Table of Contents
When considering versatility, effectiveness, and efficiency, power tools have made life easier for many professionals and DIYers. With them, you can take on a myriad of ambitious projects that may have scared you off before. In addition, power tools produce much better outcomes than that manual hand tools.
Someone new to power tools might find them quite intimidating. However, with a bit of basic understanding, practice, and patience, you can effortlessly learn how to handle power tools. This article aims to introduce you to seven beginner-level power tools and how to pick the most effective ones. Read on to ensure that your investment in power tools turns out to be a wise one.
Power Tools That You Should Have In Your Arsenal
You will find a large variety of power tools available on the market. All of them are different from each other and have their own unique application. But that doesn’t mean that you will need to buy all of them. For a beginner, just a few tools can go a long way. So, let’s get to know what are the most essential power tools you should have in your toolbox.
A jigsaw is a versatile tool that is capable of working on metals, plastics, wood, and other surfaces. There are also different Jigsaw blades for different materials. Jigsaws are the most popular for cutting decorative and curved cuts. However, they are not suitable for thick materials. This power tool has a very sharp blade that you can use to make custom cuts. The blade moves up and down using its power source, making your cutting motion automated, fast, and precise. Both corded and cordless versions are available.
The cordless ones are heavier and commonly run on 18-volt lithium batteries. Whereas, the amp range for a corded jigsaw is between 3.5-7. You can expect to spend anywhere between $30- $300 for a jigsaw. But we recommend keeping a budget of $150 for a decent one and ensuring variable speed is available with 600 watts. Moreover, don’t forget to buy additional blades to enhance the usability of your jigsaw.
2. Circular Saw
A circular saw or Skil saw is the most used power tool in a workshop. They are powerful enough to deal with steel, ceramic, wood, and masonry. A circular saw has a large circular blade that is able to cut through thick materials. Although these saws require a bit of getting used to, they are one of the fastest power tools to get the job done. Whereas jigsaws are the best for curved cuts, circular saws produce almost square cutes. They are also the best option for making long cuts. All you have to do is pick the right blade for the right material.
Circular saws are available in different sizes that can range from 3” to 16”. Apart from being available in both corded and cordless variants, you will find two types of circular saws – worm drive and in-line. Worm drive saws are suitable for heavy-duty jobs, whereas in-line saws are commonly used for less-demanding tasks. The price of a circular saw ranges from $50 to $200. We recommend getting one with 1300 watts. You may also consider investing in some clamps to make your job easier.
3. Miter Saw
Miter saws are the best for creating absolutely precise cuts. They are similar to circular saws but with larger blades. The bigger your blade, the thicker the materials you can use it on. Blade sizes are available in 7 ¼”, 8”, 10”, and 12”. You can also adjust the angle of your cuts with this power tool. There are three types of miter saws. The regular ones make precise cuts at an angle you like. The compound ones are able to create beveled and miter cuts. Finally, sliding compound saws are recommended for the pros. They are able to slide and are very useful for cutting wider materials.
Miter saws are comparatively more expensive. Based on the brand and type, miter saws can cost between $100 and $800. Sliding miter saws with at least 254mm blades are the ones you should consider.
4. Power Drill
Power drills are one of the first power tools ever invented. This versatile tool has become a staple for most DIY projects. Cordless power drills are more popular than corded ones. A power drill is mostly used for drilling holes in wood, concrete, metal, brick, glass, and other materials. However, with the right bits, you can use a power drill for plenty of other tasks – such as driving nails and screws, mixing paints or concrete, cleaning dust, and so on. Therefore, the trick is to invest in different types of high-quality bits.
There are tons of adapters available on the market, designed to enhance the versatility of your power drill. So, make sure to check them out. A power drill can cost anywhere between $90 and $150. For cordless options, go for the ones with hammer action, 10 mm chuck, and 18-volt battery power. For corded options, consider the ones with a 13mm chuck and a power of 650 watts.
A sander is a tool you will need to give your creations that final, polished look. Moreover, you can polish an old project with a sander and make it look completely new again. It is best suited for wood projects, especially for providing finishing touches. You will see many types of sanders on the market, among which two are the most commonly used – orbital sanders and belt sanders. A belt sander rotates a belt with two wheels at a range of speed. Orbital sanders move round pads in circles and give you more flexibility in movement.
There are also palm sanders, disc sanders, detailed sanders, and spindle sanders, but they are not recommended for beginners. Also, you need to know about the different types of sandpapers before working with sanders. Garnet and Aluminum Oxide are the most common sandpapers in use. Based on the project and the hardness of the wood, you can choose one from a grit range of 80 to 800. We recommend starting with a belt sander to get used to this sort of power tool. It will be wise to invest in one with 600 watts of power and a 75mm wide belt. Sanders often costs from $25 to $450, based on the brand, quality, and available features.
6. Reciprocating Saw
A reciprocating saw is a very powerful demolition tool. If you are in the field of professional construction or home improvement business, then you will definitely need this tool. The saw works with a motor that runs a blade back and forth, hence the term “reciprocating”. Both corded and cordless variants are available for this power tool. However, since the device is designed for destroying objects, we do not recommend getting a corded one as it can damage the attached cord as well.
When you are buying a reciprocating saw, try to get one with orbital action to ensure more efficient movements. To be able to work with even the thickest piece of materials, your best bet is getting an 800-watt reciprocating saw. For cutting pipes, use a metal blade that has short teeth. For cutting wood, use a wood blade with longer teeth. In addition, variable speed is a must-have feature. You can spend anywhere between $45 to $2500 for a reciprocating saw. But for beginners, we do not recommend spending more than $100-$150 for a reciprocating saw.
7. Nail Gun
A popular weapon in many zombie movies, nail guns are quite effective in real life too. It is one of the handiest power tools in most professionals’ arsenal. This tool has made the task of nailing quick and precise. Based on the nature of the project, you can choose any nail gun among finish nailers, framing nailers, roofing nailers, and brad nailers. Among this list, brad nailers are the most popular ones. There are three types of nail guns based on how they are powered.
A pneumatic nail gun is powered by compressed air and requires you to get an extra compressor. Battery-powered nail guns are easier to move around, but they aren’t dependable when it comes to nailing strength. Lastly, you can also get nail guns that require both batteries and fuel. This means they are essentially cordless. The prices of nail guns available on the market vary from $25 to $380. We recommend investing in a cordless one. Additionally, get one with decent nail capacity and safety features for the trigger.
No matter what power tool you decide to go with, these 7 are the best place to start. However, having to digest this much information might be a lot to take in at the moment. But with enough time and focus, you can fully master these tools. Take it one step at a time, watch videos on how these tools are used and try to get insights from experts to know which brand would be the best for you. We hope you have fun using these power tools just like we do!