How to Keep Your Tools Safe
As a tradesperson, your tools are your livelihood. They’re some of the most valuable items you own, and not only for their financial worth—which can be significant—but because they’re how you earn your living
That’s why it’s so important to keep them safe. A wide range of unfortunate fates can befall your tools if you’re not careful, from breaking and wearing out prematurely to being lost or stolen. They won’t protect themselves, so it’s up to you!
5 Ways to Protect Your Valuable Tools
If you’ve worked a trade for any length of time, chances are you’ve accumulated a significant collection of tools. At the end of the day, tools are an investment. From getting in a quality tool roll bag for storage, to marking your tools to discourage theft, these are the five best ways to protect your investment.
Store Them Right
One of the best ways to keep your tools safe, secure and free from damage is to store them properly. That might look different for different types of tools. But whether you’re stowing away your tools at home or organizing them for transport, the right storage solution is crucial.
You have a lot of tool boxes and bags to choose from, and each has its pros and cons. Tool roll bags are ideal for a lot of tools—especially hand tools—because they’re versatile, easy to carry, and can hold a surprising amount of gear for their size.
The Roaring Fire Pack Mule Versatile Double-Sided Organizer is a great option if you’re looking for a roll-style tool bag. It has 4 removable pouches, plus 8 assorted pockets and 11 elastic loops. It’s just the right size for hand tools, ranging from hammers and chisels to socket wrenches and screwdrivers. It also has smaller compartments to keep hardware organized.
Of course, for bigger, heavier power tools, you may want to invest in a large, hard-sided storage box with a lock. But for storing hand tools in a way that’s both safe and convenient, a tool roll is hard to beat.
Most tradesmen often find themselves in a situation that requires them to leave their tools inside their truck or van for an extended period of time. There’s always some anxiety that comes with leaving the tools of your trade unattended and vulnerable. Break-ins happen every day, after all.
First and foremost, always double check to make sure your vehicle is locked before you walk away, and if you have a car alarm, go ahead and activate it. Also, try to store your tools inside the vehicle in such a way that they aren’t readily visible to anyone who might glance inside the window.
Most of all, park your work vehicle in an open, high-visibility place where crooks would have a hard time breaking in without being seen. If you have to park in a dim or out-of-the-way spot (like a parking garage), learn where the security cameras are, and park directly in their line of sight.
Theft isn’t the only thing that can rob you of your tools before their time. Lack of maintenance takes its toll as well, so be sure to clean your tools after each use. Tools work hard, and they don’t ask for much, so keeping them clean is a small price to pay for years of reliable service.
Hand tools and garden tools are easiest to maintain. Usually, wiping them down with a rag after each use is enough, but a good scrub with soap and water may be called for if they’re extra dirty. Be sure to let them dry thoroughly before storing them again. Tools with wooden handles can occasionally benefit from having their handles oiled with linseed or tung oil.
Power tools are more complicated. In general, clean them in accordance with the instructions in the users’ manual—always hang onto the users’ manual—and make sure they’re unplugged when you do so. You can’t go wrong wiping them down and oiling any moving parts.