When it comes to storing those must-have tools, every homeowner could have some sort of tool box to help organize and protect their tools. The type of tool box you’ll need depends on how many tools you have. Homeowners that only keep the essential tools on hand probably only need a portable tool box, while more serious craftsmen that have a large assortment of tools might need a rolling tool chest.

7 Must-Know Tool Box Maintenance Tips

No matter what type of tool box you have, however, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to maintain the box. A high-quality tool box can be an expensive purchase. And if you don’t take care of it, it could rust and end up damaging your tools.

Clean tools after every use

Wiping off dust and moisture from tools before placing them into your tool box can help prevent rust from forming on your tools and within your tool box. All you need to do for dusty tools is to use a dry, soft cloth to wipe them off. If you have grime or grease on your tools, you’ll want to use some sort of degreaser. If grease has started to build-up within the tool box, try cleaning it with WD-40.

Wipe up wood dust

If you don’t clean off dusty tools before putting them into the tool box, wood dust will gather in the box. This can make your tools unnecessarily dirty, plus it can also attract pests such as termites to your tool box. Wipe the interior of your tool box down with a dry, soft cloth to get rid of wood dust. If you get into the habit of doing this regularly, dust won’t build up in your box.



Organize tools within

The best tool boxes are the ones that are organized! Nobody wants to have to root around in a pile of tools to find the wrench they need. Organizing your tools creates a clutter-free, productive workplace. To start organizing, take out your tools, group similar tools together, and place each group in a specific area. Some tool boxes have built-in tool organizers. Remember to keep your frequently used tools in a spot where they’re easy to grab.

Lubricate wheels and rollers

All tool boxes have parts that will need to be lubricated with oil. Lubricating rollers helps make drawers easy to open and close, while lubricating wheels makes rollable tool boxes easy to move. Lubricating your tool box doesn’t require a lot of work. All you need to do is spray WD-40 on any moveable parts. This can help prevent movable parts from rusting. Lubricate your tool box whenever you notice that rollers and wheels are becoming stiff.

7 Must-Know Tool Box Maintenance Tips - tool box

Wax and polish shell

The metal shells of tool boxes are particularly susceptible to rust, especially if the tool box is left in a damp place. Regularly waxing and polishing the shell can help prevent rust from forming. Try not to store tool boxes to damp, cool places. If you’re keeping the tool box in a basement or garage, make sure to use a dehumidifier to draw moisture from the air. This can prevent rust from forming on the tool box.

Maintain the top

Whenever you are polishing the shell of your tool box, don’t forget the top! Most tool boxes have a metal top, but some may have a wood top. If your tool boxes top is made of metal, make sure to polish it with oil, just like you do for the shell. If it is made of wood, you’ll want to make sure that your tool box isn’t exposed to moisture. Exposure to moisture can cause a wooden top to start rotting.

Don’t overburden

Finally, try to avoid using the top of your tool box as a place to store additional heavy tools. Additional weight placed on top of the tool box can cause dents. Ideally, you shouldn’t put anything on top of your tool box for long periods of time. If you have tools that don’t fit into your tool box, consider purchasing a larger tool box or using a pegboard storage system. Extremely heavy tools could be placed directly on a counter or on the floor.

Final thoughts

Part of properly maintaining tools is making sure they’re contained in a rust-free tool box. Regular polishing and oiling can help keep a tool box in the best possible condition. WD-40 can help remove some rust from tool boxes. It is also possible to restore a badly rusted tool box by stripping the paint and rust, and then applying a new coat of paint.