Host Kevin O’Connor meets back at the shop with landscape contractor Jenn Nawada and her guest, fellow landscaper Lee Gilliam. Lee shows Kevin and Jenn some of the tools landscapers use most often, from pruners to lawnmowers. After that, Lee shows Kevin and Jenn how to maintain those tools so they work well and provide the best results.
Outdoor tools need love too. Host Kevin O’Connor and landscape contractor Jenn Nawada discuss outdoor tool maintenance with fellow landscape professional Lee Gilliam. Lee teaches them about some of the most common tools landscapers use, as well as how to maintain some of the larger power tools.
Common Landscaping Tools
There are some common landscaping tools that all pros use. Their uses range from cutting and snipping to shoveling and raking. Here are some of the most common:
- Hand pruners: Small scissor-like tools designed to cut limbs up to ½-inch in size
- Loppers: The larger version of pruners, loppers have longer handles that allow the user to apply more torque.
- Shears: Larger, two-hand scissor-like tools designed to clean out perennial beds and trim boxwoods and shrubs.
- Hand saws: Folding and fixed-blade hand saws are useful for quickly trimming larger, thicker limbs.
- Edger: The edger has a half-moon shape that can quickly cut a border between the gas and the mulch for a clean look.
- Cultivator: This is a fork-like tool designed to fluff up dirt and mulch to introduce oxygen.
- Standard rake: Rakes are used to remove debris and twigs.
- Spade shovel: This shovel has a point and flat shoulders for stepping on, and it’s designed for digging and planting.
- Mulch pitchfork: A wide fork-like tool that holds lots of mulch without being too heavy.
3 Most Important Power Tools
Power tools help get the job done quickly and easily, and this definitely applies to landscaping. The three most important tools are the lawn mower, the string trimmer, and the leaf blower. With these tools, homeowners can maintain their properties and keep them looking great.
Maintaining a mower blade
Start by gaining access to the underside of the mower. For electric mowers, remove the battery. For gas mowers, disconnect the spark plug. Then, grasp the blade with gloved hands or a rag to hold it in place. Then, place a wrench over the bolt holding the blade in place to remove it.
Once the blade is removed, use a file to sharpen the blade’s edge. Attempt to follow the existing blade angle for the best results, and file until the edge is sharp. Replace the blade on the mower and tighten the bolt.
Maintaining a string trimmer
The trick to a string trimmer is ensuring it has enough string left. Check by squeezing the two tabs holding the string cover in place and popping it off. If there isn’t much string left (less than several wraps of string) on the spool, consider threading new string onto the spool.
Leaf blower rules
Check with your local municipality to see if there are rules regarding leaf blower noise levels. Each leaf blower will have a decibel rating clearly labeled on the side. Many towns won’t allow blowers over a certain decibel level. Gas-powered blowers will be considerably louder than battery or electric blowers.
Jenn introduces landscape contractor Lee Gilliam, and together they discuss different landscape
tools and how to maintain them for Spring.
Lee explains the main differences between gas-powered and electric-powered tools.
Expert assistance provided by Lee Gilliam and Sons Landscaping.