Power Tools & Equipment
Power Tools & Equipment includes tools that are either battery, electrically, pneumatically, or gas powered. Power Tools and Equipment are designed to make a project go quicker and easier. All Power Tools & Equipment can either be rented or purchased.
- Purchasing the ones you feel that you will use often enough to make it worth spending your money on
- Renting others that you may only use once or twice in your lifetime.
Garden Power Tools & Equipment is a separate category for landscaping tools.
All of the tools in this category are Powered Tools, so I have avoided using the word ‘Powered‘ in the category headings to make it easier for you to locate the type of tool that you are looking for.
Some common Power Tools & Equipment used in Home Repairs & Home Maintenance are:
Air Compressor: A device that converts power (using an electric motor, diesel or gasoline engine, etc.) into potential energy stored in pressurized (compressed) air, stored in a tank, and distributed through a hose to various air powered tools (commonly known as pneumatic tools), which can be attached and detached by a quick connect. When tank pressure reaches its designed upper limit the Air Compressor shuts off. The compressed air, then, is held in the tank until called into use. When tank pressure is used, and reaches its designed lower limit, the Air Compressor turns on again and re-pressurizes the tank.
Most Air Compressors are designed to be portable, so that they can be brought closer to the job site. They are available in various sizes, but bear in mind that the smaller the Compressor, the more often the air will need to be replenished, and the quicker the Air Compressor will wear out. Smaller Compressors may not be suitable for some projects, as either they will not provide sufficient pressure for the attached tool, or there will be unwanted downtime in the project waiting for the Compressor to constantly replenish itself.
The most common tools for a homeowner to use with an Air Compressor are pneumatic nail guns. There are various types: framing nailers for framework, palm nailers for tight spaces, and a variety of nailers for trimwork and other more delicate jobs. The latter includes: brad nailers, finishing nailers, headless pinners, and staplers. (see: Pneumatic Nailers and Staplers)
Dremel: Dremel is an American brand of Power Tool known primarily for its rotary tools. By inserting an appropriate bit into the collet of the Dremel, this variable speed tool can perform drilling, grinding, sharpening, cutting, cleaning, polishing, sanding, routing, carving, or engraving. It is generally used for precise, intricate, and delicate work. Both battery powered and corded models are available.
Drills, Drill Press, & Accessories: A Drill is a tool fitted with a Cutting Tool Attachment, usually a Drill Bit, used for boring holes in various materials, or a Driving Tool Attachment used for screwing and unscrewing various fasteners.
Drills can be battery operated or electrically operated. The chuck is the portion of the Drill that holds the Bits or Driving Tools in place. Chuck size is the widest size Bit or tool shank that the Drill will accept.
Battery operated Drills typically have a 3/8 inch chuck, while corded Drills usually come in either 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch size. A 1/2 inch Drill is typically used for heavier duty work, while the 3/8 Drill is generally used for most purposes. There is also a Hammer Drill, which combines rotary action and hammering action. This type of Drill is usually used in concrete and masonry work.
Drill Presses come in bench-top or rree-standing models. A Drill Press is a Drill mounted in a stand, which allows the operator to move a lever downward to project the Drill Bit through the work in a perfect, perpendicular, fashion. Drill Presses have variable speeds. Choose a speed that is right for the material that you are drilling.
Drill Accessories come in a wide variety of sizes and types. There are standard Drill Bits, Spade Bits, Long-Shank Bits, Concrete Bits, Hole Saw Bits, and Driving Tool Bits.
Driving Tool Bits can be: Torx bits (star shaped), Allen Head Bits, Countersink Bits, and others.
Most often, Drill Bits and Driving Tool Bits will come in a set containing a number of common sizes and types. You will be using quite the variety for completing various Home Projects, so a diverse set will be beneficial to you.
Generators: Gas Powered Generators are a must have if you are subject to a lot of long power outages in your home, or have a basement with a sump pump, and experience an outage during a rain storm. They come with several outlets that allow you to plug in many items with extension cords to keep your important items running during an outage, such as sump pump, refrigerators, and some lights. They come in a variety of sizes. Portable models are usually sufficient, but there are also whole house models that you can install and set up. Although these whole house models are very good, they are rather expensive.
Grinders: Electric Table Model Grinders are a must have tool for any homeowner. They usually have a grinding wheel on one side and a wire brush wheel on the other for deburring. They can be used for a variety of projects, from sharpening lawnmower blades to chisels.
There are also Hand-Held Grinders that can either be battery, electric, or pneumatically powered.
Heat Guns: Electrically Powered Heat Guns provide extra hot heat to any area to which they are pointed. They are an excellent helper for lifting paint in areas that you are scraping. They can also provide assistance when removing wall paper, as well as for a variety of other uses.
