A Guide to Cordless Drill Safety
There was a time when every tool was powered by electricity or good old fashioned elbow grease. Well, those days are long gone thanks to the rise or portable power tools and Li-ion batteries.
By design, cordless drills are safer as there is no cord to trip over and you don’t have to worry about frayed wires. That’s something that happens to the best of tools over time, especially when those cords are coiled.
There are still several things to consider when it comes to drill safety, however, and we’re going to briefly go over a few of the finer points.
Are Li-ion batteries safe?
Li-ion batteries are quite safe if you treat them properly. That means you need to heed the directions included with your drill and don’t use aftermarket batteries or cheap replacements.
Failure is a word you hear more often than not with Li-ion batteries, and while it’s a scary word, we know one that’s scarier.
That word would be “fire” which is what can happen when a battery does not fail intentionally.
Li-ion batteries are designed to fail on purpose if something goes wrong, which can keep something worse from happening.
The battery that comes with your drill is tuned for it, so buying something that is not an OEM replacement could be a mistake.
How to use the battery safely
As mentioned, Li-ion batteries are safe as long as you don’t decide to drive nails with one or use it for juggling practice. While there is no need to be fearful, there are some tips to keep in mind when using or charging your battery.
If you ever feel that your battery is too hot while you’re drilling, pull it out and give it a break. The same goes for charging as well. If you have the battery on the charger and it feels “too hot” pull it out as it could be a sign of overheating.
Always use the charger intended for the drill battery – there are no substitutes. In other words, don’t get cute and try to recharge your drill from an unstable power source. You could find yourself buying a new battery sooner than later.
Another tip is to charge and store your batteries in a cool, dry place. We don’t mean sub-zero, but “normal” conditions as it’s easier on the battery. When it’s warm outside, it’s also easier to recharge.
On the other hand, extreme cold can be tough on a Li-ion battery, and it will slow down charging rates. Keep this in mind if you work in cold weather and charge your tools up indoors, not outside.
General cordless drill safety tips
By far, the best tip when you can give you when it comes to drill safety is to wear eye protection. It’s one of the simplest things you can do, but also one of the easiest things to forget.
Pay attention to your sleeves and clothing as well. Loose fitting clothes can be comfortable, but if a loose strand gets caught in your drill, you’ll soon find yourself in a pinch – literally.
While common sense, pay attention to your hands and keep them out of the way. It may be quicker to hold onto the item you are trying to drill, but it’s not necessarily safer. Pilot holes and clamps can save you a lot of headaches and potential trips to the ER.
Mechanics gloves are a great option if you want some hand protection and need a nice, tight-fitting glove. They can also be a necessity if you’re working with materials that produce heat.
Would you put your finger on a hot stove? Obviously not, and the same applies to drill bits.
If you’ve been drilling through steel for a full minute, you’re going to get a nasty surprise when you pull that bit out with your fingers. Blistered fingers can quickly ruin your day in the woodshop or garage.
They aren’t nearly as fearsome as a skill or table saw, and something you can use for a wide variety of projects. As long as you keep a few simple safety tips in mind, you will become an expert with your new drill in no time.