Hand and Power Tools - Safety Considerations

Hand vs Power Tools

The safety advantages of using a hand tool rather than a power tool

Hand and power tools

Sometimes choosing the right tool can make a world of difference between getting the job done and hauling out the Yellow Pages to call a carpenter. Hand and power tools are great for completing a project quickly and easily; however, as these tools often use high speeds, sharp blades and pressure to get the job done, they can also pose a very serious risk to those who use them carelessly.

If you’re about to tackle a project and are trying to decide between the right hand and power tools, there are some specific safety advantages of doing it by hand. Hand tools are non-powered and include tools such as axes, hammers and wrenches. While electric tool can cause injury and electric shock if they are improperly maintained or used, the only risk hand tools pose is due to misuse. Electric power tools must be cleaned and maintained, and should always be disconnected when they are not in use for they can accidentally start and cause injury.

Hand tools are also far less expensive than power tools and be purchased individually or wholesale. Keep in mind when using hand tools that dull blades present a greater risk of injury than sharp ones, for the added pressure can cause accidental slippage.

Driven power tools; if you prefer to use a powered hand tool, here are some guidelines to using the right one:

  • Electric power tools must be plugged into a power outlet in order to work. This requires the use of extension cords and can somewhat limit movement and accessibility within the work area; however, they are generally easy to use.
  • Pneumatic tools use compressed air to exert pressurized force; tools that commonly use pneumatic power are drills, industrial staplers and nail shooters. These tools must be fastened with a safety device to prevent them from whipping around under their own pressure.
  • Fuel driven tools rely on gasoline for power; if you choose fuel, exert caution with storing and handling this extremely flammable liquid.
  • Explosive actuated tools use a loading and spring mechanism to drive nails and fasteners into the work surface. These tools require safety devices and protective shields to prevent accidental firing.
  • Hydraulic power tools use a combination of fuel and pressurized air to exert an immense amount of pressure on the work surface. Be careful with your hoses to prevent the hydraulic fuel from leaking out.


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