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I know that the majority of injuries in the shop seem to be table saw accidents but I thought I ought to share this story with everyone.
If tha table saw is the most used tool in the shop, then the router is a close second. Between handheld operations and the router table, how often do you use it every day? I know for me it's a lot. In fact, about half the time I use my routers more than the saw. That said, I've always tried to be safe and careful with them. Something about carbide spinning at 22,000 RPMs + an inch or two from my hand makes me think.

On March 13th of last year (Friday the 13th, go figure) I was building a Red Oak china cabinet for a guy. I had to do some routing to trim a panel. Used a straightedge and a top roller flush trim bit. The cutter was 2" long. Somehow, and I still don't know how, the bit hit SOMETHING and kicked back so hard and fast the the router did a backflip out of my hands. The torque of the free spinning motor spun it back and over- right to left. I reacted by jerking my hands back as soon as it left them, which is probably the only thing that saved my thumb. As it came down the bit landed on my left thumb at the knuckle on it's side and the cutters ran down my thumb getting deeper as it went.
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Router Injury
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I was lucky. The doc said if I hadn't been pulling away as quickly as I had, they'd be re-attaching my thumb instead of cleaning it and sending me home with pain pills.

I'm curious about injuries other than the table saw. Those seem to be shared pretty quickly. There are so many dangerous tools in our shops to be cautious with. Sometimes we get too comfortable with many of them and things like this happen. I still don't know if the cord got pulled tight causing it to tip and bite or if I hit somthing with the bit or shavings got between the bit and part causing the kick back. Maybe other stories will help. Anyway, thanks for looking. I hope it helps someone else avoid this. The scarring's there for life but I do have full use of the thumb still.
 

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That's scary. I'm glad it wasn't worse. It's not a good idea to be using a 2" router bit any were but in a router table and then your need to be extra careful. I think you know that now?
 

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Holy cow, man, that made me sit up and suck in some air. Really glad you're okay, and it reminds me again to wear my protective gear, always use guards, and THINK. Hope you're healing well, and glad you'll have total use of it.
 

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Ouch!! Glad nothing more permanent than a scar. Routers always scare me. Too many people get to comfortable with them. Too much cutter spinning around and the whole spinning thing is moving around. At least table saws aren't moving around and half of the cutting surface is below the table.
 

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Routers can be dangerous. I posted a picture on here a couple of weeks ago (under post "Big Bang Theory) where the router bit slipped in the collet and took out the entire base plate of my router. Some years ago I was doing dovetails. Like an idiot I had a long sleeve shirt on with the sleeves rolled up mid forearm. When I got done doing the last dovetail, I let go of the power switch and removed the router from the jig. As I pulled the router out I let go of it with one hand and the router kind of swung up near my left forearm and cut my shirt cuff off. Fortunately it didnt come in contact with my skin. Needless to say, I work in short sleeve shirts now and keep both hands on it until it stops.
 

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Never run a piece between the bit and the fence. The router will grab it and throw it back at you, or worse. Not a dumb question.
 

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Since an accident as a kid with a hacksaw i've maintain a heathy respect for all my tools.

Until recently working on my new shop no less

applying vapor barrior in preparetion of a new shingle job. I stapled my finger to the sheathing. you wouldn't believe the language that spouted forth.

Then shingling said building i left my 9 in block plane on top of a 24ft ladder. you can guess what happened when i had to move that ladder. what a freaken headache.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hand's fine. Luckily, very little damage to muscle. I have an interesting scar and full use. I got lucky, no doubt. I've used routers nearly every day for 20 years and never have seen anything like this happen to me or anybody else. I still don't know for sure why it kicked back but it kept me awake a few nights wondering.
 

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I've seen router bits heat up and go into like an ocillating warp much like a tablesaw blade will do when overheated. Only last a couple seconds and it goes back completely normal. May been what threw you for a loop? Really would almost have to be a dull bit getting dogged pretty hard to produce such a thing though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Don't believe that it was dull because I got a new one out of the package to do that job. The most likely thing I can think of was that the cord hung up on something as I was moving the router, causing it to tip a little and the bit to grab and kick back.
 

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I could only hope I had a clean pair of underwear if that ever happens to me. I am real big on shop safety but we all make mistakes. the other day I was using a bit in the router that I had to change from the 1/4" collar to the 1/2" collar. I thought I tightened the collar down but I did not. I turned the router on and it started making a louder vibration sound. turned it off and found that my bit had moved out of the collar about half an inch. Nobody's fault but mine, but I sure feel like an idiot when that kind of thing happens.
Glad you were not hurt worse.
 

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That was one nasty injury! I can see the possibility of the cord getting caught. I was ripping some ply last summer with a circular saw and the cord got caught causing the saw to bind and kick it a good foot out of the material. Luckily the only thing it cut was my nerve.
 
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