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The A-Z Guide to Power Tools for Home Improvement

The A-Z Guide to Power Tools for Home Improvement

A-Z Guide to Power Tools for Home Improvement Projects

Welcome to our A-Z guide to power tools for home improvement. Here you will find a complete list in alphabetical order, of all the power tools you may need when undertaking home improvements, to help you with whatever task is at hand.

It can be confusing with the huge number of power tools available to know what each tool does, so we have done the hard work for you. This handy guide lists all the different power tools you might need for home improvements, as well as telling you how they work, and what they are used for.

Air Compressor

An air compressor is a machine that uses power from electricity, or a gas powered motor, to store pressurized air. Air is pushed into a storage tank creating a build-up of pressure until the tank is full, and this pressurized air can then be released when it is needed. Air compressors can be used to power pneumatic tools such as JackHammers and Nail Guns, and they also have other uses such as filling car tires. As the tank empties through use, the machine will turn on again and re-pressurize the tank, so you will have a constant supply of pressurized air.

Our pick:

PORTER-CABLE C2002-WK | Hardware World

This compressor is ideal to support multiple trim finishing nailers, small framing/roofing jobs and all general inflation, blowing and smaller SCFM air tools. It features two regulated, factory-installed air couplers to easily support two users. 

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Angle Grinder

An angle Grinder is a very versatile handheld power tool that uses a small circular disk to cut, grind and polish materials such as metals, ceramics, and brick. A variety of different attachments are available depending on the task at hand, and different motor sizes are available too depending on how much power you need. Angle grinders create a lot of sharp debris and dust so it’s important to make sure you have all the required safety equipment, especially protective gloves and glasses.

Our pick:

BLACK+DECKER Angle Grinder Tool BDEG400 | Zoro.com

The Black & Decker BDEG400 4-1/2" 6 Amp Angle Grinder is ideal for sharpening, cutting, grinding, removing rust and surface preparation. This grinder features a metal gear case for durability and longer life. It offers a 3-position side handle that provides added comfort and control for use with various materials and angles. 

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Band Saw

A Band Saw is a large stationery saw that uses a continuous blade to smoothly cut through a variety of materials such as wood. Band saws usually have a miter gauge and a fence to work against giving you a beautifully smooth cut. A band saw can also be used to cut curves like a jigsaw.

Our pick:

DEWALT Plate Joiner Kit | Hardware World
$180.43

The DEWALT DW682K Plate Joiner Kit allows you to cut slots for holding biscuits with precision. This kit includes an easy-to-adjust fence, a heavy-duty nonmarring shoe, and preset stops for all common biscuit sizes, so you can craft solid joints quickly and accurately.

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Blower

Commonly know as a leaf blower, a blower tool propels air out of a nozzle to blow away leaves and other debris. A blower has a variety of other uses apart from blowing away leaves. Some of the other uses for a blower tool include:

  • Blowing sawdust and debris away from where you have been cutting wood
  • Cleaning the filter on your shop vacuum
  • Removing cobwebs and debris from gutters and soffits

Our pick:

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Blower | Hardware World

With an ergonomic and extremely lightweight design (7.1 lbs.), the cordless leaf blower is easy to control and minimizes stress on the arm. The variable speed trigger and speed lock give the user full power control.

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Chainsaw

A Chainsaw is a powerful motor powered saw which uses an orbital chain with sharp ‘teeth’ to cut through large objects that would be too difficult for a regular saw, typically trees and other large lumber. Chainsaws are usually powered by a gasoline engine, but electric and battery powered models are also available.

Our pick:

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw | Hardware World

Gas-free operation eliminates the cold starts, fumes, carburetor issues, and maintenance involved with gas-powered chainsaws. This battery operated chainsaw is built to work hard. Use it for tough construction and outdoor jobs like cutting beams, demolition work, and managing tree limbs. 

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Chop Saw

A Chop Saw, also known as a Cut Off Saw is a table mounted circular saw, similar to a Miter Saw, except it only has a 90° downward motion. It has a large circular rotating blade which can quickly chop large items into smaller pieces.

Our pick:

Evolution Power Tools EVOSAW380 | Home Depot

Evolution EVOSAW380 15-inch steel cutting chop saw offers the highest grade Industrial Metal cutting strength on the market today. When cutting steel, The EVOSAW380 cuts cold, No coolant is required. Because the material is cold It can be handled and worked on immediately.

