Power tools aren’t cheap, and there’s nothing worse than spending a fortune on a new drill only to have it break a year later. Unless you’re an avid woodworker, the average person will use their power tools sparingly, probably only a few times a year or even less. To make sure you don’t waste your investment or put your safety at risk, you need to take some regular maintenance precautions to keep your tools in top condition.
Another important reason to carry out regular maintenance routines is to stay safe. A rusted blade or broken gear can cause serious injury to you or a loved one. Never turn on a power tool if you think it has been damaged.
To prevent problems from occurring, it is important to keep tools in a clean, dry area away from dust and moisture. Dirt can get caught in mechanisms that slow them down or stop them altogether. Too much moisture can cause rust, which can easily destroy power tools. This is especially true if they are battery operated. Batteries should be checked frequently for leaks and replaced to factory specifications. Electrical cords and plugs should also be examined for damage before use.
Keeping power tools lubricated is also an important part of regular maintenance. This helps keep the movement clean and can also prevent rust. Oiling keeps your equipment running smoothly and should be done often. It’s cheap to buy and can add years of life to your power tools.
Larger tools will require more thorough maintenance. Filters should be checked and changed often, as well as oil, dust and testing between uses. Screws, hoses and other small parts must be kept tight. Tools like table saws will need to be aligned and balanced from time to time to ensure they work properly. The blades will also need to be replaced periodically. If you are not sure how to perform the necessary maintenance, consult a professional. Never attempt to clean or fix a machine without experience and knowledge. Not only could you damage the tool, but you could seriously injure yourself in the process.
If an object gets caught in the power tool or the mechanisms fail, make sure the machine is completely turned off before disassembling. Always follow all instructions given for disassembling and reassembling any equipment. Do not add or alter any parts without consulting the manufacturer.
The most important part of power tool maintenance is safety. Save all instruction booklets that come with your power tools. These will be invaluable when problems arise or if you rarely use the tool. If you’re not sure how to fix a problem, call the manufacturer or have it professionally looked at. Make sure your tools are also in good condition before lending them to a friend. You don’t want to be responsible for the ramifications of using a faulty tool. Performing a little maintenance will keep your power tools running smoothly for years to come.