3 must-have power tools for your DIY workshop

Posted by Jeffrey Anderson ~ October 3, 2012

According to a recent article on PRNewswire.com, the sales of power and hand tools in this country are expected to expand by about 4.8 percent each year through 2016. The grand total for annual sales is predicted to reach about 13.1 billion dollars that year. Manufacturing power and hand tools is a big business led by major players such as Milwaukee, Bosch, Makita, and Porter-Cable.

Cordless drill for the DIY workshop

While a large percentage of the power tools sold each year go to professional contractors, DIYers are buying their fair share. I know that a part of my monthly budget goes toward helping keep several tool manufacturers afloat. My philosophy has always been that there's no such thing as a power tool that I don't need -- it's sure to be used at least once in a while.

The crowded tool aisles at Lowes and Home Depot every weekend are proof enough that I'm not the only homeowner who follows that line of thinking. If the DIY trend continues at its current pace, tool manufacturers may be seeing that 13.1 billion mark in their rear-view mirrors well before 2016.

But when it comes right down to it, what power tools do you really need for home improvement projects? While it's nice to have specialty tools for whatever might pop up, there are several that should be able get you through just about any DIY project.

3 power tools that can handle most home improvement projects

Which three power tools would I keep if necessity required downsizing my collection? While just considering that possibility causes me to cringe, these are the three that get the most use:

rotary saw

  • Circular saw. If you've ever cut a lot of dimensional lumber with a handsaw, you're well aware of how much time the power models can save on projects. Whether you're doing framing, interior trim, or putting up a deck, a circular saw is just about a must-have DIY power tool. When shopping for a saw, look for a model with an electric brake - the blade stops spinning when you release the trigger.
  • Cordless drill. Cordless tools have come a long way since their early days. Back then you practically needed a helper to carry all the batteries required to get through a job. New models are light weight, easy to use, and a fully charged Lithium-Ion battery can provide enough power for just about any project.
  • Jigsaw. When it comes to delicate or shaped cuts, it's hard to beat the convenience of a jigsaw. They're also handy for making cut-outs in sheetrock or wood for electrical boxes, plumbing cleanouts, or any other item that needs a hole. Mine gets as much use as my circular saw during DIY projects.

While every experienced DIYer has their favorites, these three power tools are the ones I consider most important for my typical home improvement projects.

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