Today’s power tools are more energy efficient, faster and lighter than ever, especially the ones that come with built-in rechargeable batteries. With so many options to choose from it might be difficult for beginners and DIYers to pick power tools they really need (at a reasonable price). This post highlights some must-have power tools home users should consider. These tools not only make life a bit easier but also save you from having to hire a professional for small jobs.
Why Power Tools?
Gone are the days when hand tools were the only option for home projects, thanks to the advancement in technology and ever-decreasing prices of gadgets. Maintaining a home or any type of home project can provide the opportunity to benefit from power tools. The right power tools can help get done in less time and with less effort. When looking for power tools for the home you will come across all sort of tools, but we’ll focus on the most important ones you should consider adding to your tool kit. Let’s start with the must-have tools that every home owner should have and things to consider when buying one followed by our recommendation.
A Cordless Drill
A corded drill isn’t a bad option and if you are going to do a lot of drilling it might be a good option and provide some options for stronger power and precision. But cordless drills remain a much better option for an average home and small projects user. These drills save you from tangled wires and allow you to reach spaces that are otherwise can be hard to reach with corded drills. A cordless drill allows you to effortlessly tackle most drilling/driving tasks at home and makes it easier to complete all sorts of DIY home projects. If you plan on using a cordless drill on a regular basis, consider investing in a quality brand name drill. While 12V compact tools are quite common in the drill market, you should consider investing in something beefier. You are already compromising on power by going the cordless route, which means you need something better than an average 12V drill. An 18V cordless drill is considered the sweet spot between power and portability and can handle most tasks at home. You might get away with not-so-well-known brand names in this category for most small projects, but in the long run, it’s better to choose products by reputed brands such as Bosch, DEWALT, and Makita.
The ½ inch cordless drill and driver by DEWALT is powered by a 20V Li-ion battery for better runtime and decent performance. Its 2-speed transmission (0-600 & 0-2000 RPM) allows you to adjust the speed according to the job requirement. The lightweight design makes it easier to work in tight areas, while the ergonomic handle provides comfort and better control. You’d have to buy batteries separately and it’s highly recommended to also get a titanium drill bit set, which costs around $15 but makes DIYer’s life a lot easier.
An oscillating multi-tool is more like your power tool arsenal’s surgical scalpel and can be used for things like grinding, sanding, removing grout, scraping and cutting wood. A multi-tool can quickly cut holes, trim moldings, plunge through plywood and much more. Their slender bodies and heads with replaceable attachments get the job done without creating massive clouds of dust. Oscillating tools used to be pretty expensive, but they are now much more affordable, which makes it essential to have one in your inventory. Unlike a cordless drill, you might want to stick with a corded multi-tool unless there is a specific purpose where cordless will bring you benefits for the shorter battery usage. The main reason is that compared to drills, you’d probably have to use the multi-tools for a much longer time period and you’d not want to be out of battery juice in the middle of a project. Many renowned brands are manufacturing quality OMTs, including Bosch, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, and Skil and you cannot be wrong buying any of these.
The Fein Multi Master Oscillating Multi-tool might be a better option if you are a power user, but for most home users the Genesis GMT15A is a better and much more affordable option. 21,000 oscillations per minute ensure a fast grinding, sanding, scraping and cutting experience, while the 4-pin flange design holds accessories in place. The package includes most things you’d need for different remodeling, repair and restoration projects, including sandpaper, sanding pad, e-cut saw blade, scraping blade, Allen wrench and HSS segment saw blade. DW735X entails two-speed gearbox, enabling the users to adjust feed speed as per their requirements, and optimize cuts at 96 as well as 179 CPI.
Corded Reciprocating Saw
You’d need a reciprocating saw whenever you want to destroy something or cut it in halves, whether it is wood or metal. It allows cutting through the wood in a pinch and is a must-have tool for a variety of situations, including home remodeling, plumbing and electrical work and even demolishing. Blades are as important as the saw itself, so you need to make sure you have a good assortment for handling all types of jobs at home. Since reciprocating saws have to cut through all type of materials, buying a corded saw makes more sense. Sure, you can find many cordless saws with beefy specs, but they are more expensive and can’t beat the power corded saws have to offer. Rotating handles might come handy in certain cutting situations, but they are not a must for most everyday home projects. A decent saw costs something north or south of $100, while Porter Cable and Milwaukee products offer great value for the money.
