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Electrical Tool Care Tips To Make Them Last

30 July 2021

Electrical tools are pricey, which is why a little bit of tender loving care can go a long way to extending their life expectancy and save you significant money over the years. Here are some great tips on taking care of your soldering iron, testing equipment and power tools.

How to take care of Soldering Iron & Stations

The most effective way of getting the most out of your soldering iron or station is to practice proper care and maintenance of your soldering tips. Taking care of your soldering tips is simple but needs to be done every time you use them to ensure that they are always clean and ready to use. Some tips to employ include:

  • Use high quality solder. Low quality solder often includes impurities that can burn and build up on the tip of the soldering iron. This can make it difficult to heat the tip and can have a negative impact on your work. The easiest way to ensure you have good quality solder is to purchase it from reputable brands. You can also test its quality by attempting to melt it, good quality solder should melt easily at the right temperature.
  • Maintain optimal temperature. In order to stop their tips from cooling during use many will crank up the temperature, however, this can reduce the lifespan of your soldering tips. It is best to either maintain the temperature at the optimum level or to purchase a soldering iron that can adjust the temperature automatically. You should also turn down the temperature while not using it during your soldering session to stop overheating.
  • Clean your tips every time you use them. Before use you should clean your soldering tips with alcohol and a clean cloth, then use metal wool to remove any other contaminants. During use it is common to use a wet sponge to wipe off contaminants between soldering.
  • Tin your tips before and after each session. Like any metal, soldering tips are susceptible to oxidation. To stop the oxidation of the tip you should clean it and then dip it in solder. This will coat the tip and become a barrier to oxidation. You should do this before and after your soldering session.

How to take care of Multimeters & Testing Equipment

Multimeters and electrical testing equipment are an important part of troubleshooting electrical circuits, however, they are also precision instruments that need to be properly taken care of to make them last. Some key tips for multimeter care and maintenances include:

  • Use the high end of the range first. You should never overload a multimeter, so ensure that you first use a high range that you know will not be overloaded. It is best practice to start with the highest range of measurement and work your way down.
  • Adjust settings before connecting to a circuit. Before connecting a meter to a circuit ensure that the range switch is set to the appropriate position and never switch settings while the probe is connected to the circuit.
  • Protect the multimeter from corrosion and contaminants. Dust, fumes, moisture and heat can all damage a multimeter, which is why it is important to protect the multimeter from exposure and store the equipment in a safe, dry place.

How to take care of Power Tools

Power tools are the lifeblood of any serious construction work. They are also often the most expensive tools in our shed, which is why keeping them well maintained is vital to our bottom line. Some important tips to take note of include:

  • Keep your power tools lubricated. Friction can quickly cause overheating and deterioration, which is why lubricating any moving parts with machine oil will keep your tools moving properly and reduce the wear and tear caused by regular use.
  • Take care of your batteries. Power tool batteries are expensive which is why proper handling is so important. Probably the most important tip is that heat can really kill battery performance. So keep them stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
  • Sharpen your tips. Dull bits, tips or blades can affect your performance and make your tool work harder than it should. Sharpening dull edges will put less stress on the motor and extend the life of the power tool significantly.
  • Clean your tools often. Grime can build up pretty quickly, so you should clean your tools regularly by wiping them down after use. Any filters can be cleaned by blasting them with compressed air.
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