Posted on: 07 March 2019
Signs that your tools are starting to wear
As a tradesperson, your tools are one of the most vital pieces of equipment that you use on a daily basis. Having good quality tools can be the difference between a smooth running project and work that may take longer due to errors.
Being able to spot not just what tools need replacing, but when they need replacing is difficult, so we have provided some guidance below.
How to spot faults in your tools
If you have had your tools for a long time, you will know how they looked in their peak condition. Regular visual inspection of your tools will allow you to see signs of deterioration from regular use. Faults might be easy to spot, such as broken blades on saws or rusted metal parts, but there could also be faults not so easy to find, such as dulled edges or worn parts on power tools. Make sure that you also know how to inspect your tools so that you know the signs of deterioration.
Quality of work
If you have noticed that your projects are decreasing in quality, or that it is taking you longer to perform certain tasks, such as sawing wood, it may be because your tools have deteriorated. A dulled chisel may cause wood to split wrongly, broken saw teeth may not cut properly and power tools may not be performing at their optimum level.
Not only will you notice a decline in performance from faulty tools, they can also be unsafe to use. Dulled tools can cause wood, stone or metal to splinter rather than cut neatly, possibly throwing debris towards your eyes, nose or mouth.
Keep track of your tools
Keep receipts so that you know exactly how long you have had tools for, as this will give you a rough idea of when you may need a replacement. If you have had your tools for longer than 5 years, it may be time to splash out on some newer equipment, as advances in technology have allowed for more efficient tools.
If you implement a tracking system for your tools, you could see how long they have been used for, and schedule in reminders to check their quality after a set amount of usage hours.
It can be difficult to inspect power tools for damage as most of the parts which could be faulty are inside the tool itself, so unless you have some experience with electrics, you may not know where to start, and it could be dangerous to try to make any fixes yourself.
Cuts or breaks in the cable might be easy to see, but if there is a problem with the wiring then it may be better to have an experienced repairer take a look.
If the tool is beyond repair, or not worth your time or money to have it repaired, make sure that you dispose of it safely, unless you can pass it on to someone who is capable of fixing it
Saws or blades
If your work requires you to cut or shape your products, you will need to use a good quality blade to make sure that the cuts are clean and of good quality.
Experiencing resistance when trying to cut through metal or wood or difficultly cutting in lines or if there are unpleasant and unusual sounds coming from your power tools may be a sign that your blades may be starting to dull. If this is the case the likelihood is that you will need to replace your blades.
If your saw is getting too hot or you notice burn marks on wood, your blade may have lost its coating which allows the metal to withstand the heat produced when sawing. This may mean it is time to replace your blades, so make sure that you inspect the quality of the equipment that you are using.
Repair or replace
If you have a particular tool that you enjoy using, you may prefer to have it repaired rather than look for a replacement. Use the 50% system to work out if it is worth paying for a replacement, or whether it makes more sense financially to have your tool repaired. For example, if a new hammer costs £15 to buy new, don’t pay any more than £7.50 to have your current hammer repaired.
This is, of course, a general guidance, so consider other factors when looking to replace equipment. You may have had 5 years use of your tool, in which time better tools may be available at a lower cost.
There is a huge amount of diversity in the world of contractors, which is why it is important to have a contractor insurance policy that fits your business. Our insurance experts are trained to advise you on the perfect insurance cover to fit your company.
Get in touch with our team to receive a competitive, no obligation quote.
Compare business insurance
The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Knowledge Centre.