The humble screwdriver is sure to be found lurking in any toolbox – in fact, most toolboxes have several of them. Some are manual, some are even automatic, some affix to a drill to make your life even easier. If you already own a screwdriver, chances are you have a favourite one. One that you use for just about everything it’s good for! Taking care of a screwdriver is no joke and must be done to ensure that it keeps up appearances and functions properly when needed.
Here are a few tips on how best to take care of your screwdriver.
Ensure It’s Kept Dry
One of the worst things for any metal is exposure to moisture. Over time, this will create rust through oxidation and rust is the one thing that will eventually compromise the integrity of the screwdriver. Make sure that your screwdriver is in a cool, dark place like a toolbox or drawer, away from the elements.
Get Rid of Rust Quickly
Rust will eventually get to it anyway, it will just take longer. When the rust does eventually set in, make sure you lubricate the tool with WD-40 or other penetrating lubricant, then scrub with a wire brush to take care of as much of the rust as you can. Rust is an inevitable part of tool ownership, it’s to be expected and can be managed. A good toolset should last a lifetime, if properly cared for. Another thing to do with a rusty tool is to apply a moisture inhibitor, like silica gel. Apply a thin layer and allow it to absorb into the metal – this will offer an extra layer of protection from rust.
Eliminate As Much Moisture As You Can
If you’re working in, or storing your tools in a damp space, make sure you eliminate as much moisture from the air as you can. For example, if you store your tools downstairs in your damp basement, try running a dehumidifier often, this will suck the moisture from the air and slow down the rusting process.
Repair or Replace?
That trusty old screwdriver with the wooden handle that’s cracked? It might not need to be replaced just yet. You’ve done OK with holding it together with duct tape, but it’s time for a more permanent solution. Using wood glue rather than epoxy or some other adhesive, apply to the affected cracked area and then using a clamp, secure the cracked sides together and allow the clamp to bond the glue to the wood. This process can take about an hour or so. Afterwards, you may remove the clamp and resume use.
For those with plastic or rubber handles, there’s little you can really do to repair a cracked rubber handle (this can sometimes happen with cold exposure over time), so you might instead consider replacing the screwdriver.
In general, screwdrivers are one of those tools that you can buy a set of and they’ll last you forever. They come in different lengths – just make sure that you buy two sets, one for Robertson (square) and one for Phillips (cross-shaped) screws. You’ll need both and don’t want to be found lacking in one type when you need it. Taking good care of your tools by following simple steps will ensure they’ll last.
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