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Band Saw Safety Tips

A band saw is a useful and versatile power tool that can make many curved or intricate cuts. However, like most power tools, it's important to be cautious when operating a stationary or bench-top band saw. Using this device improperly can not only result in a botched woodworking project, but it can also lead to an accident. Follow these band saw safety rules before starting your next project.


Do's

  • Wear safety goggles or glasses. Since a band saw's blades rotate quickly, wood chips and sawdust can fly every direction. Wearing large safety glasses and goggles can help block debris from your eyes.
  • Clear a 2-foot perimeter around your working area. Before you starting any project, remove tools, cords, debris and anything else that could impede cutting or create a tripping hazard.
  • Adjust the wheel guides and set the tension. Before turning on the machine, align the saw blade with the center of the wheels, and adjust the tension based on the blade width. This ensures that the blade won't get damaged.
  • Begin cutting when the blade is at full speed. For an accurate and safe cut, feed your material in when the blade is at full speed. Make sure the stock is flat on the surface.
  • Use a guide when cutting in a straight line. Attaching a cutting guide to the edge of the table enables you to make accurate and perfectly straight cuts in lumber or other material.
band saw safety tips

Don'ts

  • Don't wear loose-fitting clothing. Long-sleeved or baggy shirts can get caught in the blade and accidentally pull your arms forward. If you wear a long-sleeved shirt, roll it tightly and well above each elbow.
  • Don't put your fingers or hands in the blade’s path. Hold the outside edges of the lumber instead of directly in the cut line. By keeping your hands to the side of the material, your hands are more likely to avoid the blade in case the stock slips.
  • Don't try to speed up a cut. Cut the lumber at a slow to moderate pace. This allows you to make more accurate cuts and won’t put stress on the blade.
  • Don't force the machine to a stop. Wait until the band saw comes to a stop on its own. Even if you need to back out of a cut, wait for the blade to stop completely before backing out.
  • Don't fix a broken blade until band saw is completely off. Lift the cover off the device when the machine is off. Don't try replacing a cracked blade or adjusting the a blade unless it comes to complete stop.
  • Don't leave the machine running unattended. Like any power tool, don't keep this device on while unattended. Make sure it's off to ensure any bystanders stay unharmed.
band saw safety tips