Electric drills, saws, sanders and nailers, etc., need routine maintenance for efficient and safe operation. Because of their mechanical and electrical parts, power tools are more susceptible to the problems caused by poor maintenance and dust and debris accumulation.
Dust and grime can cause your power tools to malfunction. A power tool that doesn’t operate correctly has the potential to cause injury. Wipe your tools clean with a rag after every use and then store them. Periodically, do a deep cleaning with a damp cloth. Get into exhausts and intakes and other hard-to-clean areas by using cotton swabs, lightly swabbed with machine oil, or other slender tools.
Use an air compressor or a can of compressed air to blow air into tool vents and crevices to remove dirt and dust from inside tools.
Routinely, inspect your power tools for any signs of wear or damage. Pay special attention to power cords. If you see frayed insulation or exposed wires, have the cord repaired or replaced immediately by a professional, unless you have the expertise to do it yourself. Damaged power cords can potentially lead to injury from electric shock or can cause a fire. Also, check the cord’s prongs to see if they are bent or loose. If any are, repair or replace them.
Always unplug electric tools when cleaning them or making any repairs to avoid the danger of electric shock or accidental startup. It’s also a good practice to unplug them when not in use.
Keep your tools protected from dust, moisture and other adverse conditions by storing them properly after use. Keep them in their original cases if possible, or tuck them away in storage drawers or tool chests, preferably in a garage or basement with a moderately controlled climate. This not only keeps them protected, it also keeps them organized so you can easily find the tool you need when you need it.
Remember to keep instruction manuals for all of your tools. They are provided to you by the manufacturer so that you can safely and competently operate your tools. They also have valuable information on how to care for the tool, find replacement parts and other important pieces of information. Keep manuals either in a toolbox drawer or a cabinet in your workspace/storage area so that they are readily available.
Keep blades, bits and other attachments sharp and in proper working condition. Replace dull blades or heavily used bits that look compromised. Pay attention to how your tool operates, and look and listen for any strange noises or other indications that something isn’t working correctly (i.e., the tool rattles, wiggles, etc.).
Read your tools’ instruction manuals and note when they suggest sharpening and maintaining your tools. Start a calendar in your workshop to keep track of when maintenance checks were performed on your tools.