Dangerous Work Tools: 5 Power Tools to Respect

Work Tools and Safety

Whether you work with power tools for your business or at home, safety consideration is a must. Some tools, however, deserve a great deal more of your respect in your garage or work-site. Despite repeated attempts by manufacturers of high quality tools, the proper safety precautions aren't taken and often lead to injury. When working with dangerous power tools, many accidents can be avoided simply by reading and respecting the manual and step by step operating procedures of the work tool. Although there might be more dangerous tools than the following, these five tools are in many cases essential to a specific task. Once you find yourself in a situation where your work calls for a specific tool, think about alternatives for accomplishing the tasks more safely before purchasing the following tools. If you decide to purchase anyway, always heed to the manufacturers safety guidelines for the tool in question.

1. Beam Cutter

If you have ever looked at your worm drive saw like it is an all powerful greek god deserving of fear and respect, perhaps you should think twice before attaching a chain saw to it when searching for a work tool that will cut a cedar beam for your fence post. Beam cutter attachments like this Prazi are commonly purchased for carpenters who work primarily with timber frame home building. Despite being a must have power tool in that trade, this work tool is no joke. Consider the dangling cord of your worm drive getting pulled through the bottom in an instant. One alternative to using a beam cutter attachment is using your miter saw. It will likely take two cuts, but that is a small inconvenience when faced with working with a power tool that has a chain saw attached to it. 

Band Saw's Are Relatively Inexpensive

Jet Band Saw Demo

2. Common Band Saw

Although this tool isn't considered dangerous by most trade professionals who work with this tool often, I'd dub this tool "sneaky" in how dangerous it can be. Band saws work by having a continuous saw blade rotate around two large wheels. The size of the two wheels determines how large the material you can put through a band saw. The positive feedback from carpenters who work with this power tool on a regular basis like them because they are whisper quiet. This is precisely why band saws can be dangerous for those who haven't used them before. With a dust collection system on, you truly can not hear that a band saw is even turned on. Upon your own investigation, you'll hear countless stories of people actually leaving a band saw on for long periods of time only to notice later to turn it off. Working with power tools that you don't know are on is, or can be, dangerous. Band saws deserve respect. 

3. Surface Grinders

Surface grinders are a type of industrial angle grinder made for leveling hardened materials such as concrete or cement. The blades used for industrial grade surface grinders are incredibly expensive and very powerful. Working with such a tool deserves 100% of your respect despite all of the protective waste discharge covers. A general rule of thumb when thinking about surface and angle grinders is to consider that any tool that operates at a speed of 3000 or more rpm, can hurt you at the speed of 3000 or more rpm. Gloves and goggles will ensure a grin.

4. Chipping Hammers

If you own a handyman business or are a first time homeowner, chipping hammers can save quite a bit of work time removing old porcelain or ceramic tile. While you are working with these type of tools, you might notice that the impact force seems to be contained at the floor level. But before you get too cavalier about leaving your goggles off, consider that these hammers are providing up to 3500 impacts per minute. At this rate, microscopic ceramic or porcelain particles are being sent away from the hammer up to 12 feet away. Trust that these particles will find your eyes without goggles. There are manual alternatives to chipping hammers when you need to do work like this. Although manual tools require more labor, labor is free after all.

5. Common Reciprocating Saw

Often left off the danger radar, reciprocating saws also deserve some respect in your home or at work. Blade lengths of these cutting tools can reach up to 12 inches long and operate at speeds that range from 0-4000 SPM. Without taking the necessary safety precautions with this tool, a 12 inch blade will go through the depth of most walls and electric wiring in an instant. Several stops and starts while using will help finish your cut smoothly. Another danger to look out for when your work calls for a reciprocating saw is when the blade binds toward the end of any given cut through wood. The kickback on a bound blade can pinch, cut, or cause the motor to overheat. 

Work Tools and Working Smart

The efficient nature of power tools is an obvious benefit for homeowners and contractors alike. Reducing the amount of time on a job site can mean a more profitable business, and increase family and leisure time. However, the work/family balance should have no bearing on tool safety. Nothing will ensure more time with your family than working safely with dangerous power tools. As we've seen, some of the more dangerous power tools are ones that we most often work with. As habits tend to stick after doing something 20 times, start safety habits with your tools right away. 

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Comments 3 comments

Brent Stone profile image

Brent Stone 5 years ago

I have been a construction worker for 20 years and have seen some major accidents on work sites. Most of the time it is through human neglect or stupidity. You can have the safest best practice around, but if you do not follow it, then safety practices go out the window.

nathandanials profile image

nathandanials 5 years ago from Golden Valley, MN Author

Great advise Brent. Thank you for the comment. I'm glad that someone with your experience could contribute. I've seen a few accidents myself growing up on a farm.

Camero68 3 years ago

Safety is always a priority in any work place especially in manufacturing sites using bigger and more powerful machines . In our company as a band saw operator, everyone is properly trained on how to use, repair and maintain them because they are great investments.

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