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How to Buy Power Tools

Essentials & Little Luxuries for the Do-It-Yourselfer

Although you may have come to terms with the fact that you are no Mike Holmes, you are more than likely capable of carrying out some do-it-yourself work around the house. Traditional hand tools are useful for dealing with many crisis' a homeowner might face, but having power tools in your collection will equip you to handle more complex projects without having to call in the professionals.

Nowadays, the market offers many sturdy power tools that can help you get the job done and they are no longer priced just for the professional builder! Exciting new innovations are being made to the design and functionality of popular power tools that will be explored throughout this article.

If you are a true novice, some tools may seem like medieval torture devices to you, but read on and get familiar with the most popular power tools on the shelves, and the major uses for each. By carefully identifying the basic functions most useful to your needs, you will be able to create your own collection quickly and affordably.

Saws

Types & Uses
Different types of saws will facilitate different tasks, and each model will have its pros and cons:

  • The circular saw is fairly compact, and its tough round blade is excellent for cutting larger planks of wood in straight cuts. It is the most versatile saw you can buy for its price.
  • The compound sliding mitre saw is very handy for making angled cuts (i.e. for moldings) or for making straight crosscuts.
  • The jigsaw is small and its thin blade will allow you versatility and precision for curved cuts and designs.
  • The table saw is bulkier but offers good stability for long straight cuts as you can adjust the cutting width on the table instead of having to mark the wood. Unless you plan to use your saw frequently, this investment will most likely not be worth your while. It should however be one of your first “big buys” when you start to take on more complex projects on.
  • The reciprocating saw is mostly used for rough cuts (i.e. pipe cutting or framing) where a circular saw can't be used.
  • The band saw is used mostly by furniture makers for detailed cuts as the thin unobstructed blade allows the user to move the wood freely.
Saws
Power Tools
DeWALT 7-1/4" Lightweight Circular Saw Kit
$159.00
at  The Home Depot
Power Tools
10 In. Sliding Mitre Saw – 13 Amp
$199.00
at  The Home Depot
Power Tools
2 Tool Brushless Combo Kit
$299.00 (21% off)  On Sale
at  The Home Depot

New Innovations – Cutting Edge Technology

10 In. Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Mitre Saw
$599.00
at  The Home Depot

DEWALT 10" Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Mitre Saw
This particular mitre saw stand apart from the rest because of its exclusive bevel detent system that features seven positive stops for accurate, repeatable cuts. The machined base and fence support keeps the fence perpendicular to the blade for better precision. The saw supports up to 6" wide base molding and offers 12" capacity at 45° using back fence design. These features all make it remarkably versatile.

 

RIDGID One-Handed Fuego Reciprocating Saw
The compact design, one-handed ergonomic grip, and an onboard LED light for dark workspaces mean that this little saw reaches where other reciprocating saws can't. The variable-speed function and two-finger trigger offer maximum speed control, and its innovative tool-free blade clamp helps you make blade changes in a snap.

 

NEW RIDGID 10" Granite Top Table Saw
Why a granite top? It won't rust or warp, and reduces vibration. Combined with a powerful RIDGID 1-1/2 HP induction motor and innovative design, this saw delivers exceptional performance without overheating or excess debris. The unit also includes a handy Herc-U-Lift® base for easy mobility in your workshop.

 
Pro Fiber Cement Saw
$100.00
at  The Home Depot

RIDGID Fuego™ 5" Fibre Cement Saw
Save cleaning time on the jobsite with RIDGID's innovative 5" fibre cement saw. It has a heavy-duty cord and features the exclusive, patent-pending AIRGUARD onboard active dust collection system. This slick feature operates with up to 90% dust collection efficiency. The powerful 8 AMP motor guarantees easy cuts through fibre cement board.

 

Drills

What is a drill?
A drill is probably the handiest tool you will ever own. It can be used for its screwdriver function or for drilling holes. There are many different types of drills on the market, but if you are just starting out, a basic model will offer plenty of power for you.

What to use it for?
Whether you are hanging picture frames and curtains, or putting new furniture together, doing it with a drill will be a snap! The uses for a drill are endless and you will have no problems finding projects to use yours on - from quick home projects to more involved DIY tasks like building a deck.

