Taking the time to care for your tools and address problems early will ensure your tools last as long as possible. In the long run, that means you save money and time as an electrician. Maintaining your tools aids in smooth and efficient working and saves you from potentially dangerous situations. You can also protect the tools that run your business by looking at tool insurance for electricians.
If you plan to become an electrician, this post will teach you how to maintain your tools. We’ll look at tools in two broad categories: hand tools and power tools. Hand tools include screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, wire cutters, and pliers. Power tools include sanders, nailers, saws, and electric drills.
Hand tool storage
Proper storage is a must for your hand tools. Your hand tools are quite tough, but being exposed to the elements can have its effect. A toolbox, storage container or cabinet, or a combination of all these three can help keep your tools in the best condition. Proper storage will help keep your tools out of risk of moisture or exposure to severe temperature changes.
Your most commonly used tools can be stored in a small tool bag. The rest of your tool kit can be retained in a main toolbox.
Cleaning hand tools
Make it a ritual to inspect your tools regularly – either weekly or monthly, depending on how frequently you use them. Look for any damages or defects and check the handles for splinters. Metal parts can be inspected for any signs of rusting or corrosion. Tools that need to be replaced or repaired should not be used as they can lead to serious damage or injury.
Cleaning your tools should be a habit. Wipe them down after each use before they go back into their proper storage. After cleaning, an all-purpose oil can be used to lubricate your tools, especially tools with moving parts. Wipe off the excess oil before putting them back into storage. If you see signs of rust, it can be taken care of by a rust remover. When removing tools, wear heavy gloves and safety goggles.
Storing power tools
Power tools should be stored carefully to minimise the chances of damage by dust, moisture, or elements. Their original cases are the best place to store them, so keep those cases intact when you buy your tools. This also keeps them organised so that you can find what you need when you need it. Retain instruction manuals along with the power tools or in a separate designated drawer or file.
Inspecting power tools
Periodically inspect power tools for wear and tear. Wires should be checked for fraying or exposed wires. You should also check the power plug prongs, just in case they are loose or bent. If there is any damage, make sure to replace the part immediately, or you are risking an electrical shock or a fire.
Cleaning power tools
Make sure you unplug your power tools when they are not in use. When cleaning, unplug power tools to minimise the hazard of an electric shock. After every job, you should be wiping your power tools clean. Dust and grime can seriously impact the efficacy of your power tools over time if left unchecked.
Deep cleaning periodically is also required to maintain the health of your power tools. Lightly oiled rags or cleaning tools can be helpful to get into exhausts and other hard-to-reach parts. You can also invest in an air compressor to blow dust out from the crevices of the tools.
Power tools have moving parts that must be lubricated regularly for peak productivity. It keeps the parts moving smoothly and reduces the possibility of rust build-up.
Cleaning tool storage
If your tools are stored in a cabinet or shed, these areas should also be regularly cleaned of dust and grime. Dust and grime left to sit in these areas could travel into the nooks and crannies of your tools. If your tools are sitting unused in storage for a long time, make the time to clean them of dust and treat them to a bit of oiling.
Keep a logbook
A simple way of keeping up to date on your tool maintenance is to create a schedule. A logbook or card system will ensure you have a system in place to maintain your tools. Planning will ensure it becomes a part of your routine.
The concept of being clean seems to be foreign to people outside the electrician work. It may seem like a fuss over nothing, but world-class electricians and handymen are noted for their precise work. Precise work is aided by tools that are well maintained. Being clean and organised as a practice is one of the differentiators that separate the regular electrician from the master craftsman. You will start to look like one if you adopt these maintenance habits for your tools.