Bandsaws are an incredibly versatile power tool, but they’re also very dangerous if they aren’t used carefully. Not only can you be injured from flying debris, but you can also easily severe a finger or more. And because of the power and speed of bandsaws, all it takes is a split second of carelessness for disaster to strike. To avoid injury, always keep the following safety tips in mind:
Tip #1 – Any time you are working with power tools, especially cutting tools like bandsaws, it’s vital that you pay attention to what you’re doing. This may seem like common sense, but too many people have been injured because they were distracted by music or carrying on a conversation while using a bandsaw. This goes for others too if someone is using the bandsaw, never interrupt them, always wait until they finish.
Tip #2 – Most bandsaws are equipped with a guard and it’s there for a good reason to protect your hands from coming in contact with the blades. Needless to say, you should never remove them. Keep the blade guard within 1/8” or ¼” of the stock. If the blade guard is any higher than ¼” then too much of the bandsaw blade will be exposed.
Tip #3 – Always lay your stock flat on the table and secure it when you’re cutting. You should never try to hold the stock in the air and feed it into the blade saw because your hand could easily slip straight into the blade causing serious injury. You should also never cut round stock unless you’re using a miter gauge because otherwise it may have a tendency to roll, which can cause the blade to break.
Tip #4 – Unless you’re using the bandsaw, you should never leave it on, especially while it is unattended.
Tip #5 – Always keep your work area surrounding the bandsaw clear and free of wires, debris or any other possible tripping hazard.
Tip #6 – When you’re feeding your stock into the blade saw, keep your hands on the sides. If your hands are in line with the blade, they can very easily end up jammed into the bandsaw if the stock suddenly slips or cuts faster than you expect. You should also keep your fingers several inches away from the blade at all times and, if necessary, use a guiding stick to push the stock forward, especially when you’re working with small pieces.
Tip #7 – Flying debris from your bandsaw is extremely dangerous, so always be sure to wear safety goggles when the machine is on.
Tip #8 – Whenever you’re working around cutting tools like a bandsaw, it’s important to wear the appropriate clothing. Long sleeves, hair, necklaces and other items can easily be caught in the bandsaw, dragging you into the blade. Ideally you should wear short sleeves, remove any other loose articles of clothing and jewelry and tie your hair back if necessary.
Tip #9 – Even when you take every precaution, accidents can happen, which is why you should learn basic first aid if you haven’t already. Bandsaw accidents may involve deep cuts and severed fingers, so it’s important to know how to clean wounds and how to handle amputated fingers in order to maximize the chances of reattachment.