10 Power Tools That Require Maintenance

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Home improvement is made easier with power tools. You can use them for various projects, but they need regular maintenance to function optimally. Here are some simple steps to protect your power tools from wear and tear so they can last you a lifetime and save you money in the long run.

10: Electric Hand Drill

The electric hand drill is one of the most frequently used power tools. It is not only used for drilling holes, but can also be used for polishing, sanding and grinding. Maintenance is especially important due to its frequent usage. Drill bits must always be sharp and should either be sharpened or replaced when required. If you are using the drill for an extended period, allow it to cool down every so often to avoid overheating. To prevent overheating, keep the air vents and motor clean by blowing compressed air on them and use a toothbrush to remove stubborn dirt patches from the engine’s fan. After use, wipe the drill with a clean damp cloth and coat metal surfaces with oil using a soft cloth. If your hand drill is cordless, remember to recharge the batteries when necessary.

9: Power Sander

There are different kinds of power sanders, but they all require maintenance to function well. Sand and dust accumulate quickly, which can lead to overheating and malfunctioning. To prevent this, clean the fan regularly and remove dust from air openings using a brush, compressed air, or by blowing air into the openings. Always use the dust bag to prevent dirt from accumulating and obstructing the fan, and empty it often. After use, remove the sandpaper and clean the sander by blowing compressed air over it and scrubbing stubborn dirt spots with an old toothbrush. Always ensure the sandpaper is correctly aligned to prevent sparks or slippage. Replace sandpaper as needed.

8: Taking Care of Your Drill Press

Drill presses come in different sizes and models, including hand-held, bench, and floor versions. Regardless of their size, they all require the same kind of maintenance. Prevent rusting by wiping down the table and metal areas with oil or a moisture-resistant sealant called paste wax. Apply paste wax to stationary surfaces as well. For those who use a drill press frequently, it’s essential to inspect the front bearings monthly and the motor oil cups bi-annually to detect issues early. Drip No. 20 SAE oil into bearing slots.

7: Caring for Your Saber Saw

The saber saw, or jig saw, is well-known for its ability to cut curves in wood and other materials such as metal, drywall, rubber, leather, and asphalt. However, improper usage can lead to overheating and premature burnout. Allow the motor to reach maximum speed before engaging the blade and adjust the speed according to the material. If you notice wood burns, sharpen the blade or hire a professional to do so. Dull blades can cause the motor to overheat or stop functioning. After each use, unplug the saw, and clean the roller, collar, and base of the blade shaft assembly with a toothbrush. Use compressed air to blow air through vents and service the blade shaft assembly annually.

6: Maintaining Your Chain Saw

Chain saws are useful for felling trees and chopping logs but require proper care to function correctly. Keep key areas clear of debris and dirt particles to prevent overheating or erratic functioning. Clear blocked fuel cap vents with a toothpick, and tap paper air filters against a hard surface to remove dirt. For mesh or other material filters, disassemble and wash with water and household detergent. Let the pieces dry before reassembling. Clean the muffler to avoid clogs, and check the carburetor calibration regularly to ensure proper functioning. Check the chain tension and sharpen it as necessary for even cuts.

5: Taking Care of Your Hedge Trimmer


A hedge trimmer is an essential tool for keeping your yard looking neat and tidy. However, to ensure that it lasts for years, you need to take care of it properly. Before each use, wipe down the blades with a clean cloth dampened with machine oil to keep them lubricated. It’s also important to keep the cutting blade sharp by using a metal file. Check the brush assemblies on each side of the commutator and replace them if necessary. Regularly inspect the motor and lubricate the bearings. Make sure to clean and lubricate the blades and bearings to prevent dullness and dirt buildup. Lastly, never use a hedge trimmer in damp conditions.

4: Maintaining Your String Trimmer

A string trimmer is a versatile tool for keeping your garden’s borders well-groomed. Before using it, make sure to wear protective clothing like gloves, safety goggles, and sturdy boots. If you have a gasoline-powered string trimmer, drain any remaining fuel into a metal container at least 10 feet away from your work area before storing or repairing it. Clean off dirt and clippings from the deflector using a stick or stiff brush. Always consult your manufacturer’s care manual for specific instructions.

