I probably owe my love of power tools to my dad. He is sadly gone now but his traits have stayed with me. When he was around power tools were just being released to the market. For him these were simply fantastic. Sadly back then they were also very expensive and a bit clunky.
Thankfully though things have moved on and now all types of power tools are available at a whole range of prices. These range from the lower end brands and all the way up to the professional brands like Dewalt and Bosch.
My dad had learned all his tips and tricks the hard way - many would refer to him as old school. He used old power tools – clunky, powerful, and rugged. He did not use them everyday but he had one powerful collection.
Which Power Tools Do You Need?
Likewise over the years I have also built up quite a collection of useful tools.His idea was that when he wanted to build or do some DIY, then he had the tools to get things done. He had every kind of router bit you could imagine These along with saws, drills, and all the other standard power tools. Having a wide ranging collection is a great idea if you can afford to do that.
Although I don't really make my living with my hands any more, it does provide a very lucrative sideline. I am always doing small jobs for friends, fixing furniture, putting up shelves, hanging doors, doing wooden floors and the like.
For me, the most important thing is that a power tool gets the job done. I don't care if it is a high specification design or something very simple and basic. As long as it works for what I need it for, I am happy. So here are the ones that I would recommend as being essential:
- Some type of electric drill - that would include having a hammer function that would allow you to drill through concrete
- Some type of electric saw - there are plenty of these on the market, but a good chop saw or mitre saw will help a lot if you want to work with wood. Some people prefer the more versatile jigsaw.
- Some type of Impact Driver - These are ideal if you want to do any type of heavier work and are good for nuts, bolts and working on cars.
So if you have a small budget, I would spend it on a good quality drill that will last. Then try and get some form of saw rather than do that manually. An impact driver is really useful as well as and when you have the money to buy it.
Other Available Electric Power Tools
Now there are plenty of other power tools available in the market and I have listed these below. The ones that you need will come down to what type of job you are trying to get done.
- Grinders - these are useful for a variety of tasks
- Nail Guns and Staplers - electric nail guns are very useful if you are working on any type of larger project. Think of laying floorboards, doing stud walls etc and these really come into their own. Staplers are useful for craft work and for upholstery work.
- Planers - Again if you enjoy doing woodwork or taking on bigger repair jobs, and electric planer is a great way of quickly removing stock
- Routers - these will be used by people who do a lot of woodwork and if it is just for jobs around the home, it is unlikely that you will need one of these.
- Sanders - These are really useful tools to own. Rather than rub materials down with sandpaper, these make short work of sanding and finishing jobs. I would recommend owning one of these especially for decorating around the home. A random orbital sander is best and the most versatile. You can also get belt sanders for the bigger jobs like floors and wooden tables and doors.
I know that many people have a favorite brand of power tools. I have a friend who uses only Black & Decker power tools almost exclusively, and won't touch anything else. For me, it depends on the particular kind of tool needed.
I am a Dewalt fan but I also know that they are very expensive. If I can afford that brand I buy it. However if it is a tool that I might only use a few times a year, then a cheaper brand will do me fine.
Usually, you can see and feel quality just by looking. Brand loyalty for me isn't really necessary. Good tools feel rugged and come with excellent warranties. They also feel really nice in the hand. If in doubt I prefer metal working parts to plastic ones as they will simply last longer.
I am very reluctant to recommend any single brand. People do ask me advice on this a lot and it is often quite difficult to answer their questions. Mainly that is because it is awkward as you don't know how much budget they have, or are willing to spend.
I have also found, that depending on the exact type of power tool, some brands make better versions of those than others. I love Bosch for anything garden related. For drilling though I stick with Dewalt. These are however expensive brands and in some cases I do buy cheaper products.
I tend to buy those when I am only going to use them a few times a year.
What I recommend is that it is best to borrow a tool from a friend. If you use it and really like it, then you can always get one of your own. It will save you money, and it will also give you a chance to experience some of the tools available.
It will also give you an idea of what to buy. If you don't have a friend with a full power tool collection, you should try to buy them one at a time. This takes more time, but it stops you from making a lot of bad purchases before you know what to look for.