How To Use Your Power Tools Without Developing Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome

Posted on: 12 January 2023

If you are planning on doing DIY projects around the house, you may be interested in investing in a set of power tools. If you have impaired grip strength, you should look for power tools with reduced vibrations so you can avoid hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). HAVS is a repetitive strain injury that could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and other musculoskeletal issues. Thankfully there are lots of ways to protect yourself, and there are lots of power tools on the market that are geared at reducing vibrations to protect workers. Here are a few ways to use power tools without developing hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Invest in Anti-Vibration Power Tools

There are anti-vibration power tools on the market that have special features, like vibration-absorbing housings, lock-on triggers, and counterbalance mechanisms. Instead of transferring vibrations through the tool's main handle, tools with vibration-absorbing housings are designed to move independently of the drive and motor. Lock-on triggers can help workers maintain continuous speed of the tool without constant gripping action. And counterbalance mechanisms further reduce vibrations by helping the entire power tool absorb and dissipate impact forces.

Wear Protective Gloves

When you are purchasing your power tools, ask the manufacturer about protective gloves that work well with those products. One study found that anti-vibration gloves could reduce vibrations by about 85%. Before purchasing gloves, you should be sure to try a few pairs on while handling your equipment. The gloves shouldn't be so tight that they compress your wrists, but they shouldn't be so baggy that they get pinched or caught in power-tool handles.

Opt for Power Tools with Ergonomic Grips

While some power tool manufacturers have one-size-fits-all tool sets, some brands do offer smaller, lightweight tools for different body types and grips. Keep in mind that low-end power tools may only have plastic handles, which can transmit a lot of vibrations. High-quality power tools should have padded grips and grooves to fit comfortably in your hands. Also, be sure to avoid tools that need single-finger triggers to operate, since this can stress your grip; look for tools that have larger switches that can be operated by all four fingers.

Weigh the Pros and Cons of Cordless and Corded Tools

One might think that cordless power tools are superior because of their ease of mobility. However, there are some downsides to cordless tools. In general, cordless tools can be heavier because they must hold a battery pack. This increase in weight can make them harder to grip properly. If you want to go the cordless route, ask the manufacturer about lightweight lithium-ion batteries.

Reach out to a power tool manufacturer, such as Milwaukee power tools, for more information.