A radial arm saw is a very versatile tool. You can do crosscuts, rip cuts, miter cuts and so on with the help of a radial saw. But a radial saw is quite rigid and immovable compared to the other saws, which brings some risks. All the risks associated with this tool and all the redial arm saw safety measures are given below.
Why is it risky?
A radial saw is risky for many reasons. Here are some of them:
Contact with the rotating blades: Like a circular saw, a radial saw has a sharp rotating blade that moves quite fast. If you’re not being careful enough, it can easily cut your fingers or other parts of your body. If you’re wearing loose clothes or you have long untied hair, it can come under these moving blades and cause a severe accident.
Struck by sharp objects: Whenever you are working with a saw, it will project sharp objects like sawdust, wood chips and nails. If these sharp objects come towards you with force, they can easily cut you or bruise you. One of the most common accidents caused by a radial saw is an eye injury. Sawdust and wood chips have a record to bruise the eyes of many users.
Tripping over the tool: As radial saws have sharp edges, if you trip and fall over them, you can hurt yourself.
Hearing issues: Radial saws produce a huge amount of noise while cutting a material. It can cause damage to your ears if you’ve been using this tool for a long time.
Breathing issues: Whenever you’ll work with a radial saw, you’ll have to face quite a good amount of dust. If you don’t take any protection, it can affect your lungs and cause breathing issues.
Electric shock: As radial saws are operated by electricity, the user is already exposed to the risk of getting electrical shocks. If the cords or cables are damaged, the switches have some kind of malfunction or the isolator isn’t working properly, you’re exposed to this severe hazard.
Radial arm saw Safety Measurements with Tips and Tricks
Radial Arm Saw Safety tools to use
- Use eyeglasses or eye goggles to protect your eyes from sawdust and woodchips. You can also wear a face shield for extra protection.
- Wear a mask even if you’re wearing a face shield. This will protect your lungs from the dust.
- Use protective shoes or work boots to protect your feet.
- If you don’t have a mask, you can also use a respiratory protector to protect yourself.
- Wear an earmuff to protect your ears from heavy noise.
- Use guards and push sticks. Always keep a push stick near to pick up the cutoff pieces.
Precaution – What to do before starting?
Check the material: Before you start cutting the material, make sure you inspect it carefully. Your material needs to be flat and it should be straight so that it can be placed nicely over the surface. Make sure that the material you are going to cut is appropriate for a radial saw.
Mark the areas: Make a proper plan before you begin to cut. Make sure you take all the measurements properly. Use a measuring tape and a pencil to mark the areas where you want to make a cut. Be fully sure before you proceed with the blades. Make sure that the angles are perfect and just as you want them.
Check the machine: Before you start, make sure you thoroughly check the radial saw. Go through all the parts one by one. Check the cables properly. The blade needs to be sharp and well-moving. If anything needs fixing, make sure you fix it before starting.
Wear all the safety tools: Make sure you are wearing all the safety tools such as eyeglasses, earmuffs, face shield, etc. to protect yourself from any kind of damage. Ensure that your clothes are fitting and appropriate for work. Tie your hair nicely and remove all the jewelry before starting.
Clean the area: Make sure that the surface is well cleaned and there are no obstacles that’ll come in between while working.
Radial Arm Saw Safety in the time of working
Adjust the blades and the guards: Once you’ve started working, make sure that the blade you are using is suitable for the material. All the additional tools that are using should be meant for the radial saw. Ensure that your guards are in place and the fences are adjusted in the correct manner. Your guard should be matched to the width of your cut.
Stand properly: If you’re making cross cuts, make sure you stand to the side of the handle. Stand on the handle side when cross-cutting. Radial saws work with force. Therefore, when you’re working, make sure that you have a steady posture and you’re standing firmly.
Look out for your hands: Use your dominant hand to control the handle of the saw. Move the radial saw with the help of your other hand. But keep in mind that your other hand should always be out of the line. Your hands should never come in between the blades. So, it’s safe that you don’t place them right in front of the blades.
Let the cutting head return entirely: Whenever you are cutting with a radial saw, make sure the cutting head comes to the end of the table. Don’t try to stop midway to make changes. Typically, they don’t move on their own.
Maintain the length: Whenever you are making a rip, try to maintain the length to the surface. Generally, the table’s length should be to times higher than the highest lumber. Another important thing is to maintain the direction. The stock should be against the blade’s direction. Try to expand the blade a little bit in the table. Make sure that the head of the motor is at the right height. Try to maintain the length too.
Switch off while making adjustments: Always make sure to turn off the main switch while changing anything or making the adjustment. Even if you are taking measurements and the saw is kept aside, still make sure to turn it off.
Radial Arm Saw Safety after finishing the work
Let the blade stop: Never take off the blades while they are still running. Make sure that the blade is entirely stopped and then release the handle.
Clean the saw: Once you’ve turned off the switches and unplugged the cables, make sure you clean the saw nicely. Try to clean the blades, the surface you’ve worked on and the different parts of the saw too.
Close the guards: Make sure that the guards are closed properly before storing the saw. Try to keep the saw in a safer place.
Safety tips and tricks for Radial arm saw Safety Measurement
- Always make adjustments while the power is off. Do not try to adjust or measure while the blades are moving.
- Never try to overreach the blades.
- Always keep the guards up while working.
- Never use your hands to remove the cutoff pieces.
- Make sure that the material does not contain any kind of obstacles such as screw, nut, nail, etc.
- Always cut one piece at one time. Avoid stacking up materials.
- Try to cut pieces with a height above 15cm.
A radial saw is undoubted can cause an accident if you’re not being careful enough. Even if you’re following all the safety measures, you might face an unwanted situation. Stop the saw and turn it off immediately. But no matter what, make sure you follow all the safety instructions and take the necessary precautions.