Chop saw Safety – Tips and Tricks

Chop saw is an amazing tool for precise and intricate cuts but as the tool works quite fast, the probability of causing an accident is quite high if you don’t work carefully. Lack of attention can easily lead to casualties. Here are some great tips which will help you to prevent the risks.

Why is it risky?

Similar to a circular saw, a chop saw has quite a huge number of risks. Here are some of them:

Huge amount of dust projected from the saw: A chop saw cuts very fast which leads towards a projectile of wood dust. Sawdust coming out of hardwood and softwood can cause eye injuries, lung disease, cancer, skin issues, asthma, etc. Sawdust severely affects the skin.

Electrical shock due to cable issues: When you are working with electric tools, your already exposed to electrical hazards. Lose and damaged cables can cause you harm like give you an electric shock.

Hearing issues from heavy noise: Any kind of saws produces heavy noise during the working process. As the saws cut with force and speed, the produced sound is quite loud which in the long run can harm your hearing abilities.

Feet injuries: Chop saws need stability and grip. If you by any chance lose your grip for a single second, the saw can trip and fall on your feet. As the blades are very sharp, they can easily cause foot injuries.

Injuries due to laser: Some of the chops saw have lasers. Exposure to laser can cause flash blindness, skin injuries, burning, retinal bleeding, etc.

Accidents caused by kick-back: Kick-backs are extremely dangerous. Chop saws have sharp blades that rotate very fast. If you’re not careful during the time, it can easily cut and bruise you.

How to Safely Use a Chop Saw?

Using a chop saw safely is an easy task if you know the rule and tricks. However, if you do not know it, it may be the cause of a serious accident.

Safety tools to use while working with a Chop Saw

  • Wear safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes. For extra protection, you can also wear a face shield.
  • Use a work boot to protect your feet from any kind of injuries.
  • Use good quality gloves to protect your hands.
  • Use hats that are hard enough to protect your head as sometimes things can fly above and fall onto your head and cause injury.
  • Use a push stick to pick up the cut pieces.
  • Use guards to protect yourself from the blade.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothes, instead, wear fitting clothes.

Precaution – What to do before starting your work with a chop saw for safety?

Secure the chop saw properly: First, choose a clear table to work on. Make sure that the table is strong enough to handle the force. Keep an eye on the height of your work table. It should be on the level of your hip. Ensure that the area around you is clear and there are now obstacles on the surface.

Use a circuit that’s ESD protected: The chop saw that you’re going to use needs to have a circuit that’s ESD protected.

Wear the safety tools: Before you start with the process, make sure you are wearing all the safety tools like eye goggles, face shields, hand gloves, work boots, etc. This equipment will protect you from any kind of accidents. If you have long hair, make sure you tie it properly.

Position the safety guard: Ensure that the safety guard you are using is at its place. Make sure it’s stable and strong enough to tackle the jerking. Take the measurements properly before you start.

Check the cables before you start the engine: Make sure to properly examine the cords and cables before you begin. The cables should be in a good condition. Check other parts of the machine properly.

Safety while working

Adjust the position of your hands: Make sure you maintain the line of the chop saw while working. Don’t try to overreach or cross that line. Make sure your arms are within that line. Your fingers should not come between the path or the areas where the blade is running. Whenever you are going to drag the saw, make sure your other hand is away and at a secured position.

Clean the guards from time to time: The guards you are going to use needs to be cleaned. So, make sure that you are cleaning the lower guards from time to time. Whenever you are going to clean them, turn off the engine first and then proceed. If you feel like the guards are not fast enough, take it back to its actual position and adjust it accordingly.

Cut one piece at a time: Never try to cut several pieces at one time. Once you’re done cutting, let go of the switch and let the blade stop completely. Never stack up multiple pieces of material and run the blade over it.

Check the blades: Turn on the blade and let it reach its highest speed. Once it has reached its maximum speed then touch the blade to the material. Make sure that the blade’s size is appropriate for the material. The RPM should also match the cut you’re doing. Make sure you check the tightness of the blades and lockout in between your work. If you need to change the blades, turn off the engine first and then move on with the required adjustments.

Maintain the height and position: If your work table is at a suitable height and your position is stable then higher chances are that you’ll have a smooth experience with the chop saw. Make sure that you’re using a lock-out while working with a chop saw. Keep your feet and hands away from the pinch point and the gears. The height of the material should be above 8 inches. Maintain a strong grip while cutting the material.

Safety after finishing the work with Chop Saw

Turn off the engine: As soon as you’re done cutting, let go of the switch and let it stop entirely. Once it has been stopped, take the blade away from the material. If you let the blades stay, it can cause injury. So, keep the blade away and then turn off the engine. Unplug the cable for further safety.

Clean the parts of the saw: Once you’re done working, make sure you clean the different parts of the saw properly. If you don’t clean them immediately, the blades can get oxidized and cause you injury.

Remove the guards: Always remove the guards once you’re done. Never remove the guards while you’re working with a chop saw. Turn off the saw and then remove them.

Clean the area: Once you’re entirely satisfied with the cut, store the saw in a safer place. Ensure that the blades are beyond the reach of the kids.

Chop saw – Safety tips and tricks

  • Ensure that you take a proper measurement before cutting the material.
  • Choose the right size of the blade.
  • Read the instruction manual properly.
  • Try to control the saw with your dominant hand. So, if you’re a righty, use your right hand to control the chop saw and hold the material with the opposite hand.
  • When you’ll have to make a curve, put the side you want to cut outwards and then proceed. Make sure that the blade doesn’t get tied up.
  • Ensure that the blade you are using is made for a chop saw.

Bottom line

Whenever you are using a sharp tool as a chop saw, you are already exposed to a number of risks. You need to be careful and focused to avoid any kind of accidents. If you follow the given safety measures, you will be able to have a safer and smoother experience.