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I recently came across the term 手入れ and discovered it means maintenance. I know that 整備 also means maintenance so I was wondering what the difference is.

Feel free to use examples.

Thank you!

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手入れ (and beautified お手入れ) refer to daily or quick care/maintenance/cleaning usually done by the user themself. It is mainly used with small objects such as kitchen tools, and even with body parts such as skin or nails. 整備 refers to professional maintenance/overhaul of complex machines, vehicles and infrastructure.

For example, 手入れ is typically used with 包丁, ギター, セーター, キーボード, 爪 and such. 整備 is used typically with 自動車, 噴水, 下水道, 高速道路, etc. Perhaps 自転車 is an intermediate case; I can do basic 自転車の手入れ (such as cleaning or putting air in the tires) by myself, but if I need 自転車の整備, I will bring it to an expert. Taking care of your backyard lawn tends to be called 芝生の手入れ, and the maintenance of the lawn at a baseball stadium tends to be called 芝生の整備.

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  • Thank you! This is a very detailed and great answer I appreciate it!! – Dave07 May 15 at 7:30

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