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Your perfect day might get cut short. Mine did.

How can a manufacturer sell ordinary household products which injure the people who buy and use them, without getting sued? A half an hour ago I went through the gate in front of my house to better see how clear the sky was out towards our local mountains twenty-five miles to the west. It is a beautiful day and I barely felt the slight drag and a little pain in my left ring finger as I moved my hand across the gate latch, but as I looked reflexively at the pain in my finger I noticed it was suddenly oozing blood from a surprisingly deep cut.

I hadn’t touched anything at all for the previous minute except that gate-latch, so I started inspecting it carefully and discovered several razor-sharp manufacturing burrs. These burrs are fairly common on stamped steel items and are usually buffed off by the manufacturer on parts that are intended to be approached by human hands. It costs almost nothing and takes only a second to toss batches of small items into a rotating tumbler with an abrasive and return in a few minutes to remove them for shipping. That procedure easily removes any sharp edges and usually gives a much nicer looking patina to the object.

Faulty latch with finger cutting burr

A faulty gate-latch with a barely visible finger cutting burr.

Faulty latch with finger cutting burr

Another view of a faulty latch showing the shiny metal burr just below my finger tip..

The burr hangs like a rigid steel razor blade on the finger lever.

The bottom side of the little lever has a tiny burr which the person’s finger pulls directly upon to lift the lever which opens the latch. This burr is exactly where your finger might be located and the burr is razor sharp. If you slip your finger along this blade it will quickly and easily cut to the depth of the blade. Fortunately that is only about one millimeter deep, but it sliced me and may slice you if you open that gate.

Check for stamped steel items around your house and sand the sharp edges.
(UPDATE 4 days after the cut)

A cut finger

The cut was razor sharp. I taped across it firmly, and it is healing well.

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