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Forum topic by sixstringjack posted 07-17-2011 04:53 AM 1678 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2708 days

07-17-2011 04:53 AM

Most woodworkers I am sure, are like me and unplug before changing blades, cutters, etc. And I certainly am an advocate of unplugging. But, since the older i get the more i question conventional wisdom, I am curious, has anyone ever actually experienced an unintended start up of a machine? I don’t mean like after power failures etc, I mean have you ever been at a machine when it suddenly started all on its own?

-- Jack

22 replies so far

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3518 days

#1 posted 07-17-2011 05:14 AM

My table saw has had some issues with it’s power switch. It has never turned on by itself, but once running, I’ve had it not turn off when I flip the switch. Pretty scary.

View joey bealis's profile

joey bealis

177 posts in 2708 days

#2 posted 07-17-2011 05:58 AM

I had a table saw with a magnetic switch jump on and off. Needless to say the switched was replaced fast. Now to the issue of unplugging a saw before changing a blade. Working in the cabinet profession for awhile most of our larger saws you could not just unplug. So I’m guilty of changing blades with out turning off the power. Needless to say I’m a &$%&^%$ IDIOT. I am lucky enough after almost 20 years in the profession to still have all my fingers and toes. I saw my father who had about 35 years in the business lose his finger on a drill press that was missing a guard. So unplug or flip a breaker and keep those guards on.


View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2825 days

#3 posted 07-17-2011 06:23 AM

I have a shopsmith, the switch on it is not risky but I ALWAYS unplug my machine when changing blades or even making major adjustments to the fence.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 07-17-2011 09:36 AM

i press the power supply button in when i switch blades and such, because on my sliding panelsaw/ shaper, the controls are on the left side, and you lean with your waste against the control panel when switching blades or shaper tools. lucky though the start button is the most recessed button, and when you lean against the panel you usually accidentally press the protruding emergency power supply switch, witch turns off the power.

but anyway yes i do know of such an accident involving my dad and some other guy. about 30 years ago when they were working around the house. they didn’t find anything better to do then to replace the disk of a large angle grinder with the other man holding the disk with both hands and my dad with the wrench until the angle grinder started by accident and the guy holding the blade lost a few fingers, all could not be reattached and hes still walking around today with one or two missing fingers.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 3081 days

#5 posted 07-19-2011 09:53 PM

I don’t unplug my table saw when I change the blades. I should but the plug is hard to get to and I just risk it.

I DO however unplug my miter saw, radial arm saw and router any time I change the blades or bits. The only other machine I don’t unplug is my Jointer/Planer and thats because it has this magnetic switch that gets stuck and when its unplugged sometimes it wont turn back on when I plug it back in.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3068 days

#6 posted 07-19-2011 10:13 PM

I disable every power tool and stationary machine when I work on them or change the blades/cutters. If I clean a gun I will check the chamber and remove the magazine. It’s just one of the things that you are suppose to do and I think that it is wise to do it. Even after doing this I will still treat them as if they could start or fire and will handle them with as much care as possible.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ETwoodworks's profile


92 posts in 2894 days

#7 posted 07-19-2011 10:13 PM

My bosch router table has a large paddle switch that is to easy to flip and I have caught it with my shirt and accidently turned it on b4. Thankfully my fingers were clear but I ALWAYS unplug it now along with all my other tools.

-- Building quality in a throw away world.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19010 posts in 2769 days

#8 posted 07-19-2011 10:23 PM

I agree you should. Like Dan, I sometime don’t bother, but its for tools i know well. My router under my router table always gets unplugged. I’ve acidently hit the switch. No harm ever came from it, but I seen the potential. My table saw on the other hand is different. I stand on the opposite side of the switch to change the blade. Its older and it starts slow anyhow. I still should unplug it, but its a walk to the wall for the 22o outlet. I’d probably hit the breaker first, which I do if I’m actually working on it.

As wayne said, I ALWAYS check the chamber when someone even hands me a firearm. You can see and hear a power tool start. A firearm, when you hear it, its to late.

I’m a “do as I say, not as i do” kind of guy. Unplug it!!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

394 posts in 3283 days

#9 posted 07-20-2011 02:02 AM

I should unplug the table saw every time I change blades, but sometimes get lazy. Once I was adjusting the position of the cast iron top by hitting it with a rubber mallet and the magnetic switch kicked in. My hands were away from the blade, but I am a lot more careful to unplug now.

-- Steve

View lou's profile


343 posts in 3644 days

#10 posted 07-20-2011 02:22 AM


View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2877 days

#11 posted 07-20-2011 02:23 AM

I do unplug the table saw because I was taught to do it that way. I do not unplug the drill press because I don’t remember being taught that way. Funny how things stick…..or not. I have my chuck wrench for the drill press on a chain. if you ever bumped that thing on it would wrap up in a heartbeat and it would cut off everything caught in that chain. I need to retrain myself. I do use clamps on the drill press etc. I am careful with that bandsaw too. that is the same thing they use in the butcher shop! I met a doctor (MD with a general practice) that was using a hydraulic post driver on a tractor to drive pipe posts. He had removed the safety guard because he could work it faster. In setting up the post he bumped the control with his shoulder and took off the first 2 fingers on his left hand. they tried to reattach one and it was not successful. Makes it more difficult to do is job.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2707 days

#12 posted 07-20-2011 04:11 AM

See Grandpa’s post….I always unplug. I need my fingers to make my living. :-)

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2869 days

#13 posted 07-20-2011 05:52 AM

Never had a machine start on it’s own

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3681 days

#14 posted 07-23-2011 06:22 AM

I always unplug everything when changing blades, bits, or working on it with the exception of the drill press.
I dont like to have my hand/arm down the throat of the table saw without the power plug removed….it would be an instantaneous removal of my hand if it started with my hand in the throat of the saw.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3447 days

#15 posted 07-26-2011 02:15 AM

I always unplug and check the switch position before I plug it back in. A couple of clowns I worked with thought it was hysterical to turn anything unplugged, on. You plug in your router or sander and surprise! You’re had a heart attack, trying to turn this thing off and they’re laughing their a@#$# off.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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