Your power tools work hard. That makes power tool repair or replacement inevitable but it doesn’t have to happen unnecessarily. Read our guide to proper care and maintenance for your power tool set.
Power tools need to be stored in cool, clean and dry areas. If moisture gets in it can cause corrosion while dust can do damage to the motor and parts. If tools are kept in power tool kits, throw in a sachet of moisture-absorbing granules.
A hanging pegboard is a great way to hold everything in its place. Even better, a workbench, cabinet and pegboard combo is the ultimate workshop accessory. With curious kids around, lock away your power tools in a tool cabinet. If it’s a corded power tool, make sure it’s unplugged. If it’s battery-powered ensure the battery is out, not just switched off.
Taking a few moments to wipe your power tools with a cleaning cloth to remove dust and grit, before and after use, will make a big difference in the long run.
If there are particles caught in your power tool’s crevices, don’t use a brush to remove them as this may push dirt further into your tool and cause damage. Compressed air is an effective remedy. If you often use corded or cordless electric drills, nail guns, angle grinders or belt sanders, then a portable air compressor is a great addition to your workshop. It’ll also double as a high-powered tyre pump.
The good oil
Rapidly moving parts need regular lubrication to avoid overheating and friction damage. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in the power tool’s instruction manual or on their website. Before you pull your power tool apart, check this won’t void the warranty.
If your power drill’s drill bits are worn down or your circular saw or angle grinder’s blades are going blunt, the motor and various parts behind it will have to work harder which can lead to overheating. Heat causes friction and that could cause a costly repair.
Replacing worn parts is equally important. The brushes in electric motors need replacing. Moving parts like the belt in your sander and the chains in your chainsaw also need monitoring. When in doubt check the user guide.
While heavy-duty power tools require the torque of a petrol engine for grunt, the majority of today’s general-use power tools are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Have a spare on standby. Don’t let the battery overheat because if it does, it can die there and then. Power tool batteries live longer if they’re fully charged and then fully discharged through use every few weeks. Don’t leave batteries idle for extended periods. Try to use the batteries every couple of weeks, even if you don’t have jobs for your tools. Keep your power tool chargers in a cool, dry and clean place within easy reach.
If it cuts, drills, saws or hammers, you’ll find the power tools you need, as well as power tool accessories from leading brands including Ryobi, Black & Decker, Makita and DeWalt, at Gumtree Australia.