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Power Tools Safety Procedures
Because of widespread use of power tools, the Power Tool Institute continues a major consumer safety education program to instruct users in safe and proper use of power tools. The rules follow:
1. Know your power tool. Read the manual carefully; learn the tool’s applications and limitations and potential hazards.
2. Ground all tools unless double insulated. If tool is equipped with three-prong plug, it should be plugged into a three-hole receptacle. If adapter is used to accommodate two-prong receptacle, the adapter wire must be attached to a known ground. Never remove third prong.
3. Keep guards in place and in working order.
4. Keep workplace clean.
5. Avoid dangerous environment. Don’t use power tool in damp or wet locations; keep work area well lighted.
6. Keep children a safe distance away.
7. Store idle tools. When not in use, tools should be stored in a dry, high or locked place out of reach of children.
8. Don’t force the tool. Do not exceed the capacity for which it was designed.
9. Use the right tool. Don’t force a small tool to do the job of a heavy-duty tool.
10. Wear proper apparel. Avoid loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught in moving parts. Use rubber gloves and footwear when working outside.
11. Use safety glasses with most tools; also face or dust mask for cutting or sanding operations. Goggles, mask and gloves particularly necessary when working with masonry.
12. Don’t abuse the cord. Never carry tool by cord or yank it to disconnect. Keep cord away from oil, heat and sharp edges.
13. Secure work. Use clamps or vise to hold work; this frees both hands to operate tool.
14. Don’t overreach. Keep a safe, stable footing.
15. Turn off or disconnect tools when not in use-before servicing, when changing attachments, etc. Turn off tool when talking to someone or looking for something.
16. Remove adjusting keys and wrenches before turning tool on.

The differences between professional power tools and consumer power tools fall into two areas-function and design. The differences do not mean that consumer tools are inferior, but the professional models can withstand heavier work loads. As a result, they have increased power and the ability to perform under more stress than consumer tools.

The motors in professional power tools are designed to sustain overloading for long periods to avoid burning up the motor. The power-to-weight ratio is also important, and e professional tools are engineered for maximum power with minimum tool weight.

Copper wire minimizes the size and weight of the motor. Though more expensive, copper is more efficient than aluminum used in many consumer power tool motors.

Arcing increases heat buildup in a motor, which can shorten its life span. Professional tools are designed to reduce arcing. Heat in a consumer tool is not as critical since the power and stress requirements are usually less.

Professional tool motors are often protected further with a resin coating on the motor wire to bond the wire better and protect the armature wire from grit and dust.

Consumer tools use some ball bearings, but sleeve bearings are used extensively to reduce costs. Ball bearings are needed in professional tool motors to reduce vibration, which can cause excessive arcing and heat buildup.

Drill-chuck spindles withstand heavy side and fore and aft loads, so the chuck spindle on professional drills rides on ball bearings. In the area of gears, professional models use wrought steel which is heat treated following machining to toughen it. Powder-metal gears are prevalent in consumer power tools; these are ground metal granules compressed under pressure and heat. They usually require no costly machining.

Tough plastic housings are used in professional tools to withstand impact and to function as a superior electrical insulator.

The drill chucks on professional tools are repeatedly tightened and loosened, so these are usually made of steel which is case hardened for durability.

In addition, precision machining is required in these components to reduce wobble or “run out.” Many heavy-duty professional tools are assembled with pilot pins to ensure alignment and provide solid integrated structure.


Miniature power tools are ideal for model making, hobby and craftwork and a variety of applications where small tools are needed for precision work.

In addition, many of these tools are excellent for repair work on TVs, radios, appliances and toys.

A wide selection is available. High rpm, compact shaping tools can sand, shape, smooth and polish. A number of attachments are available, including sanding discs, rotary cutters, cut off and buffing wheels designed especially for these units.

Several other miniature tools such as drills, solder guns, sabre saws and tabletop band saws round out this line of specialized power tools.

Most of these tools run off 12V DC transformers with 120V AC input. Other accessories include cigarette-lighter adapters and battery-operated power packs, allowing maximum portability and flexibility.


High-speed rotary tools perform a variety of tasks at speeds up to 30,000 rpm. A large assortment of accessories is available for attaching to the base tool making it a cutter, sander, drill, grinder, engraver, polisher, etc.

These tools are available in single-, two- and variable-speed models. They operate on AC, 120V current. A cordless, two-speed model with a recharger also is available.

The tools are designed primarily for model makers and hobbyists, but have many other applications where attention to detail is important.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.