Good tools are an investment. Like most things in life you get what you pay for. If you are using tools every day, it makes sense to get the best you can afford. But like any investment, you need to maintain those tools and look after them. Otherwise you risk them getting broken and damaged. But, as anyone who has had well-loved tools handed down to them will know, when they are well-maintained tools, they can last a lifetime. So how can you maintain your tools well and get the best return on investment?
Use them properly
Making sure you use them properly is an absolute must. Most tools are designed with specific purposes in mind and will have lots of features that may not be immediately obvious that suit them to that purpose. Whether it’s the angles of blades or the way the handle aligns, these tools will be the product of lots of thought and years of experience.
You can be almost certain that thought and experience didn’t include using the tool to prise things apart or act as a makeshift screwdriver!
Using tools for anything other than their designed purpose can be dangerous. It runs a very high risk of damaging them. And a damaged tool is no good for anything.
Keep them clean and lubricated
Making sure that your tools are well-looked after is vital. Developing the habit of a visual inspection whenever you start and finish using a tool is a valuable discipline. For less than a second it will mean you can spot and remove debris and detritus that can cause anything from a snag when you are cutting to a jammed and broken motor.
Lubrication is also important for any equipment that has moving parts. A drop of oil on any part that is hinged or has a slide will help avoid unnecessary friction damage. It’s especially important for power tools that can have motors turning thousands of times every minute of use. The risk of abrasion damage is high.
Store them well
Just as important as how you use a tool, is how you store them. This need not be a chore, but making sure you put tools away carefully and with consideration will pay dividends. Not only will it make it easier to find them next time they are needed, but you also help avoid any accidental damage that might occur while stored. You should pay particular attention to the delicate parts which are most susceptible to damage. Such things like the blade edges, motors, or mechanisms.
While some people will recommend wiping oil on metals to avoid the risk of corrosion, for most tools simply making sure they are stored in a dry environment will suffice.
Don’t worry too much
Finally, don’t be too precious about your tools. Although we have shared lots of tips on keeping them in good condition, don’t forget these are tools designed to be hard-wearing. When you buy high-quality tools, use, and look after them properly, you can feel confident you will get a long life from them.
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