Ones
Using old garden tools can cost you money in the long run. The repair bills and downtime can add up. Nevertheless, sometimes the best course of action to take is to have the garden tools repaired.
The question you need to ask yourself is, is it worth repairing the garden tools? Or, by doing so, is it going to cost you more in the long run?