There is no denying that DIY tools are expensive, especially power tools, and the more jobs you undertake at home the more tools you are likely to need. But one thing is for certain, if you take care of your tools, they can potentially last a lifetime. So how do you go about ensuring your tools are kept in good condition?
Store Them Properly
Whether it be hand tools or power tools, correct storage is vital. Simply chucking your expensive tools in a shed or garage and hoping for the best is unlikely to keep them in the best condition. Small tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, and hammers are often left outside and exposed to the elements, but this is never a good idea. Changing weather conditions can cause damage over time, with wooden handles on some tools at risk of splitting and metal parts rusting.
It is always best to have a place to keep your tools clean and dry, whether this be in a dedicated toolbox or tool bag or hanging on pegboards in your garage or basement.
If you have your tools hanging on a pegboard, they may still get dusty, so a cover of some kind is advisable. This could simply be a dust sheet or a wooden box that sits over the board. If you do have your tools open to the air, regularly checking them and cleaning them after use will prolong their useful life.
Many power tools come with their own storage box, so you should get into the habit of returning them to these boxes after each use. This will keep them free from dirt and dust and ensure they work effectively every time you need them.
Clean Your Tools Regularly
It is important to make sure your tools are clean as this will definitely keep them working properly for longer. The best time to clean your tools is after each use. When it comes to hand tools, a soft cloth or brush will help to remove any dirt and debris. You can then use some soapy water to remove any stubborn marks and stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers to avoid scratching your tools. Make sure your tools are completely dry before storing them away again.
Cleaning power tools is slightly different as using water is not always suitable. It is typically best to remove any parts such as blades from the main machine before attempting to clean them. This will make it easier to clean while also minimizing the risk of injury.
Inspect Tools Before and After Use
When it comes to certain power tools, it is always best to inspect them before use. Devour Tools, makers of high-performance diamond blades recommend checking metal blades and other parts before you begin using your tools. They also suggest checking your tools after every use.
Even a small dent or nick could affect the performance of the tools, so a quick visual onceover could prevent an injury. Change any blades that appear damaged, as a faulty blade could damage the main machine.
It is also a good idea to get into the habit of making sure that nuts and bolts are tight before and after use, as well as inspecting the cord and plug to make sure there are no signs of damage. Being proactive is much better than being reactive, and it should mean that your tools will last a long time.
Make sure to sharpen your tools regularly and do not forget to oil those that require lubricant. This will keep your tools working as efficiently as possible for longer.