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Circular Saw

A Circular Saw is a powerful tool that uses a very sharp, fast-spinning round blade to cut through materials such as wood. Circular Saws can be either handheld or mounted onto a table or workbench for more stability. Blades can be changed depending on the material that is being cut, and the tools can be either corded or cordless.

Our pick:

Makita XSS02Z Circular Saw | Zoro.com
$119.00

The Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion cordless 6-1/2" Circular saw delivers cordless cutting power to the job site. The XSS02Z (Tool only) has a Makita-built high-torque motor and a compact design for a range of cutting applications, and will cut 2x material at 45 degrees.

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Disk Sander

A disk sander is a table mounted motor powered sanding machine, that uses a fast spinning disk of sandpaper to smooth surfaces. Since this tool is stationary, the item that is being sanded needs to be moved, which allows a greater amount of control over the process, perfect for smaller items that need corners sanding for example.

Our pick:

Makita GV5010 5" Disc Sander | Hardware World

Makita’s 5-inch disc sander (model GV5010) combines power and comfort with motor-protection features for longer lasting industrial performance. The GV5010 is ideal for a variety of sanding applications.

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Drill

A drill is a powerful tool that uses a rotating cutting tip to drive holes into materials such as wood, brick, and plaster. It is probably one of the most useful power tools you will own! There are a few different types of drill available but the most commonly used drill is the ‘Drill-Driver’, which is a drill that will boreholes, and also work as a screwdriver with the use of different attachments.

Types of drill include:

  • Drill Drivers.

Drill drivers are a commonly used and versatile type of drill, that can drive holes into various materials, and can also act as a driver to tighten and loosen screws.

  • Hammer Drill or Rotary Hammer Drill.

A hammer drill uses short sharp punching motions, like a jackhammer, to drill holes in hard materials that a normal drill can’t manage such as brick or concrete. ‘Rotary Hammer’ drills, are another type of hammer drill that use a rotary motion as well as the hammer function. To see how powerful a hammer drill is, you should look at the) IPM (impacts per minute), or BPM (blows per minute)

  • Drill Press.

A Drill Press is a powerful stationary drill, commonly used in workshops and factories. A drill press can be used to make multiple holes very quickly and precisely. The drill can also be tilted to create holes at different angles if required.

Our pick:

Makita 18v LXT Lithium-Ion Jig Saw | Zoro.com

Makita's 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw seamlessly combines precision and power with the lowest overall weight in its class. The XVJ03Z has a range of precision and comfort features for precise jig saw cutting performance, including less vibration and lower noise for more control and comfort.

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Lathe

A Lathe is a machine that rotates an item such as a piece of wood at high speed on an axis, so it can be sanded or shaped into an even shape all the way around with a cutting tool. Some wooden items that can be made with a lathe are table legs, bannisters for stairs, baseball bats, handles for tools and much more.

Our pick:

DEWALT 20V Max XR 18 Gauge Brad Nailer | Zoro.com

The DEWALT DCN680 18 Gauge Brad Nailer drives 18 Gauge brad nails from 5/8 in. to 2-1/8 in. which makes it ideal for fastening decorative molding, casing, kitchen crown, and shoe molding. 

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Orbital Finishing Sander

An Orbital Finishing Sander is a lightweight handheld sander that vibrates in small circles, which is commonly used for finishing fine surfaces, or for sanding painted wood between coats. This smaller type of sander isn’t powerful enough for heavier jobs such as sanding floorboards but is suitable for finishing the joinery and other smaller tasks.

Our pick:

Bosch OS50VC Orbital Finishing Sander | Zoro.com

The Bosch OS50VC features a powerful 3. 4 Amp motor and Variable-Speed Dial to match speed to task (8, 000-11, 000 OPMs). Vibration Control Bosch-exclusive suspension system minimizes vibration for superior handling and maximum comfort.

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Oscillating Multi-Tool

An Oscillating Multi-tool is an extremely useful power tool that can grind, scrape, saw and sand all in one! It’s really small and compact, so perfect for getting into small spaces that other larger power tools can’t reach. There are also a variety of different attachments available for cutting different materials such as metal, carpet, wood, tiles, and plastic, making it a truly versatile tool. It’s an essential tool for anyone undertaking a home renovation since it has so many uses, such as:

  • Trimming the bottom off doors while attached
  • Removing grout
  • Flush Cuts
  • Paint preperation
  • Small or narrow sanding jobs
  • Drywall Cutouts
  • Removing Caulk
  • Removing thin set mortar from a wall when a tile falls off

Our pick:

Bosch ROS20VSC Palm Sander | Hardward World

The Bosch ROS20VSC 5" Random Orbit Sander/Polisher furnishes an optimized combination of pad orbit and rotation that delivers fast removal and a well blended, ultra smooth finish.

