OSH Answers Fact Sheets

Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >

Download the free OSH Answers app
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Search all fact sheets:

Type a word, a phrase, or ask a question

Powered Hand Tools - Planers

What should you do before you start cutting with a planer?

  • Wear safety glasses or goggles, or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles), and use the appropriate hearing protection.
  • Disconnect the planer from the power supply before making any adjustments to the cutter head or blades.
  • Ensure switch is in off position before plugging in.
  • Use blades of the same weight and set at the same height.
  • Ensure that the blade-locking screws are tight.
  • Remove adjusting keys and wrenches before turning on power.
  • Support the material (stock) in a comfortable position that will allow the job to be done safely and accurately.
  • Check stock thoroughly for staples, nails, screws, or other foreign objects before using a planer.
  • Do not cut stock less than 20 cm (8 in) long or 1 cm (0.5 in) thick.
Use Proper Support for Work

What should you do while cutting with a planer?

  • Start a cut with the infeed table (front shoe) resting firmly on the stock and with the cutter head slightly behind the edge of the stock.
  • Use two hands to operate a planer - one hand on the trigger switch and the other on a front handle.
  • Do not put your finger or any object in a deflector to clean out chips while a planer is running.
  • Disconnect the power supply when stopping to dump out chips.
  • Do not set a planer down until blades have stopped turning.
  • Stand on the side of the planer near the controls. Never stand behind stock when being fed into the planer.

  • Keep all cords clear of cutting area.
  • Do not overreach. Keep proper footing and balance.

Refer to Powered Hand Tools - Basic Safety for Electric Tools for general safety tips.

Document last updated on December 20, 2013
Document confirmed current on August 15, 2019

Add a badge to your website or intranet so your workers can quickly find answers to their health and safety questions.


Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.