OSHA 3080 defines a power tool as any tool requiring external electrical, pneumatic, or chemical power to function.
Before using any of the powered shop machines, users should observe proper personal protection equipment, verify machine is set up correctly and securely, and turn on dust collector and open damper gates (if applicable).
Work gloves should never be used with power tools. Loose hanging clothes, like loose sleeves or hoodie strings, should be secured and out of the way. Accessories such as rings, bracelets, and watches should be removed prior to using machines.
- 1 Saws
- 2 Drills
- 3 Sanders / Grinders
- 4 Lathes and Mills
- 5 Routers
- Main Article : Table Saw
Best for: Straight cuts
A table saw is a circular saw mounted under a table. The blade projects up through a slot on the table, and cuts to material are made by running the material over the table and into the blade. The table saw is typically used for straight cuts to flat pieces of material, i.e. sheets or sticks of wood, sheets of acrylic or foam, etc.
The table saw is one of the most accurate and efficient ways to make a straight cut in flat material, but is also one of the most dangerous tools in the shop. Aside from blade related injuries, the biggest potential for injury comes from kickback, as the user is essentially working against the blade to make a cut. When using the table saw, it is important to be aware of possibilities for kickback, and take appropriate measures in preventing such situations.
Here in the idea shop, we have a variety of tools (push sticks, sleds, miter jigs, etc) for use with the table saw to enable users to more safely make cuts on the saw.
- Main Article : Bandsaw
Best for: Curvilinear cuts, splitting tall material
A bandsaw is a saw with a long, ribbon-like blade of toothed metal stretched between two or more wheels. Material is cut by moving along material along the table and into the path of the blade and used with or without a fence.
Advantages include the ability to cut irregularly shaped materials, and the ability to cut curved shapes in a variety of materials. Additionally, since the blade is pulling the material down towards the table, it is unlikely there will be kickback or ricochets. The blade itself can come in a variety of sizes and tooth pitch, which enables the machine to be highly versatile and able to cut a wide variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic.
- Main Article : Circular Saw
A circular saw is a power-saw using a toothed or abrasive disc or blade to cut different materials using a rotary motion spinning around an arbor. A circular saw is used for cutting many materials such as wood, masonry, plastic, or metal, and may be hand-held or mounted. In woodworking, the term "circular saw" refers specifically to the hand-held saw.The table saw and chop saw are other common circular saws. "Skil saw" has become a generic trademark for conventional hand-held circular saws. Appropriate saw blades should be used depending on the material used. Asked for help if needed.
- Main Article : Miter Saw
Best for: Angled crosscuts in wood
A power miter saw, also known as a drop saw or chop saw, is a power tool used to make a quick, accurate crosscut in a workpiece at a selected angle. In standard position, this cut angle is fixed at 90°, though may be quickly changed to cut to common angles (such as 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45°).
- Main Article : Panel Saw
Best for: Cutting down large sheets of material
The panel saw is a circular saw affixed to rails that is used to easily cut down large (as large as 4'x8') sheets of material. The size of the stock normally requires two people to load the material safely into the machine.
The Idea Shop panel saw is a vertical unit that can be used to make both vertical and horizontal cuts to material, though horizontal cuts require that the saw remain stationary and the material moved through the saw. Wood, wood products, acrylic, foam, and other soft materials can all be cut on the panel saw.
The panel saw is a much safer alternative to the table saw for making large straight cuts, especially on large stock materials.
- Main Article : Planer Saw
Best for: Resurfacing wood, trimming down wood to a specified thickness
The planer is a machine with a flatbed and a cylindrical blade above the flatbed. The cylindrical blades shave off the top of a sheet of wood to achieve a flat finish on the top of the wood piece. The planer is a good machine for smoothing/resurfacing the face of a piece of wood, for flattening warped sheets of wood, or for shaving wood down to a specified thickness.
- Main Article : Scroll Saw
Best for: Detail work
A scroll saw is a small electric or pedal-operated saw used to cut intricate curves in wood, metal, or other materials. The fineness of its blade allows it to cut more delicately than a power jigsaw, and more easily than a hand coping saw or fretsaw.
- Main Article: Cordless Drill
A cordless drill is an electric drill which uses rechargeable batteries. Drills are primarily used for drilling circular holes in material, or for inserting screws and other threaded fasteners into material.
Drills are also available in the impact driver configuration, high-torque tools primarily used for driving screws and tightening nuts. Impact drivers can be especially useful when driving larger fasteners or driving into harder, more dense materials.
Always use a spoil board under your work piece when using a handheld drill.
- Main Article :Drill Press
A drill press is a drill mounted on a stand and is used for cutting cylindrical holes in a workpiece or part. The drill press can be used for drilling, reaming, countersinking, counterboring, and tapping.
A drill press has several advantages over a hand drill, including a more consistent operation, the ability to drill into denser and harder materials, and the ability to use a wider range of bits for a wide variety of applications.
Sanders / Grinders
- Main Article : Disc/Belt Sander
Belt/disc sander is two sanding tools combined into one unit.
- Main Article : Handheld Sanders
A sander is a power tool used to smooth surfaces by abrasion with sandpaper.
Lathes and Mills
Grizzly G0769 Lathe with Milling Head
- Main Article : Tabletop Mill/Lathe Combo
This machine is a Mill and Lathe combined into one small package.
With the milling head, you can drill precision holes or cut out channels through most plastics and soft metals. The machine spins a special drill bit called an "Endmill" which allows you to move the material you are cutting in the X and Y direction accurately. On larger machines, you can cut mild steels and even harder material with the proper cutting tools.
With the lathe, you are able to cut circular objects and create various shafts, bushings, spacers, and other objects. Cylindrical stock is placed in the lathe head and spun very fast. A cutting tool is then used to cut in the X and Y direction to create faces and contours in the object.
- Main Article: Handheld Router
A handheld router is a machine that works similarly to a CNC and chisels away unwanted pieces of material. The height of the router bit can be manually adjusted. Bits are shaped differently depending on the job, such as if a joint is being created.