Probably the last thing you want to do after working on a project is clean your tools. But it is important to clean them if you want to keep your tools in good shape and maintain their function. Cleaning them takes less of your time than you will spend repairing them—not to mention the money you will spend replacing them.
Good tools can be quite expensive, but with proper care, they will last longer, thus giving you your money’s worth. You will get the most out of your tools by storing them well and keeping them clean and well-maintained. You know what they say: If you take good care of your tools, they will return the favor.
1. Store Your Tools Properly
To keep your tools clean and maintained, you must store them properly. Having the proper storage will maintain your tools’ durability. It prevents your tools from accumulating dust, grease, and worse, rust.
When storing your tools, keep them off the floor. There are numerous storage method options you can choose—whatever works for you: cabinets, pegboards, drawers, storage baskets, and vertical strips with hooks. A useful way to store your small hardware is to make a socket organizer diy. That way, it is easier to locate when you need them.
Although you may already know this, rust is its number one enemy when it comes to tools. Avoid rust when storing your tools by keeping them in a dry place. Garages and basements are no exception when it comes to humidity—especially if the place is not heated or air-conditioned. To keep the dampness down, consider investing in a dehumidifier if you store your tools in a location like this—and out on shelves or pegboards. They are not as expensive as your investment in your tools. Opt for dehumidifiers that let you set a humidity level so it will only turn on when needed.
How can you control humidity?
2. Add a Desiccant
If you are storing them in your toolboxes, add a few silica gel packs. These desiccants absorb excess moisture that can cause rust and corrosion on your tools. You can also pin silica gel packs behind the tools stored on a pegboard.
How can you prevent rust and corrosion?
3. Use Anti-Corrosion Liners, Anti-Corrosion Spray, Lubricants
Anti-corrosion liners are used in enclosed spaces such as cabinets, drawers, tool chests, and toolboxes. They are a convenient way of protecting metals against rust and corrosion; plus, they are mold and mildew-resistant! It releases a harmless corrosion-inhibiting vapor that creates an invisible barrier on metals, both ferrous and non-ferrous. This makes your tools last longer.
Anti-corrosion spray can be used on your power tools and tools hung on pegboards. This spray is a protective coating for your tools to prevent them from getting damaged by corrosion.
Lubricate your tools to keep their machines working smoothly. In addition, it lessens the chances of rust developing. Most hardware and equipment manufacturers recommend regular lubricant applications on your tools. It makes your tools more efficient and last longer.
4. Clean as You Go
The phrase is quite self-explanatory. Always make it a habit to clean your tools after each use. Tools filled with grease, dust, and dirt will hinder their performance. Routine cleaning will ensure that they will stay effective and in good working condition—ready for use when you start your next project.
Wipe them down: It is important to clean them as soon as you finish working before storing them. It is much harder to clean once the dirt remains in your tools for too long. Power tools will malfunction once dust and debris build up. You can start cleaning them with a brush or cloth to remove any dirt accumulated during use. For areas in your power tools that are hard to reach, use compressed air to blow out any dust and debris.
5. Inspect Your Tools
Check for possible damage once you have wiped off the dirt, debris, or dust on your tools. Ensure that no cracks, breaks, or splinters could cause injuries during use. For power tools, make sure to check the cords. It is important to check them regularly, especially before use, since damaged cords could cause fire or an electric shock to the operator. Once you find any damage, set them aside, and place them in different storage until you can repair or replace them.
For maintaining your striking tools, look out for their metalheads. They may start spreading out and form a ridge at the edge. Continuously, the ridge will spread and grow thinner—until it breaks. This leads to the metal head splitting from the rest of the tool; this can be potentially dangerous to the people nearby. To prevent this, use your grinder regularly to churn out any edges that form.
Knowing how to properly maintain your tools, always handle them with precaution.