Faulty electric trigger-switches manufactured by Eaton Corp. in Cleveland, and used on a number of recent power tool models from Bosch, Makita USA, and Milwaukee Electric Tool have forced the companies to recall the affected tools to make repairs. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), tools manufactured with these switches between January and September 2000 could continue to operate after users release the triggers, posing a risk of injury. But so far, only one Bosch drill has reportedly experienced this problem and no injuries have been reported.

S-B Power Tools is recalling some Bosch drills, Makita USA is recalling affected rotary hammers, drills, and screwdrivers, and Milwaukee is recalling its affected portable bandsaws. Each company treats the recall differently. You can return the tool for repair at your local authorized dealer in some cases, or ship it back to the manufacturer. In all cases you won't have to pay anything for the repair work. Call the following hotline numbers and have your tool(s) model number and serial number ready.

Bosch. Call Bosch's recall hotline at 800-661-5398 to register. Thankfully you only have two automatic telephone choices to make –user or dealer– and someone will answer the phone fairly quickly. Bosch will send you a replacement tool and a prepaid shipping label within three days. Take your new drill out of the box, put your affected drill in the same box, put the label on it, and you're ready to go.

Affected Bosch drill models: 1011VSR, 1012VSR, 1013VSR, 1014VSR, 1030VSR, 1031VSR, 1032VSR, 1033VSR, 1034VSR, 1035VSR.

Makita USA. Call Makita's customer service number at 800-462-5482. Press 2, stay on the line for an operator, and ask for the customer service department, which makes recall arrangements. Makita will send you a prepaid shipping sticker to return your tool, but you have to provide a box for it. All returns go to the company's Denver service center for repair. Makita is making the recall its highest priority; it says the turnaround should only take a few days.

Affected Makita rotary hammer models: HR2410, HR2420; hammer drills: HP2040, HP1501K; drill/drivers: 6407, 6408, 6408/K, 6410, 6821.

Milwaukee Electric Tool. Call 800-414-6527 to reach one of Milwaukee's customer service lines and tell the rep you're calling about the recall. You'll be directed to the nearest local authorized service center, where repair technicians will change the switch for you. Or you can access Milwaukee's Web site at www.heavydutytool.com, click on warranty service, and find a local dealer.

Affected Milwaukee variable-speed bandsaw models: 6227, 6230, 6232-6, 6234.

The CPSC advises tool users to stop using these models immediately. It estimates approximately 180,000 tools will be recalled to remedy the problem.