How to properly maintain your power tools

A workman who blames his tools for poor performance or craftsmanship probably tries to hide behind the poor quality of tools. But if tools are not taken care of, this saying turns out to be correct. Poor maintenance and lack of care can render even the best quality power tools inefficient. If you want your expensive power tools to last long and also to keep performing like new, you need to spend some time and effort in their maintenance. Power tools are like an investment. This can be a good investment if these tools receive proper care and maintenance. On the other hand, poor maintenance can not only reduce their service life but also reduce the quality of your DIY projects. Power tools require more maintenance than hand tools because they contain mechanical as well as electrical parts.

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Right storage is important

Power tools prove to be extremely useful when they are needed for a project. If you cannot find that right screw driver to tighten the screws while doing your project, all your effort goes to a waste. Many people pay the price when they cannot find the right tools at the right time. Proper maintenance therefore begins with proper storage. You can keep the power tools in boxes or their original packing in which they arrived but the best way to store them is to hang them on pegboard. This way every tool has a designated place and you can also see all the tools in a glance. Some people keep their power tools in shelves or racks so they know where a particular tool is when they need it for a project.

·        Store tools in a dry place to avoid rusting

·        Hang your garden tools if possible to prevent them from catching moisture

·        Original casing is best storage for specialized power tools

·        Place silica gel packs in storage place to keep moisture away

Frequent cleaning is a must

No matter how safely and tucked inside boxes your power tools are, they accumulate dirt and dust and eventually become inefficient and ineffective over a period of time. This is the reason why you need to take a look at all your tools from time to time and clean them according to the cleaning schedule recommended in their manuals. Make it a point to clean the tool after every single use. Make use of rags to clean the tool after using it. Many people are in a hurry and simply keep the tool in its place after using it without bothering to clean it. This habit allows the tool to accumulate dirt and grime which can reduce its efficiency as well as service life. But once you have kept the tool safely in its place after cleaning it, you get it in a great condition whenever you need it next.

·        You can use air compressor to wipe away dirt and dust

·        Apply motor oil to lubricate moving parts

Cleaning motor contacts is necessary

Power tools have pairs of carbon graphite brushes, called contacts, to conduct electricity to the armature of the motor. These brushes wear out with frequent use of the tool and passage of time. Clean up these brushes after using the power tool. But you need to replace worn out brushes as motor does not receive adequate power and stops running eventually. You know it is time to replace the contacts when you see lots of sparks inside the motor housing while it is running. Unscrew brush covers after wiping away the dirt and take out the brushes. Replace them with new ones and put the covers on. Talking of motor housing, discontinue using  a power tool if you find that its motor housing has developed a crack which is larger than hairline.

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Check the condition of the power cord

Inspect the power cord of your power tools regularly. Replace the cord whenever you see nicks or cuts. Taping of exposed wires is necessary to avoid receiving a shock while operating the power tool.

Tighten bolts and screws

Power tools have lots of screws driven in their bodies to hold their parts together. Check if all these screws and bolts are tight and tighten if you find any ones loose. You can make use of machine oil to tighten the screw if its threading has become worn out.

Replace old batteries in cordless power tools

Power tools that are portable and cordless have become very popular these days. However, you need to keep their batteries in top running condition if you want them to perform at their optimal level.  You cannot expect batteries to last long if you do not charge and discharge them even though you may not need the power tool for a project. As far as taking care of the chargeable batteries is concerned, keep their contacts clean and store in a dry place if you are not going to use the power tool for some time. It is not a good idea to keep batteries unused for a very long time. Try using them once every two weeks to make sure batteries do not die down because of low usage.

Lubrication of the moving parts

Power tools have moving parts that can develop rust with passage of time. They can also wear out with frequent use. To make sure that your power tool keeps running smoothly, you need to closely inspect these moving parts and keep them well lubricated. Lubrication reduces chances of rusting and also keeps wear and tear down to a minimum. You can make use of machine oil for lubrication of the small moving parts of your power tool. However, it is a good idea to consult the manual you received along with your power tool at the time of purchase to find out the recommendations of the manufacturer in this regard.

Do not use your power tools for purposes other than for which they are intended. Also, do not overwork your power tools if you want them to last long. Follow the maintenance tips given in this article to enjoy your power tools for a long time to come.