industry topics

Power Tool Safety

Revised March 2022

Power Tool Safety - Select the right accessories

Power tool accessories work along with the power tool to perform the required task or job efficiently and safely. Whether it is a saw blade, drill bit or grinding wheel, you should choose accessories that are specifically recommended by the tool manufacturer for use on its tool. Just because an accessory can be attached to your power tool, it doesn’t mean it is intended for use on that tool and does not ensure safe operation. Speed, size, guarding, application, and mounting requirements must all be addressed. Third-party websites often promote use of accessories that are inappropriate for a particular tool, often turning it into a tool used for other than its intended purpose. The site may include pictures of accessories mounted on well-known brands of power tools. This does not mean the accessory use is recommended by the manufacturer of the tool.

Always follow these commonsense safety rules:

  • Always read and follow the safety information in the operator’s manual of the power tool and recommended accessories.
  • Do not use a damaged tool or accessory.
  • Make sure the accessory is securely mounted to the tool.
  • Use the manufacturers’ recommended guarding for the accessory.
  • Wear personal protective equipment appropriate for the application.
  • Keep bystanders at a safe distance.
  • Keep the cord clear of the accessory.
  • Never run the tool while carrying it at your side.
  • Make sure the accessory has come to a complete stop before putting the tool down.

If the accessory is not specifically recommended by the tool manufacturer, the following are some of the problems which can occur:

  • Accessories that are incorrectly sized cannot be properly guarded or controlled. The outside diameter and thickness of your accessory must be within the capacity rating of your power tool.
  • Accessories running faster than their rated speed can break and fly apart. The rated speed of the accessory must be at least equal to the maximum speed of the power tool.
  • Accessories that do not match the mounting hardware of the power tool will run out of balance, vibrate excessively, and may break or cause the operator to lose control.
  • Make sure the accessory has come to a complete stop before putting the tool down.

Be safe — Only use accessories recommended by the manufacturer of the power tool.

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