Power Equipment Australasia

GARDEN MAINTENANCE They will never be ready for burning if they are packed tightly up against each other or hard up against a wall. The better the airflow, the quicker the drying process and the better the burn. If you are going down the path of using a waterproof sheet or tarp, make sure the sides are left uncovered to allow air to flow through the logs. How to tell when your logs are ready for burning: Without physically seeing the inside of your logs of wood, it is almost impossible to be certain that they’re ready for burning, but there are a few indicators to look out for. Firstly, once your wood is ‘dead’, like anything, it will lose its vibrant colour. So if it’s faded, it is most likely nice and dry, and ready to go. If your wood feels soft, it will still be damp inside. Wood becomes very hard once it’s lost all of its moisture. When stacking, keep an ear out for the sound your logs make when chucked on top of one another. Dry wood will sound hollow, whereas wet wood will make a heavy thud sound. Feel the weight of your wood; if it is heavy, it is harbouring moisture. If it is nice and light, it is dry. WINTER TOOL MAINTENANCE Caring for your tools is an important part of caring for your garden. And as the demands of your garden change throughout the year, so too will the frequency of use of some of your favourite tools. I always recommend having your tools serviced regularly by your local STIHL Dealer, but in-between visits, there are some basic things you can do yourself to keep them in tip top shape. Hedge Trimmers: This is an easy one – after each use, simply give them a wipe down, spray them with some SuperClean resin solvent, and run the machine for 10 seconds. This will stop your blades from rusting and remove any sap or matter from your blades, keeping them clean and sharp. Hand Tools: When it comes to secateurs, axes and hatchets, as well as blades and even household shears, the STIHL 3-in-1 sharpening tool is incredibly easy to use and will keep your blades nice and crisp. Cutting anything with a clean, sharp, well looked after blade will always be less physically demanding for the user, and a nice clean cut will also allow whatever you’re cutting to heal properly, reducing the risk of infection. Lawn Mowers & Grass Trimmers: While you will still need to keep your lawn trim in winter, the frequency in which you use your mower will lessen significantly through the cooler months. This is a good opportunity to give your mower a deep clean, removing any grass clipping stuck under the housing. It’s also a good time to give your catcher a good clean too, and an opportunity to inspect your mower blades. If they’re looking a little dull, take them to your local STIHL Dealer who will be able to replace them for you. The same applies with your grass trimmer. It will need a good clean after a busy spring and summer, so doing it now will ensure it’s ready as soon as spring hits. During periods of less use, I recommend storing your trimming line in water. Doing so will keep it soft, otherwise it can become brittle and snap easily. Throughout winter, particularly if you’re using your chainsaw or pole pruner regularly, it’s important to keep them clean. After each use, clean your sprocket nose, bar groove, cooling fins along with your oil inlet hole and oil outlet channel. Tool Storage: STIHL tools are built to last, and as a rule of thumb, the better care you take of your tools, the longer they’ll be with you. It’s important to note however, there are different things to consider depending on the power source of your tool. When it comes to battery tools, it’s important to store the battery and the tool separately and in a dry, frost free location out of direct sunlight. And when it comes to your battery, we recommend leaving it at a charge level between 40-60%, or with two bars, rather than fully charged or flat. Before your petrol powered tools take a break during winter, you should empty the tanks in a well-ventilated place. The volatile matter in fuel evaporates in the tank, so it will lose its combustibility over a longer period of time. As a result, you may have problems starting your tools up in spring. A simple solve to this is STIHL MotoMix which is an optimised 50:1 premixed fuel suitable for all two stroke engines. This patented fuel formula which uses STIHL’s own premium HP ultra is the clean and fuss free alternative for owners of petrol powered tools. JULY - AUGUST 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 31