I don’t know about you but we’ve definitely made our fair share of mistakes during our home improvement adventures and one of our biggest ones was skimping on buying new tools.
Let’s face it, when you have what feels like hundreds of different jobs around the house to tackle and you know they’ll all be expensive the last thing you really want to be doing is spending more money on tools you might not need.
We’re definitely big fans of borrowing tools from friends and neighbours or even hiring them when we know we’ll only use them once but we learned the hard way that skimping on tools isn’t necessarily the right area to try to save money. The best DIY advice we can give you is if you’re making something that you want to turn out well always use the right tools!
We often see people recommending the wrong tools so here’s our guide to which power tool to use for which project.
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If there’s only one power tool you own this has to be the one! It’s easily our most used tool and is essential for so many projects. We’d definitely recommend opting for a percussion drill (instead of just a standard cordless one) which is lightweight and easy to use but it’s still powerful enough to allow you drill into brick walls as well as lots of other materials like wood, plasterboard and tiles.
- Drilling holes
- Screwing (when you’re too lazy to use a screwdriver)
- Drilling into concrete – it may not be powerful enough for to drill into every surface (you’ll need a hammer drill for tougher surfaces)
Here are some of the projects we used our cordless drill for:
- Hanging curtains
- Attaching shelves
- DIY Pegboard
- DIY Concrete Picture Frame
- DIY Wooden Bench
- Hanging pictures
Now that we own one, I can’t believe how long we put off purchasing a mitre saw! We use it for soooo many more project than we ever thought.
Pretty much every time we need to cut a piece of timber or shorten something we get out our mitre saw. It may look like a daunting tool but it really couldn’t be easier to use.
- Cutting timber battens, plastic pipes or metal strips (depending on the type of blade)
- Cutting angles
- Any long straight cuts (it can only cut up to around 300 mm depending on the type of saw)
Here are some of the projects we used our mitre saw for:
This is the tool we probably use least (and strictly speaking not a must have tool). It’s good for projects where you have to cut curves or shapes but bad for anything where you need to cut a straight line. I see people recommending a jig saw for cutting timber for all kinds of craft and DIY projects all of the time. Mostly though, it’s not the right tool for the job as it’s almost impossible to cut a straight line with a jigsaw.
- Cutting shapes
- Cutting holes eg. in a kitchen worktop for a sink
- Never use a jigsaw when you need a perfectly straight edge!
- Do not use as a substitute for a mitre saw or circular saw!
Projects that we used our jigsaw for:
- Replacing the timber on our gable
- Cutting a hole for our kitchen sink
- DIY Wooden Script Art
- DIY Wooden Mirror
It’s no secret that this is our favourite tool – ever! There’s no denying that it’s expensive and not something you’re going to splurge on if you’re not going to use it regularly. Having said that, it’s surprising just how much we do use it!
- Anything (almost) you have to nail!
- The nailer can only use thin nails. If you need to use something more substantial or something like ring shank nails, you’re probably better off nailing by hand.
Projects that we used our nailer for:
- DIY Slatted Fence
- DIY Log Store
- DIY Plywood Floor
- Attaching skirting boards
- Adding architraves
- Installing picture rails
- DIY Wooden Bench
For everything a percussion drill just isn’t powerful enough you’ll need to use a hammer drill. Ours has a chisel attachment which comes in really handy when knocking down walls, taking up tiles or breaking pretty much anything.
- Drilling when you need a lot of power
- Taking things to pieces
- It’s obviously great for all kinds of drilling but for most jobs a percussion drill will be more than enough.
Projects that we used our hammer drill for:
What’s your favourite must have power tool and which tools can you just not live without?