How to Maintain Your Tools
Spring is coming and it’s time to bring out the old toolkit. Before you get into your seasonal DIY project, however, it’s important to know your tools are in working condition and to make any repairs necessary before starting. It’s also good to know how to maintain your tools so when you have to put them away, they are in the same or even better condition.
You can view our written guide below our view our video guide below (another video guide is found further down in the article):
Carefully Inspect Your Tools Before Each Use
Using a damaged tool can be quite dangerous. It’s important to first inspect your tools to ensure they are in good working condition, and there aren’t any damaged parts that could become a danger. Watch out for rusty blades, exposed wires, or cracked handles before starting your project. If you find anything that seems like it could cause problems, it’s important to repair it.
Clean Your Tools After Every Use
Cleaning your tools after each time you use them will help them last a lot longer and will prevent problems like rusting metal (which we will have more on later). This can save you time and money down the road.
Cleaning your tools typically won’t require anything more than a rag and some soapy water. Just give them a good scrub, and make sure your tools are properly dried before you store them.
For power tools, you’ll want to give them a little extra effort. Compressed air can blast away dust and debris and lubricating moving parts before storage can help them in the long-run. A cotton swab with alcohol can also be used to clean battery contacts.
Cleaning your tools after each use, of course, will keep them looking great, but it will also allow you to do a thorough inspection of the tool and help prevent any more serious issues down the line.
Store Your Tools Properly
When storing your tools you’ll want to avoid water and humidity. Avoiding humid locations wherever you can and storing your tools with silica gel packs can help protect them from moisture. For power tools, store them in their original plastic cases and put them somewhere secure. Special toolboxes/cases can also be purchased to provide extra protection for your collection.
It can be tempting to just leave your tools on the work-bench when you’re done with them and start relaxing, but it’s not a great idea. Store your tools on pegboards, or in toolboxes, shelves, or cabinets to keep your workshop tidy and prevent any accidental damage or wear to the tools.
Rust treatment and prevention are two of the most requested topics when it comes to tool maintenance. As such we have created a video guide on the subject to go along with our written guide below:
As well as the tips listed in the previous section regarding avoiding humidity and moisture, there are some other ways to prevent rust build-up. Firstly make sure your tools are in a climate-controlled area. Too much fluctuation in hot and cold can cause moisture build-up. Make sure to eliminate as much dust as possible, as this too can draw in moisture.
Giving metal parts a once-over with some WD-40 can help prevent rust, and linseed oil will help to maintain wooden handles.
If rust does end up building up, then its time to treat those areas and remove the rust build-up.
The first method you should try involves scouring, scraping and sanding the part. Firstly clean the tool using soapy water, and dry thoroughly. Then, use an abrasive material like sandpaper, a scouring pad, or steel wool. In some cases, this will be enough to remove the rust and have your tool looking like new!
If the first method didn’t work, the next method to try would be using chemicals. It’s important to remember that you’re working with chemicals here, so be careful, and make sure to work in a well-ventilated area. Rubber gloves, long-sleeved clothing, and safety glasses should be worn here.
For this chemical treatment you can Oxalic Acid or Muriatic acid to remove the rust from your tool. First, we will give the tool a basic clean in soap and water, and then place it in a diluted acid bath.
When diluting the acid, (3 tablespoons oxalic acid to one-gallon water, or one-part muriatic acid to four parts water) always remember to mix the acid into the water and not the water into the acid. Safety first!
You can let your tool sit in this solution for anywhere between twenty minutes to one hour depending on the level of buildup. Next, rinse the tool in a neutralizing solution of water and baking soda, give it a scrub, and dry it thoroughly.
Now you should be all ready to restore your tools to working condition in time for the spring and summer. If your inspection revealed you’re going to need to do some repairs, we’ve got you covered with our wide range of power tool parts, lawn equipment parts, and much more.