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How to Renew Your Garden Tool Handles

Restore your garden tool handles to like new condition. Following this tip will make your tools look great and last forever.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

How to Renew Your Garden Tool Handles

Restore your garden tool handles to like new condition. Following this tip will make your tools look great and last forever.

Tool Handle Restoration

Here’s a tip sent in by Ken Werner, one of our field editors: “Each spring I sand our gardening tool handles with 120-grit sandpaper and then rub a coat of boiled linseed oil on them. The handles stay smooth throughout the gardening season. Then I do it again before putting the tools away in the fall.” The tools look terrific, and the smooth oiled surface resists cracking and is much easier on the hands. If you’re more like Oscar than Felix and your tool handles have never been sanded, they’re probably as rough and worn as ours were. In that case, use a random orbital sander (Photo 1). You’ll still have to hand-sand the spots you can’t reach with the sander, but it’ll save you a lot of effort.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Orbital sander

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Sandpaper
    • Gloves
    • Boiled linseed oil
    • Rag
    • Small container

Comments from DIY Community Members

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April 19, 12:43 PM [GMT -5]

Kind of funny in all the years I have done gardening and working outside with assorted hand tools I have never sanded any of the handles? Maybe it was because I always cleaned them up wiping them down regularly with WD-40 every now and then after using them and placing them in my garage.

October 29, 5:41 PM [GMT -5]

A sanding sponge is also good for this job.

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