How to care for tools properly

Keeping tools clean and in good repair goes a long way toward safer, more efficient home improvement projects. Courtesy photo
Keeping tools clean and in good repair goes a long way toward safer, more efficient home improvement projects. Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Homeowners often choose to save money and learn valuable skills by doing their own home improvement projects. These minor or major renovations are made much more successful by having the right tools for the job. Investing in good tools can be smart, but those tools are only effective if they are accessible and in good repair. Homeowners who emphasize taking care of their tools can make DIY projects that much easier and more rewarding.

Establish a place for everything

Nothing can be more frustrating than wanting to begin a project only to spend precious time looking for tools. Almost as important as the investment in tools is the investment in tool storage.

Hardwood or metal tool chests feature various drawers and cabinets that can house tools of different sizes. By keeping tools in a chest, they’re easy to find and more likely to stay sharp and in good condition.

Metal tools should be stored in a cool, dry area, as dust and moisture can cause rusting issues on metal tools. One way to alleviate rust is to spray metal tools with a product like WD-40 to serve as a moisture barrier, then store them in closed drawers or containers.

All tools do not necessarily have to be stored in a garage or work shed. Many homeowners like to keep smaller tools in the house so that frequently used items are within reach. A hammer, wrench, pliers, and a few screwdrivers are handy tools to have around inside the house.

Put tools back

Remember to return tools to their proper storage spots when you finish using them so they can be easily found the next time they’re needed. This saves time and even increases personal safety. Tools that are left around can become tripping hazards or end up in the hands of children.

Hang garden tools

Whether garden tools are kept in a shed or inside the home, hang them so they don’t crowd the floor. Moisture can creep up from concrete or dirt floors and eventually compromise the tools. Keep cords neatly wound and secured as well.

Rely on original cases

Power tools typically are packaged in hard plastic cases. This keeps the tools secure and often is the best method of storage. Original cases also help protect tools from humidity. Label each case so tools are easily identifiable when stacked on a shelf or in a cabinet.

Clean tools after use

Hand tools and gardening tools usually can be cleaned with rags. If these tools are especially dirty, give them a wash with soap and water. Just be sure to dry the tools thoroughly after washing them. LifeHacker advises wiping down wooden handles on tools with linseed oil to keep them in good repair.

Power tools may benefit from compressed air being blown into smaller crevices to dislodge sawdust and other debris. Lubricate any moving parts with a product recommended by the manufacturer.

Keeping tools clean and in good repair goes a long way toward safer, more efficient home improvement projects.

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