Power Tools: Essential Tips for Winter Protection and Storage
Missy McCabe·January 14, 2024
As winter sets in across Atlantic Canada, it's not just our wardrobes that need adjusting – our power tools might also need a little bit of attention to make it through the season unscathed. The cold, damp conditions of winter can be harsh on our valuable tools, affecting their performance and longevity. In this latest Atlantic Outdoor maintenance guide, we'll explore effective strategies for storing and protecting your power tools during winter, ensuring they remain in prime condition for use in cold weather AND when springtime projects start to ramp up.
1. Optimal Storage Solutions
The key to protecting your power tools from winter's harsh elements is proper storage. Ideally, tools should be stored in a dry, indoor environment to prevent exposure to cold and moisture. If space inside your home is limited, consider using a heated garage or shed. For those utilizing colder spaces like unheated garages, small heaters or dehumidifiers can help maintain a suitable environment.
2. Pre-Use Warming
If your tools have been stored in cold conditions, it's crucial to let them warm up to room temperature before use. This is especially important for tools containing lubricants, as cold can reduce their effectiveness. Allow a gradual warm-up period of around two hours for optimal performance.
3. Lubricant and Coolant Adjustments
In colder weather, the viscosity of lubricants in your power tools should be adjusted to match the outdoor temperature. Depending on how heavy your usage is, lower-viscosity oils can ensure smoother operation in cold conditions. Additionally, modifying the coolant-to-water ratio in tools with engines can prevent freezing, with a 70 to 30 ratio often being effective in the cold climate.
4. Fuel Management
If your equipment has a fuel tank, keeping it full helps prevent condensation and freezing. Just like we mentioned in our Lawn Care Equipment Storage Blog, a fuel stabilizer might be a good idea to help prevent the fuel from degrading and the carburetor from getting clogged. But for a lot of smaller power tools, you won’t be worrying about fuel. Instead, you need to think of the battery…
5. Battery Maintenance
Batteries can lose charge in cold weather and should be stored in a stable environment. You might not be able to store your entire tool collection inside, but if you can manage a spot for your batteries in a warm, dry place - they’ll thank you for it! Taking proper care of your batteries and keeping them out of the elements is one of the best ways to keep them juicin’ for as long as possible, so you get the best bang for your hard-earned buck.
6. Regular Maintenance Checks
Routine maintenance is essential for winter-ready power tools. This includes cleaning, inspecting for wear or damage, and lubricating moving parts. Clean tools are happy tools and quick checks, cleanings or simple home maintenance tasks are great to do between service appointments. Depending on your skill and comfort level, there’s plenty you can do at home to supplement a rigorous maintenance schedule!
As you prepare your power tools for the winter months, it's important to consider their specific needs and how best to meet them. Whether it's investing in quality storage solutions, performing regular maintenance, or seeking professional service, each step plays a crucial role in extending the life and performance of your tools. We’re proud to carry power tools, storage, accessories, and battery solutions from Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, King Canada, and more! Shop ALL the collections at Atlantic Outdoor.