The 10-Amp reciprocating saw features variable speed control, allowing you to match the job with the speed for better control and accuracy. While the 10-Amp motor won’t win any performance contests, it provides enough power to get most heavy-duty tasks done at home. Blades can be changed easily using the keyless lever-action clamp, while the 4-position blade clamp also increases versatility. It allows cutting through different materials faster, thanks to 1-1/8 inch stroke length and a 0-2,800 strokes per minute output.
A handsaw might be enough if you only have to cut one or two pieces of wood every year, but you’d want a circular saw if you find yourself cutting frequently. A circular saw can cut through piles of wood sheets in minutes, which makes it a must-have tool for renovation and other DIY projects. Circular saws are also available as corded and cordless variants and choosing the right one depends on what you want to accomplish. The cordless ones are acceptable if you are cutting softwood for small projects, but you’d definitely want to go the corded route if you plan on cutting hefty materials. Circular saws are available in different sizes, but a traditional circular saw should be good enough for most DIY home projects.
This circular saw is powered by a 15-Amp motor and features single beam laser for better accuracy. A 6-feet cord and 5/8-inch arbor size mean it can handle most jobs at home without breaking a sweat and also works well for users who need a decent amount of power. Whether you are cutting lumber or sheets goods, this saw got you all covered, while the built-in dust blower keeps the line-of-cut clear of sawdust. You also get a variety of cut options, thanks to the 51-degree bevel with a positive stop at 45-degrees. On-tool wrench and spindle lock make it easier to change blades when needed.
Similar to a jigsaw in appearance, a Sawzall is suitable for making straight and angular cuts (jigsaws are more suitable for curved cuts). Sawzall blades are larger and longer, allowing you to cut up-down and side-to-side more easily than jigsaws. Although they are somewhat bulkier than jigsaws, the raw power they offer is worth the tradeoff. If you plan on cutting up metal, wood and dry walls, a Sawzall is a powerful tool that can be very useful in such situations.
The 12-Amp Sawzall provides an output of 3000 strokes per minute and comes with a variable speed trigger for easier and more accurate operation. The tool-less addition/removal of blades and an internal mechanism for countering weight makes life a bit easier, while the internal compartment features a gear protection clutch for more efficient storage.
A paint sprayer is a must for renovation projects involving painting doors, furniture, and other stuff. Paint sprayers offer much better results than manually painting stuff using a brush, resulting in a smoother finish and evenly distributed paint. Although a brush is a better option if brush stroke effect is your thing, for most DIY projects a paint sprayer would serve you better. They are priced very reasonably and make it easier to paint doors and furniture (in less time). Selecting a paint sprayer depends on the tasks at hand. If you just want to spray a few things here and there, an entry-level paint sprayer should work fine. But you’d want a powerful paint sprayer if you have a dozen doors and a ton of furniture to paint. Most paint sprayers come with different types of nozzles for different tasks so just make sure you are using the appropriate nozzle otherwise you might end up clogging the flow.
This 400-watt electric paint sprayer can deal with thick paint and features a 27-ounce container, so you don’t have to refill it all the time while working. The nozzle size is adjustable, while three spray patterns (horizontal, vertical and round) allow you to select the pattern you want. The sprayer is also fairly easy to use, especially for beginners, thanks to easier cleaning, refilling and spraying.
Vacuum (Wet and Dry)
While not technically a power tool, a wet/dry vacuum is a must if you are dealing with messy projects. It can be used to suck water or other spills and serves as a mess-cleaner. The type of vac to buy depends on how much mess you want to clear, but a 2.5 gallon wet/dry vacuum should be good enough for most DIY and home projects.
This vacuum is a multi-purpose tool available at a very reasonable price and comes with a 2.5-gallon tank. The 2 horsepower motor helps prevent overflow by shutting itself off automatically when the tanks are full, while the 10-feet cord and 6-feett hose are good enough for most DYI/home projects. It can also serve as a blower, which allows people to use the tool for a variety of other tasks such as car servicing.
