I just want to say right off the bat, that you will want to research the tools before you buy. Some tool companies make wonderful tools that are designed to last and some use plastic parts inside the tools which tend to break easily. Good quality tools that are well made are a joy to work with. The cheaper tools are decidedly NOT fun to work with. Check out as many reviews from "real people" as you can. The people who actually use the tools will tell you what using them was really like, reviews on tool websites and Amazon sites, etc. can be bought. I'm sure there are legit ones out there as well, but I personally would rather hear from someone I know. Just sayin'
1. Set of cordless drills with drill bit/socket kit
Probably the most handy tools ever! I use my drills all the time. The cordless feature means you don't have to worry about dragging extension cords behind you. You just pick up the drill and off you go. The set I bought came with two batteries - I highly recommend you have at least 2 batteries if you buy cordless. Those batteries always tend to run down right when you need them fully charged the most!!
I bought a Makita set of hammer driver and impact driver with a battery charger and 2 batteries and they have been used constantly ever since I first bought them. I used to use a screwdriver for everything but once you get hooked on using a drill instead of a screwdriver, you will never go back to hand tools...
I also bought a complete set of drill and screwdriver bits and sockets for $30. If you can only pick one of these 6 tool recommendations, pick this one. The drills and bit set will be used again and again and again and again. You won't regret it.
2. Random Orbital Sander
A random orbital sander combines two motions (orbital and rotary) which reduces the possibility of swirl marks on the wood. It has a round pad rather than a square pad - that's how you can tell the orbital sander from the random orbital sander. The orbital sander has a square pad. This is the most versatile portable sander you can own. You can hook it up to a shop vac and greatly reduce the amount of dust produced as well.
I bought a DeWalt version and I am thrilled with it. I buy the sanding pads in bulk and find myself using a sander much more often than I ever thought I would.
3. Circular Saw
I never realized how handy this tool is until I bought one. I started off with a 5 1/2" cordless version but once I got confident using it, I bought a 7 1/4" corded one with several blades. A cordless circular saw is fabulous if you are only going to need to use one occasionally. Once I was bit by the building bug, I used mine all.the.time. Problem is that once the batteries age a bit, they don't hold as much of a charge as they did when new and then you don't have as much power going to the saw blade as you need. A corded saw is a much better choice overall, in my opinion.
I confess, I bought a jigsaw on sale without researching much and I regret that so much. I threw money away. That jigsaw was poor quality, didn't hold the blade in place properly and I couldn't get the precise cuts I wanted. I wound up buying another jigsaw this past year and it has been a joy to work with. Lesson learned...
5 Mitre Saw
Buy the best you can afford. This is another saw that I didn't think I would use as often as I do. It is fabulous for all sorts of jobs from building picture frames to building furniture to framing sheds and houses. I didn't buy the brand I wanted to because it was twice the price of the one I bought and someone told me that if I wasn't a contractor I really didn't need to spend the extra cash. WRONG! Tools are a lifelong investment, buy the best you can afford and you will not regret it.
6 Finish Nail Gun
This was initially a splurge buy for me. I was doing my bathroom reno and figured that by the time I rented one of these for 3 weekends, I'd have the tool half paid for so I bought one. I love, love, love this tool. I use it on all sorts of projects and it is a blast to use. I bought a DeWalt cordless version because I didn't want to lug compressor tanks around and I'm so glad I did. I highly recommend buying one of these.
Next week I'll be sharing how to afford these tools and where to find bargains.
Have a great one!!
With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!