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Tips on Maintaining Your Power Tools

by Paul Sanders

Circular saw on a workbench

When you've invested a lot in your tools, you want to make sure that they last. And while your power tools may be rugged, they still require basic care to prevent premature wear and tear. By following the tips given below, you'll be on your way to prolonging the life of your power tools and keep them working smoothly for years to come.

Power Tool Maintenance:

  1. Keep your power tools dry. A lot of wear and tear occurs when power tools are improperly stored or transported. When you're ready to put your tools away, make sure they're located in a dry space, away from excessive heat or cold. Moisture can corrode metal parts of power tools, including electrical components. If your power drill or electric sander came in a case, store it there where it will be protected from moisture, bumps and scratches.

  2. Control dust and shavings. Dust, wood particles and metal shavings are all bad for your cordless power tools. These particles can impair the chuck or slow down the motor on a power drill. When you're finished using your power tools, use come canned air to blow out vents, openings and any exposed moving parts that can collect dust and shavings. You'll prolong the life of the motor and prevent costly replacements.

  3. Clean your tools regularly. Grease, grime and dust can all combine to slow your tools down and degrade their performance. Wipe down your power tools after every use before putting them away. A deep clean can include disassembling and cleaning power tool parts that you don't get to very often. Grass trimmers and lawn mowers gather a lot of plant matter, which needs to be cleaned off frequently as well.

  4. Oil your air tools. The moving mechanisms in air tools need to be lubricated to operate properly. Too much oil can cause sticky build-up. Usually, a drop of oil will last for thousands of movements, but refer to your power tools instructions for precise oiling guidelines.

  5. Properly coil power cords and hoses. Damaged cords and hoses can be a safety hazard and may lead to your power tools not functioning properly. Coil power cords properly and use a hose real to coil hoses for air tools if possible.

  6. Keep the manual handy. If your power tools aren't performing well, the best place to look for troubleshooting help is the manufacturer's manual. They engineered your power tools, and they probably have the best advice on how to fix and maintain them.

  7. Maintain a sharp blade. Dull blades on a saw or other cutting tool are more likely to slip and scratch your work, and maybe even hurt you. The motor also has to work harder to cut with a dull blade. Keep the blades on your power tools sharp and clean.

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