Caring for power tools
Follow these simple rules to care for your power tools.Follow some simple rules on caring for power tools and you'll be rewarded with years of service.
While each power tool is different, the same general care procedures work for all of them. Naturally, you should always read the instruction manual that comes with each power tool and follow the manufacturer's directions. Each brand is different and some may require special treatment.
Here are some tips on caring for power tools:
- Although it would seem obvious, unfortunately many accidents have occurred when the following cardinal rule was ignored: always unplug tools before cleaning, changing a blade or a drill bit, etc.
- After you complete your task, inspect your power tool. Make sure the power cord has no exposed wires. This applies to the battery chargers as well. Make sure there are no loose wires and it is firmly plugged into an electrical outlet. Also, if you see any cracks in the housing larger than a hairline, don't use the tool any longer. If it's a relatively new tool, take it back to the store where you purchased it to see if you have any chance of getting a replacement.
- If a blade is dull, sharpen it with the proper file or with a sharpening stone. If you aren't sure how to do it, then take the blade to a professional to have it sharpened properly. This is extremely important when using a chain saw! You'll avoid an accident, save money in the long run and do a better, faster job. Also, if a drill bit is rusted or dull, throw it away and replace it. Drill bits don't last forever and you can overhead an electric (or battery operated) drill by trying to force a dull bit to do the job. There are some products on the market that profess to sharpen drill bits. Inquire at your local hardware store.
- This is really important in caring for power tools: always clean each tool after each use. Use the proper cleaning materials. In most instances you can simply brush or blow the dust off the tool. However, if a blade has a lot of gunk on it, try some alcohol or lighter fluid. Thoroughly wipe off the tool when you are finished cleaning it.
- Lubricate any parts that require it. Again, follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Make sure all parts are moving smoothly. Generally, you can use oil or a product such as WD40 to prevent rust on exposed blades. After oiling the metal part, wipe away any residue.
- Store your tools properly. Protect the tools from any dampness or moisture in your garage or basement. They will rust if exposed to such elements. You can purchase cabinets or tool storage lockers to house your tools.