Keeping your hand tools in their top condition is vital to their longevity and performance and by following these tips, you can ensure they are always ready to go.
Whether you are working in a manufacturing facility or at an oil refinery, hand tools are an essential part of day to day work. Pipefitters, millwrights and other lines of industrial maintenance and installation all play integral roles in making sure that plants are performing at full capacity, which means that their hand tools need to as well. To ensure that your hand tools are in top condition – and stay that way – be sure to follow these three tips.
1. Choose your tool brand carefully
There are certainly a number of tool brand choices out there today, some of higher quality than others. Among the most important are raw material and construction quality, how they feel in your hand, whether or not they are built to recognized industry standards, their warranty and the brand.
On the store shelf, most tools will look flashy, but in industrial settings, cosmetics mean nothing. For instance, the highest quality sockets are made from 4140 alloy steel, rather than carbon steel, make sure you take into account the "invisible" signs of quality..
2. Proper usage
Once you've selected the right tools, you want to make sure it will last. The best way to do this is to make sure that they are being used properly. For instance, never use a screw driver as a chisel, as this can hurt the integrity of the job and injure those around you. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration noted that you should avoid using impact tools, like chisels and wedges, with mushroom heads as they can shatter on impact and send sharp parts flying. You should have a wide variety of tools at your disposal, so make sure to use the right one for the job.
3. Storage and documentation
How you store your tools when you're done using them is just as important as how you use them. Make sure to wipe down your tools for oil and moisture to prevent rust and other corrosive processes. Then place them in a sturdy tool chest that has foam or another storage-safe material installed so that the tool is not damaged when not in use.
Finally, keep a documentation of your tool's condition. This can help you track the health of your tools and extend their life span. If you notice any new signs of wear and tear, you may be able to identify a defective tool before it fails.