You’ve bought a panel cutter for chopping large metal or wood sheets into square bits. You only do it twice every month, so maintenance and care are the last things on your mind. And why would they be?
In your mind, your panel cutter is invincible. After all, it’s just cutting through metal or wood. That’s not going to do anything to your panel cutter. Right?
Your panel cutter has a chain that can hoard wood dust like candy, and if you leave it there, that dust will absorb moisture and rust the chain, leading to a dent in your wallet.
So, to save you the trouble and the hospital costs, let’s check out ways to keep your power tools working in excellent condition.
1. Clean and Dry Your Tools After Every Use
Cleaning and drying your tools after every use is vital to keep them in top shape and prolong their lifespan. Why? Because when tools are used, they can accumulate dirt, dust, and other debris, which can cause damage or rust if left untreated.
Rust can weaken your tools, causing them to malfunction. Plus, moisture from use can cause rust to form on metal parts and, in some cases, can even cause wooden handles to rot.
For instance, if you’re using a panel cutter to cut wooden sheets into rectangles, clean the blade once you’re done. Why? Because wood can get trapped between the blade’s chain, absorb moisture, and encourage rust.
So, cleaning and drying your tools after every use will help you remove any debris and moisture that may be present, preventing rust and other damage.
2. Oil Moving Parts to Prevent Rust
When metal parts rub together, they create friction, which can cause heat and wear over time. This wear can cause the metal to corrode and create rust, which can cause the parts to seize or become difficult to move. Rust can also weaken the metal and make it more likely to break.
But by oiling the moving parts of your tools, you reduce friction, which helps to prevent wear and tear. The oil acts as a lubricant, reducing the heat and friction that can cause rust to form. It helps to protect the metal and keep it in good condition, ensuring that the tool operates smoothly and lasts longer.
Oiling also helps to displace any moisture that may have accumulated on the parts, which is important because moisture can contribute to rust formation. So, if you’re using a deburrer with a rotary blade or disc, you should think about oiling it to ensure it runs smoothly. But if you’re using a deburring tool with a carbide blade, you’re safe.
3. Use the Right Tool for the Job
Using the wrong tool can make your task more difficult, increase the risk of injury, and may result in poor-quality work, especially when you’re working on once-and-done materials. This is especially true when you’re using a power fastener like a nail gun to install screws instead of a hammer in nails.
Why? Because while a nail gun is designed to drive nails into wood or other materials, it is not designed to be used with screws.
So, attempting to use a nail gun to install screws can cause the screws to become stripped or damaged, which can make them difficult to remove and can also damage the wood or other materials being worked on.
Plus, it can lead to poor quality work and, in some cases, may require the materials to be replaced entirely.
So, using the correct tool for the job is essential because it can help to prolong the lifespan of both the tool and the materials being worked on. Plus, it reduces the likelihood of damage caused by using excessive force or an incompatible tool.
4. Replace Worn or Damaged Parts Promptly
Replacing worn or damaged parts can help you make sure that your tools are safe to use. It’s important because a worn or damaged part can cause the tool to malfunction, leading to injuries or damage to the material being worked on.
Plus, a worn part replacement can help to prolong the lifespan of your tools by preventing further damage or wear. This can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for more frequent repairs or replacements.
So, if you use shear cutters for cutting sheet metal or other materials, remember that the blades can become dull or damaged due to use or accidental contact with hard surfaces over time.
So, instead of using your shear cutters as is, replace the blades when they become dull or damaged. This will help you make clean cuts and reduce the force needed to cut through the material.
5. Regularly Inspect Your Tools for Signs of Wear and Damage
A tool with signs of wear or damage can malfunction, leading to injury or damage to the material being worked on. That’s why regular inspection is so important. It can help to identify and address any issues before they become more serious or cause more damage, saving you time and money in the long run.
Plus, when it comes to nibblers and bevelers, regular inspection is especially important. Nibblers are used for cutting sheet metal or other thin materials, while bevelers are used for creating bevels or chamfers on the edges of materials.
Both of these tools have blades or cutting edges that can become dull or damaged with use, which can lead to poor-quality cuts and make the tools difficult or dangerous to use.
So, look for nicks or chips in the blades, excessive wear, or rust or corrosion on the tool. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, it may be time to replace the blades or other parts of the tool.