A caulking gun provides a constant stream of silicone or caulk, which makes it a must-have tool for so many projects. They look like a gun and come with a trigger you can pull to ‘fire’ the material inside. Caulking guns are available at dirt cheap prices so there is no reason you should not have one in your DIY arsenal. You can also find bigger, motorized and more powerful caulking guns, which are a better option for larger projects such as bathroom sealing fitting. A motorized caulking gun ensures an uninterrupted flow, which makes sense for tasks requiring you to pull the trigger a lot.
The 930-GTD is not only a very affordable caulking gun, it’s also drip-free and requires less force to get the job done. Its rod automatically retracts after pulling the trigger, which helps prevent dripping, while both the trigger and handle are padded for better comfort and easier operation. It’s arguably a better choice than ratchet-style guns as it requires less force and provides smooth pressure. This caulking gun is more suitable for smaller projects and you might want to invest in a motorized and more powerful tool for tasks like sealing fitting.
Air Compressor/Nail Gun
Although most DYIers should not have any issues completing small DIY projects with a traditional hammer, a nail gun could potentially save you a lot of time and energy. If you often find yourself working with doorways, baseboard installation and crown molding, an air compressor and nail gun combo can be a great tool in the long run. Sure, it isn’t among the cheapest tools one could buy, but the investment pays off in the long run as saved time and energy.
The Porter Cable nailer and compressor comes with a 6-gallon tank, 150 psi compressor, and a maintenance-free pump. It features FN250SB Finishing Nailer that can finish standard 16 ga nails from 1-inch to 2-1/2-inch and runs on 120V. The tool-free adjustable exhaust and jam release mechanism makes completing tasks easier, while an overall weight of 30 lbs makes the product fairly portable. It works well for a variety of applications, including cabinet installation and fabrication, molding, trim installation, door and windows casing, wall paneling, hardwood flooring, furniture fabrication, and crafts.
Cordless Ratchet Wrench
A cordless socket wrench can save you time if you have a lot of wrench work to do and also save you from hand and wrist fatigue. Cordless options make it easy to take them anywhere for projects around the house. You can use this with your manual ratchets for a bit of extra power and speed when you need it.
Milwaukee is a well-known and trusted brand in the power tool space. This sub-compact ratchet makes it easy to handle and has excellent power, durability and rotation speed. Its lithium-ion battery powers a 12-volt motor and can produce up to 35-foot-pounds of torque and a solid 250 rotations per minute (RPM). It only weighs 1.9 pounds and is just 10-3/4 inch in length. Its designed to work in tight spaces.
Infrared Thermometer NOTE: Always follow the safety directions.
An infrared thermometer might not come to mind as a power tool you would need. But in reality, its versatility in reading wall temperatures (checking where you might have insulation gaps), the temperature of the air coming out of your AC or heating system can come in handy. You can even detect where you might have air leaks around windows. You can even check the temperature of your grill. Most contact-free thermometers work well within a temperature range of -58 to 700-degree Fahrenheit and either use rechargeable batteries or AA/AAA batteries. They are available at a reasonable price and don’t cost so much that you’d not want to have one.
This laser temperature gun operates within a temperature range of -50℃ to 750℃/-58℉ – 1382℉and allows accurately measuring the targets, thanks to the 16:1 Distance-to-Spot Ratio (most DSR thermometers have a 12:1/8:1 ratio). The built-in laser makes it easier to lock down on the subject, while additional features such as backlit LCD and auto-on/off function make life a bit easier. Not only the thermometer can be used for DIY and other home projects, it is also useful for other stuff such as cooking, auto maintenance and more. For best results, you need to be around 14 inches/36cm from the subject. The Class 2 laser product is FDA, CE and FCC approved and is backed by one-year manufacturer warranty. The point-and-click tool makes it easier for users to quickly take a temperature reading (within a second). You just have to press the trigger, which turns the device on, while the laser pointer helps lock the target. The temperature reading is displayed on the backlit LCD screen. The temperature gun uses 9V standard battery (Included in the package) that can last for up to 14 hours (cumulative use), while the device shuts down automatically if left unattended for more than 15 seconds for better battery life.