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Petrol Garden Tools – Simple Maintenance Tasks for the Home Gardener - by Jonathan Yaakobi

Petrol garden tools easily out perform their electric equivalents. In the long run they also make more economic sense, because although 2-3 times more expensive, if well maintained, a tool from a reputable manufacture could last the home gardener a lifetime.

Many people however are put off buying a gas-powered lawn mower or strimmer, because of what they perceive to be complicated and expensive maintenance procedures. This is though, is a myth and not a good reason for preferring an inferior, albeit cheaper electric power tool.

For a start, most maintenance tasks are a matter of turning the tools over once a year to a decent small-tools repair shop. The costs for regular maintenance should not be far in excess of $50 - $100 for each tool per year. This should fit into the average homeowner’s gardening budget. If the plugs, oil, and filters, e.t.c. are replaced on time, then for the average home gardener, there should hardly be any need for expensive repairs.

In between the annual trip to the repair shop, there are a number of simple steps anyone can take, to ensure that the machines work properly and efficiently. The most important thing is to clean air filters as regularly as possible.

*Most 4-stroke engine lawn mowers have a paper air filter that just needs a simple bang on the pavement to remove dirt and chaff. This takes about 1 minute, but if done after every mowing will ensure optimal filtration until it’s time to replace the filter. (Usually between 25-50 working hours)

*Likewise, the air filters for 2-stroke engine tools like strimmers, blowers, and hedge-trimmers, need regular cleaning. These are usually sponge filters, which can be rinsed in some petrol to dissolve the oils that have accumulated. The whole operation should take you about 2 minutes, although the filter has to be thoroughly dry before returning to the machine. Be sure to wear rubber gloves for protection as well.

*Another task that will take up between 1-2 minutes of your valuable time is inserting grease into the axis of strimmers and hedge trimmers. Read the instruction book carefully to locate the points that require greasing. Failure to do so will severely reduce the lifespan of the tool, which is a pity for the 2 minutes work required every hour or so of operating time.

”My Lawn Mower Won’t Start”

This is a common refrain at the beginning of spring amongst homeowners. The cause is invariably the failure to empty the petrol tank at the beginning of winter, or at the onset of any extended period when the mower will not be in use. If you cannot siphon the petrol out, simply run the machine until the gas has run-out. Alternatively, and preferably from a gas-emissions point of view, ask the repair shop to do it, as part of the annual maintenance program.

Perhaps there are a number of tasks, such as cleaning the air fins of a lawn mower with a jet of air, or sharpening blades, that the average home gardener will not wish to carry out. These, as mentioned, can be done by a professional. Nonetheless, it is wise to consult with the instruction manual, to make sure that nothing is missed.

Overall, the performance and longevity of petrol garden tools are so superior to those of electric ones, that the investment in time and money required over the year should not deter the home gardener from choosing a gas-powered garden tool.



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Jonathan Ya'akobi

Your Personal Gardening Coach
 



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