If you clean and maintain your power tools, they stay in better condition and ultimately work better. You don't need much to maintain them, but you do need a few supplies. Here's what you should stock in your power tool cleaning kit:
1. Shop Vac and Compressed Air
To remove sawdust from bench saws and other large power tools, a shop vac works wonders. Simply orient the nozzle near the tool you are trying to clean, and let it suck up the dust. To remove small particles of dust from small tools and tiny crevices, invest in a can of compressed air.
Train the compressed air on the dusty parts, and let it blow the dust away. To ensure dust isn't trapped, let your tool run a bit, and then repeat the process around all of the moving parts, from blades to drill arbors.
2. Steel Wool
If you store your power tools in a garage or storage shed that doesn't have humidity control, rust is inevitable. Luckily, you can remove most superficial rust with a bit of steel wool. If you prefer to have a handle that you can grip, try using a wire bristle brush instead.
To avoid scratching, move your steel wool or the brush in small circles, following the direction of the grain of the metal.
3. Machinist's Square
After cleaning your power tools, you should take a few steps to maintain them. In particular, you should tighten up tools such as table saws, band saws and lathes, and you should ensure their angles are correct.
Without the proper 90 degree angle, these tools may not work optimally. To ensure your power tools are in order, use a machinist's square to check the angles. Then, adjust as needed. Most of these large table-based power tools have bolts that you can tighten to change the angles as needed.
4. Electrical Tape
After squaring tools, look over the cords of all your power tools and make sure that you don't have any frayed edges or worn out spots. If you do, cover them with electrical tape. That will help stop the issue from spreading, and make the cords safe to use.
5. Degreaser and Corrosion Protector
In addition to a few tools, consider investing in some degreaser and corrosion protector. Degreaser helps remove oil and other greasy buildup from your power tools. This is especially useful if you have petrol-powered tools. To save money, you can make your own degreaser with a bit of high quality dish soap and water.
Once the degreaser has dried, apply some corrosion protector to keep rust at bay.