If you’ve got a few DIY projects under your toolbelt, you start feeling pretty confident. That dresser? You can re-finish it! A gazebo? You just need a weekend! Now that you’re pretty sure you won’t put a hole in the wall, you’re getting more ambitious. Which means investing in your own DIY tools rather than borrowing from friends, neighbours or your father-in-law.
We don’t want to take the wind out of your sails, but there’s an important step that’s left off of nearly all DIY instructions: proper care and cleaning of DIY tools. It’s right up there with ‘measure twice, cut once’ in terms of importance,but somehow people never talk about it. (Well, maybe your father-in-law does).
Rather than ask him, read this guide to proper care for your tools. We’ll explain how to use a multi-purpose cleaner spray to ensure you continue to crush your DIY goals!
Tip 1: Cool Your DIY Tools Down
Overheating happens when you push your tools to the limit. Think, drilling or cutting into extra hard surfaces or running a powertool for an extended length of time. It means the motor is working overtime, and doing so causes stress on the motor and the parts. If you feel a tool getting hot, put it down to cool for a while. If this often happens quickly, re-check your user’s manual to make sure you’re not using a tool for an unintended purpose or with the wrong material. It’ll save you repair and replacement costs in the long run!
Tip 2: Clean & Lubricate
Cleanliness is next to handiness when it comes to your DIY tools. You should make sure they’re cleaned after every use before you store them for the night. Use a clean dry cloth to wipe away dirt or dust from the outer casing. Then grab a multi-purpose cleaner spray like GT85. It’ll flush out dirt more effectively than a brush, which might push dirt farther into tricky places.
Great for blades, multi-tool accessories, dowels, bolts, wheel weights, reamers, GT85 also lubricates and leaves a protective PTFE coating to keep your DIY tools cleaner, for longer!
Tip 3: Sharpen & Calibrate
Dull blades and bits not only create subpar finished products. They also make it so your tools need to work harder, which leads to overheating. You can invest in your own sharpening tools (you are a DIY master, after all) or inquire at your local hardware store for sharpening services.
Similarly, you can calibrate your tools or see if the manufacturer offers this service. Your manual should include instruction about how often a tool should be calibrated. (For example, after 100 hours of use). Power tools particularly have many complex parts that need to work together precisely to offer you the best result. It definitely pays to be particular in this case!
Tip 4: Replace Worn Parts
Your DIY tools shouldn’t need frequent parts replacement, but you should still keep an eye out. Using a tool with worn out parts is not only inefficient, it’s also dangerous. And it’s not always the complex inner workings that need replacement! Cords will break down far before the metal and plastic of the body, so always check for fraying.
If you’re using a belt sander or some power saws, make sure to keep an eye on the drive belt. It’s best to replace the belt before it snaps, but if you can hear the tool winding up but don’t see any movement, the belt has probably already broken. Always power off and unplug before checking though!
Tip 5: Store DIY Tools & Batteries Properly
Storing tools properly serves a few purposes. Firstly, you need to make sure your tools are out of reach for curious kids who want to play Bob the Builder. Secondly, proper storage in a clean, dry cabinet keeps out the dust and moisture. Even a bit of dampness can corrode components or cause electrical issues.
When it comes to extending the life of your tools, don’t ignore its lithium batteries. Batteries are temperature sensitive, so keeping them inside the house is a better option than an uninsulated shed. Don’t run the battery completely dry, if possible, and make sure to full charge before using again.
Need More DIY Tool Tips?