Having the tools to work on home maintenance and improvement is one of the best investments you could make. From the simplest tasks like fastening a loose screw to more complex projects like changing your garage door, being able to do them without having to pay a contractor is an important financial saving.
Power tools are mainly purchased for their durability and efficiency. They are mostly flexible to different types of work and you can use them for years if not decades.
However, to be able to enjoy the long-term benefits of power tools, it is essential to note that they have to be in their best condition at all times. Unfortunately, this is where problems arise.
While they are made to last for years, environmental factors can lead power tools to deteriorate over time. Issues like exposure to extreme temperatures due to weather changes, over-usage, improper storage, and lack of proper cleaning can all damage them quicker than you think.
And so, proper care and maintenance is required to keep them working in the long-run.
Using damaged tools can be dangerous to you and your house’s safety and not being able to determine when is the right time to replace them makes the hazards more threatening.
If you haven’t been hands-on maintaining your power tools at home, read on to learn important tips to help you determine the best time to replace them as a safety precaution:
- Look for The Presence of Rust
Rust is one of the first things that physically manifest on an aging and poorly-maintained metal object. And since power tools are mainly made of metal, it is a common issue to look out for.
Rust affects the durability of the metal as it significantly reduces its strength and sharpness – this makes work slower and less efficient which defeats the purpose of using power tools.
What makes rust risky is not just its limitations to a tool’s performance but the fact that metal objects that are left to rust are prone to tetanus-causing bacteria and leads to a huge health hazard upon usage.
A cut from a metal with tetanus causes an infection that produces painful muscle contractions, fluctuations in blood pressure, and fever which can be fatal in some cases. And while a vaccine against tetanus is now available, it can take months to fully recover.
Different at-home treatments can be done to get rid of rust in metal objects and so if replacing your tools is not an affordable option, stick to learning how to remove it and commit to it religiously.
- Observe Quality of Performance
It is obvious that an object is at its best state when newly purchased, but you can maintain it with proper care. Without maintenance, their performance will decline over time.
If your power tools have an observable weakened performance, it is probably time to get it fixed or get a new one.
One of the factors that you should keep in mind to assess the performance of your tools is their battery health. If you can no longer use them for the amount of time you used to, they might have battery problems. This means that they can overheat easily or have problems being used continuously over long periods of time.
You can also analyze the performance of your tools as you use them. You can ask yourself: Did the tools perform with stability? Can you still utilize their best features? Are there any noticeable differences in their usability compared to the last time you used them?
If your answers to these questions lead to a negative remark, you need to start looking into finding alternatives for them.
- Check for Mechanical and Structural Damage
Checking for any kind of damage should be routinary before using your power tools to avoid accidents.
Noticeable issues such as cracks, missing screws, broken blades, malfunctioning buttons, and damaged wires should be checked at all times. You can also notice any unusual reactions in your tools upon usage. Look for the presence of smoke, burning smell, popping noise, or sparks.
These are clear indications that your tools are not safe to use and should be addressed before continued use. It would be best to take them to be repaired or replaced with newer and sturdier ones.
Changing certain parts of your tools can also be a cheaper way to work around this as long as you’re certain that you determined the exact problem.
- Using The 50% Rule
The most economical way to solve a malfunctioning power tool is to get it fixed. This is under the impression that you can save money by changing certain parts or working on the mechanisms instead of getting a new one.
However, experts like to suggest the 50% rule in replacing your tools. Essentially, this just means that if the repair costs over 50% of their value, you should replace them. If the repair is less than 50% of their value, then you can fix them instead.
No matter how affordable fixing is, repairing your tools over and over can cost you more in the long run. So, it is also important to consider the overall state of your tools and use your judgment to see if you’re getting your money’s worth.
- Consider Newer and More Efficient Tools
If you own a power tool that has served its purpose for more than 5 years and recently malfunctioned, you should consider looking into new types of tools in the market before getting it repaired.
A lot of alternatives that are built with newer technologies and mechanisms are sold all over the market and a huge chunk of them come with a great price point. For example, if you owned an old-school impact driver, you might want to look into cordless drivers which are more compact, lightweight, and energy-saving.
Being aware of newer alternatives also gives you an opportunity to try tools that are innovatively engineered to match more contemporary needs for home maintenance and improvement. This means that these tools can adapt to common issues you might commonly encounter and would be the best fit for you.
Since power tools are kept for long-term use, it is important to keep in mind the best practices to keep them safe and working. Both environmental factors and negligence can put you in a risky situation and it is important to know when this situation occurs.
These are powerful tools fueled by heavy-duty machines that can fail dangerously anytime if issues and damages are left unaddressed. By looking at simple factors like rusting, decrease in performance, mechanical and structural damages, the cost of repair, and newly designed tools, determining when to replace them should be easy.
At the end of the day, these tools are made for projects that make your house at par with your needs and satisfaction. And so, the quality of work that you do should not be affected by the materials that you use. You can do this by maintaining the best and properly maintained tools at home.