Is your garage or shed a mess? Does your tool bench look like a hurricane went through a home improvement store?
That’s not very helpful when you’re trying to get a job done. But things like drills and saws are tricky to stow.
They’re strange shapes and you can’t treat them like any old belonging. They need proper power tool storage techniques, or they’ll get ruined.
What are the proper techniques? Get an idea below.
The Basics of Power Tool Storage
Before we get into the DIY options and the cool ways you can display your investments, we need to cover some ground rules.
Keep Tools Dry
Ground-rule number one is to store tools somewhere they’re protected. You don’t want to leave tools on the ground, even in a covered shed or garage. Miniscule amounts of water collect on the floor, which can cause your tools to rust.
If you don’t use your tools that often, you can get motor damage from dust. Dust’s tiny molecules get into motors and sticks to lubricants. Over time it may make the power tools wonky or ruin the motor entirely.
Don’t use cardboard to store your tools either. If you don’t want to use any DIY solutions, use the carrying case your tools came in.
If you store it covered in one of these containers, wipe it down before you store it. Use a dry cloth to remove any moisture or debris.
Hang Them – Kind Of
You can hang your power tools, many of us do and use a pegboard like system. However, you should never hang your power tools by their cord.
The cord’s connection to the machine isn’t the strongest point of tension. You know how your phone charger wire starts to bend around the base of the phone plug side?
The same thing can happen to your tools if you hang them by the cord.
Instead, hang them by any handle they may have come with.
On the same note, don’t hang a drill by its bit, for example. The alignment of tools and their moving parts isn’t something you want skewed.
Can you imagine a handheld circular saw that rubbed against one side of the opening? What use would that be?
These days, most power tools come with rechargeable batteries. Batteries are sensitive to temperature. If you live or store your tools in a normal garage-like environment, you should be fine.
That is unless you live in somewhere with weather extremes. You don’t want batteries to go above 100 degrees F in summer or below freezing in the winter.
You can find a climate controlled storage unit or store your batteries inside.
Before you store something like a drill, that has removable parts, remove the parts! You want the drill in an open and ready-to-go position for when you need it next.
Not only is this more efficient time-wise, it keeps your accessories all in order. Put the drill bit back in its case with all the others. Then you won’t bring your bit kit and realize the one you need is on your other drill at home.
It’s little things like this that prolong the life of your power tools.
On that note, we suggest you store tools with accessories in the same place as you store the tools themselves. For example, if you have cabinets, make one cabinet the drill cabinet.
Store the bits and your drills on the same shelf. This will keep you from rummaging around when you need to get going.
Some drills come with carrying bags that usually have room for bits. If you don’t have an extensive collection, use that! They gave it to you for a reason.
Create a System
If you have a lot of tools, you may want to create a personalized storage solution. Many people’s go to are pegboards, but how do you hang tools from those best?
One option is to build little shelves that hook on to the pegboard. Remember you want as little tension and pressure on your tools as possible when you store them.
Another option is to build a french cleat system and create storage plates unique to each tool. This is a weekend project at least, so don’t think you’ll just throw it up on the wall.
Maybe you don’t want to build a wall hanging system. Ok, do you have a workbench?
If you have a large bench, you can build or buy a hutch-like shelving unit to put tools into.
We’re talking about those cubby-hole like shoe organizers, but bigger. Even if you just find a simple bookshelf, you can use its shelves to get more room on your bench.
If you’ve ever had access to a label maker, you know people go a little crazy with them. One time someone put a label on their baby that said “baby”.
Anyways, don’t feel bad about labeling your storage solutions. When everything has a place, it’s much easier to put things back and stay organized.
Don’t get into the habit of, “I’ll put it away later”. That’s how benches get messy and things pile up.
To keep from getting overwhelmed, put the tools away each time you use them. It’s not a waste of time, it’s for the good of your tools!
Power Tools Storage
All in all, it depends on your space and the number of tools you have. If you don’t have a workbench and all you’ve got is one shelf in the garage, build up a little power tool storage shelving unit.
If you can have a whole wall, use the french cleat system. Worst case scenario, stack the plastic protective boxes together in the corner.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your tools unprotected and just laying around. They’ll rust, malfunction, or lose parts.
Then you’ll be sad and your honey-do list won’t get done. No one wants that!
Need suggestions on how to populate your new, well-organized tool bench? We review power tools here.