It doesn’t take much to cause a serious injury with a power tool. A blade can cut through skin and bone with a minimal amount of effort. Whether you’re cutting something with a jigsaw or removing grout with an oscillating multi tool, there’s always the capacity for injury.
To help you avoid injury, we’ve compiled a list of some of the common power tool mistakes people make. They’re generalized and non-specific in order to cover as much ground as possible.
1. Not Wearing Safety Gear
This is the most obvious mistake of all. Yet so many people don’t wear safety gear. They think because the job only takes five minutes they can get away with not wearing anything. This is a mistake. Injuries can happen at any time. You don’t want to risk losing a digit due to laziness.
2. Not Cutting with the Grain
Always figure out which way the grain runs when working with any piece of wood. If you don’t cut with the grain the wood will split, and you’ll have to start again. Get into a habit of purposely picking the wood up and checking the way the grain runs before starting to cut. It’s a good ritual to get into for the future.
3. Standing in Front of Someone Using a Power Tool
Anyone in the room with someone using a power tool should stand behind them. Debris is liable to fly to the sides or forward. You are only getting in the way by standing anywhere else. Furthermore, you should always be wearing safety gear even if you’re just standing around while someone else uses the power tool.
4. Failing to Drill Pilot Holes
A pilot hole is a pre-drilled hole. It’s partially drilled to allow a screw to slip into the area. Without a pilot hole, there’s a strong chance of slippage. Essentially, you’ll be holding the screw upright against the material and drilling downwards. There are so many things that could go wrong.
You could lose control and the screw can slip out. The way the screw drives into the wood might not be perfectly straight. There’s also the risk of the drill moving away from the screw and drilling into the material itself.
5. Applying Force
There’s a reason power tools were invented. Manual tools meant lots of hand pressure and a strong arm. To remove this requirement, power tools were created. So it’s a surprise when you find people who still apply pressure to their tools. The drill/saw/cutter should be doing most of the work. All you need to do is guide it.
If you apply force, there’s a risk of breakage. Power saws, for example, can bend and twist when an external force is applied.
6. Not Securing the Work Piece
Any loose pieces of wood and metal should be secured by using a vice. Without a vice, you’re forced to hold the material with your hand. If something slips, the tool could jerk towards your hand and cause some serious damage. When this happens with a vice, there’s no chance of hitting anything because your limbs aren’t in the way.
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Jonathan Hendricks, the author, is an exceptional blogger. He shares construction, home improvement and décor related tips through his articles. He says that the Rockwell Sonicrafter Multi Tool Blades are a must have for any good contractor or handyman.