As tempting as it may be to down tools and leave site quickly after a busy day, it’s important not to let this temptation get the better of you. Tool maintenance is an essential part of maintaining the quality and life of your equipment, afterall, you wouldn’t turn up to a job without looking after yourself would you? So it’s exactly the same for your tools! Power tools are required to perform heavy duty tasks on demand, therefore regular maintenance is the only way to ensure they remain as powerful as the day you bought them.
How do you maintain tools?
Tool maintenance shouldn’t be a chore. Think of it as a way of winding down after a long day on a job, knowing that by following a few simple steps, your tools will be ready for action the following day. Take a look at the checklist below for helpful tips and advice on how to get the most of your tools.
✓ Clean, clean, clean
A quick once over of your tools should be the minimum you should do after each use. Wipe away and dust or debris with a cloth, check smaller areas for build up, clear out air vents to remove anything that may have collected throughout the day. Regular cleaning also gives you an opportunity to inspect each item - taking note of any areas that may appear a little worn.
✓ Sharpen and shine
The correct power tool should make light work of the task ahead, however, having blunt tools means you and your tools have to work twice as hard to get the job done! You will be pushing your tools to the max and expecting the best performance and results, which of course, will not happen if they are blunt and dull. So make sure your blades are sharpened and shined on a regular basis using a quality sharpening stone: no dirt, no rust, just super sharp.
How you store your tools plays a huge part in the lifespan of them. Again, while it may be tempting to throw them all in one box, we recommend resisting the urge to do this. Instead, spend a little time putting them neatly away in like for like groupings, this way it’ll be easier to grab what you need, rather than having to rummage through a huge pile of tools. Using tool belts/ pouches out on the job makes jobs easier as well as protecting your tools.
✓ Replace old parts
As you use your tools, you’ll get to know which parts are susceptible to natural wear and tear. Belts, brushes, cables and switches tend to be the main contenders. Therefore, it’s important to monitor any suspected areas as you don’t want a belt to snap during a job, so take the risk of prolonged downtime away with regular checks. With tools that use a rotating blade, such as circular saws, it's important to replace worn discs to maintain performance and finish - whilst reducing the strain on the tools' motor.
✓ Batteries and chargers
A vital part of tool maintenance is care of your batteries and chargers. Don’t let them run flat before charging and remember to store them in cool, dry area; as direct sunlight and other hot areas can increase the risk of the battery exploding.
Tool maintenance vs tool cleaning - what’s the difference?
As with any tools that have moving parts, they need to be maintained regularly to ensure they are running at optimum performance. Regular cleaning removes dirt and debris build up, whereas tool maintenance restores your tools to how it should be. This is where tool calibration comes in. It’s a process that realigns parts, improves accuracy and keeps the tools running at the high level that’s expected. Without tool maintenance, parts would break, efficiency would be lost and the level of output could be effected, not to mention the fact that it would become costly to replace your tools when simple maintenance steps could be taken to prolong the life of your hard earned tools.
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