power tool rust prevention

Shed vs. Garage: Which Better Reduces Power Tool Rust Risk?

If you’re someone who loves power tools, you probably cringe at the idea of having to check them out one-at-a-time at a hardware store like it’s a library. You want to have the right tool on hand when you need it.power tool rust prevention

To keep your power tools in good shape and make the investment worthwhile, it’s essential to keep power tool rust at bay while they’re in storage, whether that’s near your garage work bench, backyard shed or a toolbox you keep in your closet. But among those choices, what’s the best storage options to stop power tool rust from forming? You’ll need to consider the size of your collection, the climate of the storage space and whether there is a risk moisture or open air.

As noted by OSHA, a wide range of handheld tools (bolts, blades, chains and more) contain iron or steel components. As our rust prevention experts at Zerust know, these metals are highly susceptible to the chemical oxidation process that causes rust. Anytime there is interaction with iron (or ferrous derivative metal) plus oxygen plus moisture, there’s danger of rust forming. This is especially true with power tools because they have so many cracks and crevices that may be prone to pitting. One small nick or dint, and it won’t be long before rust takes over.

Tool Box Rust Risk

Many power tools can fit neatly into a box, which can be stored in an indoor closet – or anywhere, really, including your garage or shed. This is usually a smart option that can help minimize rust formation, as the hard case will help protect tools from the kinds of dings and dents that can be the start of pitting – and power tool rust. However, just tossing them in won’t be enough to halt rust if there is any possibility that moisture – even just from humidity in the air – can seep in. The best option is a cool, dry area, avoiding anywhere temperatures may be prone to dramatically rise and fall (which can create condensation, which can precipitate rust. Keep those boxes stored on a higher shelf. For the best power tool rust protection, slip in a Zerust toolbox drawer line or , plastab. You could also simply attach a VCI vapor capsules, or select the appropriate size of Multipurpose VCI Poly Bag.

Garage Power Tool Rust Risk v. Shed Power Tool Rust Risk

When it comes to deciding whether to store your power tools in a garage or outdoor shed, it’s important to consider whether you can keep the tools at a stable temperature. It’s unlikely high or low temperatures will have an adverse affect, but the fluctuation of temperatures will (due to the risk of condensation, which we mentioned earlier).

If you have a work space already in your garage, it’s probably going to be ideal for you to store your power tools there. If it’s possible to keep your garage temperature relatively stable, this is one of your best strategies. But garages are more likely than sheds to alternately heated and cooled, depending on the season when you’re out there working. You can offer added protection by utilizing the power tool rust prevention products we mentioned earlier.

If you don’t have a toolbox or the tool is too large, the VCI vapor capsules work best. One of the benefits of vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) technology is that Zerust has patented it to fit inside or cover almost any tool – from a jig saw to a tablesaw. The VC6-2 capsules offer a six-foot radius of power tool rust protection in an enclosed space for up to two years. 

These same rust prevention strategies can and should be used in sheds as well. Although sheds may seem to have the advantage over garages in terms of temperature variation, tools left open air in the shed may be at risk for rust if the shed is prone to holes or leaks – even tiny ones that could allow humid air to pass through. No shed is airtight.

For this reason, we’d be more likely to recommend garage storage, though in both cases, Zerust power tool rust prevention products are the best tool you have to reduce the chances of rust damage.

Contact Zerust for information on power tool rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Ask the Carpenter: How to rid tools of rust, keep them that way, April 4, 2017, Rob Robillard, The Boston Globe

More Blog Entries:

Spring Garden Tool Rust Prevention Solutions by Zerust, March 14, 2018, Zerust Tool Rust Prevention Blog