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How to maintain your power tools

While it’s important to have the right tools for any job, it’s also just as important to take good care of them. Nobody wants to start a project with dull blades and bits, rusted components and dusty fans that keep shorting out the power.

Could your power tools use a little TLC? Here are our top tips for maintaining them:

    Read the Manual

  • Read the manual: Yes, the manual - it’s probably around the garage somewhere. You’ll see valuable tips you may not have thought about as well as learn about the tool’s specific quirks and potential problem areas.
     
  • Keep them clean: After you’re done with a tool, brush, wipe or vacuum away the dust so it doesn’t build up in the crevices. Give them a deeper clean every once and a while with a damp rag. Air compressors or cans of compressed air are super-easy cleaning tools, too.

    Tools on Bench
     

  • Store them safely: If your work area is a mess and your power tools are tangled up together, there’s a greater chance of a tool getting dropped or broken. Store power tools in their original protective cases whenever possible, or at least in a safe area where they’re not exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures.
     
  • Oil those moving parts: You can’t expect moving parts to move smoothly forever without a little grease to help them glide. Check the tool’s owner’s manual to see if there is a specific regime the brand recommends.

    Fixing Sander
     

  • Give them a once-over: When you’re rushing from one task to another, you might not be stopping to check the condition of your tools. Make a point of checking them over and tightening any loose screws or bolts.
     
  • Don’t forget the cords: A power tool’s cord is likely the first thing to go, so don’t ignore it. Cords can be replaced fairly easily and it’s dangerous to work with a frayed or nicked one.
     
  • Replace worn-out brushes: They’ll wear away over time and if they aren’t replaced, it can kill the motor. So if you see a lot of sparks inside the motor housing, buy the manufacturer-recommended replacements to extend the life of the tool.

    Fixing Bench Grinder
     

  • Baby your drill bits: They need to be sharp but that often gets neglected. Sharpen them regularly or replace them.
     
  • Clean the fans: If dust builds up in a tool’s fan, it can overheat and stop working entirely. Use a brush or compressed air to clean it out and be sure to empty the dust bag before it’s too full.
     
  • Prevent rusting: Wipe down your metal with oil or a thin paste wax to stop rust before it can start.

    Circular Saw
     

  • Replace dull or warped blades: Sawing with damaged blades is not only going to potentially wreck your cuts - it’s also dangerous. Make sure you’re only using sharp blades (designed for the specific brand of saw) to limit the risk of injuries and tool damage in one swoop.
     
  • Keep those batteries charged: Batteries work best if they’re fully charged and then fully used up every couple of weeks. Sitting unused for months isn’t good for them, so keep them charged and try to use them regularly.

A quality power tool is an investment, and keeping it in good repair should ensure it lasts for years of projects. Talk to us today if you have questions about taking care of your power tools!

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