Paint Scrapers: Electric Paint Scrapers can be a big help if you are scraping the outside of your House and you have a lot of blistering and chipping paint. They allow you to get a lot done without wearing out your arms with all that back and forth motion.
Paint Sprayers & Accessories: Paint Sprayers are electrically or pneumatic powered, and provide you with the ability to apply a lot of paint in a short amount of time. They can be used for a variety of painting projects from whole house painting to repainting your patio furniture. They are easy to operate and are definitely a time saver.
Electrically controlled Paint Sprayers are ideal for outside painting. They can also be used indoors to paint walls, but a little more care to avoid overspray is required. NOT as easy to use for painting ceilings, due to the angle you have to hold the Sprayer, but it can be accomplished.
Pneumatic Powered Spray Guns are excellent as well, if you have a compressor. There are a variety of Spray Gun options, along with quite a few accessories.
Pneumatic Nailers and Staplers: Pneumatic (or compressed air powered) Nailers and Staplers are Nail and Staple Guns designed to be used with your air compressor. Using these types of tools will greatly reduce your project completion time for larger projects.
They come in a variety of types: Framing Nailers for framing projects, Brad Nailers, Pin Nailers, and Finishing Nailers are ideal for trimwork and lighter gauge work, Staplers are good for installing Insulation batting, and Palm Nailers being ideal for tight places.
Pressure Washer: A high-pressure mechanical sprayer used to remove loose paint, mold, grime, dust, mud, and dirt from surfaces and objects such as buildings, vehicles and concrete surfaces. Pressure Washers can be electric, but these do not offer enough pressure to adequately handle most jobs. Do NOT waste your money on these. The best Pressure Washers are gas powered, and are rated for at least 2200 p.s.i. (pressure per square inch).
Rodders: Power Rodders are usually electrically powered and are used for cleaning out clogged pipes. They come in a handheld model for rodding clogged sink drains to very heavy duty machine models for rodding out sewer lines. These heavy duty models are usually best rented, rather than purchased, unless you are in the plumbing business. They are very expensive, but can be rented for a small fraction of the purchase price.
Routers: Routers are usually an electrically powered tool that is used in conjunction with an interchangeable bit of your choice, which allows you to put beveled edges on boards with a wide variety of decorative choices. They come in either hand-held or table models.
Sanders: Power Sanders are usually electrically powered, but some are battery powered, and come in a variety of styles – different types for different jobs:
Belt Sanders: Used for smoothing large, flat surfaces, especially really rough ones.
Belt-and-Disk Sanders: This versatile two-in-one tool combines a large Belt Sander with a Round Disk Sander into one compact, bench-top machine. The Disk Sander, which is typically between 6 and 10 in. in diameter, is ideal for sanding both square and curved ends onto narrow boards. Plus, it’s equipped with a tilting worktable that accepts a miter gauge so you can use the disk to precisely sand square and angled workpieces. The Belt Sander has a large, flat surface, which permits sanding long, wide boards. And on most models, the belt is adjustable so you can set it horizontally, vertically, or at an angle in between.
Floor Sanders: An electrically powered machine used to sand hardwood floors for refinishing. They come in two styles: the standard Drum Belt Sander model and the Random Orbital Sander model. The latter is more user friendly, and is less likely to allow you to damage your floor during use, although it takes longer to complete the project.
Due to the fact that these are all expensive machines and not used very often, I recommend renting instead of purchasing, unless you are in the floor sanding business.
Orbital Finishing Sanders: An Orbital Finishing Sander is lightweight, easy to control with one hand, and relatively quiet. Virtually impossible to damage the workpiece with this type of sander, it is intended for ultra-smooth wood sanding, rounding over sharp edges, sanding off hardened wood putty, and knocking down dried coats of paint or varnish.
Oscillating Spindle Sanders: An Oscillating Spindle Sander is essentially a dual-motion Drum Sander built into a stationary table. It comes with several interchangeable abrasive drums, or spindles, of various diameters. But unlike a standard Drum Sander, which just spins, an Oscillating Spindle Sander spins in circles and oscillates up and down simultaneously. The result is a nearly perfect tool to precisely sand curves, contours and other irregular shapes.
Random-Orbit Sanders: Falling somewhere in between a belt sander and orbital finishing sander is the Random-Orbit Sander. It’s easy to confuse a Random-Orbit Sander with an orbital sander: The two names sound alike, and the tools share a common design, compact housings with rounded palm-grip tops. However, there’s one small but very important distinction between the two tools: An orbital sander has a square sanding pad, and a Random-Orbit Sander has a round pad.
