From time to time we wonder what the value of a tool truly is. How to get the most value for your money when buying a tool really depends on how often you are going to use it. The newest push for the tool market is battery powered devices but they are seldom ready when you need them or the power just isn’t there to make the cut. The worst scenario results in a dead battery halfway through a cut which leaves you waiting watching the battery light blink as it charges. Frustrating to say the least.
Chorded tools are always ready and the power even the cheapest produce is well beyond the bounds of the most expensive battery powered tool. But buying even high end chorded tools for projects you may use once or twice a year just gives you an expensive collection to mount in your garage, and tools with clutches, lasers, and dust collectors really only distract from the real purpose of that tool. Save your money on the tool and spend it on quality bits and blades.
The selection of bits and blades can be daunting and with diamond and titanium tipped selections you may be a little overwhelmed, but regardless of which you buy keeping them clean and sharp is the most important part of making sure your tool is ready for action. With the humidity reaching close to one hundred percent, we Floridians need to protect our blades from their most dangerous enemy, rust. Using a small tub of vegetable oil, I dip my bits/blades after use which preserves the edge and keeps my tools always prepared for the next big project, no matter how long it takes to finally get to it.
Before putting your tool away wipe down the entire tool including the blade/bit with a dry cloth to remove dust and debris. Use an air compressor nozzle to get all the internal motor parts cleared because you don’t want a clogged motor either. Dip the blade/bit in the oil bin and immediately wipe off the excess. You just want a very light coat for protection and too much oil will collect dust and grime. You can cover the blade with a rag afterwards if you think its going to be holed up for a while but be sure to remove that rag prior to plugging that tool in. Bad news if you don’t my friend!
This simple and inexpensive trick should keep your blades and bits prepped and ready without having to sharpen them all the time. Just that little bit of time you take between jobs will save you from making that terrible cut with a crappy blade. So next time you are wandering through the tool aisle just remember that it isn’t the price of the tool that matters, it’s the bite of the blade.
Special thanks to Rich Reich for the use of his photo.