Contractor Hardware Care Tips

Contractor Hardware Care Tips

Contractors rely on their tools to get jobs done right and build their reputation. Making the right choice when you purchase hardware is important, and a little research to find a quality tool will be worth it in the long run.

Yet, maintaining them is half the job.

Once you have made an investment in your toolbox you’ll want to develop good maintenance habits to extend the life of your tools.

From cleaning and storing them correctly after every job to more thorough maintenance and even insurance can help guard them for the long term.

Cleaning

While cleaning your hardware can add extra time and you sometimes feel too tired at the end of your day, cleaning your tools properly is key to making them last.

Consider whether investing a few minutes to wipe them down daily is worth it or if you’d rather have to buy a replacement sooner.

For most hand tools you can clean them efficiently by wiping them with a rag. It is okay to wash them with soap and water if they are particularly dirty but be sure you dry them well.

When it comes to power tools you will want to wipe them down and use an air compressor to clean the dust. Lastly you should apply a lubricant where needed.

A more through cleaning should be done twice a month on all the tools and their storage containers.

Storage

While you are limited to the space of your worksite, there are many solutions that can be used to properly store your tools.

Boxes, bags, drawers or shelves are nice if you have the space but if space is limited you may have to look into a peg board or other vertical storage solutions.

When it comes to power tools keeping them in the hard, plastic cases they come with is the best way to keep them protected.

Toolboxes are a good place to keep the tools you use most often. This gives you a compact, portable container that you can grab quickly when you need it.

Be aware of the humidity level in the room where you store your tools. Rust is one of the biggest factors in tool damage. You may want to consider a dehumidifier to keep moisture out of the air and away from your tools.

Another tip for keeping your tools rust-free is to use gel packs in drawers and toolboxes. You can also spray your tools with WD-40 to help keep them clean.

Power tools

Often power tools need the most care in your arsenal. More than a simple wipe down, a power tool needs to have all the intricate parts cleaned often.

Watch the brushes on your power tools and replace them as soon as you notice a problem. This will not only help keep your tool clean but also keeps it in working condition.

Wipe every part of the tool and battery chargers each time you use that tool, this includes the cords. You should regularly inspect cords to ensure there are no exposed wires.

While you are wiping it, check the tool over to make sure it is working smoothly. To keep your hardware functioning at its best, fix any problems like loose screws or bolts right away.

It is a good idea to review the maintenance section in the manual that came with the tool and give it a through inspection and cleaning at least once a year.

General Tips

  • Protect the cords as they are directly related to the lifespan of your hardware.
  • Use lubrication for air tools daily.
  • Inspect your tools often and make repairs immediately rather than putting it off as the problem can worsen.
  • Regularly sharpen any components of your tools that are needed for cutting, slicing or chopping. Be sure to check blades often.
  • Test the alignment of your tools frequently. If you discover the alignment is off after a few tests, realign the machine.
  • Refer to your tool’s manual for directions on when and how to replace important components like the air filter, fuel filter and spark plugs.

Tool insurance

Another way to care for your tools is to secure them with insurance.

While insurance policies can differ in the coverage they offer some of the best features include paying for the cost of replacement of any tools that were damaged, destroyed or stolen, pay for any pollutant cleanup costs, some policies also cover extra expenses such as renting or leasing a replacement tool.

Depending on the equipment you are using for your job, insurance can cover anything you need to rent or lease like a bobcat.

Conclusion

Proper tool maintenance includes cleaning, storing and correct handling of all hardware in a worker’s collection. By applying some good habits and tips contractors can ensure their tools continue working for a long time.