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8 Essential Power Tools for the DIYer

We are having a massive Power Tool Sale for the entire month of May. This sounds like a great time to introduce tools essential for the Do-It-Yourself arsenal and your upcoming projects.

Power tools can seem intimidating at first, especially ones you might be unfamiliar with. Here is a preliminary list of some essential DIY tools to help you get started:

DRILL DRIVER

The most iconic power tool for the DIYer is the drill driver. A drill driver has two modes, drilling and screw driving, and at least two torque speeds. The chuck will accept drill and screwdriver bits. Generally, they have less max torque than an impact driver, but they are more flexible in application.

Do you need to hang a mirror? Assemble furniture? Install a shelf? Nothing matches having a drill driver around; they are the most popular cordless power tool on the market and for a good reason.

IMPACT DRIVER

An impact driver combines a drill driver’s rotational force with impact bursts similar to a hammer drill. Suppose you are looking for something with more oomph than the standard screwdriver. In that case, the impact driver is an excellent addition to your toolbox, specifically for outdoor projects where you’ll be using long screws or bolts.

Impact drivers also have the torque to get through pressure-treated lumber, hardwood, and heavy steel with ease. They feature a quick-change clamp that holds drill and driver bits with a hexagonal shank. They are best used when directing their force downward and over a long period. They are comfortable to use because the tool provides all of the power, not your wrist or arm. Finally, the impact driver is much less likely to strip your screws when in use.

Building a deck this summer? This would be an excellent tool to have on hand.

CIRCULAR SAW

A circular saw is a powerful tool that cuts material using a round blade edged with sharp metal teeth. The blade spins to cut smoothly and accurately. Various specialized blades on the market allow you to cut all kinds of materials, such as lumber, paneling, concrete board, and sheet metal. Most circular saws allow height and depth adjustment of cuts, and some are even designed to create beveled cuts. You can utilize a handheld or table-mounted version to suit your needs.

While using, make sure to don some PPE and move slowly and surely. Time must be allowed for the machine to obtain a good cut.

This tool is a beginner-friendly, utilitarian workhorse. It is amazing for casual weekend projects and no-nonsense, precise applications.

Do you want to put together a raised garden bed out of some scrap wood this weekend? A circular saw would be the perfect companion.

LASER LEVEL

A laser level is a self-leveling device that emits a perfectly level, or plumb, laser beam. This tool is super helpful with jobs like laying tile, mounting cabinets, and exterior masonry and grading work. It makes small household jobs like hanging pictures or shelves around the house quick and painless. This tool is beginner-friendly and intuitive to use.

Laser levels come in all shapes and sizes, but two of the most common types are line lasers and rotary lasers. Line lasers are less expensive and designed for interior applications. They cast a bright horizontal or vertical line over short distances and are ideal for setting cabinets, mounting electrical boxes, tile work, framing, etc.

Rotary lasers run on the more expensive side and are designed for exterior application. They cast a 360-degree line via a rotating laser point over a long distance and are more accurate over long distances than line lasers. Rotary lasers are great for digging foundations, masonry work, and grading.

MULTI-TOOL

An oscillating multi-tool (AKA an oscillating tool or multi-tool) is the jack of all trades in the power tool world. Multi-tools accomplish all of your sanding, sawing, scraping, and grinding as a small but mighty force perfect for clean results in tight spaces.

This tool rapidly vibrates a blade, scraper, or sanding pad back and forth which yields a quick motion for scraping, cutting, or sanding. It also vibrates its blade over a narrow arc, limiting the spray of dust and debris while allowing you to grind tile adhesive, trim baseboards, flush-cut door jambs, plunge-cut wood flooring, cut off nails and bolts, clean or remove grout, scrape away old glue or caulk, and cut metal, wood, and fiberglass.

There are endless accessories on the market for this tool, allowing you to carry out your projects quickly and efficiently. The blades and other accessories are simple to switch out on your instrument.

ORBITAL SANDER

Orbital sanders are handheld tools that rotate elliptically to create a smooth surface. Along with their most common application, surface sanding, they can also be used to remove paint and rust. If you need a smooth surface in a short amount of time, an orbital sander is your best bet.

Make sure you wear a dust mask and protective glasses while using this tool. Getting it set up is a cinch- all it requires is loading the sandpaper via whatever method is necessary for your specific type (some use a hook & loop system, some use adhesive), testing the sander, and start sanding! You can use it in any motion on wood and metal without fear of sanding marks.

We love having an orbital sander on hand for furniture refurbishing, but it is also the perfect tool for projects like cabinetry making, hardwood floor refinishing, drywall or wood filler sanding, and automotive surface polishing.

MITER SAW

A miter saw is used to make cross cuts or miters in a workpiece, which is done by pulling a mounted circular saw blade onto the piece placed on a flat surface below it. This sawing style is stationary since you bring the saw down to cut rather than running a part through it.

This saw is commonly used for trimming and molding but benefits all kinds of woodworking projects. Not only can you make many types of angle cuts by rotating the blade, but they’ll be precise and accurate every time.

This is also a beginner-friendly power tool, but because it involves blades, definitely don’t skimp on the PPE, watch some online videos, and read the owner’s manual before giving it a whirl.

A favorite aspect of the miter saw is its assembly line feel- once the piece is lined up and ready, you can make your cut, then immediately move on to the next segment.

NAILERS

Fastening/nailing with accuracy is extremely important, will affect the structural integrity of your completed job and increase the quality of your craftsmanship.

Nail guns, brad nailers, and heavy-duty staplers are a form of hammers used to drive fasteners into wood and other materials. If you want to get a job done faster, nail guns are a worthwhile investment. They are usually driven by compressed air (pneumatic), and there are electromagnetic and butane or propane gas-powered varieties as well.

When safety protocols are followed, you are unlikely to injure yourself with a nail gun. There is no need to hold a nail with your fingers. The nail gun uses pressurized force to drive the nail into the material you are working with, making less physical work for you all around.

They are straightforward to use, too. Generally speaking, the process involves pressing the release button, loading the nails into their designated chamber, adjusting the pressure dial according to material density, adjusting the depth of the drive knob for nail depth, and aligning the nail gun to your work surface. That’s it! If you can use a drill driver, you can use a nail gun.

We hope this was a generous sampling of some practical, easy-to-use power tools to add to your DIY toolkit. Our employee-owners would be more than happy to help answer any specific questions you may have and guide you through our products.

We will also have in-store demos and raffles during our Power Tool Sale, May 13th and 14th at both our stores, so keep an eye on our social media posts so you don’t miss out!