Home > DIY Tips & Tricks > The Test of Time: 7 Essential Ways to Maintain Your Construction Tools to Last

The Test of Time: 7 Essential Ways to Maintain Your Construction Tools to Last

Tools In Workshop

Construction tools are used quite a lot, so it is recommended that you take steps to maintain them on a regular basis. This can improve performance and extend their service life.

Taking preventative measures can help reduce the chance of broken or defective products, as well as costly repairs or replacements.

Clean Your Tools

This seems like common sense, but it is one of those tasks that we generally don’t care that much about. After a long, hard day of work, the last thing you want to think about is cleaning your tools.

When it comes to hand tools, wiping them down with a rag is usually sufficient. If they are really dirty, you can possibly wash them with soap and water. Make sure to dry them completely afterwards to help prevent rust and corrosion.

Garden tools can be washed, as well. Once dry, you can apply a thin layer of linseed oil to them for enhanced performance. On both hand and garden tools, if the wood is located anywhere, such as the handles, you can apply linseed oil to them, as well.

For power tools, first always check to make sure they are not plugged in. You can wipe down outside surfaces with a rag. Proceeding with caution, you can open up pieces of the body to lubricate any moving parts. Using an air compressor, you can blow unwanted dirt and debris out of all the crevices of the tool.

Other items to clean on a regular basis include belts, bags, and toolboxes. Any objects that can slowly get dirty over time should also be checked. If any belts or bags are made out of leather, you can condition them once in a while.

It’s important to read the instructions or guidelines when cleaning tools. Not all chemicals and metal surfaces play well with one another. If you use the wrong product, it can damage the tool, as well as void any warranties.

When using certain cleaning products, always take proper precautions. Wear gloves, a mask and make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.

You can learn more about the various tools that you might find in your garage online.

Lubricate Your Tools

Now that your tools are all clean and sparkly, it is the perfect time to apply any lubrication that may be necessary. Generally speaking, pneumatic tools need to be lubricated before each use. Other tools can benefit from lubrication, as well, increasing performance and reducing wear and tear.

Inspect Your Tools

It is important that you stay proactive when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your tools. By inspecting them on a regular basis, you can spot any signs of damage and remedy the situation before it becomes a problem.

With cordless power tools, it is also important to keep an eye on the battery for any signs of damage. You can care for batteries by cleaning the contacts and with cotton swabs and alcohol. Store batteries in a dry area to help avoid corrosion.

Repair Your Tools

If you spot exposed wires or frayed insulation, you might be able to temporarily fix it with electrical tape. To be safe, you should have the wire replaced.

Depending on the level of rust and corrosion found on your tools, they may be deemed unsafe to use. You can attempt to remove the rust yourself. If it is not possible, you may need to replace the tool.

Wooden handles can become damaged by accident. If you see loose, splintered or cracked areas in the wood, don’t use the tool. The handle can be at risk of breaking during use, potentially causing harm to you or your coworkers.

If the damage is minimal, see if you can sand down any areas that have splinters. After, you will want to apply a layer of linseed oil to help condition the wood. If cracked or splintered beyond repair, you must replace the tool.

Maintain Your Tools

Throughout the day, your tools can become covered with dirt, dust and other construction debris. Create a maintenance schedule and stick to it. By wiping down your tools on a regular basis, you can reduce how often you need to thoroughly clean them.

Maintaining batteries will help you get the most out of them. To keep batteries performing their best, it is important to fully charge and fully discharge their power on a regular basis, such as every other week.

Also, it is not good for batteries to sit around for extended periods of time without being used. Try to use the batteries at least once every other week.

Organize Your Tools

When not in use, your tools should be stored away properly. Keep them clear from areas where they can get dirty or wet. When using tools that have been stored away for a while, inspect them for signs of damage before using.

Some suggestions to try and stay organized include hanging your tools on pegboards, maximizing space with stackable storage bins and purchasing a tool cabinet for additional storage.

If your tools came with a good case, like the sturdy plastic one’s power tools normally come in, take advantage of their built-in organization.

Store Your Tools

Certain areas of your home might be prone to high humidity. Areas like garages and basements, two of the most commonly used places to store tools, can have problems with moisture if the rooms are not fully insulated.

Moisture in the air can lead to problems with mildew, mold, corrosion, and rust. If possible, either find a place to store your tools that do not have problems with humidity or fully insulate your basement or garage.

If both those options are out, try to use a dehumidifier on a regular basis to reduce as much moisture in the air as possible.


Depending on the kind of work you do, you might have quite a lot of maintenance to take care of. However, it is more important to maintain your tools now, rather than finding them unusable down the line.