For DIYers, power tools are like magic wands. The type of work you can accomplish with this is virtually unlimited. This article is a comprehensive guide on the best power tools you could ever imagine!
Whether you are into woodworking, metal, or concrete, you will need at least a few power tools in this list. But the question is which one?
If you don't know about these power tools' uses, you will never know which would save your day!
We have listed 22 power tools, along with their uses and the most popular brands. These should be more than enough to help you in your career or your next exciting project!
Let's get started!!
Let’s start with air compressors! It’s a device that mainly converts electric power or gas power into pressurized air. The pressurized air is then stored in a storage tank that can be used for various applications.
Usually, you will find three levels of air compressors based on their discharge pressure.
- Low-pressure air compressors operate at 150 psi.
- Medium-pressure compressors operate at 151-1000 psi.
- High-pressure air compressors operate at 1000 psi +
The most common uses of air compressors can be seen in pneumatic tools, filling tires, and filling HPA tanks.
Among the top brands include California Air Tools, Bostitch, Dewalt, and Craftsman. These brands mainly produce large and stationary air compressors. But you can also get portable versions like the Ryobi portable inflator. Ryobi is one of the top brands in the market!
Check out the video below if you want to know how these devices work!
The Jointer is a handy tool that has become almost compulsory in woodworking. It has an in-feed table, and wood is placed on that. The wood passes through cutting blades resulting in flat and smooth edges.
A jointer is quite similar to a planer, and the words are often used interchangeably. But that’s not always right. The use of planers comes after the Jointer flattens a surface. The other face is then made parallel to the forest face using the planer!
It’s common in woodworking to use different power tools and hand tools to even out a wood piece. But it results in uneven work that looks unprofessional. Jointers help to make flat and even surfaces every time giving that polished and professional look.
Among the top jointer brands include Powermatic, Delta Power, Porter-Cable, and JET.
Here’s how a jointer works-
A combo kit is not a single power tool. It’s a combination of several power tools that can be used in a wide variety of applications. Usually, for beginners and home DIYers, this is the best option.
A typical combo kit can contain a drill, impact driver, circular saw, and an impact driver. You can also get cheap power toolsets at as low as $100-$150.
Combo kits are used in home repair and DIY stuff. As the cost of power tools can be way too high for the average users, having a few at hand can do the job.
Ryobi makes one of the most comprehensive power toolsets with as much as six useful tools. You can also get these from Dewalt, Bosch, and Black+Decker.
Let’s face it! There is hardly a man who doesn’t know about drills. Drills are the most common and probably the most versatile power tool.
These power tools have a cutting or driving tool attachment and operate using an electric motor. Using a trigger, you can then drill or drive at any surface.
Drills come in corded and cordless versions. Cordless drills are one of the best power drills for home use. You can take them anywhere you like when you need it.
Drills have multiple uses. You can either boreholes, tighten screws, or even cut through materials.
Dewalt is one of the best power tool brands in the market, and you will find several drills that will serve for years. However, Bosch, Ryobi, Makita, and Milwaukee are also strong contenders!
A drill press works similarly to the drills. However, their use is more industrial than at home. The drill is mounted on a stand or workbench and driven by an electric motor. The motors of drill presses are way powerful than the regular drills and provide mechanical advantage to the operator.
They are used to bore holes through large chunks of wood. Also, the holes are more accurate and consistent. That’s the reason they are found more in industrial and professional settings.
JET and Dewalt makes some of the best drill presses. Other notable brands are Powermatic, Dremel, Wen, and Rikon.
If you want to learn more about them, check out the video below!
Grinding machines or grinders use an abrasive wheel to cut off small chips from a material. Due to friction caused by an abrasive wheel, a lot of heat is generated. As such, a coolant is used to keep this heat under control.
The most common and widely used grinders are bench grinders, angle grinders, and belt grinders.
Here’s how an angle grinder works:
You can use a grinder to gain high surface quality and high accuracy of shape. Grinders are used mainly in finishing metal and wood pieces to make them look better!
Dewalt and Milwaukee are the most notable manufacturers of Angle grinders.
Heat guns have their use in metal and woodwork and a lot more applications. They emit a stream of hot air between 100-550°C. The device is generally handheld and can be directed towards a specific portion of the material. The design is pretty much similar to a hairdryer and also comes in a portable version.
Heat guns are used to strip paint from a surface, shrink tubing and bend plastic materials. They are also used to dry woods and metals.
The Dewalt D26950 is the best heat gun you can find. You can also get heat guns from brands like Porter-Cable, Tacklife, and Seekone!
