Inside: Learn these 5 simple to conquer your fear and boost your confidence when using power tools.
The fear of working with power tools is real. It’s so real in fact there’s actually a word for it, ergalilektriphobia. Yikes just saying that word drums up visions of some zombie horror movie.
And horror is exactly what you feel when it comes to working with power tools. Your palms sweat, chills run down your spine and you freeze at the “what if” thoughts that could happen to your body parts or your project if you make a mistake.
It’s completely normal to feel scared. In fact, it’s good to have a healthy fear of power tools so you respect the risk when working with them.
But when the fear is paralyzing and keeps you from progressing on your project, it’s time to face your fears and move forward.
Here are 5 simple tips when working with power tools. These help build your confidence, increase your comfort level, and keep you safe through the duration of working on your project.
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Use Safety Gear
There is an inherent physical risk when working with power tools making proper safety gear essential. Utilize safety gear to protect your eyes, ears, and lungs. When you are about to work with power tools consider the risks involved with using that specific tool to determine the specific safety gear to use.
At a minimum use eye goggles, then depending on the tool and the material you are using, determine whether you need ear protection and a mask. For example, when using a drill you may only need eye protection, but when using a power saw use eye, and ear protection, and a mask (optional).
Also, remember to wear closed-toe shoes. Taking this simple, but necessary step will help you feel confident and comfortable as you press the power button. For further information check out this post on power tool safety gear.
In order to grow your confidence and feel more comfortable working with power tools, start simple then build on your experience. If you have never used a power tool before choose a power tool that involves less risk and is easier to use. For example, a drill is a good starter tool. It involves little physical risk, is fairly simple to use and any homeowner or renter will benefit from having it around.
As you grow in your confidence try out more advanced tools such as an electric sander or a nail gun then onto a power saw, and continue to progress from there.
Research and Learn
Research and learn about your power tools. This can happen in several ways:
- Read the manual
- Watch videos
- Take a class
- Shadow a friend or family member and ask them to teach you
When you research and learn how to use your power tools this helps you learn the proper way to operate your tool, see various ways to use the tool, proper maintenance, and avoid mistakes and injuries. This in turn helps to boost your confidence and comfort level.
Practice Practice Practice
As goes with anything in life the more you practice the better you become at that skill. If you’re practicing with a drill try out different drill bit sizes. Drill into different materials and thicknesses. Try different settings. Learn through trial and error and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It doesn’t have to be perfect and be patient with yourself as you learn new skills. The more you practice the more confident and comfortable you will be.
Most injuries occur when the user is distracted, tired, complacent, and in a hurry. The sharpest tool in your toolbox is your brain. Stay focused on the task at hand and think through each step before taking action.
Make a commitment with yourself that you will be at your best when you work with power tools.
Stop to take breaks, eat enough food to sustain your energy, take your time, and don’t rush your project. Limit distractions from your kids, phone, pager, and don’t multitask. Give the time with your power tools your best and your confidence and comfort will grow.
Follow these 5 tips to overcome ergalilektriphobia and you will be able to fight off those zombies!