Gardening Tool Site

Tool Safety

Practical Safety Tips When Using Garden Power Tools

Garden power tools make it easy to keep your lawn, hedge, shrubs, and flower beds in pristine condition. Spending time in the garden is also a great way to stay physically active, spend time with the family, unwind, and grow delicious fruit and vegetables. Although most people don’t consider gardening a hazardous activity, using power tools can up the risk.

Updated 20/06/2022

It’s crucial to staying safe when using garden power tools. According to some reports, thousands of people end up in hospital every year with gardening-related injuries. Among the power tool injuries, lawnmowers and electric hedge trimmers top the list.

Apart from the dangers of sharp blades spinning at high speeds, there is the risk of electric shocks due to cutting cords or excess moisture. Fortunately, most gardening accidents and injuries are preventable by following a few safety precautions.

Safety and Care of Your Garden Power Tools

Here are eight practical safety tips to remember when working in the garden with power tools.

1. Personal Protective Gear that you need When Gardening

Safety Hat

Protective clothing is essential when working with garden power tools. Remember, stones and sharp objects can come hurtling towards you. Some people estimate that lawnmowers and trimmers can shoot out small stones at around 200 mph.

Ensure that you have appropriate goggles, gloves, sturdy boots, and keep all areas of your skin protected. If you are using noisy power tools such as electric leaf blowers, gas-powered mowers, or trimmers, ear muffs will also protect your hearing.

2. Choosing the Right Power Tools for you to Use in your Garden

Always use the right type of power tool that suits your garden needs. There is no use investing in a professional leaf blower if you’ve only a small yard. But if you need to clear a large area of ground, then investing in professional equipment pays off.

However, always ensure that any power tool has an ergonomic design to prevent muscle strain and make it easy to operate. Before buying a gardening power tool always make sure that it is not too heavy. As you don’t want to risk back pain from lugging around power tools that are to heavy or hard for you to use.

3. Never Modify Your Garden Power Tools

Modifying garden power tools can have disastrous consequences. Remember, any safety features on an electric- or gas-powered device are there for a purpose—to keep you safe. You can put yourself and others at risk if you remove safety guards, modify automatic “off” switches, or in any other way alter equipment.

4. Regularly Check and Maintain your Garden Power Tools

Regular power tool maintenance, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, is vital. For example, lubrication ensures that parts of the tools don’t chaff or corrode. Keeping blades sharp reduces friction and tension. Regular cleaning helps keep vents free of dirt and grime to reduce overheating.

When finishing With your tools, before putting them away always ensure that they are clean and safely stored ready to be used next time.

A Word of Warning: Always Remember to Unplug Electrical Items Before Carrying Out Any Maintenance.

5. When Using Garden Power Tools Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Garden Power Tools

Operating noisy power tools in the garden—especially when wearing ear muffs—can detach you from what’s going on around you. So, while you may have all the necessary safety gear on, others who come near are unprotected. Try to be aware of what’s going on around you.

Remember that water and electricity don’t mix. Only ever use power tools in the garden when conditions are dry. Also, if you have a cord-powered lawnmower or hedge trimmer, keep the cord well away from the blade. You need to cut grass, not the electric cable.

6. Use the Right Garden Power Tool for the Job

Picking the right tool for the job doesn’t just help you get it done quicker—you reduce the risk of injury. While there are a few useful universal tools, it’s always safer to have a variety of specific tools for each job. Remember that every tool—powered or not—has the potential to cause injury if not used correctly.

Using the wrong tool for the wrong job can mean an unscheduled trip to the local accident and emergency room.

7. Operate Your Power Tools when Gardening According to User Manuals

When getting a new power tool, it can be tempting to switch it on and get started as soon as possible. Take a few minutes to read through the instructions carefully. Not only will you reduce the risk of injuring yourself and others, but you will also find out how to use the tool properly. You may even learn about ways to use the tool more effectively.

8. When Finished Gardening Always Tidy up and Store Your Garden Tools Away Safely

After working hard in the garden, it can be tempting just to leave all your equipment in a heap in the shed or garage. However, proper clean-up and storage extend the life of your garden equipment. For example, lubricating tools can ensure that working parts don’t corrode or seize up by the next time you use them. Cables that are neatly rolled away reduce the risk of tripping.

FAQs About Using Garden Power Tools

Is it safe to use power tools in the rain?

Safety Goggles

Never use power tools in the rain. Most garden power tools are not rated for outdoor use when it’s raining. Apart from the serious risk of electric shock, moisture in the equipment will cause parts to rust.

Even if you have an exceptional power tool that is certified for use in the rain—and these are rare—you risk slipping on wet surfaces and injuring yourself in the process.

Is it safe to use Extension Cords When Using Electric-Powered Tools?

Many electric garden tools require an appropriate extension cord. However, not just any extension cord will do. An extension cord for use with garden equipment should be insulated and certified for outdoor use.

When choosing an extension cord for your garden tools, choose one that is suitable for the equipment. This means ensuring the amperage and gauge is sufficient. Also, the connection between the cord and your equipment should be watertight.

Do Extension Cords Reduce the Power of your Gardening Equipment?

Heavy-duty extension cords designed for power tools won’t cause a significant reduction in power. However, never use an extension cord to power garden equipment that is for indoor, home appliance use.

Safety When Using Garden Power Tools: Conclusion

Garden Power tools can make light of difficult or cumbersome gardening work. However, it’s vital to use power tools correctly and take the necessary safety precautions. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, wearing protective clothing, using the right tools for the job can help make gardening fun and enjoyable—with as little risk as possible.