Welcome back. Our last article was on how to clean your power tools and hand tools.
In this article, we will share with you a few ideas on how to store power tools as well as hand tools. If you are a construction professional or just a family handyman with a tool belt and a lot of tools in the garage these storage tips should give you some ideas on how to best organize tools and make them clearly visible which will save you both time and space that you could use for getting that project done. Not to mention, it’s going to look so cool when it’s finished that you might want to use it in your project portfolio.
We have put together this guide in the hopes that you’ll take the time to get organized if you’re not already or better organized than you may already be. The time you spend now to do this will pay off handsomely with the time you save in the future. Nobody wants to be searching endlessly for a spark plug socket or tearing up the garage looking for that 3/8’’ socket. Knowing where everything is will free you up both mentally and physically to do what you do best. Now obviously there are more than a few methods that all work. What you’ll find below are just a few ideas on what we think are the most efficient as well as aesthetically pleasing.
This guide will focus on three main areas:
- First, How to store your power tools and hand tools enclosed
- Second, How to store your power tools and hand tools openly
- Third, How to create your own fully functional storage station for your power tools & hand tools
How to store your power tools and hand tools enclosed
The number one enemy you need to stay on guard for is rust which can be caused by humidity or by storing tools that are still dirty and moist after use. Storing your tool collection in an enclosed manner (in their original cases and or tool chests) has many benefits and should be utilized if your tool storage system is in any type of environment that has humidity issues such as a garage or trailer that isn’t heated or air-conditioned. One thing to keep in mind is that harsh temperature changes can have an adverse effect on circular saws and other power tools. You may want to consider investing in an air de-humidifier. They are relatively inexpensive and they don’t consume very much electricity which makes it a very useful little soldier to stand sentry against rust and corrosion. This would also apply to tool storage lockers if they are in an enclosed space.
One of the main benefits of keeping your tools, cordless drills, and drill bits in their original cases with storage guides or stored in toolboxes and tool chests is that you’ll be able to transport them easily and you’ll know where everything is. Just about all power tools whether they be corded or cordless have tough cases with snap-in placements for the tool as well as the accessories so they don’t go all over the place when you’re transporting them. This is the same for drill bit sets. When it comes to individual hand tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and hammers you’ll want to make sure that you have a toolbox that has a tool organizer and enough space to hold what you’ve got and that it is very durable with heavy-duty latches that don’t break off easily. There are many like this on the market but the one we highly recommend is the DEWALT TOUGH SYSTEM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGSOHWFmuVI
Their first run of these had a few issues but they have improved tremendously in 2020 making them the top choice in storage options. They also come in different sizes, are stackable and there’s a dolly you can purchase to carry them all at once. You can fit a cordless power tool such as cordless drills and miter saws in the bigger cases and everything else like blades, bits, and hand tools in the smaller ones basically making this a tool garage on wheels. They’re even planning on including power strips in next year’s model!
No matter which toolbox or tool case you have there will always come a time where your stuff is going to roll around inside of it. This causes confusion and wasted time as well as a lot of unneeded noise. There are a few tools storage ideas to remedy this situation. One thing that we highly recommend is to always line your toolbox/case with a rubber-type shelf liner or thin pile carpet. A rubber shelf liner will help keep your tools from rolling around and a thin pile carpet cut to size will do that as well but cut down more on the noise factor. Either one will work just fine or if space allows you can utilize both. Another idea that works well and costs little to nothing is to cover your tools with a shop rag or two before closing the lid. If you’re using something on the bottom and the top there’s no movement and no noise. You should label the boxes or plastic compartments to distinguish between drill bits, screws, washers, etc.
How to store your power tools and hand tools openly
When it comes to storing tools openly we suggest something similar to the French cleat method which is the tried and true method of using a pegboard on the wall with brackets for organizing and storing your tools. There are several reasons to do this but the most common is that a good storage rack saves space and allows you to organize power tools and hand tools in a very easy to locate. However, as stated above you’ll want to take extra special care to protect against humidity if you’re going to be utilizing this pegboard method of garage storage. Extreme heat and extreme cold can cause a great deal of humidity which brings rust and corrosion. Make sure that you invest in a dehumidifier to protect your investment.
Installing pegboard is rather easy and the tools you’ll need are a screw gun, a level, and a jigsaw. The materials you’ll need are the pegboard and its’ accessories as well as some lathe screws.
Locate your wall studs taking into account that you’ll need a little space behind to accommodate the pegboard accessories and mounting pegs. If this is being installed over drywall you’ll need to use a stud finder and mark the area with your findings.
You’ll want to measure the distance between studs and cut out some 2’’ x 1’’ strips of wood to be used on all the edges and also vertically between studs and attach them to the studs using 3’’ stud screws.
You’ll want to measure any electrical outlets and switches and use a jigsaw to cut them out of the pegboard making sure that the trim plate will cover the opening.
Cut the pegboard to the size you need with a circular saw or a table saw and mount it to the wall with your screw gun using your lathe screws. The reason you want to use lathe screws is that they have a large washer head which will stop the pegboard from weakening and tearing when you’re hanging heavier tools on it.
Install magnetic toolbars for hanging wrenches, sockets, and other metal tools and metal rails for hanging heavier tools. This is a crucial step because pegboard is only 3/16’’ thick and won’t be able to handle a lot of weight in any one particular spot. So basically you’re going to use a metal rail system that has holes every inch so you can attach them to the studs by again using your lathe screws. Metal rail systems come with plastic rail covers which are good to utilize as well for smaller tools.
This is where you can incorporate any other type of tool cabinet or workbench to the area and really take advantage of the extra space that you’ll have by using the pegboard. If the pegboard is white you can add a fresh coat of white enamel gloss paint to the cabinet and workbench making it look better and easier to clean.
Add your pegboard accessories that come in a fairly wide range of hangers, baskets, plastic bin, hooks, and loops to accommodate any hand and power tool items you have to hang. For drill bits, you can use a piece of PVC cut on an angle and attached to the pegboard like a holding cup.
Start your power tools storage organizing while having a beer and listening to some good 70’s classic rock. The beer and music aren’t necessary but they make it a lot more fun. How you hang tools is up to you based on what makes sense to you. We recommend though trying to implement some sort of tool organizing ideas such as hanging all of your long garden tools in one long area, your cordless tools in an area of easy access and your strips and rail system together but again this is completely up to you to come up with your own storage ideas
How to create your own fully functional storage station for your power tools & hand tools
For this part, we’re going to post a video that we think is by far the best power tool storage rack system and the coolest looking one we’ve ever seen. You can use pegboard on the inside if you want to. It shows a completed cordless drill storage cabinet complete with battery charging stations. The video has instructions that are pretty straightforward and require a little bit of time to put together but we feel it is the absolute best in power tool storage ideas. Here you go, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvqNDPSkfUw
We hope that these organizing ideas have been helpful to you and hope that you use this information to keep your tools stored in a manner that is effective and gives you a sense of pride in ownership.