3: Caring for Your Lawnmower


A well-maintained lawnmower can last a lifetime. To keep it in top condition, regularly check the oil level and quality. If you have a four-stroke engine, drain the crankcase and refill it after every 25 hours of use. Make sure to keep fresh fuel in the tank to prevent contamination. Follow your manufacturer’s care manual, including calibrating your carburetor according to code. Keep the air filter and fuel filter clean to prevent power loss, erratic running, or failure to start. After mowing, remove any clumps of grass clippings from the lawnmower.

2: Maintaining Your Motorized Garden Tiller

A motorized garden tiller is a valuable tool for planting, breaking new ground, or introducing new materials to your soil. To keep it running smoothly, wipe it down after each use and clean the fuel tank and air filter regularly. Tap paper filters against a hard surface to dislodge dirt, and wash other filter styles with mild household detergent and water. Clear any blocked areas on the fuel tank cap vents to prevent infrequent running. Adjust the carburetor based on your manual’s instructions.

1: Snow Blower


Don’t get stuck in the snow just because your snow blower is out of order.
ŠiStockphoto.com/Lisay

If you reside in an area that receives heavy snowfall during winter, you must be familiar with this next equipment. The snow blower efficiently clears walkways by blowing snow away from your path. Taking proper care of your snow blower can help you avoid the need for frequent replacements. Refer to your owner’s manual to adjust the carburetor and fill the tank with clean fuel only. It is essential to maintain optimal oil levels to ensure that your snow blower runs smoothly. If your snow blower has a four-cycle engine, check the oil level frequently and replace the crankcase oil every 25 hours of use. Regular cleaning of the fuel filter, fuel tank cap vents, and engine cooling fins can prevent damage to the machine. After using the tool, turn it off, unplug the spark plug, and clean the discharge chute, auger assembly, and housing. Before storing the machine, restart it and let any remaining snow melt and evaporate. Turn it off, unplug the spark plug, close the fuel shutoff valve, and remove the key. Store it in a dry and clean place.

Additional Information

Related Articles

  • Essential DIY Tools
  • How to Prepare Tools for Storage
  • How to Keep Garden Tools Clean
  • How to Prevent Tool Rust
  • Maintaining Tools to Make Them Last

Sources

  • Davidson, Homer L. “Troubleshooting and Repairing Power Tools.” Tab Books. 1990.
  • Schultz, Mort. “Repairing and Maintaining Yard Equipment and Power Tools.” Wiley. 1994.
  • Time-Life Books. “Do it Yourself: Power Tools and Equipment.” Time Life Books. 1989.

FAQ

1. What are the 10 power tools that need maintenance?

The 10 power tools that need maintenance are: circular saw, miter saw, table saw, drill press, belt sander, jigsaw, router, planer, angle grinder, and reciprocating saw.

2. How often should I clean my power tools?

You should clean your power tools after each use to prevent debris buildup. For deep cleaning, it is recommended to clean them every 3-6 months depending on usage.

3. How do I clean my power tools?

You can clean your power tools using a soft cloth or brush to remove debris, and then wipe them down with a damp cloth. For tougher dirt or grease, you can use a mild detergent or degreaser.

4. How often should I lubricate my power tools?

You should lubricate your power tools every 3-6 months depending on usage. This will help prevent friction and wear on the moving parts.

5. What type of lubricant should I use for my power tools?

You should use a lubricant that is specifically designed for power tools. This can include oil, grease, or spray lubricant. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

6. How do I store my power tools?

You should store your power tools in a dry, cool place to prevent rust or damage. Make sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets.

7. How do I sharpen my power tools?

You can sharpen your power tools using a sharpening stone or file. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and safety guidelines.

8. How do I replace the blades on my power tools?

You can replace the blades on your power tools by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to use the correct type of blade and to disconnect the tool from the power source before making any changes.

9. How do I check for wear and tear on my power tools?

You can check for wear and tear on your power tools by inspecting the moving parts for cracks or damage. Also, pay attention to any changes in performance or unusual noises.

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