If you’ve been around a workshop, a handy relative or a trade program for any length of time, you’ve probably heard someone say: “Take good care of your tools and they’ll take good care of you.” No matter what kind of tools you have, we think it’s the single best piece of advice you can follow. After all, no matter how well-built a tool is, it won’t last long if it’s carelessly used.
But how do you make sure you’re taking good care of your tools? Below are seven tips we’ve compiled over the years that we find helpful. Apply these to your own workshop and chances are that you’ll be able to pass down your trusted hammers and CHANNELLOCK® pliers to the next generation.
1. Always use the right tool for the job. Using the wrong tool, or using tools inappropriately, is a danger to yourself and others.
2. To avoid rust, store tools in a dry place. If they get wet or you have to use them in the rain, wipe them dry and spray with some WD-40® afterward to make sure they stay rust-free.
3. Don’t use damaged or dull tools. Worn or broken tools are a safety hazard and should be scrapped.
4. Keep your tools organized. A tool box or chest is a great way to store tools and keep them organized, clean and easy to find. When you can’t find the tool you’re looking for, you end up using the wrong tool for the job (see #1).
5. Don’t expose your tools to excessive heat and cold. Extreme temperatures can have adverse effects on metal tools.
6. Don’t carelessly drop your tools onto hard or paved surfaces. Even though they’re made of steel or metal, they can still break.
7. Keep tools clean. Dust, dirt or grime can build up on tools and prevent them from working properly.
Have some good tips we didn’t include? Leave a comment below!
Communications and Training Manager