Band Saw Safety: Important Dos And Don'ts

A band saw can be a very convenient tool for making a variety of cuts. Specifically, band saws come equipped with a thin, vertical band saw blade that's ideal for cutting through thick materials and cutting curves as well. Like any type of saw, however, there are some important tips that should be kept in mind while operating a band saw to avoid accident and injury. By keeping these dos and don'ts in mind, even a beginner can safely operate a band saw.

DO Use Push Sticks When Needed

When using a band saw to cut smaller pieces of wood, always use a push stick, feather board, or similar safety device to assist you in making the cut. This way, you can precisely guide even a small piece of wood through the band saw without putting your hands too close to the blade. Never use your thumbs to push a small piece of wood toward a band saw blade; one little slip and you could seriously injure yourself.

DON'T Stand to the Side of the Saw

Debris tends to fly out to either side of a band saw while in use -- and this debris can be moving at a very fast speed. Therefore, it's in your best interest to avoid standing to either side of the saw. Furthermore, make sure that any bystanders watching or even assisting you with the cut are standing clear of the sides of the band saw while it's in operation.

DO Run a Quick Inspection Before Use

Before you power up your band saw, always take a few seconds to check the blade to make sure it's in proper alignment and that the tension is correct. Even a blade that's sightly out of alignment can cause a major malfunction when you turn the saw on. A quick inspection takes just seconds and can save you from seriously injuring yourself or damaging your saw.

DON'T Forget Your Safety Gear

Last but not least, make sure you're always wearing the appropriate protective gear when working with your band saw. This includes a set of safety goggles, gloves, and hearing protection. Make sure that you're not wearing loose clothing or dangling jewelryand that long hair is tied back. By doing so, and by keeping the rest of these important safety tips in mind, you can safely operate your band saw and ensure a precise, even cut every time as well.