When it comes to cutting through heavy metal, bolt cutters or croppers are a useful tool. They allow you to cut your way out of a difficult situation. Padlocks, fences, chains and bolts can all yield to the pressure applied by croppers. It makes a vital rescue tool and is a must-have tool for the homeowner. Handy as the bolt cutter is, if not properly handled, it can cause injuries. Below are seven safety tips for working with a bolt cutter.
Adjust Before Use
Bolt croppers must be adjusted before each use. The bolt is located in the cutter head. When adjusted, it will give you the correct tension for the blades. This enables effective cutting to take place. Failure to adjust the bolt will result in accuracy during cutting. It also makes cutting more laborious as you’ll have to struggle with wrong blade tension. This can cause you accidental cuts when trying to exert force to cut.
Oil the Hinges
It is a good idea to keep the bolt on the cutter head well oiled at all times. Should you notice that the bolt is not lubricated before use, you’ll need to oil it. Lubrication makes the cutters easier to use which ensures more accurate cutting. Lack of lubrication will cause you to cut with jerky movements. This can result in cuts to the hands and muscle strains.
Wear Protective Clothing
The bolt cutter has extremely sharp edges. It is best to wear heavy duty gloves when working. This will protect your hands from accidental cuts. Gloves also give you a firm grip which minimizes slips when cutting. You also need to wear safety goggles or a face shield. Tiny fragments of metal may fly through the air during cutting. Should these land on your face, injuries could result.
Handle Cutters Carefully
Avoid running your fingers over the blade edges to test for sharpness. The sharp blades of the bolt cropper can easily cut through your flesh. You should also be extra careful if you have children in the house. Be sure to keep croppers securely away after each use. These are not the sort of item you want a child to stumble upon.
Do not use croppers with blunt edges. More force is required to cut which increases muscular fatigue and the likelihood of strain injuries. It also compromises your safety as it increases the likelihood of accidental cuts. Inspect your blades before you work. If blades are dull, it is best to sharpen before you cut.
Do Not Hammer
Never use the cropper handles to hammer at an item. This will increase the risk of accidental cuts by the blades. It is best to assemble all necessary tools for the job before you begin work. Not only does this boost efficacy, it also promotes your safety.
Length of Handles
Do not attempt to lengthen the handles of the cropper to give you greater leverage. It is best to use croppers with longer handles when cutting through heavy material.