- Old towels
- Soft rag
- Can of compressed air or air compressor
- Work gloves
As with most things of value, cleaning and maintenance of your power tools is key to prolonging their functionality and lifespan. As the old craftsman saying goes, "a poor workman blames his tools." That is to say, the only thing standing between the right materials, tools and a job well done is generally the person doing the work.
Proper power tool performance is important, to safely and accurately accomplish the tasks at hand. But without appropriate upkeep, your equipment stands a far greater chance of malfunction due to grime buildup.
Give your power tools some TLC to keep them working accurately and safely for years to come. After each use, you should clean your tools, with a more thorough deep cleaning once or twice a year. Proper lubrication can help prevent degradation of parts, which could lead to other parts wearing out prematurely.
Whether cleaning a recently-purchased tool or a grimy old tool from a garage sale, these steps will get your power tools looking and performing their best.
- Disconnect the tools from any power source, whether electric or battery powered. For cordless tools, the battery should be completely removed unless it's self-contained. Disassemble any removable components for cleaning. If tools contain sensitive electronic or mechanical parts which could be damaged by submersion, set these aside to clean by hand.
- Loosen accumulated dirt. Use a can of compressed air to loosen or blow out any accumulated dirt and grime that's collected in the grooves, nooks & crannies of your tools.
- Prepare cleaning solution. Fill a bucket with equal parts hot water and Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.
- Add tools. Wearing work gloves to avoid any sharp edges or points on your tools, place tools in the bucket and let soak for 5-7 minutes. Take care not to submerge any power cables or motor casings.
- Scrub buildup. Use a wire brush to scrub off any remaining debris, and steel wool to eliminate any rust accumulation. Scrub lightly with each to avoid scratching the surface of your tools. Wipe off excess buildup with a soft rag.
- Rinse and towel-dry your tools, making sure to absorb any remaining moisture. Allow approx. 30 minutes to air dry.
- Reassemble any power tool components and check all moving parts before plugging in.