Product Standards: Tools of the Trade

As a remodeler, you undoubtedly have favorite tools that you use frequently in your business, as well as knowledge about others that you have less occasion to haul out.

September 30, 2001

As a remodeler, you undoubtedly have favorite tools that you use frequently in your business, as well as knowledge about others that you have less occasion to haul out.

But the tools themselves and their use are the business of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The agencyÆs exhaustive testing and research provide the opportunity and a legal obligation to keep your job sites as safe for your employees as possible.

The construction industry was OSHAÆs favorite target during the past year, accounting for 54% of all inspections it and its state partners conducted, compared with manufacturing at 23% and other industries at 23%. Furthermore, two-thirds of all violations found were determined to be willful or serious; the average penalty was more than $1,000.

Fortunately, OSHA regulations are well-defined for all aspects of the workplace. On the following pages, youÆll find highlights of those applying to many of the power tools commonly used in remodeling. Besides keeping the job site safer, following these common-sense rules will also help extend the working life of the tools.

Milwaukee Electric: A new series of 7- and 9-inch sanders and grinders is designed for metal fabricating, welding, steel erecting, pipelining and masonry work. The model 6088-20 7-inch grinder is shown. Each tool features a 4-horsepower motor and an angled rear handle. Other features include a two-finger trigger switch and a three-position side handle. Select models offer a nine-position, rotating rear handle to accommodate all angles.

Contact: 877/729-3878

Click Here to learn more about Milwaukee Electric.

Senco: The company has redesigned its line of pneumatic nailers and staplers. The new ProSeries line, scheduled for roll-out this fall and to be complete by April 2002, consists of framing and finish nailers, brad nailers, sheathing and finish staplers, and pinners. Each tool will offer features, warranties and durability levels to match a wide range of user requirements, including those of the heaviest professional users and light-duty contractors.

Contact: 800/543-4596,

Click Here to learn more about Senco.


Bosch: A series of 18-volt, cordless power tools includes the 1644K reciprocating saw kit, the 1659K circular saw kit and the 3860K drill/driver kit. The 1644K features dual-stroke action that allows for two cutting lengths: 13/4 inches for fast, aggressive cuts and 3/4 inch for plunge and precise cuts. The 1659K is a 53/8-inch saw that operates at up to 3,600 rpm. The 3860K delivers 475 inch-pounds of torque. The tools also are offered in combination kits.

Contact: 877/267-2499,


Paslode: Features of the TrimMaster 18 cordless finish nailer include a depth-of-drive adjustment; a quick-clear function to clear jams without tools; a long, narrow nose for operating in tight spots; and no-mar tips (both soft and hard included) to minimize damage to wood trim. Self-powered by a single-stroke, linear-motion, internal combustion engine, the 18-gauge tool drives 5/8-inch to 2-inch fasteners at up to three nails per second, the company says.

Contact: 800/682-3428,

Click Here to learn more about Paslode.


Makita: The BO6030 random orbit sander uses industry-standard 6-inch hook-and-loop sanding discs and accessories. The rubberized rear handle helps absorb vibration and includes a variable-speed (4,000 to 10,000 orbits per minute) control dial to adjust between fine and aggressive sanding. The front handle detaches for operation in confined areas, and a palm grip atop the motor housing permits one-handed operation. The product comes standard with a cloth dust bag but accepts industry-standard paper dust bags.

Contact: 800/462-5482,

Click Here to learn more about Makita.


Safety checklist

Use the following OSHA checklist for use of portable power-operated tools at your company:









  • Are grinders, saws and similar equipment provided with appropriate safety guards?







  • á Do portable circular saws have operating guards above and below the base shoe?







  • á Are effective guards in place over belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets on equipment such as concrete mixers and air compressors?







  • á Are portable fans provided with full guards or screens with openings of 1/2 inch or less?







  • á Is hoisting equipment available and used for lifting heavy objects? Are hoist ratings and characteristics appropriate for the task?







  • á Are ground-fault circuit interrupters provided on all temporary electrical 15- and 20-amp circuits?







  • á Are pneumatic and hydraulic hoses on power tools checked regularly for deterioration or damage?

    Also See:

    Standards for power-actuated tools

    Standards for electric, pneumatic and hydraulic tools

    OHSA Self-Inspection Checklist: Hand and Portable Power Tools

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