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June 15, 2006

Essential Power tools

Filed under: Easy DIY — DO or DIY @ 10:24 am

In the previous article we summed up the 10 most important hand tools you should have in your toolbox. Let’s see what power tools are the most useful for a starter kit..

Electric Drill/Screwdriver

For most jobs a battery-powered drill/driver is best. This is probably the most useful power tool of all, so it makes sense to get a good quality one. Get one of at least 18 Volts with two batteries so you can be recharging one whilst using the other. You’ll also need a good selection of drill bits and a wide variety of screwdriver tips. The electric screwdriver will make screwing and unscrewing a piece of cake!

Electric saws

Sawing is a heavy-duty activity and therefore saws need to be mains-powered, so they are corded. There are three types needed to do most DIY jobs.

Circular saw

This is used for making long, straight cuts using a guide which comes as an attachment on most models.


This is used for more delicate, accurate cuts. A variety of blades are available for different materials e.g. wood, metal, plastic etc.

Reciprocating Saw

This replaces general purpose handsaws – and a lot of effort! Again the blades can be switched for cutting different materials.

There are  other types of saw  such as Bandsaws and Table saws, but these are only needed for large or specialist jobs.

Electric sanders

There are many different types of sanders. The most useful ones for DIY jobs are the following:

Orbital sander

This sander uses a flat sheet of abrasive paper and sands by vibrating the pad back & forth and sideways. It is primarily for sanding large, flat surfaces.

Disk sander

This sander uses an abrasive disk and sands by rotating rapidly. It is not necessary to buy a dedicated disk sander – generally the attachment you can get for a standard drill is quite adequate.

Detail sander

The detail sander works like the orbital sander but it’s smaller and lighter. It normally has a triangular backing pad. It is used on small and fiddly areas such as corners & edges.

There also Belt, Drum and other sanders – these are only needed for large scale or specialist jobs.

There are many other power tools that could be useful for certain DIY jobs, such as the nailer, router, planer, jointer, soldering iron, paint gun etc. These you’ll only need occasionally so you could borrow or hire them rather than investing in them – unless you turn into a really keen DIYer.

Finally, don’t forget to protect your power tools with the right home and contents insurance!

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