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My top 5 power tools every beginner should have

Jul 05, 2020

What are the best power tools to start off with for the beginner? There is no one right answer to this. It all depends on many things i.e. what brand do you go for, what are your needs, what you can afford and what are your goals; do you want to go professional or just stay a DIYer. These are just some things to consider before buying a product. I'll go through a few different things like brand names, are they important?  Should you consider buying used over new? and maybe some of the pros and cons of battery operated tools over corded.

Is a brand name necessary?

No and Yes. It depends on what you are doing and what you are working on . A brand name is indicative of a company's history of providing a quality product that has a known reputation. Depending on the work involved it is important that the tool can withstand the high performance needed to finish the job. But if it something that requires the most basic of functions, like drilling a piece of wood, than a generic name should suffice 

Buy New or Used

When you're getting ready to purchase your tools, you're generally going to have three different options to choose from, new, used, or refurbished tools. Is there going to be advantages and disadvantages to all of them starting off?.  With new tools generally they will perform as you would expect, they will have the best life expectancy and usually they will carry a manufacturer's warranty.  Additionally they will come with all their manuals, parts, pieces and any accessories that come with it. The only disadvantage to a new tool is they are the most expensive option. So depending on your budget it may limit your choice. 

To combat this choosing a refurbished power tool can be more cost effective.  They generally tend to be cheaper, you can pick up a good branded name for far less then if it were off the shelf and in some cases they will also carry a manufacturer's warranty. However, the disadvantage is that sometimes during the refurbishing process they don't practically test the tool and assume it is running ok once turned on.

The most cost effective option on the list is to buy used, they offer the advantage of being very cheap. One can purchase a multitude of used tools in place of acquiring a new one.  The disadvantage to this though is you don't know how the tool was maintained or treated, a truthful reason as to why its being sold or if it was stored in dry conditions. So in this instance it is best to buy from a reputable source if possible.

Do I go Battery or Corded?

Another thing that you're going to want to consider in the selection of tools is whether or not to get a corded tool or a battery-operated tool. Not needing the availability of a power supply is a bonus. Battery technology has come along way in the last 10 years and in my opinion they are easier to work with, they’re convenient, they’re more manageable and you don’t need a power source near by. They do tend to be a little more pricey than the corded version.

In the case of many corded tools they can be purchased slightly cheaper because they don't require extra batteries and in some cases they can have a longer life expectancy. They can also run for a longer period of time and work that extra bit harder due to the constant power supply behind it but they do tend to be that bit heavier

The Cordless Drill

Probably the most used and the most abundant power tool out there is the cordless drill. You will use this on just about every project or repair job. It drives screws, drills holes and can have little attachments added for sanding, grinding or buffing. It will be the tool that generally comes as a starter set, where you get a battery or two, a charger and a carry case and from this you can build on your collection as the batteries will most likely be interchangeable with the other product's the brand sell. A great tool that's very indispensable.

The Mitre Saw

One of the main saws to have when you're starting up is the Mitre saw. They come in different sizes with various functions and its the best saw to get you building amazing things fast with precision. You can make repeated cuts all at the same length as well as cutting miters or angled cuts. Unlike the table saw or band saw your board remains stationary while the blade moves through it, this means that the length of your cut is limited to the diameter size of your blade so if you do purchase one of these try and get one with a sliding action on the cut, this will give you a much larger surface area to work with. 

The Angle grinder

You might think that this tool is primarily used for cutting metal but experienced DIYers will find this power tool handy to have lying around for all different types of projects. You can purchase a variety of different types of abrasive and cutting discs to use, be it  sanding for woodwork projects, cutting and grinding for metal work or even cutting and grinding stone work, one can even buy a polishing attachment for it to be used on automotive body work. With a little imagination this little tool might surprise you in the various uses it has.

The Jigsaw

There will come a time when you will need to cut a curve into either wood or metal, this is where the jigsaw comes into play. This handy tool can handle most of the irregular shapes you want to make and more. Its versatile, it takes up no space and its affordable. Depending on the blades you choose will determine the type of cut it will make. For example the majority of the blades purchased will have the teeth pointing upwards, the idea of this is it forces the skid plate towards the surface of the wood, allowing for a more controlled cut and reduce kickback but the down side to this is as the blade is cutting on the top stroke it creates tear off on the top side of the material which can actually be your finished surface that's why people like to use blades with the teeth pointing downwards because the majority of the time when working an something its usually on the finished side.

The Oscillating Multi Tool

Last and by all means not least we have the oscillating multi tool. The name says it all. This little tool is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your kit, from making plunge cuts into wood and plaster,  removing grouting for tiles, sanding down old paint or cutting through Nails. A multi-tool can do it all and more. It's an ideal tool for any home owner or tradsman out there. The ability to cut through most materials in those awkward places will make light work of your job. Of course, the application is always dependent on the accessory that fits it. There are dozens of accessories available for this tools so always make sure you fit the correct one for the job and it wont let you down.

The tools i have mentioned here are (in my own opinion) a good starting point for the beginner but as i mentioned above everyone's needs differ so tailor your collection to your own and remember safety is the number one priority when working with any power tool. Just be mindful in what your doing and use common sense.

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My top 5 power tools every beginner should have
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