Drills
ONE+ 1/2 in. Cordless Hammer Drill (Tool Only) - 18V
$59.99
at  The Home Depot
2 Tool Brushless Combo Kit
$299.00 (21% off)  On Sale
at  The Home Depot
18V-2 Piece Cordless Combo Kit
$249.00
at  The Home Depot

New Innovations – Drilling A Little Deeper

M12 3/8 In. Drill/Driver
$179.00
at  The Home Depot

NEW MILWAUKEE M12 3/8" drill/driver
The Milwaukee drill/driver was designed for performance. It drills and fastens up to 35% faster than the competition, and is equipped with an all-metal locking chuck to hold bits tight. And if you aren't sold already, its ultra-compact lightweight design houses a powerful motor that delivers 250 in/lb of torque.

 

NEW MAKITA 10.8V cordless Driver Drill Kit
The Makita Cordless driver drill kit is the industry's only 2-speed pocket driver. It may be small but don't let size fool you! This high-powered drill/driver has 18 torque settings to deliver up to 210 In./lbs. of torque. The kit includes two 10.8V lithium-ion batteries that provide longer run times, a holster, a Phillips bit 2-50, and much more!

 
DeWALT Heavy-Duty 1/2'' 18V Cordless Compact Hammerdrill Kit
$219.00
at  The Home Depot

NEW DEWALT 18V Heavy-Duty Lithium-Ion hammerdrill Kit
This heavy-duty hammerdrill kit proves that lightweight tools don't always sacrifice power. It is loaded with smart features: the lithium-ion batteries charge in 30 minutes and also work with DeWalt 18V Ni-Cad units, it has two speeds and a 17-position clutch give you refined control, and an integrated work light offers a better view in tight spaces.

 

Sanders

Types & Uses:

  • The random orbit sander, while usually a little more expensive, sands in a random pattern helping to reduce sand marks. It is useful for both large and small jobs just by changing the grain of sandpaper you use.
  • The belt sander is useful to smooth out bad cuts, remove paint, round corners etc., but is generally not recommended for fine work because of its size.
  • The finishing or detail sander is usually a finer tool and is more suitable for furniture refinishing or crafts (depending on the model).
Sanders
1/4 Sheet Pad Sander
$28.99
at  The Home Depot
Black & Decker GelMax Mouse Sander and Polisher with Touch Zone Technology
$29.97 (25% off)  On Sale
at  The Home Depot
RYOBI Detail Sander
$39.99
at  The Home Depot

Grinders

What can a grinder be used for?
An angle grinder is a very powerful tool that you will most often find in a mechanics shop but they can be a versatile addition to your home power tool collection too. The function of the angle grinder depends on a number of interchangeable disk options, for example, an abrasive disk can be used to cut metal, while a wire brush disk will quickly remove rust or paint from a surface.

Grinders
RYOBI 6 In. Bench Grinder
$49.99
at  The Home Depot
Twist Handle 7 In. Angle Grinder
$189.00
at  The Home Depot
DeWALT 4-1/2" Small Angle Grinder Kit
$109.00
at  The Home Depot

Router

What is it?
A router is a woodworking tool that has a small blade projecting from a wide base, and a handle on both sides of the tool for maximum stability. Some models can work standalone or hook up to a table, which is something to take into consideration, as the latter feature will grow with your woodworking skills.

What to use it for?
A router is used to hollow out an area in the surface of a piece of wood, as well as to draw out a pattern, or create a clean molded finish. Different blades will facilitate different patterns.

Routers
Engraving Cutter 113
$5.29
at  The Home Depot
Switchblade 2-9/16 In.
$79.99
at  The Home Depot
Routing Bit
$13.99
at  The Home Depot

Handy Starter Kits

One of the easiest ways to get the biggest bang for your budget is to take the combo route. This option provides you with everything you need in one single investment, but make sure you choose a starter kit that contains tools that will all be of use to you. If they aren't, buying separately might still be a more economical option.

Combos
2 Tool Brushless Combo Kit
$299.00 (21% off)  On Sale
at  The Home Depot
18V-2 Piece Cordless Combo Kit
$249.00
at  The Home Depot
12V 3 Piece Kit
$89.00
at  The Home Depot

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Hand Tools
Power-Lok Carpet Stretcher
$499.00
at  The Home Depot

Air Tools
Bostitch Industrial Flooring Nailer
$399.99 (20% off)  On Sale
at  The Home Depot
Vertical Style Electric Air Compressor Nail Kit with 2 in 1 Brad Nailer/Stapler
$95.00
at  The Home Depot

Tools & Accessories
Punch-down tool
$23.23
at  Amazon.ca
Helping Hand Micro Clamps
$1.49 (35% off)  On Sale
at  London Drugs
 

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