The Best Tool Cart for the Job
Tool carts make any repair job easier. These movable platforms hold your tools and can be wheeled from location to location, wherever they are needed. There are plenty of tool carts in the market to choose from, but which of them is best for you?
Determine your needs
As with many other things we buy, you will first need to know exactly what you will be needing. Are you a professional mechanic who works on automobiles every day? In that case, you'll be needed a heavy duty tool cart with a large space capable of holding hundreds of pounds worth of equipment. If you're the occasional DIYer regularly maintaining your vehicle and doing big repair jobs from time to time, you can do with a light weight tool cart that will hold only the most essential tools.
Tool cart materials
- Plastic - There are plenty of lightweight and durable plastic tool carts available in the market. Be careful about getting the cheapest ones available because it won't take much to break them. Even if you do repair jobs occasionally, it's still a good idea to invest in high quality, though more expensive, tool carts.
- Steel - Most of the tool carts sold today are made of steel. Strong and durable, these tool carts can take any beating being dished to it. If you're a automobile hobbyist or if you're looking start a career in automotive repair, then steel tool carts are the first thing you should consider. Be sure to get steel carts coated with paint or treated with anti-corrosion chemicals to be sure that they'll last long time.
Types of tool carts
- Trays - These tool carts are composed of a number of tray or shelves. When working with these, you first get the equipment you'll be needing from your storage area and place them on the trays for easy access. This is as basic as basic gets.
- Cabinets - These movable storage cabinets can hold a lot more equipment than trays can. These are worth looking at if you're tool collection is becoming sizable or if you'd rather not bother switching tools from the storage area to the tool cart and vice versa.
- Combination - A number of tool carts are composed of a combination of trays and drawers. These carts are versatile and can be for any repair job you might have. Convenient carts like these are a worthwhile purchase for both amateur and professional car mechanics.
Tips to Maintaining Your Tool Carts
Automotive or utility tool carts are built to carry heavy loads and withstand any accidental damage. They can last a long time, even through intense working conditions. Despite their near invulnerable build, it is advisable to maintain these tool carts from time to time so that they always perform at the highest level.
Tip 1: Always make sure your cart is stored in a cool dry place and covered
If you work on your car only occasionally, chances are, your tool kit is just lying around the garage most of the time. Most garages are dirty all the time and occasionally wet, two conditions that could wear down your tool cart. Corrosion may soon eat your cart from the inside. By the time you need the cart, you might be left with only a broken and nearly useless pile of steel.
Tip2: Make sure that moving parts in the cart are well lubricated
Having metal components move and brush against each other can be bad. The friction and stress caused by these movements can wear down and damage the tool cart.
- Always make sure to lubricate your tool cart with some light grease from time to time; twice a year is good enough.
- Some of the critical parts to lubricate are the slide, the caster axles, wheels, and locking bolt threads.
Tip 3: Clean your cart occasionally
It's no surprise that your tool cart will always get dirty. The environment it's in is also dirty. The tools it stores are dirty as well. Everything around it is dirty. But that's no excuse to leave your cart in that condition.
- Clean the drawers surfaces and trims from time to time with some mild detergent and water.
- Open the drawers of the cart, remove all the tools and wipe them clean as well.
- Be sure not to clean the lubricated areas of the cart or just reapply some grease to these areas if you do.
Tip 4: Mind the wheels
The wheels are the most vulnerable part of the tool cart. They are exposed to dirt all the time and handle all the weight of the cart. Make sure you pay special attention to the wheels. Remember, your cart ain't going anywhere if the wheels break.
- Clean the wheels thoroughly with detergent or some commercial cleaning spray from time to time.
- If the wheels are squeaking, a spray of penetrating oil might solve the problem.
- If the wheels are wobbling a bit, the screws and bolts may be loose. Tighten them if so.
- If all else fails, replace the wheel.