(guest post by Paul Kearney)
Regardless of what type of project you may be going into, a good power tool will more often than not make your life easier. The challenge, of course, is to keep your power tools working flawlessly for longer periods of time, and, despite the obvious fact that any tool will eventually wear out, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure that it will serve you for longer periods of time.
Almost any power tool will use a blade, a drill bit, sheets of sandpaper, and those grow dull. To ensure the best performance, change drill bits and other such accessories about 75 percent of the way through their lifespan. A basic rule of thumb says is that if you feel a definite improvement in performance after changing a consumable, that means you have waited too long to change it. The problem with worn out consumables is that all power tools use motors and often a gear system, and the duller the blade or bit is, the more strain you put on the gear system—and the sooner it will wear out.
Battery Life Cycle
Most power tools today operate on Lithium-Ion batteries. Those are great because they can take months of not being used without ill effect. All you have to do is to make sure that you charge them fully before storing them away in a cool, dry place. Ideally though, every 2 to 6 months, you should take that battery, run that battery life out and recharge it to full status. If you are still using the old style nickel metal hydride or NiMH batteries, then you need to put them through the charge and discharge cycle even more often than that. Once a month would be our recommendation, but the thing to keep in mind with this type of batteries is that the core itself can be usually changed (it usually looks almost like a regular battery), and it is quite cheap to do so.
Keep It Clean
Almost any user manual is going to tell you to regularly clean your power tools and to always store them in a dry place with just a dab of oil on the metal bits. This is important because the reason a lot of people end up abandoning or changing their tools is because they begin to “feel” old. Manufacturers always try to change the exterior design of their power tools precisely because they want to make you deeply aware of the fact that your power tools are of an older generation. Therefore the added bonus of always maintaining your tools nice and clean is that they will feel new for longer periods of time, and you will resist the urge to buy something else for longer periods of time.