What are the Best Oils for Garden Tools?

Over the years, we’ve tried many types of oil on my garden tools.
Here are our current recommendations.

Oil for Wooden Handles

Boiled Linseed Oil
Boiled linseed oil penetrates and moisturizes wooden tool handles. It also hardens somewhat to form a protective barrier.

Most boiled linseed oil has chemical drying agents added. This oil from Tried and True is made the old fashioned way and is non-toxic and food safe.

Read “How to Care for Wooden Tool Handles” to learn how to apply linseed oil.

Oils for Lubricating Moving Parts

Camellia Oil
This plant-based, non toxic oil stays viscous in cold weather. It’s perfect for lubricating pruning tools and hoes with moving parts, like the Hula Hoe.

3-in-1 Oil
Though not as “clean” as Camellia oil, this petroleum based oil does the trick.

Lithium Grease
Whenever my pruners or loppers are disassembled, I like to use a dab of lithium grease between the two blades. It lasts longer than Camellia oil.



Oil for Protecting Metal

Vegetable Oil Spray
I’ve been experimenting with spray-on oil for protecting tools before winter storage. 

This oil won’t last as long as 3-in-1 oil but it’s quick to apply and is non-toxic.

Free Tool Care
Crash Course

Wooden Handle Care Ebook Cover

Stop settling for dull, rusty tools and cracked handles.
Learn the basics of garden tool care in this 100% free mini-course. You’ll learn:

  • The right way to sharpen a garden tool.
  • How to take care of your wooden tool handles.
  • Our best tips for succeeding with hand tools.
  • How to maintain good posture while working.

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Wooden Handle Care Ebook Cover

Free course includes 4 printable PDF guides
+ over 20 minutes of video.

"Super helpful. Detail enough..... not too much and not too little. I saved this so that I can refer back to it. Now I’ll know which file to buy as well."

Mike Plake