You have found power tools on sale and you ready to buy and add to your collection
When you consider adding a new power tool to your arsenal, you probably pay more attention to its various speeds, capacities, and shiny accessories than to what the handle looks and feels like.
But power and performance mean nothing if you have to be a contortionist to use a tool. That’s why the best power tools are designed ergonomically — with the user/s comfort in mind.
There are three main elements to consider when you shop for an ergonomically designed tool:
1. Handle design.
This includes the shape, thickness, and texture of the handle.
The design of the handle should allow you to work in several positions, fit different sizes
of hands, and be free of pinch points. It should also avoid creating concentrated pressure points on the hand. The texture of the handle should allow you to firmly grip the tool with or without gloves. Texture also allows air to circulate between your hand and the tool to cool the skin. But beware of extreme textures that can irritate the skin.
2. Handle location.
Handles should be located to provide the best balance while allowing you to control the tool with ease and accuracy.
Handle location and design are two important factors in user fatigue. Ergonomically designed power tools have handles that allow you to apply the necessary amount of pressure in many hand positions, resulting in less fatigue. This is important because fatigue affects your accuracy, and continual stress on the hand and arm can result in carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, etc.
3. Performance Features and User Posture.
Ergonomically designed tools allow you to work in a natural, comfortable position with few interruptions. Manufacturers of ergonomically designed tools strive to locate the tool controls strategically.
For example, the strategic positioning of a power cord on a plunge router allows you to continue a cut without constantly having to stop and move the cord out of the way. Incorporating storage for accessories such as drill bits on the tool is another mark of ergonomic design — you don’t have to attempt a comfortable work position to search for the accessories.
It is said that it’s essential that shoppers handle a tool before making a decision based on performance and price. If the tool doesn’t feel comfortable in the store, it’s not going to feel any better when you use it.
Example: What To Look For When Buying a Jigsaw.
Sometimes regarded as the stepchild of the shop it’s hard to work without one
Whether you’re a beginning do-it-yourself or a seasoned professional, you’ll find the jigsaw to be one of the most versatile and essential power tools for carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, and basic woodworking. It can do more jobs than any other power saw, and newer models incorporate improvements that make them more useful for a wider variety of tasks. In fact, the jigsaw should be one of the first power tools that you buy.
The jigsaw doesn’t cut as cleanly and precisely as stationary tools such as the table saw, band saw and scroll saw, but these tools can be inconvenient, impractical or impossible to use in some situations. When portability and small size are important, the jigsaw is the best tool for the job.
For instance, the jigsaw can cut a scroll pattern in the middle of a large board, make a kitchen sink cutout in a countertop, or even modify the inside of an existing cabinet.
The jig saw’s talent for working in tight places is further enhanced by its ability to start an inside cut without drilling a starter hole. Simply tilt the saw on the front edge of its shoe and gradually pivot the blade into the work.
The list of uses for this saw is impressive: You can cut all kinds of metal and plastic pipe; saw through sheet and plate metal; make cabinet scribing; cut access openings in walls, floors, and ceilings; cut brick and tile and more.
What makes this versatility possible is that many moderately-priced saws now have variable speed and orbital action. In conjunction with the right blade
The parts layout of most jigsaws is basically the same. Variable speed and orbital-action features are found on saws costing $ 100 or more. The most notable variation among saws is in the handle design.
A top handle is shown fright; a brief grip eliminates the handle. These features allow you to get a near-perfect cut in almost any material.
A variable-speed feature lets you cut different materials at the correct rate. For instance, plastic must be cut at a slow speed, or the blade will melt the plastic. Metal must be cut at a slow speed as well to prevent overheating and burning the blade. Wood, on the other hand, requires a high cutting speed.
A saw with orbital action produces a dual reciprocating blade motion: up and down and back and forth simultaneously. This causes the blade to cut more aggressively, which means faster (but rougher) cutting.
The saw’s instruction manual provides information for using the best variable speed, orbital-action, and blade combination for various materials. If you plan on using your jigsaw only occasionally and for cutting thin stock, you may not need these features.
When you’re cutting, keep in mind that most jigsaw blades cut on the upstroke. That means that you should cut with the good side down because the blade will tend to raise splinters on the top.
However, several manufacturers offer fine-cutting blades that minimize splintering, even in veneered plywood.
BUYING TIPS for a jigsaw.
Here are a few guidelines to help you choose from the dozens of jigsaws on the market:
*Choose a saw with enough power to tackle your most difficult job. Saws are available with motors ranging from 2.2 amps to 6 amps.
*Check that the blade is easy to change and that replacement blades are readily available. The three most common types are 1/4-in. Universal shank, Bosch shank, and Porter-Cable bayonet shank.
*Look for add-on versatility. Manufacturers make a variety of accessories, including circle-cutting attachments, rip fence, and dust pickups.
*If you need to make enabled cuts, choose a saw with tilting shoe. But check the shoe easement as it can vary from tool to tool.
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