I'll be 80yrs old in 40 days, been in the construction trade and trained as a Cabinetmaker (fine furniture) as well as teaching the above trades, 66 yrs total, just had a Duel Chamber Pacemaker installed 2 weeks ago. My Doctor said I can't do wood working any more for it would interfere with my Pacemaker (Medtronic) were is my quality of life now, I'm not one to just sit around I have been very active all my life, I'm a 5 time cancer survivor also, up till now I've have still been taking on commission work , does anyone still use there table saws, sander, jointer, planer all woodworking equipment, thanks PJ385


Wood working with a pacemaker

by Selwyn - 2024-01-21 12:50:37

What a wonderful skill to have.

There is  not really a problem in using power tools as long as these are kept 1-2 feet away from the pacemaker. Believe me, I have had a PM for 14+ years and regularly use a mains powered drill, circular saw,  electric chain saw, jig-saw, angle-grinder, planer. I can see no reason. not to use a lathe etc. 

The doctor's instructions are simply wrong. Just don't rest the end of your power tools on your chest! Six inches seems to be the minimum clearance.

I enclose specific advice from the Woodworking magazine.


Your longevity and quality of life will be improved with a PM. Enjoy life and live it to the full.


Agree with Selwyn

by Beni - 2024-01-21 14:38:18

It is important to keep pursuing your hobbies and  interests. Staying engaged in activities you enjoy is absolutely vital for good mental health and will boost your overall sense of well-being.   I do stained glass and use a number of electric grinders (bench tools) and the like, some of which have 1/2 h.p. motors.   I have not experienced any issues whatsoever. 

Additionally,  I frequently go to my husband's workshop and run wood (for frames or jigs) through the planner he has that I then use in the stained glass projects I am working on.  Again, no problems.

I have included a link to Medtronic about various power tools that might help address your concerns.  Explore their site.  They have a lot of great information there.


And keep taking those commissions! 

Pacemakers enable not disable

by Good Dog - 2024-01-21 18:14:37

As someone on this site once posted in response to a post that was similar to yours; Pacemakers enable us, they do not disable us. I have no idea what your Doctor was thinking, but it makes no sense to me at all! I have had my pacemaker for 37 years and it has never prevented me from doing anything. The manufacturer indicates in its literature that if a magnetic field from something negatively impacts your pacmamaker, simply move away from it. Don't worry, be happy!


Hi 👋🏼 welcome!!

by Lavender - 2024-01-21 19:58:24

I see you like to cook and bake as well.  Your life can resume doing everything you enjoy as soon as you heal. Two weeks isn't enough time yet. Give it a few more weeks then do what you enjoy as long as you're comfortable!


by Prof P - 2024-01-22 00:15:47

I confess to having used power tools including saws and my friend's bandsaw after I got my PM.  My cardiologists have told me that they do not recommend arc welding but to otherwise have a nice life.  


by piglet22 - 2024-01-22 05:47:20

It's a shame that you were given advice like that. In fact it's worrying.

I've been doing woodworking for decades now with and without the pacemaker.

A full range of tools, heavy duty routers, drills including pillar drills, all sorts.

Plus a lot of electronics work with close contact with wireless networks (Zigbee).

Even the occasional shock.

On the shock front, I had a nerve conduction test that must have been over 10,000 volts, very painful. The medic didn't even bother about the PM.

Often, the risks are overstated.

Get back to your lathe and enjoy your hobby. That will do you more good than worrying about screwing up the PM.


by ANDREW75 - 2024-01-22 06:58:55

Hi PJ385,

I am a 76-year-old with an apparent collection of hobbies past and present. I know that disappointing feeling of being held back only too well.

 I agree with all the good advice, and particularly from Beni who attached the link from Medtronic.

However, is the doctor talking about electrical interference or perhaps physical or some other reason? I point this out because my EP wants me to slow down at the top end. He capped my top heartbeat at a max of 130 bpm. He seems shocked that I still climb trees and ladders to prune and paint houses. With this max 130 bpm I am unable to sustain high cardio for long. He may have a good reason for this, and it may be because I am new to having a pacemaker. I will find out in two weeks.

Woodworking was my passion in the 80’s and 90’s, my house is filled with hand made furniture, some of it 50 years old and built without power tools. I still use power tool occasionally and follow the guidelines offered in Beni’s Link. Biotronik has a similar list.

As Norm used to say; ‘‘Measure Twice-Cut once, and always wear goggles.”



by piglet22 - 2024-01-22 07:11:28

They were probably shocked to hear that some of us seniors do a bit more than singalongs and Friday Bingo.

Falling headfirst out of the loft and cracking my pelvis with PM on board never stopped me from going up there every day and numerous sometimes serious injuries never put me off cycling, though other road users have.


by docklock - 2024-01-22 10:48:19

I'm 79 and hae had my PM for over a year now. 

I use all the power tools in my shop: table saw, chop saw, drill press, bandsaw, router, corded drills, sanders and circular saw as well as battery powered drills and inpact tools.

The ONLY thing I have not used since PM is my welder.  My Cardio guy said not to use it and I haven't.  IF and that is aa BIG IF I have to use it, I will have someone close to me just in case I "vapor lock."

Enjoy what you do --- just use common sense that us 'older guys' have --- sometimes an overabumdence of. LOL.


by piglet22 - 2024-01-23 07:44:57

What is the expression about age and cunning outwitting youth and enthusiasm?

Common sense is probably called risk assessment these days like watch where you put your foot and mind how you lift that cardboard box.

In my experience, you never stop learning and once out of the safety of the bed and prone position, anything can happen, and it does. You should hear the language when I trip over the sewing machine.

The good thing is that we are still able to do these things and long may it continue.

As I've said before, hobbies should be available on prescription. Nothing like a good kit to relieve stress apart from where's the bl**dy glue gone?

no clue

by dwelch - 2024-01-25 04:19:24

I have no clue what this doctor is saying, makes no sense.  Pacemaker for 36 years woodworking for longer than that.  Again no clue what this doctor is on about, I would get more detail or a new doc, the situation seems that bad..

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