Before storing your equipment for the off-season, sharpen or replace blades on tools that cut or dig. Your digging and cutting tools' blades get worn down over time, but filing can easily sharpen any nicked or dull blades. Hone and maintain the sharp edge of all cutting tools with a medium-grit sharpening stone. For faster cutting, wet the stone with water or lubricate it with honing oil, depending on the type of stone you're using.
Wear heavy gloves when cleaning or sharpening sharp cutting tools. Wear goggles when using a wire brush to remove rust and dirt.
Sharpen very dull hedge trimmer blades by moving a file away from and diagonally across the sharp edge, making sure you maintain the factory bevel. Then decrease the angle slightly and hone just the last 1/16" of the blade with a sharpening stone. If your trimmer has a serrated blade, do not attempt to sharpen it.
Most digging tools aren't sold sharpened, so you should sharpen them from the very start. The more you use your digging tools, the duller they get. File the working edge to a 45-degree bevel with a coarse file.
Because a bow saw cuts in both directions, use a triangular file to sharpen both sides of each of the saw's teeth to a 45- to 60-degree bevel. To keep track of where you are, file every other tooth starting at one end of the blade. Then file the remaining teeth the same way, working from the opposite end. Always file toward the sharp edge.
Clamp a pair of boards on the blade and lock it in a bench vise so you won't have to keep changing the blade position in the vise.
Once the blades have all been sharpened and before you store these tools for the off-season, use a wire brush to remove surface rust and dirt. Wipe down the metal with light oil to protect it from corrosion, especially if you store the tools in a damp garage or basement.