Monday, February 16, 2015

Top 10 DIY Power Tools

Whether your a regular handyman or weekend DIYer, not only do you need to know how to perform the job, you need to have the tools to perform the job with.  Some projects require different tools than others and it's very important to have the right tool for the job, so it's safe to say that having a variety of tools on hand is a good idea.  In case you are unsure of which tools to keep around, I've put together a good starter list of tools that will help you be equipped to handle most jobs.  All of these tools can be purchased at your local home improvement stores.  (Pictures are just examples and not necessarily a recommendation of brands).




Cordless Drill

Cordless Drill
I start this list with the Cordless Drill because it has always been the most used tool that I have.  I use it on almost every job I do.  Every year it seems that there is a better model with more power available.  Now with the arrival of the Lithium-Ion battery, these drills are more powerful and, at the same time, lighter than ever!

Avg. Pricing: $100 - $250




Circular Saw

Circular Saw
If you were to poll every handyman out there, you would easily find out that the most common power tool ever used is the Circular Saw.  This was the very first power tool I ever purchased and has hands-down been the most valuable.  If you do much wood cutting at all, you'll definitely get your money's worth.  Now there are also different sizes and options available too.  The most standard circular saw used is the 7-1/4" corded model, but you can also get a cordless, battery-powered model also.  This saw is a little bit smaller but the convenience of being cordless makes it worth it.

Avg. Pricing: $60 -$150


                                        


                                                                        Nail Gun

Nail Guns
Now this is the tool that my stubbornness kept me from using the longest.  Years ago, I refused to invest in a nail gun because I felt like it wasn't needed.  I believed that a true carpenter would be able to do everything with the traditional hammer and nails and using a nail gun would be "cheating".  Oh how I was wrong!!  It took some shedding my pride and learning to be open-minded to new ideas, but I soon learned that this tool actually made my work better and quicker.  With the nail gun, you no longer need to worry about pre-drilling holes (especially in hardwoods like oak) and they also instantly drive the nails where you want them.  Most nail guns are pneumatic and require the use of an air compressor to power them.  Paslode is a brand that still makes a model that uses CO2 cartridges to power them, so there is no need for the compressor.  There is now even a battery-powered model on the market for an even more convenient option.  Either option you take, the nail gun is an extremely beneficial tool.  Be sure to read my post about Nail Gun Safety !

Avg. Pricing: $75 - $200






Compound Miter Saw


Compound Miter Saw
The compound miter saw is very handy when making a lot of angle cuts or multiple cuts of the same length.  If you have very much trim to install, this tool will help you make accurate angle cuts, especially if you installing crown molding.  This saw, not only cuts 0-45 degrees on either side, but the head also  pivots up to 45 degrees to one side, making it possible to make a compound miter cut.  That may be something that's hard for you to imagine needed to do, but if you ever need to, it's hard to replace the ease and accuracy this saw gives you.  The compound miter saw is a great tool, and because of this, I'm sure you'll find yourself using it more than you ever thought.

Avg. Pricing: $100 - $300






Table Saw


Table Saw
Now this tool may be for the more advanced DIYer but the Table Saw is definitely a super tool.  It takes some time getting comfortable using it, but when you do, your DIY ability will greatly increase.  The table saw gives so many more wood cutting options than any other tool.  With an adjustable fence, you can rip boards down to whatever width you need.  Also, the blade bevels from 0-45 degrees to give even more cutting options.  This tool will take up a little space in your shop or garage, but with the mobile base option, you can easily move it around as needed.  I definitely recommend this tool, especially if you enjoy woodworking.

Avg. Pricing: $175- up






Router

Router
Now I personally don't use the Router as much as I do other tools, but when I need one...I need one.  Routers can be used for creating edges to wood for joinery or decoration and also to make mortises (or recessing in doors) for hinges.  They can also be used on countertops.  If you are installing a laminate countertop, and using it in sheet form, you will need to trim off the edges to fit the counter.  By using a router with the correct bit, this can be done easily and accurately.  The truth is there are many, many different router bits available to perform many different functions.  Like I said earlier, you may not need a router often, but when you need one...you need one.

Avg. Pricing: $70 - $200






Jigsaw



Jig Saw
Jigsaws are perfect tool to make curved cuts in wood.  These tools come in different styles, with some being handle grip and others being barrel grip.  Another capability of the jigsaw is it's orbital motion.  By turning the setting up, the blade not only goes up and down, it moves forward and backward also, making it make cut faster (this should only be done on straight cuts, though).  You can even rotate the base of the saw 0-45 degrees to produce an angle cut.  The jigsaw is a tool that is pretty affordable and anyone should be able to use.

Avg. Pricing: $40 - $150






Reciprocating Saw


Reciprocating Saw
The Reciprocating Saw is a tool that has many uses, mostly in a remodeling atmosphere.  If you are in the need of tearing things apart or removing wood, it's hard to replace this tool.  In an earlier post, I wrote about replacing a front door, in which I used a reciprocating saw to remove the old door jamb from the wall.  It can be used to cut wood or metal, depending on which blade you use.  This tool can be purchased in the corded or battery-powered model,  You can also purchase a kit that includes a portable drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, flashlight, charger and batteries.  You'll spend a little more money, but what you get in return is a universal bag of tools.

Avg. Pricing: $80 - $250






Palm Sander


Pam Sander
If you do any kind of woodworking at all, you'll definitely need a sander.  The one I use is an orbital palm sander.  With this kind, I have to purchase "hook-n-loop" style sanding pads.  You can also purchase a 1/4 sheet sander and buy your sandpaper in sheet form and cut them into 1/4 sheets, and then just clamp them on the sander.  There will always be certain times when hand sanding is the only option, but for most situations, an electric sander saves you time and effort and is worth the money!

Avg. Pricing: $50 - $100






Tile Saw


Tile Saw
Have you ever considered installing ceramic tile on your floors or countertops?  If so, you will need a tile saw.  This saw uses a diamond blade that is constantly applied with water to keep it cool while it cuts the tile.  These tools come in an array of sizes and prices.  There is one available for every type of user, from the average DIYer to the commercial contractor.

Avg. Pricing: $90 - up






BONUS****

Airless Paint Sprayer



Airless Paint Sprayer
As a bonus, I decided to add one more tool to this list.  You might think that the Airless Paint Sprayer is for painting contractors only, but I beg to differ!  These can be used for painting the inside or outside of a house.  You can paint fences and many other items.  Also, they can be used to apply wood stain to large areas like fences or siding.  I don't use my sprayer all the time, but when I do, I'm glad I have it.

Avg. Pricing: $100 - up






Now this is by no means a list of required tools to for any DIY project, but more like a compilation of the most useful tools to have in your arsenal.....in my opinion.  While I have all of these tools, I did not purchase them all at once.  Over time, I slowly obtained them as I needed them.  The good thing is that the more tools I have, the more equipped I am to do projects myself!

Please feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions or just want to add any input.  Your input is always welcome here!

Cory