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How To Store Corded Power Tools
Power tools are indispensable for both hobbyists and professionals alike. While cordless tools are becoming increasingly popular, corded tools still hold a special place due to their consistent power and the worry of battery drain. Proper storage of these tools not only ensures a longer lifespan but also safety and efficiency. In this guide, we’ll explore the best practices for storing corded power tools.
The Crucial Role of Proper Storage in Power Tool Longevity, Safety, and Performance
Wear and Tear
When power tools are haphazardly stored or left in exposed environments, they can be subjected to unnecessary wear and tear. Dust and dirt accumulation can affect the internal components, while exposure to moisture can lead to rusting or corrosion. Proper storage ensures that the tools are shielded from these harmful elements, thereby prolonging their overall lifespan.
Protection from External Damage
Dropping tools, stacking heavy objects on them, or cramming them into tight spaces can cause physical damage. By having a designated storage area or case, you ensure that each tool has its place, reducing the risk of physical damage.
For corded tools, the cable is an integral component. If not stored properly, cables can become kinked, frayed, or damaged. Proper storage often involves ensuring that cords are neatly wound and not under tension, which helps in prolonging their functionality.
Cords, if left strewn around, can become a tripping hazard. Proper storage reduces the chances of such accidents.
Damaged cords can expose wires, posing a risk of electrical shocks. Ensuring they are properly stored and wound reduces the chances of wear and potential hazards.
Storing power tools in a way that they can’t be accidentally turned on is crucial. An unintended start can not only damage the tool but can also cause serious injuries.
Properly stored tools are easier to locate. This reduces the need to rummage through a pile of tools, decreasing the risk of inadvertent injuries like cuts or pinches.
Tools that are free from dust, grime, and rust operate more efficiently. Motors and moving parts function smoothly when they’re clean, which means the tool can operate at its optimal level.
Calibration & Settings
Some power tools have specific calibrations or settings. Proper storage ensures that these settings are not tampered with or accidentally altered, ensuring consistent performance.
Proper storage can also mean ensuring that the tool is stored at an appropriate charge level and in conditions that don’t degrade the battery.
Key Considerations for Storing Corded Power Tools
Material Integrity: Extreme temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, can lead to the degradation of the plastic, rubber, or metal parts of the tools. Over time, this can make the tool brittle or misshapen, affecting its performance and safety.
Electrical Components: Electrical components in power tools are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Excessive heat can cause some components to melt or malfunction, while extreme cold can affect battery efficiency (for tools that have backup batteries) and make the cords less flexible, increasing the risk of them cracking or breaking
Corrosion & Rust: Prolonged exposure to humidity can result in rust forming on the metal parts of the tool, leading to decreased performance and a shorter lifespan. Rust can make moving parts stiff and can compromise the structural integrity of the tool.
Insulation Degradation: Humidity can also have a detrimental effect on the insulation of cords. Wet cords can short circuit, presenting a significant electrical hazard.
Mold & Mildew: Humid environments can encourage mold and mildew growth, especially on tools with porous grips or cases. This not only damages the tool but can also cause health issues for the users.
Efficient Workflow: Storing tools in an easily accessible manner ensures that you can quickly locate and use them, increasing productivity. It eliminates the need to rummage through a cluttered space, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
Safety: When tools are stored haphazardly, there’s an increased risk of accidentally turning them on, dropping them, or causing other accidents. Proper, accessible storage minimizes these risks.
Tool Maintenance: Easily accessible tools are more likely to be maintained regularly. If a tool is in plain sight and easy to reach, users are more likely to notice issues, clean it, and perform necessary maintenance.
Theft Prevention: Tools can be expensive, and their loss can be financially burdensome. Secure storage solutions not only deter theft but also give peace of mind to the owner.
Unauthorized Use: It’s not just theft one needs to be wary of. Storing tools securely ensures that unauthorized individuals, especially children, cannot access and potentially misuse the tools, preventing possible injuries.
Insurance: In some cases, insurance policies for businesses or homeowners might have stipulations about secure storage for valuable items like power tools. Proper security measures can help in adhering to such policies, ensuring coverage in case of an unfortunate event.
In essence, storing corded power tools with the right considerations ensures their longevity, maintains their performance, upholds safety standards, and protects the investment made in them. Proper storage is a blend of environmental control, easy accessibility, and security measures.
Practical Tips for Storing Corded Power Tools
- Never wrap the cord tightly around the tool, as this can damage the internal wires and reduce the cord’s lifespan.
- Instead, gently coil the cord or use a cord reel for longer cords.
- Check cords regularly for signs of wear or damage.
Cleaning Before Storing
- Always clean your tools before putting them away. Remove sawdust, metal shavings, or any other debris.
- Wipe them down with a dry cloth. For tools that have come into contact with sticky substances, use a cloth dampened with a mild cleaning solution.
- Wall-mounted pegboards or racks are excellent for keeping tools organized and off the ground.
- Ensure the mounting is secure and can handle the weight of the tools.
Cases and Bags
- Many power tools come with their hard cases or bags. Use them, as they’re designed to offer protection and storage solutions for that specific tool.
- For tools without cases, consider purchasing a generic hard case or bag.
Store Away from Children
- Always store power tools out of the reach of children. This is vital for safety reasons.
- Use the storage time as an opportunity to perform regular maintenance checks. This way, your tools are always ready for the next task.
The Role of Organization
- Categorize Group tools based on function. For instance, keep all drilling tools together, sawing tools in another section, etc.
- Labeling: Clearly label storage locations, especially if you have many tools. This makes it easier to find and return tools to their proper places.
- Inventory Checks: Regularly assess your collection. This helps in identifying if a tool is missing or if there’s a need for replacements.
- Frequency of Use: Organize tools based on how frequently they are used. Those that are used more often should be easily accessible, while less frequently used tools can be stored further away.
- Safety First: Store sharp or potentially dangerous tools in safe containers or behind secure barriers to prevent accidental injuries. Remember to keep them out of reach of children.
- Maintenance Area: Dedicate a small section of your storage space for tool maintenance. Having a specific area for cleaning, oiling, or repairing tools ensures that they are kept in prime condition.
- Space Optimization: Utilize wall racks, pegboards, or magnetic strips for hand tools. Vertical storage solutions can save space and make it easier to visually scan and find the tool you need.
- Dust Control: In areas where wood or metalwork is prevalent, consider implementing dust control measures in your storage areas. This prevents fine particles from settling on your tools, which can affect their functionality and lifespan.
In conclusion, knowing how to store corded power tools is more than just about organization; it’s about ensuring longevity, safety, and peak performance. With the right storage techniques and a bit of regular maintenance, your tools can serve you efficiently for years to come.
Why is it essential to categorize tools based on function?
Categorizing tools streamline retrieval, reduce search time, and help in maintaining an organized workspace.
How often should I conduct inventory checks?
Regular inventory checks, preferably monthly or quarterly, ensure no tools are missing and identify if replacements are needed.
Why is labeling important in tool storage?
Labeling aids in quick identification, ensures tools are returned to their proper places, and enhances overall organization.
Can dust affect my power tools?
Yes, dust can seep into tool components, affecting their functionality and reducing their lifespan.
Why should frequently used tools be more accessible?
Keeping frequently used tools accessible saves time and reduces the risk of accidentally damaging other tools while searching.