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Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a handheld machine powered saw that uses a ‘push-pull’ motion on the blade to cut through materials such as drywall and soft wood. The cuts made by this type of saw are a bit rougher than those made by a jigsaw, so it is not suitable for any finishing work. A variety of blades are available to enable the saw to cut through other materials such as stone and tile.

Our pick:

DEWALT DCS380B Reciprocating Saw | Hardware World

The DEWALT DCS380B 20V MAX Li-Ion Reciprocating Saw features a 4-Position Blade Clamp that allows for flush cutting and increased positional versatility with tool free blade changes.

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Rotary Saw

A rotary saw is a small saw that can cut holes into materials such as drywall without the need for a pilot hole. This type of saw is ideal for cutting holes in drywall for electrical outlets, and other small tasks.

Our pick:

Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool Kit | Zoro.com

The Dremel 4000 is the more budget-friendly option of the two. With less power, it's still a great tool for the price and will get similar results without compromising the quality.

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Router

A Router is a small tool that is used to carve different shapes and patterns into wood, metal, and plastic. A metal tip spins at high speeds to cut through the material, and it can be moved around easily making it ideal for more intricate work. It can be used for trimming and edging, joint making, cabinetry, and other DIY tasks.

Our pick:

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router | Zoro.com

The Makita 1-1/4 HP Compact Router (model RT0701C) delivers performance and precision in a compact design. With a full 1-1/4 maximum horsepower, the RT0701C is engineered for a range of precision routing applications.

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Scroll Saw

A scroll saw is a small electric saw that is perfect for making precise cuts and curves in materials such as wood. It gives you more control than a jigsaw so is ideal for more intricate work. The blade uses a reciprocating motion (up and down) to make the cuts, and is generally mounted to a work bench or table for stability. Since this type of saw is stationary, the item being cut is moved as required.

Our pick:

WEN 3920 Scroll Saw | Home Depot

Remember when your scroll saw could cut in two different directions? Take on the most intricate and artful cuts with the WEN 16-Inch Variable Speed Two-Direction Scroll Saw. The 9/16-inch stroke saws through hard woods up to two inches thick. Adjust the speed anywhere from 550 to 1600 strokes per minute with the simple turn of a knob.

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Shop Vacuum

A shop vacuum is a powerful vacuum cleaner with a large motor and a very large capacity for storing dust and dirt, making it an ideal companion for home renovations. It can be used to attach to certain tools such as drywall sanders to vacuum up the dust as you are working. This is an invaluable tool to have when you are undertaking a home renovation as a regular household vacuum cleaner wouldn’t be able to handle all the dirt and debris, and would need emptying too frequently.

Our pick:

Table Saw

A Table Saw or ‘Sawbench’ is a circular saw blade mounted on an arbor. The blade protrudes through a gap in the table, so the wood can rest on the table for support while it’s being cut. Table saw are ideal for making long straight cuts in materials such as wood, as the support of the table as well as a fence for guidance ensures a perfectly straight cut every time.

Our pick:

Thickness Planer

A thickness planer is a powerful tool used by carpenters and hobbyists alike, which is used to trim wooden boards to a precise thickness. It can produce a consistent thickness every time and so is ideal for items in home renovation such as floorboards. This is a great item to have as you can produce your own cuts of wood at exactly the size you require without having to worry if it’s in stock at your local DIY store.

Our pick:

Tile Cutter

A tile cutter is used for cutting ceramic or porcelain tiles into smaller pieces or cutting shapes out of them to help them fit a specific area. A tile cutter is made up of a circular diamond blade mounted to a surface, similar to a table saw. A reservoir of water sits below the blade to stop it overheating from the friction, and the tile is moved towards the blade to be cut as needed.

Our pick:

Wall Chaser

A wall chaser is an electric motor powered tool that uses a pair of abrasive disks to cut deep narrow grooves or ‘Channels’ into walls, typically for laying electrical cables and pipes. It is a hand-held tool, making it easy to cut into hard to reach places. A wall chaser creates a lot of dust, which could potentially be dangerous, so we recommend using a safety mask as well as a dust extraction system, which can be attached to the tool itself.

Our pick:

We hope you have found our A-Z guide to power tools for home improvement useful. Hopefully these tools will help you successfully complete your home renovation project. If you have any questions about any of the power tools listed here don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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