It’s fair to say that the invention of the power tool has transformed the way we do a whole range of tasks, from sawing to drilling to hammering. Whether you’re going to make a living from doing odd jobs, or you’re just a committed DIYer, you’ll need access to a wide range of power tools. Some of these tools are indispensable, and will pay for themselves in short order; others are more rarely used, but they’re still incredibly useful to have around.
Let’s run through ten critical power tools that you’ll need in your arsenal.
We’ll start with the most obvious piece of equipment on this list. Just about every job you could want to perform will at some point involve the use of an electric drill. You might also invest in an impact driver, which is a little bit like a specialised drill make for driving screws.
A circular saw provides an easy means of cutting lengths of wood. It’s mostly used for trimming larger pieces to size, often with the help of a guide track.
An angle grinder is a phenomenally versatile tool. It can be used to grind (obviously), but also to cut, sand, and polish. Battery-powered angle grinders are inexpensive, and will ultimately prove well worth the investment.
Electric sanders come in a whole range of forms. If you’re finishing a flat surface, then random-orbital sanders will help you to avoid obvious marks.
A reciprocating saw looks a little bit like a drill. You can think of it like a powered bread-knife that goes back and forth incredibly quickly. For certain tasks in awkward spaces, this is an indispensable tool – though you might look at an oscillating multi-tool as an alternative.
You can’t consistently use a household vacuum cleaner to clear up sawdust and brick-dust – in the long-term, it won’t be able to cope. Get a shop vac instead.
Whether you’re mixing cement or anything else, you need an appropriate mixer. Doing it by hand is tiresome.
If you need to hammer in a few nails, then doing it by hand is feasible. If you need to do the same thing with dozens of nails, and precision is necessary, then a nail-gun is a fairly indispensable tool.
If you need to cut lengths of wood, then you need a table saw. For performing rip cuts (that is, cutting with the grain), it’s simply the best. There are a few safety precautions to worry about, since the blade is exposed – but this is a tool that no-one working with wood should do without.
A mitre saw is a circular saw attached to a fixed position. You can adjust the angle to create mitre joints, making this great for architraves and picture frames – as well as just about any other situation that requires cross cuts (that is, cutting across the grain).