Most DIYers may want to own all the power tools under the sun to project themselves as one hardcore woodworker. But, in actuality, you don’t need all the tools. In fact, even seasoned campaigners can make do with a limited number of tools. Let’s take a brief look at the top 5 power tools a handyman should always have.
A corded Drill may be the most powerful drill you can have, but it cannot beat the convenience a Cordless Drill provides. Moreover, a corded drill would be an overkill for most DIYers. A cordless drill should suffice almost every time. Cordless drills are comparatively lightweight too, which makes them easy to handle and extremely portable. Besides drilling holes, a cordless drill also helps driving screws, making it the most used tool on this list. And a bigger cordless drill with hammering capabilities would drill holes effortlessly even into concrete and bricks, further adding to the versatility of the tool.
A circular saw would most likely be the first saw you buy. The saw isn’t the most capable and versatile, especially when compared to miter and table saws, but it’s less expensive which should make any amateur on a budget happy. And it can also perform a handful of the tasks the more powerful tools are capable of. In fact, when employed in conjunction with a straight-edge clamp-on, the saw can be almost as accurate and capable as table saws, especially when cutting medium-density fiberboard, plywood and other sheet goods. If you’re on a budget and there is room for just a single saw, a circular saw is what you need. A heavy circular saw with a robust motor should be ideal, by the way. See Protoolzone’s circular saw buyers guide.
A miter saw is the next popular saw on this list and would invariably be your next saw after a circular saw. The saw costs more than a circular saw but is not as expensive as a table saw. You can use a miter saw for a variety of tasks, right from intricate trimming stock to cutting lumber as per specific dimensions. A basic miter saw should be good enough to start with. The saw helps cut compound angles on a stock piece’s ends. If you are planning on executing any complicated compound cuts or crown molding, a sliding compound saw is recommended. The sliding functionality comes in handy when you need deeper wood cuts. Once you get familiar with the saw and the precise cuts it’s capable of, you would find your circular saw not getting as much production time as it used to before.
A table saw is the most powerful tool on this list and it is the tool you would buy if you’re seriously looking for raw power. Every woodworking professional or woodworking shop would definitely be owning at least one table saw. Much more expensive than other types of saws, a table saw is capable of almost every cutting job and is likely to finish all the tasks with flying colors too. However, with great power comes tremendous responsibility. In other words, if you’re not careful with the saw, it could turn out quite a dangerous machine. Therefore, make sure you know you’re way around it and do not let amateurs or anyone in the house get near the tool. And since table saws are quite expensive, consider buying it only if you have serious and regular work for it. Once you’ve decided you need one, shop around and compare models extensively so that you get the best bang for your buck.
A jig saw is your mid-range, moderately powerful woodworking tool. It lets you cut curved and circular stock patterns. A jig saw isn’t the best at the job, as a band saw is much more capable. But it should be ideal for beginners. It can be used with a range of blades to cut different materials. When buying jig saws, focus on the handle position. Typically, barrel handle jig saws provide more control. A much higher handle positioning offers little less control. It’s important to look at the handle from the functionality point of view and not for carrying the saw around. If you prefer versatility, go with the corded jig saw with orbital action. It’s good to hold and also comes with easily swappable blades.
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