Safety Tips for Hand & Power Tools
A great collection of tools can make any DIY task simple to do. However, if they aren't used properly, they can do a ton of damage to property or cause injury. Whether you're using hammering away at home or using power tools on the jobsite, workplace safety should always be a top priority. We've put together some essential tips so you can tackle any project with peace of mind and confidence.
Before you start cutting though, it's important to keep in mind that hand saws are exceptionally sharp and are capable of causing some serious damage.
A hammer is a key tool to use around any home or worksite. When you're ready to start assembling your project or securing components, make safety precautions a part of your workflow by incorporating these tips.
Avoid flying debris - If the hammer you''e using consists of more than a single component, check that all of the parts are properly secured and in good condition. Cracked handles and chipped or excessively worn heads should be repaired, replaced or thrown away.
Be aware of your environment and technique - Proper hammering technique can help extend the life of the tool and prevent your project materials from becoming irreparably damaged. To ensure you get the most out of your hammer and stay safe, be aware of your surroundings as you swing. Check that there's no one in your immediate vicinity, and do your best to swing accurately and squarely, keeping the striking surface properly aligned with the surface of the materials. Glancing blows, which are strikes that find the hammer at an angle to the fastener and project materials, can cause unwanted damage.
Unless you're a woodworker, you might not use chisels quite as often as some other common hand tools, but they can be a real lifesaver if you're trying to separate project materials or chip away at a misshapen component. Put chisels and other hammered tools to good use for your next project with these tips.
Update your chisels with accessories - Accessorize your chisel or hammered tool with a molded handguard. If your hammer misses the mark and instead head for your fingers, the guard will help soften the blow. Punches and chisels that have uncomfortable or unusable grips can be held securely with a chisel holder.
Conduct necessary maintenance - Check the sharpness and angle of the cutting edge. Dull edges should be sharpened and redressed to the appropriate angles, typically 60 degrees for soft metals and 70 degrees for hard metals.
Use proper technique - Point the chisel away from your body and stand firmly in place before swinging the mallet or hammer as accurately as possible. Secure unstable project materials and do your best to find a flat, level surface to work on. Most chisels will need to be struck with a plastic or wooden mallet, so save your steel hammer for specialty projects that require them.
Storage, repair and disposal - Storing your chisels away properly can extend the life of the tools and help prevent accidents when the tools aren't being used. Use protective caps for the cutting edge and wrap the tools themselves in a tool wrap or cloth. If you see any dings, cracks or other noticeable damage that could impair the usability of the chisel, repair or replace it before using it again.
Power tools help you save plenty of time and energy on a project. Whether you're using a table saw or drill, there are universal safety tips you should always remember when using these types of tools.
Be aware of power and safety features - When it's time to get rolling, make sure that your power tool is turned off before plugging it into an outlet. If you need to modify the settings or perform repairs while you're working, double check to make sure that the power switch is off and that the tool has been unplugged or the battery is removed.
Measure twice - Plan ahead to use the right tool for the job, and do any necessary measurements in advance. When you're working, move confidently and deliberately with a firm grip on the tool. Maintain a stable stance and don't overreach as this could cause you to lose your balance and control of the tool.
Proper storage is key - Handling and storing your tools properly at the end of a long day is just as important as how they're implemented during work hours. Remember never to handle corded power tools directly by the cord to avoid frayed and fractured wiring. Take the time to clean your tool of any dust and debris that could lead to corrosion or jam delicate components.
Workwear & Protective Equipment
While the appropriate gear can vary quite a bit from project to project, there are standard pieces of workwear and protective equipment that every craftsman should own. Whether you like to tinker with home repair projects on the weekend or need to suit up every day for long hours at the shop or on the jobsite, the following protective equipment are must-haves: