Keep Tools in Good Shape
In the fast-paced world that we live in today, power and air-driven tool maintenance doesnt seem high on our priority list. However, tools are an expensive investment and every one of us wants a power or pneumatic tool to work properly and safely when we pick it up to use it. The best way to ensure this is to perform regular maintenance and cleaning. There are some simple routine maintenance, cleaning, storage and proper usage tips that anyone can understand and perform. They all take only ten minutes or less.
The first thing that most people ignore with a new tool is the operating and care instructions. Right out of the box, if the care instructions are ignored, your new power or Air Tool is destined to have a decreased life. Improper usage can also doom your tool to an early rest in the junk-pile. There are some parts of a pneumatic tool that need proper oiling, or lubrication, while some components of an electrically driven tool need to be kept free of dust and debris. Keep the care instructions information in a binder, or protect it with plastic and put it in a place you will remember. When it comes time to access the information, perhaps even years from that point, you will be glad you did.
Power tools such as drills, drill presses, power screwdrivers and rotary tools require little maintenance. Keep them clean and store in a clean, dry area where they have some protection. Keep dust and debris away from areas where electricity flows, and protect them from the elements. Check the electrical cord, switches and connectors periodically for damage. Ensure proper tightening of chucks and bits. If the tool has been provided with a case, use it for storage.
Other power tools like tablesaws, bandsaws, mitersaws, sanders and the like all require special attention for their maintenance. This is because the very nature of the tool involves a cutting or abrasive action. These cutting and abrasion surfaces wear out and must be replaced periodically, but it goes deeper than that. Flattening tool surfaces, keeping sawdust and/or resin buildup away from integral components, checking electrical and/or electronic components for any sustained damage, wheel and bearings function and proper lubrication are all important to proper operation and life of the tool.
Air Tools are generally piston-driven and they require lubrication. It is a simple operation; just add a few drops of pneumatic oil into the air intake coupling. If you are using your air driven tool every day, it doesnt hurt to oil it daily. Keep a good tight seal to avoid loss of pressure on components by using tape on threaded surfaces. In addition, clean or replace filters, as needed depending on usage of the tool. Remember to protect your tools from moisture and extreme heat and cold. Exposure to moisture can cause corrosion on bare metal surfaces and extreme temperatures can do damage in many ways. Finally, use your tools as they are intended. Most tools are made for specific jobs and when they are subject to stress they werent designed for, they will likely fail.