The Care of Hand Tools

By John Howell

Hand tools are used every day on a construction site. They are used so much and so often that the proper care is many times forgotten. As we list some important points on proper care of hand tools please refresh your memory concerning these points.

Proper Care of Tools

  • Take good care of tools. Use tools carefully and you will have less need for a first-aid kit.
  • Keep tools clean. Protect them against damage from corrosion. Dip tools occasionally in cleaning fluids or solvents and wipe them clean. Lubricate adjustable and moving parts to prevent wear and misalignment.
  • Keep cutting edges sharp. Sharp tools are much safer than dull ones.
  • When sharpening, redressing or repairing tools, sharpen, grind, hone, file, fit, and set them properly, using other tools suited to each purpose.
  • For sharpening tools, either an oil stone or a grind stone is preferable.
  • Tools which are struck by hammers, such as chisels or punches, should have the head pointed towards the ground periodically to prevent mushrooming.
  • When tools are not in use keep them in suitable boxes, racks, or trays. Put them down carefully and in an orderly manner on work benches, with cutting edges turned away from you.
  • Place tools so they cannot fall and where no one can strike against or trip over them. Tools should be placed on elevated benches, tables, or platforms so they cannot roll or be kicked or knocked off.
  • When carrying tools protect the cutting edges and carry the tools in such a way that you will not endanger yourself or others.
  • Carry pointed or sharp-edged tools in pouches or holsters.
  • Refit or replace loose or split handles. Do no rely on friction tape to secure split handles.
  • Keep handles wedged tightly in the heads of all tools. Keep them smooth and free of rough or jagged surfaces.

NOTE: Always promote a discussion on any of the topics covered in the Tool Box Talks. Should any question arise that you cannot answer, don’t hesitate to contact your Employer.

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