DIY Injuries – Which Tools Cause the Most?

DIY Injuries - Which Tools Cause the Most

Thousands of Americans end up in the ER every year due to injuries caused by accidents while using tools to renovate, redecorate, or accomplish other DIY tasks around the house, in the shop, or while tending the landscape or garden.

Often, accidents occur when people are not trained, have not taken the right safety precautions, or neglected to wear proper safety equipment or work boots.

Many potentially dangerous but useful tools are available for DIY tasks, such as cordless drills, chainsaws, and axes. We looked into which DIY tools are the most dangerous. We also investigated which genders and age groups are most at risk of injury from them. By delving into data from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), we can reveal the dangerous tools that put the most people in the ER.

It is not just DIY enthusiasts who use dangerous tools. Many professionals, such as construction workers, also use heavy machinery and power tools. If used improperly, these tools can cause serious injury and, sadly, even death. Comparing data from many US states lets us reveal the safest and most dangerous states to be a construction worker.

Workshop manual tools are the most dangerous

Most Dangerous Household Tools

1. Workshop Manual Tools: 119,798 injuries | 23.48% of all injuries

Hand tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches are estimated to be responsible for almost a quarter (23.48%) of all tool-related injuries in the US. Workshop manual tools caused an estimated 119,798 injuries last year. This includes superficial wounds like lacerations and cuts and more severe injuries like fractures and even eye injuries.

2. Lawn and Garden Equipment: 76,137 injuries | 14.92% of all injuries

Lawn and garden equipment, including hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, and chainsaws, caused an estimated 76,137 injuries last year. This accounted for almost one-sixth (14.92%) of tool injuries in the US. While gardening is a household task that many Americans undertake themselves, unexpected weather conditions, neglecting to wear protective gear, and incorrect tool handling can all contribute to injuries while using this equipment.

3. Home Workshop Power Saws: 70,930 injuries | 13.90% of all injuries

Power tools like table saws, circular saws, miter saws, and jigsaws are among the most dangerous in the US. Last year, they caused an estimated 70,930 injuries, accounting for 13.90% of all injuries from tools. Common injuries that result from using home workshop power saws include cuts, amputations, and even bone fractures. Most are caused by improper use or lack of safety precautions. On rare occasions, accidents and injuries are the result of malfunctioning equipment.

Batteries Pose an Increasing Injury Risk

tools with biggest increase injuries

1. Batteries | 24.35% five-year increase in injuries

While batteries were the tenth most dangerous tool last year based on injury numbers, they have seen the largest increase in estimated injuries in the last five years. The estimated number of injuries caused by batteries increased by almost 25% from 2018 to 2023. Often overlooked as dangerous, batteries can cause chemical burns or fires if damaged or leaking or pose a choking hazard to babies.

Admittedly, this stat is likely influenced mostly by non-tool-related sources and applications. This is further evidenced in our Most Dangerous Tools in Every Age Group section below. The increase in widespread use of battery-powered devices like tablets, toys, and e-cigarettes has also caused a spike in this segment.

2. Other Power Lawn Equipment | 14.78% five-year increase in injuries

Power lawn equipment, including string trimmers and edgers, are responsible for more DIY injuries now than five years ago. The estimated number of injuries caused by these tools increased by almost one-sixth (14.78%) between 2018 and 2023. These tools can cause injuries due to poor maintenance, equipment malfunctions, or improper use and handling.

3. Workshop Manual Tools | 2.44% five-year increase in injuries

Workshop manual tools, responsible for more injuries in 2023 than other tools, have also seen one of the biggest increases in estimated injuries over the last five years. The number of estimated injuries caused by manual tools such as hammers and screwdrivers has increased by 2.44% since 2018.

Hand Garden Tools are Becoming Less Dangerous

tools with biggest decrease injuries

1. Hand Garden Tools | 64.79% five-year decrease in injuries

Hand garden tools, including manual gardening equipment like shovels, rakes, and pruners, cause fewer injuries today than five years ago. Witnessing a decrease in estimated injuries of almost two-thirds (64.79%) between 2018 and 2023, hand gardening tools benefit from improved safety features today, which could account for the significant reduction in reported injuries.

2. Lawnmowers | 30.47% five-year decrease in injuries

Lawnmowers are used by most Americans today, from non-DIYers to DIY enthusiasts, but despite their widespread use, lawnmowers are responsible for far fewer injuries today than five years ago. The estimated number of lawnmower-related injuries has decreased by almost one-third (30.47%) since 2018, likely due to improved design and increased awareness of the importance of year-round maintenance.

3. Chainsaws | 16.05% five-year decrease in injuries

Chainsaws are often considered among the most dangerous DIY tools. Now, however, they cause fewer injuries than five years ago. Our research indicates that PPE largely accounts for a decrease in estimated injuries caused by chainsaws between 2018 and 2023. How many? Over one-sixth (16.05%)—an amazing number for wearing PPE and taking chainsaw safety precautions.

The Most Dangerous Tools in Every Age Group

Most Dangerous Tools Per Age Group

The most dangerous DIY tools differ based on the user’s age. For babies aged 0-4, batteries cause almost two-thirds (60.01%) of all reported injuries, likely due to consumption and choking.

Manual workshop tools lead injuries across a majority of users—from ages 5–64. We attribute this to the widespread use of tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches around the home for DIY projects and in school workshop classes.

Injuries to those aged 65 and over occur mostly when using lawn and garden equipment, with gardening a common pastime of older and retired Americans. Garden tools caused almost one-quarter (24.91%) of injuries affecting this age group.

