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How to maintain your handheld tools

Summer vs. winter maintenance

Construction workers and companies that use and operate handheld tools, including rental companies, need to care for their equipment all year round. You know how expensive they are; therefore, keeping them in tip-top condition is of utmost importance. However, depending on the weather, there are different maintenance regimes. In this blog, we provide some handy tips on the types of maintenance and best practice you should be doing during the summer and winter months.

Summer maintenance

Tool Storage

During the summer months, the weather can get hot and humid. When storing tools in these conditions, they are at risk of exposure to moisture. Silica gel packs, which come in many different shapes and sizes, are great at keeping moisture at bay. Chucking a few into the toolbox protects your handheld tools and can help prevent rusting. Also, instead of leaving them on the ground, hang them up out of harm’s way.

Cooldown

In the northern hemisphere, the working day is much longer during the summer, which means the tools work for extended periods. If you have been using your handheld power tools during a hot, sunny day, it is important to let your tools idle for a few extra minutes to cool at the end of the working day. We also recommend lubricating the tool after cool down and before storage, which can also prevent corrosion or rust formation.

Winter maintenance

Temperature Extremes

Freezing temperatures can make the metallic and plastic parts on some handheld construction, pneumatic, or hydraulic tools weak or brittle, leading to damage or breakage, especially if you use them while still cold. Additionally, as the tools heat up, the stress on the metal parts, going from freezing temperatures to hot, may cause some tools to fail if this happens frequently. Therefore, it is essential to allow your tools to warm up before use during the cold winter months.

Lubrication

Metal tools can rust. Changes in temperature and humidity can accelerate rusting. Using oils or grease to lubricate handheld power tools helps prevent them from rusting.

Storing petrol equipment

Suppose you have a petrol engine-driven tool that out of service during the winter months. Over time, any fuel left in the tank can go stale, and you may struggle to start it up again when spring arrives. We, therefore, recommend that you empty the fuel tank and drain it properly before putting it into storage. 

Proactive tool maintenance requires quite a commitment, but it reduces unnecessary expenses relating to repairs or replacement in the long run. Just remember, regardless of the time of year, clean handheld tools thoroughly after each use - nobody likes to use dirty equipment.