Router Without a Ground? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Default Router Without a Ground?

I don't know how long it has been broken, or if it was the last time I used it, but the ground prong on the power cord just came off. I noticed it was bent a couple of times before, but I have always been too busy to really think about it. Kind of like when I am too busy to take pictures of the progress.

I have a project I need to use the router on really soon. Will it be safe if I use it without the prong? I've used a cheater adapter on high amp drawing devices before, but never a power tool, and I've seen horrible cords on a jobsite that one of the safety officers said that he would cut off if he ever saw one. Should I just wait until I get it repaired and not take any chances?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 10:25 PM
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I would get it repaired, as I did recently with my circular saw. I'm not a gambler.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 10:36 PM
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Pretty well all (hand) power tools are double insulated these days. They are fairly safe without the ground. In fact, many don't bother including the ground prong anymore. If you use it in dry conditions you would be fine provided the tool is in good working condition. With that said, it is very easy and cheap to cut off the old plug and put a new one on.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 12:16 AM
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Given the choice, I would spring for the replacement plug before using any motor based power tool with a metal housing. I'm just too paranoid to give the metal housing any chance at being the 'electrode' that zaps me!.

I usually have one or two of the plugs in stock at the ready because they are so in-expensive.

I'm far from perfect when it comes to safety and discipline, especially if their is some advantage to cutting a corner. When there isn't an advantage to the 'more risky way' and the 'proper way' is straightforward and simple I play it safe to begin with..

I have also seen a few cheap power tools where the ground plug was just there for show and didn't connect to anything in reality! With a router, this probably isn't the case as it was with the drills that had thin metal plates over a plastic frame. I guess my point is, the presence of a ground plug doesn't absolutely guarantee that a tool is designed to be as safe as 'it should/could' be electrically.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 06:34 AM
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Hello I'm a retired electrician, the ground wire is the most important wire of all. Without this wire the frame can, with an internal fault, become live and the path to ground is then through the person touching the frame. Don't tempt fate fix the plug.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 06:50 AM
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as has been said, a lot of equipment these days is double insulated and doesn't need an earth. In the absence of other details, I would say because double insulation is so widely used, if your router has an earth prong then it is highly likely that it does need it. Manufacturers look for anything to save money. Therefore I, personally would get it repaired before using.

Not having an earth is only a problem when there are other problems which bring the earth into play, so it is theoretically possible that you could use you router for the rest of its useful life without getting a zap if you are somehow able to prevent electrical problems from occurring. Depends on how much of a risk you want to take. Me? I would get it repaired fairly quickly. One of the consequences of getting an electrical shock is that your muscles tighten up, which means you end up holding the router even tighter and get more of an electric shock, tightening your muscles even tighter, and so a dangerous cycle begins. It may well be there for show as has been mentioned, but if the router is double insulated it will say so somewhere on the label, either with words or a symbol which looks like one square inside another, representing the two layers of insulation.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 07:04 AM
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A few dollars is a small price to pay for your safety.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Live it to it's fullest.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 07:29 AM
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Hi as the man says. Manufacturers always go on the cheap so they went to the trouble to put a ground on it ,replace it . When bad things happen with electricity it can be to late to say I guess I should have. Gary
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 07:50 AM
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Get it fixed, or your nickname might become "Sparky". Don't chance it. The ground wire and prong was there for a reason. It will not cost much to get it repaired to original specs! Be safe, as so many have told you above. Using it compromised is like going on a long trip with a bad tire - asking for trouble.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 07:55 AM
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Don't use anything, ANYTHING, without the proper plug. Don't assume.

The 144 Workshop - Ambitious but rubbish woodworking
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