Power tools are essential to get any DIY project done quickly and conveniently. However, when used incorrectly, power tools can cause injuries or even fatalities. As a result, it is important to prioritize safety when using power tools. In this article, we’ll discuss 12 power tools that can be fatal if not used properly and provide some tips to keep you safe.
The most common cause of chainsaw injuries is kickback. Kickback happens when the tip of the guide bar makes contact with an object, causing the bar and the chain to fly back towards the operator. To avoid this, read the owner’s manual, get proper training, and practice the safest way to fell a tree.
2. Hedge Trimmer
Most hedge trimmers are corded, which can result in electric shock or electrocution if the user accidentally cuts through the extension cord. Keep the cord out of the blade’s way and your feet, and avoid using the trimmer during rainy or wet conditions. Wear shoes with nonslip soles and stay balanced while using the tool.
3. Circular Saw
Circular saws are subject to kickback and can cause serious injury. Kickback happens when the moving blade gets pinched in the lumber, causing the saw to jerk back towards the operator’s body. To avoid this, cut straight lines, and don’t restrict the end of a board.
4. Pneumatic Nail Gun
Improper use of pneumatic tools such as air-powered nail guns can cause the fastener to be fired in the wrong direction, potentially injuring the operator or bystanders. High-velocity fasteners may also hit knots in wood and come back towards the user. Always read the owner’s manual and practice safety techniques.
5. Cordless Drill
Hold a cordless drill perpendicular to the work surface to prevent the bit from catching in the wood and twisting the drill violently. Working from a ladder increases the likelihood of the twisting, so always practice proper technique when drilling from a ladder.
6. Table Saw
Ensure that the fence, a guide for ripping wood, is parallel to the blade to prevent the wood from pinching the blade and causing kickback, which can pull the wood and your hands into the moving saw. Avoid using the fence while simultaneously cross-cutting material with the miter gauge.
7. Powder-Actuated Nail Gun
Powder-actuated tools are effective at firing nails through wood plates into concrete or metal. However, if the tool’s trajectory is slightly off, the fastener can ricochet and strike the user or bystanders. Take advantage of free training offered by the tool’s manufacturer to learn how to use it properly.
8. Miter Saws
When the blade binds, the spinning saw can kick upward toward the user, putting fingers, hands, and forearms in the path of the blade. Start the blade before it makes contact with the wood and keep the wood firmly pressed against the fence to minimize movement.
9. Wood-Turning Lathe
The tool spins at more than 9,000 rotations per minute (RPM), which can reel in loose clothing, long hair, or dangling jewelry. Enroll in a class or workshop to learn how to operate a wood-turning lathe correctly.
10. Extension Cords
Using extension cords incorrectly can cause house fires or injuries. Use a cord that’s rated for the tools being used, keep cords out of walkways, and never run cords under rugs.
11. Angle Grinder
Angle grinders are powerful and versatile tools that can grind and cut metal, concrete, and other materials. However, the high-speed abrasive discs used by angle grinders can shatter if they come into contact with an object or surface at the wrong angle. This can cause the disc to break apart, sending sharp fragments flying in all directions. To stay safe, always use protective gear like gloves and safety glasses, and make sure the work area is clear of bystanders and potential hazards.
12. Power Drill
Power drills are a staple tool for any DIYer or professional, but they can still be dangerous if used incorrectly. One common risk is the drill bit slipping off the surface and causing the drill to spin out of control. To prevent this, always use a drill with a secure grip and make sure the bit is properly tightened. Also, be sure to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.
In conclusion, power tools are incredibly useful, but they must be treated with respect and caution. Always read the owner’s manual and practice proper safety techniques when using these tools. And if you’re unsure about how to use a particular tool, consider taking a class or workshop to learn from an expert. By taking the time to learn and practice safe use, you can avoid serious injury and keep yourself and those around you safe.
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