That one variation makes all the difference. The round pad on a Random-Orbit Sander moves in “random orbits,” meaning it vibrates in tiny circles, like an orbital finishing sander, but it also spins in circles. As a result, this single compact tool can be used for both stock removal and ultra-smooth sanding. And because the pad vibrates and spins simultaneously, it all but eliminates swirl that ordinary orbital sanders sometimes leave behind.
A Random-Orbit Sander won’t remove wood as quickly as a belt sander, and it’s slightly more difficult to control than an orbital finishing sander, but the Random-Orbit Sander is arguably the most versatile portable electric sander you can own. If you were interested in buying only one sander, I would recommend this one.
Saws: Battery operated and electrically operated Saws come in a wide variety of types, with each type being designed for best specific cut type actions. The most common Power Saws used in Home Repairs are:
Bandsaw: An electrically powered saw which uses a long sharp blade consisting of a continuous band of toothed metal rotating on opposing wheels to cut material. They are used principally in woodworking and metalworking, but may cut a variety of materials.
Advantages include uniform cutting action as a result of an evenly distributed tooth load, and the ability to cut irregular or curved shapes like a jigsaw. The minimum radius of a curve is determined by the width of the band and its kerf (thickness of the saw cut). Most Bandsaws have two wheels connected by a belt or chain, rotating in the same plane, one of which is powered.
Circular Saw: (sometimes referred to as a Skill Saw, a common brand) A powered saw using a toothed or abrasive disc or blade to cut different materials using a rotary motion spinning around an arbor. Circular Saws can be either battery operated or electric. Circular Saw refers specifically to the hand-held type. While the table saw and compound miter saw are other common forms of Circular Saws, they are listed separately. (see: Table Saw and/or Compound Miter Saw)
Compound Miter Saw: This type of saw is generally a table-top type, cross-cut saw, usually having a 10 inch blade, and is good for both straight and angle cuts up to 45 degrees.
Jigsaw: A Jigsaw is a saw which uses a reciprocating blade to cut irregular curves, in wood, metal, or other materials. A Jigsaw with a bevel function on the sole plate allows cutting angles of typically up to 45 degrees relative to the normal vertical stroke. Jigsaws can be either battery operated or corded.
Reciprocating Saw: This is a type of saw in which the cutting action is achieved through a push-and-pull (“reciprocating”) motion of the blade. Sometimes know as a Sawzall (a trademark of the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company) has a large blade resembling that of a jigsaw and a handle oriented to allow the saw to be used comfortably on vertical surfaces.
The typical design of this saw has a foot at the base of the blade, similar to that of a jigsaw. The user holds or rests this foot on the surface being cut, so that the tendency of the blade to push away from or pull towards the cut as the blade travels through its movement, can be countered. This type of saw is designed for heavy construction and demolition work.
Scroll Saw: A small electric saw used to cut intricate curves in wood, metal, or other materials. The fineness of its blade allows it to cut more delicately than a jigsaw, and more easily than a hand coping saw. Like a jigsaw, it is capable of creating curves with edges, by pivoting it’s table.
While somewhat similar to a bandsaw, a Scroll Saw uses a reciprocating blade rather than a continuous loop. Like a hand coping saw, the Scroll Saw’s blade can be removed and placed through a pre-drilled starting hole, allowing interior cutouts to be made without an entry slot. Also, the fineness in both width and tooth count of a Scroll Saw’s blade permits significantly more intricate curves than even the narrowest gauge bandsaw blade.
The majority of Scroll Saws offer a little light on a flexible arm that illuminates the work area and also a dust blower nozzle to keep your work space clear while working. Many also hook up to a shop vac allowing you to keep the area virtually dust free when using. The table tilting feature allows cutting at angles. It also comes in a variable speed which offers the user greater control when cutting intricate patterns.
Table Saw: A Table Saw is like turning a circular saw upside down and surrounding it with a table to support and guide your workpieces. The blade protrudes through the surface of a table, which provides support for the material. Table Saws are excellent for ripping lumber down to a predetermined width, by guiding the material along the fence guide.
Wet Saw: A Wet Saw is designed to be used with water as a coolant for the diamond blade. It is electrically powered, and is useful for cutting tile as well as paver bricks or similar materials. The blade is typically 10 inches in diameter, which offers thick material cutting capabilities.
Shop Vac: A vacuuming device generally used in a work shop environment for picking up course debris such as sawdust and small wood chips. Commonly referred to as a Shop Vac, this vacuum cleaner is good for cleaning up wet and/or dry debris. Can be used inside or outside. It comes in a variety of sizes and is a very diverse useful tool.