Take a look at the clip below!
Impact drivers offer rotational and downward force that turns a bit attached to the head. They look more like a drill machine and have the same working principle. Unlike hammer drills, impact wrenches have only in and out motion.
Impact wrenches also work in a similar way to impact drivers. However, they use air pressure to gain force.
They are used to loosen up screws that have been over-tightened or in a ‘corrosive frozen’ state. Similarly, they can also tighten screws that require heavy force to reach the desired level.
Makita 18V LXT is one of the most famous impact drivers in 2020. They are also available from brands like Milwaukee and Craftsman.
Here’s how it works:
A lathe is one of the best woodworking tools ever! Its application is broad and utilized manufacturing units for ages. It has an axis of rotation upon which a workpiece is made to rotate against a cutting tool that can shape the workpiece differently.
Jacques de Vaucanson invented the first documented metal slide lathe in 1751. After that, different versions of the lathe machine have been created. Currently, computerized controlled lathes are used in large industries.
You can use lathes for cutting, sanding, knurling, and shaping different kinds of materials. The most common objects made with lathes are screws, baseball bats, gun barrels, etc.
Woodworking lathes are affordable, and most DIYers should have one! There are few mini versions like Delta Industrial 46-460 and Jet JWL-1440.
Take a look at the clip below for inspiration:
Multi-tool (Oscillating Tool)
A multi-tool or oscillating tool uses a blade to oscillate back and forth to create friction on a material or object. It can fit in a wide variety of blades in different shapes and sizes to achieve different levels of cuts and shapes. It’s probably the most versatile power tool ever.
Its application can be most seen in sawing, scraping, cutting, polishing, and grinding.
The Dewalt DCS355D1 is one of the best oscillating multi-tools as it has 28-pieces that can be used in a lot of different projects. Other notable brands are Porter-Cable, Rockwell, and Dremel. You can also find cordless versions that work equally well.
A nailer or, more commonly, a nail gun uses compressed air to drive nails into different kinds of materials. In simple projects, a hammer can be a cost-effective solution. However, when you have to drive lots of nails at any moment, nothing can beat nailers.
You are driving nails into wood, metal, and other materials. If you are into carpentry or flooring, you will know its use.
The Hitachi NT50AE is one of the top nailing guns in the market. Other manufacturers include Bostitch, Wen, Dewalt, and Numax.
Polishers & Buffers
A polisher/buffer uses an abrasive attach to a wheel that rotates on an axis to achieve smooth surfaces. There is a slight difference between buffing and polishing. Buffing uses a gentle abrasive, while polishing uses a more aggressive abrasive. Usually, a polishing is followed by a buffing process.
Buffing/polishing is most common in metal works. It is used to remove oxidization or scratch from a metal surface. If you are into auto-detailing, you will need one.
You can find good polishers from Dewalt, Porter-Cable, Ryobi, and Makita. The Dewalt DWP849X is a powerful polisher, and its lightweight features make it portable enough to carry anywhere you like.
A ratchet wrench is a wrench device with a fastener component. It’s one of the essential tools that you can find. Although manual ratchet wrenches have been in use for decades, you can find electric versions also.
It’s used to fasten or loosen nuts and bolts relatively quicker.
There are cordless electric ratchet wrenches that could cut your time by almost 80-85% compared to the manual ones. You can get it from Milwaukee, Makita, and Kimo.
Here’s a video demonstrating the effectiveness of electric ratchet wrenches:
A router uses bits to curve out holes or grooves in wood, metal, or plastic materials. It runs on electricity and has an option to connect a vacuum to collect the curved out pieces during the process. In woodworking, there is hardly any tool more versatile than a router.
You can use a router to curve out shapes from a wooden block, trim out edges or cut through objects.
Dewalt DWP611PK is one of the best router tools in the market. Apart from that, you can get these from Bosch, Makita, and Porter-Cable.
Want to know how a router works? Check out the video below!
The rotary tool is one of the best power tools you can buy. It provides rotational power to use various sorts of bits and accessories in a wide variety of applications.
You can easily find more than 100 accessories for the rotary tool. They are generally compact and can be carried easily to any places you like. For DIYers, it’s a dream tool and capable of replacing most tools we have listed.
The most common uses of rotary tools are sanding, polishing, shining, cutting, and carving bevels. You can also drill using a drill bit.
The Dremel 4000-2/30 consists of 30 accessories and is the most versatile rotary kit available. Also, Dewalt, Black & Decker, and Neiko make great rotary tools.
