Top 8 Pro Tips for Tool Repair
Everyone has their own way of doing things around the workshop. However, there are some common mistakes repairmen can fall into, especially starting out. Our repair expert, Dave, has been fixing tools for more than 40 years, and knows all too well the pitfalls and errors that can take a simple job and make it way more difficult than it needs to be. We got him to tell us his top 8 tool repair pro tips born of his decades of experience of learning from his mistakes, so you don’t have to learn them the hard way!
You can view our video guide here, or keep reading below:
1. Don’t Assume
Never assume anything when it comes to a repair job. Check if your tool is still broken. It may sound silly, but you don’t want to “fix” what ain’t broken. Check that the power source you require is still working properly by plugging in an electrical device you know works already. Double and triple check, and double and triple test everything.
Finally, do your basic cleaning checks. Clear away any dirt, and look for obviously broken parts. A bit of cleaning and inspection could solve your problem, or at least give you a better idea of the condition of your tools.
2. Organize Your Screws
So many times I’ve put my screws down on the table, only to have someone come by and bump into it. Sending my screws all over the garage floor. Be smart, and use a couple of trays to organize your screws. Try laying them out in a way, that will help you remember which goes where, such as laying out the screws in a circle according to what area of the tool they belong to, or separating screw types into separate trays.
3. Unplug Before Opening
You’ve already checked your tool and electrical source, so for now, unplug it. You won’t need power to test out most things, and it will be safer with it off. Safety is our first priority, so don’t skip this step.
4. Remove Blades
This is an important safety tip to protect yourself while working on the tool. Take any blades out, and set them aside. You don’t want to catch your hand on something while working. Anything we can do to reduce risk of injury during our repairs is worth taking the time for.
5. Open Slowly
When you open up your tool, be careful. Pull slowly, ensuring you don’t feel tension where something may be attached. You don’t want to accidentally snap off a piece of your cover. Also, listen for any parts that may fall out, and ensure that you don’t lose them.
6. Take Pictures
Pictures are very useful for re-assembling your tool, and best of all, they are free. Take pictures as you go through the steps in your repair, and look back at them for reference when you are putting together the parts again or trying to figure out why a repair went wrong. Taking photos of your repair is a luxury that modern technology affords, and it wasn’t always the case. Take advantage of this modern convenience!
7. Electrical Before Mechanical
When it comes to fixing problems, we want to start with electricity first. For this task, you will want to pick up a continuity meter. Test each prong of your tools wire using the continuity meter to ensure that power is being delivered to the tools switch.
Next, press the switch to connect the circuit and measure the continuity between the switch and the interior wiring of the tool (or look for movement within the tool body to indicate an electrical current). If your tool isn’t getting any power, then it may be an issue with the switch itself, and fixing the mechanical issues won’t do much good. If an electrical piece is broken, replace it. Once you’ve confirmed the electrical pieces are okay, you can move on to the rest of the machine.
8. Clean and Degrease
Finally, give your tool a good cleaning whenever you open it up. Maintenance is important and will help prevent problems in the future. Clean out all the dirt and gunk, and when you are done, apply a good layer of grease to any areas that need it to keep your tool running smoothly.
There you have it! We hope you find these tips helpful, and that they make your repair jobs a little easier. Of course, the most important step before starting any repair is ensuring you have the right parts.