Have the reassurance that your trade tools will be ready when you need them by following this simple guide on keeping them in their best possible shape. It's easy to understand how tools can get dirty - they're doing all the heavy lifting for us and sometimes not in the cleanest of conditions. Tools are known to last a lifetime, but you should adopt a routine maintenance regime to get the best out of them and maximise their lifespan. Follow these helpful tips:
Clean your tools regularly
Giving your tools a good clean only once or twice a year unfortunately isn't enough to guarantee that tools will last and continue to perform their best when needed. Whether you are using high-value tools, day-to-day tools or tools that have moving components, you will want to clean them after each use to ensure that moisture, much and grime don't gather and create rust.
Most power tools will come with specific instructions from the manufacturer regarding cleaning and any upkeep. Ensure that you follow these instructions to keep your tools in their best possible working condition.
For hand tools that don't have moving components, such as hammers, spanners, wrenches and ratchets, a simple rub down with a rag and some Lanox, or a heavy-duty, anti-moisture, anti-corrosion lubricant can help prevent oxidisation. However, be mindful not to over-use this product, as it can cause a tool or parts to jam. It can also lead to seal failure and the lubricant to crack once dried, which can cause tools to break apart.
Keep your storage areas clean
After having cleaned your tools, the last thing you want is to store them somewhere dirty. We recommend that you keep an eye on any accumulated dirt, metal shavings and sawdust, which can build up at the bottom of toolboxes and kits. If you take the time to regularly clean out your toolboxes and any areas where your tools are stored when not in use, you can save them from being affected by contaminants and cut down on an eventual big clean out in the future.
In addition to being a tool, magnets also come handy while cleaning. If you find that loose screws and metal components regularly fall to the bottom of your tool kits, a magnet can be an efficient way to collect them. Invest in an industry-strength magnet and incorporate the use of it into your regular cleaning regime when you clean out your toolboxes. Not only will you be more efficient in your cleaning, but you will also save your tools from getting scratched from small metal parts that potentially get stuck in the toolkit. You can thank us for this big tip later.
Citrus degreaser is the preferred choice for many to keep tools sparkly and brand new. The active ingredient is called Limonene, which is found in many food items, making it a non-toxic alternative to many potentially hazardous cleaners. A simple dab of this product on a clean, dry rag and after a quick buff of your tools, you will definitely see a difference in how it can bring your favourite hammer, screwdriver or wrench back to life.
Citrus degreaser is known for its double-duty performance and can help with removing stickiness. So, if your tools have come into contact with a sticky residue, a small dab of this product can easily weaken glues and general residues. The trick to using this product is ensuring that you use it sparingly (which makes it very cost-effective) and giving it time to work its magic. We recommend the De-Solv-it Multi-Purpose Cleaner, which you can find on any online or offline store.
Make friends with a sparky
Small parts that fit your power tool, or power cords and any switches are usually the first ones to exhibit wear and tear. Since these parts are constantly moving or in frequent use, they can become damaged through fraying or cuts. Not only do these damages impact your cordless or power tools, but they can also be hazardous to the outlet they are connected to, or even worse the user.
It is wise to note any small damages to cords or switches and to be in touch with an electrician for advice or repair before they become detrimental. We advise you to not take this project on by yourself if you are not a licensed electrician or specialist in fixing electrical features. Instead, call on a professional who is licensed and experienced in handling power tool repairs, and you could save yourself both a deep reach in the pocket in the future, as well any potential harm.
Organise your cases and toolboxes
Instead of lumping all your tools together in makeshift toolboxes or tool kits, we recommend investing in one from a reputable tool retailer. Not only will these generally have spaces and compartments for specific sized tools and their components, but they also help to protect your expensive tools from dust and contaminable elements. Moreover, they help to keep your tools organised so you can find them quickly when they're needed.
You may want to invest in a toolbox that comes with subdividers, so small screws, washers and lone parts can be stored and ordered, so you don't risk scratches, or any damages caused from metal against metal or sharp, obtrusive components sliding around when in transit. You can find a great range of tool kits here: Tool Kits
Taking out time to clean and organise tools, especially at the end of the working day, can be hard. But to avoid potential stress and possible out of pocket expenses, maintaining proper upkeep of your tools will benefit you both now and in the long run.
Your tools were built to make life easier for you, so you should ensure that they're always in their best possible condition to continue working for you.
For expert advice on which hand tools or power tools would best suit your next big project, as well as for any clarification of how to clean and maintain your tools for trade, give the team at Norva Tools a call today.