Sandblasters is a handheld gun-like device that shoots abrasive media at high pressure. It generally uses an air compressor to gain high pressure. Depending on the type of surface you want to work with, the media material will change. The most abrasive media are sand and metal shot. In comparison, the milder one includes glass beads and plastic pieces.
Sandblasters can be very effective in removing surface contaminants and to smoothen a surface. If you have contaminants like rust on a metal object's edges, it can be tough to get rid of it using sandpaper. In that case, a sandblaster is the best option you have.
There are lots of brands that produce sandblasters. Some come in just the handheld version, and others come in enclosed panels with a sandblaster gun inside. Le Lematec, Black Bull, and Shop Fox are some of the famous brands.
Here’s an sandblaster panel put out to test:
Sanders is equipped with a rapidly moving mechanism that holds sandpaper to cause abrasion. Usually, sanders operate using electrical power or compressed air.
The most common type of sander is the disc sander. Here the moving mechanism is a wheel, and circular sandpaper does the abrasive job. Whereas, belt sanders are more aggressive and great for accomplishing a lot of work in a quick time.
Sanders helped to smoothen out surfaces and also remove corrosive elements.
The Makita 9403 is one of the top belt sanders in the market. Other notable brands include Milwaukee, Black & Decker, Aouker, and Porter-Cable.
A saw is an indispensable part of woodworking. The tool contains a blade with a toothed edge that moves back and forth to cut through wood and other materials. As we are talking about power tools here, we will be discussing those that operate through any source of power like electricity.
Some of the most popular saws are as follows:
A table saw is an extremely powerful saw. It consists of a powerful saw located below a table, and the blade is projected through a slot. You can glide the material that you want to cut.
They are used primarily for vertical or horizontal cuts and for deeper cuts that are difficult to achieve with a handheld power saw.
The blade is attached to a swing in the miter saw that can go either left or right and cut at different angles.
As you can achieve angled cuts through a miter saw, its use is vast and can often be seen in projects related to picture frames, door frames, and window castings.
If there’s a single best power tool for your woodworking projects, then it’s got to be the jigsaw. It has a narrow blade capable of cutting at 45-degree angles.
If you want to curve shapes out of a woodblock, this could be your ultimate tool.
Chain saws have the teeth attached to a chain that can rotate with the help of electricity or gas.
They are designed to cut through large and thick materials like trees and lumbar. Some models can even cut through concrete or brick.
Virtually all the top brands in this power tool industry have their own set of saws. SawStop, JET, Dewalt, and Bosch are some of the notable brands to mention.
Screw guns aren’t mandatory for the average user. If you have hundreds of screws to tighten or loosen at any point, this should be your go-to tool. It uses a nose instead of a chuck and feeds screws from a clip to the surface you intend to work.
Its use is vast, as working with screws is associated with virtually every industry.
Shears & Nibblers
Shears and nibblers operate using the same principle. In the case of shears, a thick blade oscillates up and down and can cut through thick metal sheets accurately without any rough edges. Nibblers are designed for more versatile and tricky cuts that are not possible using a shear.
Shears and nibblers are mainly metal cutting tools. They can cut straight, curved, or at various angles.
Bosch 1500C is one of the best shear tools available. The Makita JN1601 is a top-rated nibbler.
Take a look at how a shears tools work!
A wall chaser is equipped with several blades that can cut grooves on concrete and brick walls. It can make grooves of different widths, and as such, the number of blades is needed to be adjusted. It’s one of the best power tools for construction and building maintenance.
Wall chasers are used to cut slots in walls to make room for cables or pipes. It cuts downtime and makes a clean finish.
Metabo MFE 30 is one of the top products in this category. Other notable brands include CS Unitec, ZXmoto, and Taishi.
For a practical demonstration, check out the video!
Working with power tools requires dealing with different kinds of waste materials. This material can involve fine wood particles to more solid particles and sometimes liquid. In that case, an ordinary vacuum cleaner won’t work.
A dry clean vacuum is specially designed with two bucket systems to collect liquid and solid separately. It has multiple attachments that can suck up to various kinds of materials.
Dry wet vacs can clean up almost anything on a work site. This vac helps in maintaining hygiene and getting rid of stuff that could cause hindrances.
The Stanley shop vac SL18115P is a highly rated dry wet vac. You can also find these from Dewalt, Craftsman, and Vacmaster.
This list is almost comprehensive, and for most people, it will take years to accumulate all of these tools. Depending on the nature of your work, you might not even need all of it. Use this as a guide to find the best power tools that will work for you!