Save Time and Money with Proper Tool Maintenance
This year I bought my first, real, grownup, power tool- a drill. As I was in the midst of trying to hang a curtain rod into a part of the wall that just would not budge, I thought to myself, “I don’t have to live like this anymore.” I precariously got off of the half bed, half nightstand “step ladder” I had created for myself and rushed off to the home improvement center to buy myself a drill.
A couple hundred (yes, hundred) dollars later, I was back on my makeshift stepping stool, ready to show this curtain rod who was boss. I couldn’t believe how easy it all suddenly was. “I could do this all day!” I thought to myself. I then tried to think of other home projects I could use my new toy on, but in a one-bedroom apartment, there really isn’t much home improving to do. Alas, I put the power drill under my bed, where it has stayed collecting dust ever since.
This is obviously not how one should take care of her tools, especially since nice ones can be a pretty hefty investment. 911 Restoration taught me the importance of making sure they are stored correctly, easily accessed and cleaned properly will help them last longer, which should also help take away some of the stress that comes with undergoing any construction project.
In order to keep you keep your tools happy and healthy, we listed below some tips on how to keep your power tools, hand tools and garden tools well-cared for.
If you are like me, then you work best in an environment that is clean and organized. Storing your tools on a pegboard is the best way to keep all your tools visible, categorized and readily available. You can, of course, also use a chest of drawers, shelving, a box or anything else that will help you keep your tools stored properly and rust-free.
Rust prevention is actually the main reason to keep your tools correctly stored. Rust is the enemy of every tool owner. Once rust gets into the mix it is hard to recover from that. Keeping your tools in a dry place, where no moisture can get to them, is the best way to prevent this from happening. Running a humidifier in the same room as the tools is another precaution that will prevent moisture from accumulating. You can also keep silica gel packs in tool drawers and chests as a way to keep away humidity.
It seems weird to clean your tools, right? They are supposed to be manly, hardy pieces of equipment that can take a beating. Although this may be true, they still need a good scrub down after every use. This will prevent breakage and damage later on down the line.
Usually just wiping down hand tools with a damp rag is substantial enough to keep them clean. However, you can definitely use soap and water when necessary, just make sure to dry them down. Spraying with a little WD-40 after a washing will also help keep away rust.
If you are using power tools, then an air compressor will come in handy. This gets dust out of any little crevice. Use machine oil to keep the moving parts slick, in order to prevent sticking during use.
This might seem like a pain, but it really is important to inspect your tools every single time you use them. This will protect both you and your tools, keeping you safe and your tools intact. Look for little things like splintered or cracked handles, and sand down when needed. Tighten up loose heads, to keep them from falling off completely. Keep tools sharpened to prevent malformed heads from shattering during use. You should sharpen tool heads when needed, but as a rule of thumb, you should definitely sharpen them every six months.
However, you can only fix things so much, it is important to understand when something is past the point of repair and instead needs to actually be replaced. If a tool has a lot of rust or corrosion, it is not worth the risk. The same goes for cracked power tools or electric tools that need to be literally pushed to start. It is better to replace these items all together.
Tools are a big investment, as I just recently learned. They require attention and responsibility in order to keep them functioning properly. With that being said, I should probably fish that drill of mine out from under my bed. Who knows what could be down there…