Whether it’s for putting up a new shelf or if you’re thinking seriously about renovating your home, a trusty set of power tools will be a fantastic investment for a new home owner. However, walking into a hardware store can be a little intimidating for a DIY newbie – just which tools will you actually need, and will you ever learn to use them? Don’t despair – if you don’t know a jigsaw from a belt sander, here are some handy tips to get you started.
The name is no coincidence – these saws can cut in curved lines, which is how the first “jigsaw” puzzles were made. Unlike traditional straight line saws, these tools can be used to cut stencils or other custom patterns. Most models also have adjustable speed settings and the ability to extract dust, which is useful when working with wood for prolonged periods. Starting at around $40, power jigsaws are ideal for artistic uses.
A belt sander is a machine which uses a motor to rotate sandpaper, allowing the removal of material from wood. Since its action is quite rough, it is used only in the early stages of sanding or to remove paints or finishes. Depending on the task, you will need either a hand-held sander, which is portable, or a stationary sander which is suitable for items you can move around. Prices range from around $50 for a basic model to a few hundred dollars for more powerful belt sanders.
This versatile tool for drilling holes can be used in a variety of woodworking and construction projects. The most common type is the “pistol-grip” drill which as its name suggests is shaped like a pistol, with a trigger for activation. For most applications, a corded drill works fine but for specialised uses or where a power point is not readily available, it may be better to opt for a cordless drill. Although cordless drills are more expensive in general, the price range on drills ranges from under $100 to several hundred dollars depending on the model.
Replacing the need for fiddling with a hammer and nails, nail guns are becoming more and more popular. Although they speed up DIY work, these powerful tools should be used with caution because injuries are not uncommon. For less heavy duty applications, a lighter “tacker” or staple gun might be more suitable. Nail guns start from around $100.
So whether you’re renovating your new home in the suburbs of Vale, or putting together your latest artistic project, it pays to have a little power tool know-how, so you don’t look completely lost when walking into that hardware store.