If you are a DIY mechanic, you have probably learned the lesson that buying good quality tools can save you a lot of money by not having to replace broken or damaged tools every few months. But how, you take care of your expensive tools has a lot to do with how long they last, so to help you make your tools last a lifetime, we have listed a few basic below tips to keep you, and your tools happy.
Buy the best tools available
Price is usually the best indicator of a tool’s quality, but buying full sets of sockets, pair of wrench, and screwdrivers can be prohibitively expensive. Most reputable tool manufacturers offer their tools as individual items, so buy the best tools available, as opposed to the best tools you can afford.
Good quality tools will last a lifetime with proper care, and they won’t damage fasteners on your car. Moreover, high quality tools require only a minimum of basic care and maintenance, which goes a long way towards keeping your tools in good shape.
Keep your tools dry
Even the best quality tools will start to rust and corrode if they are in constant contact with moisture, or kept in high humidity conditions without proper ventilation. Keep your tools dry by making sure there are no leaks in your garage roof, and that there is always some airflow through the garage to dry out the air.
If you cannot provide airflow, wipe all your tools down with an oily rag to deposit a protective oil film on all metal surfaces.
Keep your tools separated.
The quickest way to damage screwdriver tips is to keep all your tools jumbled in a toolbox together with wrenches, sockets, pliers, and hammers. Keep your tools separated to avoid impact damage by hanging them against a wall, or erect a board with hooks and loops on which you hang your screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, and other tools by groups, or sizes.
This makes it easy to find what you need, and also to keep track of what you have. As you expand your tool collection, you can easily add to the board to accommodate more items. Note, however, that if you have a torque wrench, always relax the tension spring in the handle after use to maintain the tool’s calibration. If you use a digital torque wrench, remove the batteries from the tool if you are not going to use it for a while to avoid damage to the battery holder.
Use the correct tool for the job
Another quick way to damage your tools is to use a badly fitting, or even the wrong tool for the job at hand. For instance, if you are changing your car tire, then use a torque wrench for tightening lug nuts of wheels, it helps proper fastening, avoid avoid any damage.
Similarly, don’t use a 3/8- inch drive socket and ratchet handle where a ½-inch drive is required. No matter how expensive the socket and ratchet were, you will destroy them if you use them for jobs they were not designed for.
Clean your tools after use
The best way to protect your tools is to keep them clean, and free of old oil, grease, and other potentially corrosion-causing substances. For instance, old engine oil is acidic, and long-term exposure of tools to old oil can cause tools to rust, or suffer acid damage.
Wipe all your tools with a clean rag after use, and make sure you keep the ratchet mechanisms in your ratchet handles lubricated with a drop of clean oil every couple of months or so.