Handles are an important component of all garden tools and need to be kept in good condition. Tighten loose screws or bolts as needed. Clean handles with a stiff-bristle brush, and use medium grit sandpaper to smooth wood and remove splinters. Use boiled linseed oil to prevent wood handles from drying out, cracking, and splintering. Be sure to read and understand the linseed oil label; handled incorrectly, linseed oil soaked material can spontaneously ignite. As an alternative, use a rubber coating spray on wood handles to give them a better grip and to reduce wear and tear.