Tool Chest Maintenance

Okay, so you now have your very own tool chest and you plan to keep it around for a very long time. Now you need to learn how to take care of it and maintain it for the long run. Depending on the type of tool chest that you decided to purchase, there will be different requirements for keeping it in the best physical condition. Before getting a little bit more specific, I’m going to go over a few of the general tips you should consider when it comes to maintaining all these products.

General Tips

To keep your tool chest properly maintained you should keep it clean and dry as much as possible. Make sure you aren’t stacking a lot of heavy tools and equipment on top of it, or using is as a table or chair, as doing so can damage the chest and decrease its lifespan. You should try to wax and polish the shell at least once a month.

For proper drawer maintenance you should lubricate the rollers inside with a Silicon Spray or WD-40 (DO NOT USE OIL) to ensure smooth operation when opening and closing the draws. Be sure to dust the drawers every now and then, especially if they have wooden parts, so that they do not attract insects like termites that may devour the wood. Do not use the drawers as a stepladder.

Be sure to always keep your tool chest clean and your tools organized. This will help keep up a faster workflow, and allow your tool chest to last longer as it will not deteriorate with time. Grease the caster wheels regularly, as they need lubrication to be able to roll smoothly. Try to avoid eating and/or drinking around the tool chest because this will encourage animals and insects, as well as cause stains. You should also keep your tool chest away from children and pets, as it is a potential safety hazard for them.

Wooden Top Maintenance

If you have a wood-top tool chest you should dry the top every so often, as you do not want it to rot and deteriorate with time. Also dust it regularly with a Swiffer to get rid of the ants, spiders, and any unwanted material. Wooden-top tool chests may harbor termites if not taken care of properly; every three months or so be sure to use bug spray in and around the area where you work.

Metal Top Maintenance

For tool chests with metal tops it’s good to oil the top regularly to avoid rust. Ideally, you should oil it after every use and make sure the top is dry before using it. I use Sham Wow! to get rid of all the moisture that can sometimes accumulate on my tool chest. Avoid keeping the tool chest out in the sun, as metal is a great conductor of heat and this will wear out your equipment faster. Rust Shield is a spray that will guard against rust and protect your metal top from impurities.

Also, you want to take care not to store sharp, pointy objects and tools on the metal top to avoid scratches; to prevent denting do not over-burden the top with an additional weight load.

Maintaining a tool chest, whether it has a wooden top or a metal top, may seem like a hard task, but with practice it will slowly become a habit that you do not even think twice about. Follow my tool chest maintenance advice and you will surely have this equipment around for years to come.