How To Use Basic Hand Tools Safely

• Keep sharp edges and blades covered when not in use. Be sure that shafts of hammers and axes are firmly connected. Wear protective clothing and footwear to guard against accidental contact.

• Choose the right size hammer for the job – too big risks a bent nail and injured fingers. Grip nails tightly and strike them squarely with the full hammer face, not the edge.

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Hold the handle near the end for greater accuracy.

• Keep a variety of flat and cross-head screwdrivers. Match their head size to the screw in question it’s safer for you and the screw head. Screwdriver handles can shatter when hammered; instead, use a chisel with the hammer and beware of flying chips.

Use a spanner on bolt heads and the square shank of a heavy-duty screwdriver, never pliers. Don’t push down on a spanner – it can slip and hurt you.

• Use a ripsaw at a 60-degree angle to cut with the grain of wood and a crosscut saw at 45 degrees for cross-grain jobs.

• Never use power tools around water unless they’re made for wet conditions and don’t carry them by the cord. Keep floors dry and slip-free while using electric tools. Tidy flexes so they don’t cause trip hazards.

• Knock a small hole with a centre punch and a hammer before using an electric drill. This lets the drill make proper contact with the surface, instead of wandering about.

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