5 Tips to Properly Maintain Your ToolsLowell Corporation
Learning how to maintain your tools is a vital protective measure at your worksite.
It would be best if you always kept your tools clean, dry, and organized. Improper care can lead to decreased efficiency, diminished quality of work, and other consequences that ultimately result in lost revenue. Follow our best hand tool safety tips to learn more.
This article focuses mainly on the maintenance of linemen, construction, and plumbing tools. Keep reading to learn our 5 handy tips to maintain your tools!
1) Find Proper Storage
A well-organized and maintained tool storage system is a must. It will keep your tools in good condition and make them easy to find, but it can also add to your work area’s overall appearance and organization.
- Invest in quality storage containers and organizers. This investment will help you keep your work tools sorted and easy to find.
- Keep your work tools in an accessible place. When you need to use them, you won’t have to go on a mystery hunt and waste time searching for them.
When storing your tools, always keep them off the floor. There are several tool storage system options: bags, drawers, chests, and pegboards.
A helpful way to store small tools is with a shelf. You could also consider hanging up a pegboard. These are perfect for hanging tools like a lineman socket wrench, tight fit wrench, or adjustable angle wrench. That way, your tools are easier to locate and access.
If you can, store your power tools in their designated case or original packaging. You can also place silica gel packs in your toolboxes to capture excess moisture to avoid corrosion.
Anti-rust and corrosion liners are the best way to protect your tools if you decide to use tool chests. Add them to your drawers or tool chests for enhanced protection. You can also store power tools safely in your garage with a pegboard.
2) Clean Your Tools
The best way to store your tools is to clean them after each use. If you don’t maintain your tools, they will accumulate dust, dirt, and grease. Also, they won’t be as effective when you need to use them the next time.
Ensure that your tools are free of grease and oil before storing them. It helps maintain their condition and prolong their lifespan.
Clean them as soon as possible: the longer dirt stays on, the harder it is to clean. Start by removing any dirt collected during use with a brush or a cloth. Use a brush or other soft cleaning implement to get into all the tight spaces.
Next, use mild soap and water. Be sure not to use harsh chemicals, as they can be dangerous and make them unsafe.
Finally, maintain your tools by rinsing them with clean water and drying them off. Clean rusty industrial crank handles with a brush dipped in cleaning fluid. Afterward, you can wipe your tools with a dry cloth.
Unplug and disconnect power tools, vacuum off any dust that is easily accessible, then use compressed air to get rid of any dirt and debris in the vents. Clean rusted tools as soon as possible by using a stiff brush with light pressure so you don’t scratch the metal’s surface.
Spray on a corrosion protector to decrease the rust rate of your tools. Clean all the knobs and gauges for everything to be in perfect condition.
Finally, inspect and lubricate any power tool parts that need lubrication.
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3) Inspect Your Tools
No matter what trade or hobby you engage in, there’s one essential rule that you should never forget: inspect your tools after every use. It is especially essential for industrial crank handles, as even a tiny nick or dent can lead to disaster.
After each use, do a quick visual inspection – it doesn’t take very long. To prevent damage, you must take a minute or two to maintain your tools.
- Check blades, cutting edges, and other pointed parts for any nicks or dents. If you find any damage, sharpen the damaged parts. Also, sharpen your tools at least every six months.
- Check for loose nuts or bolts and fix them immediately to prevent further damage.
- Try removing every sign of rust and corrosion, or replace the tool before use.
- Inspect power tools for cracks on their handles and housing.
- Examine the cords and plugs for any signs of damage. A damaged power cord can increase the risk of a fire hazard, so replace it with a safe power cord before using it.
- Check the user manual to follow other maintenance guidelines for your pipeline or lineman tools.
4) Monitor Your Environment
A dry, clean, and organized space is the best environment to keep your work tools. This environment helps you find what you need when you need it, preserve your tools, and keep your work area looking professional.
Never store your tools in a hot or humid place, especially metal ones. Damp environments can corrode metals, and moist areas can degrade electrical components.
Meanwhile, a dry and cool place with a low humidity level helps maintain your tools for a long time. Keeping your tools in damp and stuffy garages or basements is not ideal. It can corrode metals, but other issues are also related to dampness.
We recommend investing in a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are generally affordable and won’t make a dent in your budget when considering your tools’ cost.
5) Practice Safety Precautions
Some of these tools can be dangerous to you and your coworkers. It would be best if you observed the following hand tool safety precautions:
- Wear proper safety gear when using power tools, including goggles, gloves, and a hard hat.
- Make sure the tools are in perfect condition and have been well-maintained.
- Read the instructions carefully before using the tools.
- Keep bystanders, children, and pets away from the work area.
- Use caution when using lineman tools near electricity.
There are many reasons to maintain your tools, the most important of which is increased efficiency. For your tools to run smoothly and last longer, maintain them properly by using the tips mentioned above to clean, lubricate, inspect, and store them.
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