Winter Power Tool Maintenance Tips
Power tools are a significant part of DIY projects and regular home maintenance. Without them, projects cannot be completed properly and efficiently. Power tools are necessary for finishing projects, renovations, and repairs. This is why proper maintenance is so important. While it is essential all year round, the drastic drop in temperature and rough weather conditions of winter makes proper care even more vital. Routine maintenance and storage will ensure longevity and overall performance, today and beyond. To get you ready for the winter season, follow these tips to keep your tools working to their fullest potential.
Keep Tools Clean
It is easy for power tools to become dirty from regular use. Even if they are kept in storage, it’s not uncommon for them to gather dust and dirt. Without periodic cleaning, they can easily form a buildup of dirt and might even grow mold. The latter is especially likely when ice forms and then melts in the spring time. The moisture will encourage the growth of mold, which can eventually hinder the operation of your equipment.
Fortunately, cleaning doesn’t have to be a complicated process if you know how to approach it. For a cheap and easy way to clean your power tools, wipe them down with a damp cloth. A little soap can certainly help but isn’t always necessary. However, soap can come in handy if the dirt and grime buildup is especially thick and hard to remove.
If you’re just wiping down a tool, an old t-shirt or towel will do the trick. For trickier, dirtier situations, use a bristled brush or a sponge. You can find small hand-held brushes at the hardware store that are meant for cleaning power tools. Looking to clean tiny nooks and crannies? An old toothbrush can be your best friend
A light flow of air can also help clean your power tools. For example, power sanders can easily accumulate dust and debris in the fan. Compressed air is extremely useful for cleaning this spot. You can also lightly blow on it, as if you were blowing out a candle. By doing this, you are taking an essential step in preventing your tools from overheating.
To ensure that your tools last from season to season, replace the most overworked parts and components. For example, a hand drill should always be used with a sharp drill bit. If not, it will eventually overwork the hand drill. Overworking can make power tools overheat, which can cause damage and costly repairs. Instead, focus on the basics and spend money on the small, vital parts.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a good chance you will use your tools less often during this season. While your equipment is in storage, take this time to research and purchase new parts. This can be done by examining each tool and recording the brand, model, and serial number of important components. That way, you can easily find them at the hardware store.
Not sure where to start? Spend some time on Google to find what parts are compatible with your power tools. Often, each brand’s website will list compatible components for their products. You can also consult the specialists at the hardware store to learn about interchangeable pieces.
Routine maintenance can also be done at the hardware store. This provides another opportunity for an expert to pinpoint any components that need to be replaced or lubricated. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and research your tools so that you know what to look out for in the future.
As with any supplies and materials used for DIY projects, proper storage is key for power tools. It ensures that they are kept in good condition while they are not being used. Because tools get less play time in during the cold winter months, proper storage becomes even more vital.
For best results, keep your tools in a well-ventilated space, dry, cool space. Keeping tools away from moisture and wetness while promoting good air flow is important for preventing mold and other natural buildup.
Snow can be brutal in many areas during the winter, so it is always a good idea to store equipment away from areas that may experience seasonal moisture. For example, power tools should not be kept near windows that leak or in basements that flood. If you have a shed that you would like to store your gear in, make sure there are no cracks in the roof or walls. You can also use this as a chance to perform maintenance on your shed, too. If possible, try to store tools along the wall.
Take extra care when storing tools with batteries. Remove and completely charge the batteries before packing them away. If you live in an area that experiences extremely low temperatures, consider stowing the batteries separately from the power tools. Instead, keep them in a room-temperature area, limiting the chances of the cold draining the power of the batteries.