Most Dangerous Power Tool?

Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
What's the most dangerous power tool?

My answer would be: "whichever power tool you're using!"

But then... I'm not a woodworker ;)

Which power tool/s, in your experience, are the most dangerous?
 

Don Taylor

Former Member (by the member's request)
Messages
1,289
For me that would have to be the chain saw. I've never felt comfortable with one. :dunno:

Don
 

Ian Gillis

Member
Messages
443
Location
Nova Scotia's beautiful south shore
Lots of possible answers here. I think I'd have to go with "the machine that's most poorly maintained". Fences out of alignment, hold downs that don't hold, shut offs that don't always work on the first try.

It's okay to have a television that needs a smart tap to get it working properly, but it's not acceptable with powerful shop machines.
 
Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
yeah - I'm wary of chainsaws too... I've used my share of bow saws to cut up brush and cut myself pretty good doing that :)

Ian - I wasn't aware of the relationship between safety and tool maintenance...

But let's say you've got a shop full of well maintained tools?

Are there any tools that are just plain more dangerous than others?

Also Ian do you think a more useful/interesting line of discussion be - what are the most important points to check on powerful shop machines to insure safety?
 
S

Steve Clardy

Guest
Guess I give my 3hp powermatic shaper more respect than any machine in the shop
 

Ian Abraham

Member
Messages
97
Location
New Zealand
what are the most important points to check on powerful shop machines to insure safety?
The operator ;)

But seriuosly, you want to ensure that whatever guards and safety features it has are actually there and working, and that nothings likely to come loose and break while you are working. Like you dont want to use a router with a dodgy collet or a saw blade with a stess crack in it :eek:

But nine times out of ten it comes down to the operator making a mistake.

I also vote for chainsaw as the most dangerous, but at least it's obviously dangerous. Big noisey machine with exposed fast moving cutters, there is no mistaking it could do some damage if you operate it carelessly. There aren't many other common machines where you should wear as much safety gear as a chainsaw.

Cheers

Ian
 

Art Mulder

Member
Messages
3,383
Location
London, Ontario
#1 - A tablesaw that does not have a splitter, and/or the fence is not parallel to the blade.

#2 - Circular saw. I go out of my way to avoid using a circ saw. I usually use a jig saw if/when I need to break up a large sheet of plywood. Slow, yes, but I'm just much more comfortable with it.
 

Frank Fusco

Well-known member
Messages
12,181
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
The question was rather broad, "power tool". My tractor is a power tool as is my truck, etc.
But, to limit the response to a wood working shop, I'll repeat what my son, an emergency room physician, says.
The most frequent serious injuries are with table saws.
The second most frequent serious injuries, in terms of numbers of incidents, are from miter and/or compound miter sliders.
However, in terms of most devasting the CSM is far and away the worst. Those usually involve finger amputations. The table saw accidents are serious gashes but (usually) leave the fingers in place.
He also says that most of those injuries are to guys like me, middle age to retired age. And, they all say the same thing, "I never do it that way, but just this once........". :(
 
Speaking of POWER & TOOLS!!!

As a human you are empowered by your brain.

I still hold these truths to be self-evident the most dangerous thing in any shop is the human operator.

So if you need to be scared of anything be scared of yourself. The tool setting there in your shop shut off will never make a mistake that will endanger you in any way.

You must turn the machine on & in doing so may have made your first mistake if you did not engage brain first.
 
Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
The question was rather broad, "power tool". My tractor is a power tool as is my truck, etc.
But, to limit the response to a wood working shop, I'll repeat what my son, an emergency room physician, says.
The most frequent serious injuries are with table saws.
The second most frequent serious injuries, in terms of numbers of incidents, are from miter and/or compound miter sliders.
However, in terms of most devasting the CSM is far and away the worst. Those usually involve finger amputations. The table saw accidents are serious gashes but (usually) leave the fingers in place.
He also says that most of those injuries are to guys like me, middle age to retired age. And, they all say the same thing, "I never do it that way, but just this once........". :(
that's chilling Frank. thanks for sharing from your son's experience.

...especially this part "I never do it that way, but just this once........"

when you do things differently and get hurt is that likely to be something you're doing out of laziness, tiredness or experimentation? Or is that too broad to say?
 

Per Swenson

Member
Messages
86
All three.

And another. Production deadline or honey come up and eat please.

There is another scenario that can shake your focus.

People who talk.

Another reason I prefer to work alone.

Per



QUOTE=Garrett French;22388]that's chilling Frank. thanks for sharing from your son's experience.

...especially this part "I never do it that way, but just this once........"

when you do things differently and get hurt is that likely to be something you're doing out of laziness, tiredness or experimentation? Or is that too broad to say?[/QUOTE]
 

Ian Gillis

Member
Messages
443
Location
Nova Scotia's beautiful south shore
Are there any tools that are just plain more dangerous than others?
I gotta agree with Steve on the spindle shaper. Big cutters, tons of torque - able to do a pile of damage.

Statistically, the tablesaw is responsible for the greatest number of accidents - I've heard figures of up to 80% - but that's mainly down to the fact that it's in almost every shop and gets used a lot.

The closest I ever came to losing a digit was while using the drill press. Go figure :dunno:
 

John Bartley

Member
Messages
811
I don't think I know a power tool that isn't dangerous. I made my living fixing chainsaws and I know a couple of folks who survived serious encounters with them. My dad lost a finger (and almost two fingers) to a circular saw. Many years ago I lost a very small part of one finger to a poorly adjusted table saw fence. That same year, I dropped a kindling axe through my left hand between the thumb and forefinger. I was just 22 years old at that time and I figure I was lucky. Those same years I was regularly using a device that most people haven't even seen. We burned firewood then, cut our own in pulp length (4') during the winter, then in the summer we'd cut it to stove length on a firewood bench saw. This is a saw with a blade about 30" mounted on an 1-1/2" mandrel with a huge flywheel (250lbs?) bolted to a timber base and driven by a flat belt from a farm tractor. I had a pair of Cockshutt 20's to drive it with. Why lucky? I'm alive and I have all my limbs. I won and the firewood saw didn't. I still have the saw, but I doubt I'll ever use it again.

cheers eh?
 
Last edited:

Jeff Horton

Well-known member
Messages
4,268
Location
The Heart of Dixie
I keep hearing people talk about the shaper, but what is the difference in a shaper and table mounted router? Even the weakest router has more than enough power and speed to rip your finger off. Seems to me the danger is the same.

Whats different is the PERCEIVED danger.

Jeff
 

Ed Nelson

Member
Messages
1,487
Location
Charlotte, NC
I would have to go with any dull tool. As long as I understand the tool and know how to properly use it, I don't think any tool itself is inherently dangerous, but there are some that deserve more respect. The injuries I have received to any tool has been the result of my own actions.

Now I have seen pictures of the old swing saws and those do look dangerous!:eek:
 
Top