Welding, Soldering, and Cutting Tools are the Most Dangerous for Men

Most Dangerous Tools For Men

1. Welding, Soldering, and Cutting tools: 98.07% of all injuries suffered by men

Men bear the overwhelming number of injuries sustained from using welding, soldering, and cutting tools. More than nine in 10 (98.07%) reported injuries last year affected men. This could be due to the use of these tools in male-dominated injuries, like construction and automotive repair.

2. Power Home Workshop Saws: 94.25% of all injuries suffered by men

Power home workshop saws are the third most dangerous tools overall. Men suffered 94.25% of these injuries in 2023. The data suggests the prevalence of construction-based hobbies among men tilts the numbers in this direction.

3. Chainsaws: 91.82% of all injuries suffered by men

While chainsaws have seen a decrease in injuries in the last five years, there is a clear gender-based split in chainsaw-related injuries. Almost 92% of injuries caused by chainsaws in 2023 were sustained by men.

Lawn and Garden Tools are the Most Dangerous for Women

Most Dangerous-Tools For Women

1. Lawn and Garden Equipment: 46.51% of all injuries suffered by women

Lawn and garden equipment injuries affect more women than any other tool injury, with almost half (46.51%) of all recorded injuries happening to women. This could be due to the popularity of gardening over construction-based hobbies among women, although, notably, over half of all injuries sustained from using lawn and garden equipment affect men.

2. Hand Garden Tools: 40.16% of all injuries suffered by women

Hand garden tool injuries affect more women than most other tool injuries. These can include cuts and lacerations from the use of pruners, shovels, and garden forks. Two in five (40.16%) injuries sustained from hand garden tools last year affected women.

3. Batteries: 32.16% of all injuries suffered by women

Just under a third (32.16%) of all battery injuries last year affected women. This could be due to the widespread use of batteries in many household items, including toys and small appliances.

The Most Dangerous States to Work in Construction

states with most construction injuries

1. Nevada: 50.39% of construction workers suffered injury or illness

While construction is a high-risk industry due to the nature of the work performed, workers in Nevada are most at risk of injury or illness. Over half (50.39%) of construction workers in Nevada suffered complications at work. This is likely due to conditions like high temperatures, desert environments, and uneven terrain, which can contribute to the number of accidents and health issues experienced.

The States with the Most Construction Deaths

states with most construction deaths

1. Nevada: 0.18% of construction workers killed

Construction deaths are rare across the US; however, Nevada experienced the highest percentage of employed construction and extraction workers killed in the most recent year. Around 0.18% of those working in construction were killed.

The States Becoming More Dangerous to Work in Construction

states with increasing construction injuries

1. Connecticut: 4.35% five-year increase in construction illness and injury

Increased construction and infrastructure development in Connecticut may have led to a boom in the industry over the last five years, which is likely the reason for the state seeing the largest increase in construction illness and injury, at 4.35%.

The States with Increasing Construction Deaths

states with increasing construction deaths

1. Connecticut: 66.67% five-year increase in construction deaths

While Connecticut experienced the largest five-year increase in construction injuries, it has also seen the largest increase in injuries resulting in death. The number of construction workers fatally injured rose from three in 2017 to nine in 2022, representing an increase of over two-thirds (66.67%).

The States Becoming Safer to Work in Construction

states where construction injuries declining

1. Maryland: 75.00% five-year decrease in construction illness and injury

Construction-related injuries and illnesses are declining in many US states, although the largest decrease in reported cases can be seen in Maryland. The number of construction injury and illness instances dropped by three-quarters (75%) from 2017 to 2022.

The States Where Construction Deaths are Declining

states where construction deaths declining

1. Maryland: 90.91% five-year decrease in construction deaths

Construction deaths from injury are decreasing in Maryland more than in any other state. The state has seen a decline in fatal injuries of 90.91% in the last five years, from 21 in 2017 to just 11 in 2022.


We used a CPSC NEISS 2023 report to find the estimated* number of injuries for different DIY and household tools across the US. The tools included in this campaign include:

  • Chain Saws
  • Hand Garden Tools
  • Hatchets and Axes
  • Lawn and Garden Equipment
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Other Power Lawn Equipment
  • Trimmers and Small Power Garden Tools
  • Batteries
  • Home Power Tools (excl. Saws)
  • Home Power Workshop Saws
  • Welding, Soldering, Cutting Tools
  • Manual Workshop Tools

This data was split by the injured person’s age, gender, and disposition (e.g., whether they were treated and released, transferred to the hospital, or pronounced DOA).

We then compared this to the reports from 2013 and 2018 using different tools to find the 10-year and five-year injury changes.

To find the most dangerous states to work in, we used Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data to determine the total number of non-fatal and fatal injuries recorded in construction state-by-state** in 2022 (the most recent available).

We then compared this to BLS data on the total number of workers in Construction and Extraction Occupations in 2022 for each state to find the percentage of workers involved in an accident.

Finally, we compared these 2022 counts to the 2017 data to find the 5-year change in total construction injuries per state.


*Because NEISS is a probability sample, each injury case has a statistical weight. These national estimates of persons treated in US hospital emergency departments with consumer product-related injuries are derived by summing the statistical weights for the appropriate injury cases. The data system allows for reporting up to three products for each person’s injury, which may be counted in three product groups.

**Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and South Dakota were removed from the final dataset due to a lack of up-to-date data.

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