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Tool Maintenance – How to Ensure the Safety and Longevity of Your Equipmen

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Tools and equipment are significant investments, whether you are an at-home DIYer, budding hobbyist, or burgeoning professional tradesman. Good tools cost money, and poor tools can cost even more money in the form of replacements and lost man-hours.

A key part of getting the most out of your tools and equipment is ensuring they are cared for and maintained properly. While a significant majority of tool failures result from user error, there are preventable failures that can occur as a result of poor maintenance or storage.

As such, this piece will assume you are already familiar with best practices for using your tools and equipment. Here, we will instead look at some of the principal ways in which you can look after your tools – hence, preserving their integrity and usefulness for some time to come.

Cleaning Your Tools

Whatever tool you are using, you should ensure it is cleaned properly – both immediately after use, and before it is stored away at the end of the project. Throughout a DIY project, your equipment will come into contact with several things, from the materials you are using to the environment itself; cleaning ensures these do not measurably impact the tool’s lifespan.

Immediately after use, you should wipe any shavings or residue from your equipment with a cloth. When you are finished with your tools, a damp cloth should be used to ensure all material is removed. For metal implements, exposure to the elements and other materials can accelerate oxidation; use a lubricant or oil to wipe your tool down, to form an anaerobic layer and preserve the surface or blade of the tool.

Where rusting has occurred, there are de-oxidisers you can use to return your tools to their former glory. There are also household methods of achieving the same, such as soaking the affected tools in vinegar and salt solution overnight.

Storing Your Tools

Tool storage is just as important as tool cleaning, to ensure they are not adversely impacted by their environment in any way. Not only can exposure to moisture in the air accelerate rusting, but improper storage can also physically damage tools beyond usefulness. For example, storing chisels lose in a bag can cause them to nick one another’s blades, rendering them useless until sharpened again.

The simple solution for this is to invest in storage solutions. Tool chests can be used to store power tools safely and handily, while racks and cabinets can store individual implements with ease of access maintained. These are especially useful for workshop benches.

Inspecting Your Tools

The last piece of the puzzle for ensuring tool longevity is to inspect them regularly. Keeping tabs on the condition of your tools enables you to catch rusting or dulling before it materially affects the lifespan of the tool in question, and enables you to take measures to repair them before they pose a risk to you or your project.

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Anoj Kumar
Anoj Kumar
Anoj Kumar is the Editorial Director for the AutoFreak. Anoj has been consistently named one of the top Influencers and Author by independent organizations. He is a frequently quoted source in Auto-Mobile.
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