Hand Tool Safety: Saws, Wrenches, Pliers and Vises

Hand Tool Safety: Saws, Wrenches, Pliers and Vises


  • Keep control of saws by releasing downward pressure at the end of the stroke.
  • Do not use an adjustable-blade saw (such as a hacksaw, coping saw, keyhole saw, or bow saw) if the blade is not taut.
  • Do not use a saw that has dull saw blades.
  • Oil saw blades after each use of the saw.
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from the saw blade while you are using the saw.
  • Do not carry a saw by the blade.
  • When using the handsaw, hold the work piece firmly against the work table.
  • Use the circular saw guard when using the circular saw.


  • Do not use wrenches that are bent, cracked or badly chipped, or that have loose or broken handles.
  • Do not slip a pipe over a single-head wrench handle for increased leverage.
  • Do not use a shim to make a wrench fit.
  • Use a split box wrench on flare nuts.
  • Do not use a wrench that has broken or battered points.
  • Use a hammer on striking-face wrenches.
  • Discard any wrench that has spread, nicked or battered jaws, or if the handle is bent.
  • Use box or socket wrenches on hexagon nuts and bolts as a first choice, and open-end wrenches as a second choice.


  • Do not use pliers as a wrench or a hammer.
  • Do not attempt to force pliers by using a hammer on them.
  • Do not slip a pipe over the handles of pliers to increase leverage.
  • When you are performing electrical work, use insulated pliers. Generally insulated pliers have the blue rubber sleeves covering the handle.
  • Do not use pliers that are cracked, broken or sprung.
  • When using the diagonal cutting pliers, shield the loose pieces of cut material from flying into the air by using a cloth or your gloved hand.


  • When clamping a long work piece in a vise, support the far end of the work piece by using an adjustable pipe stand, saw horse or box.
  • Position the work piece in the vise so that the entire face of the jaw supports the work piece.
  • Do not use a vise that has worn or broken jaw inserts, or has cracks or fractures in the body of the vise.
  • Do not slip a pipe over the handle of a vise to gain extra leverage.