Power tools do not make the man. You can be secure in your masculinity even if you don’t feel comfortable wielding a chainsaw or handcrafting a wooden table. It isn’t your ability to buy, own and use power tools that gives your life meaning or makes you worthy of respect.
Even so, there are some tools that every man — indeed, every person — definitely needs in their home. Here are a few essential power tools that you definitely need, even if you already feel fully confident as a man.
Cordless Impact Driver
Most lists of essential tools put cordless drills at the very top of the list — and for good reason. Tightening and loosening screws in milliseconds or drilling clean holes in various materials are activities that every adult will need to take advantage of, whether you rent or own a home. You don’t have to be active in DIY to need this power tool.
However, impact drivers are even more functional than drills because they can apply a greater amount of force. This means that even the most stubborn screws or the hardest materials are no match for an impact driver. Because you can find cordless impact drivers at affordable price points, you should spring for this tool over a regular drill to start your power tool collection.
Screws aren’t the only fasteners you will need to use. In fact, nails are a bit more versatile, coming in a much greater range of sizes and finishes and thus appearing more frequently in smaller DIY projects for beginners. Unfortunately, nails can be frustrating to work with — unless you are using a nail gun.
Because you probably don’t want to invest in an air compressor just yet, you should opt for a cordless nail gun. It is important to note that smaller nailers typically only use finishing or brad nails, which are thin and appropriate only for fastening together more delicate or decorative components. Even so, you will likely find yourself reaching for your nail gun more often than you anticipate, which is why it is an essential power tool to own.
There are all sorts of power saws that avid DIYers make good use of, like chop saws, miter saws, table saws, jigsaws and more. Yet, the average beginner really only needs one power saw at the ready: the circular saw. A lightweight, cordless circular saw will make almost any basic cut you could imagine, which means it easily replaces many of the other power saws you could buy — as long as you can gain some proficiency using it.
Circular saws can be intimidating, especially if you focus too intently on the swiftly moving blade. However, as long as you use your saw properly — and you exercise patience with yourself and your tool — you should be able to make the precise cuts you want.
Sanding can take forever, even on small projects. To speed up a DIY, you can use a sanding tool, of which there are three viable options to choose from:
- Detail sanders, which are small and shaped like clothes irons to allow you to reach corners or tight spots
- Palm sanders, which have small, square pads that move in circular orbits, ideal for fine-grain sanding and finishing
- Random orbital sanders, which turn in circles and move laterally at a range of speeds
Most beginners should opt for an orbital sander, which is quieter, cleaner and more applicable than the other options — but you can make a selection based on your needs at home. If you find yourself participating in much larger projects that require more extensive sanding, you might eventually invest in a belt sander, which is a much more robust tool than any of those listed above.
Typically, you want to avoid power tools that claim to do too many things; though having multiple applications might seem convenient to you, it usually means the tool is less powerful or functional at each individual task. The only exception to this rule is the oscillating multitool, which is so incredibly convenient that every household needs one. Oscillators are best for making small, precise cuts around the house — perhaps in drywall, through door and floor trim or between tiles — but you can also get attachments for precision sanding, drilling, grinding and more. This is a remarkably useful gadget that is fun to use.
None of the above power tools take up much space, and it is all but guaranteed that you will use all of them more than once during your lifetime. The sooner you invest, the sooner you will see how important power tools can be.