9 Lessons Learned: Gear

Five Most Basic Power Tools Every Newbie Should Have

If you’re an amateur trying to keep your house in shape yourself, you’ve likely heard about the usefulness of power tools, why you need some, and how to buy them smart. You will find tips everywhere on the Internet – buy refurbished tools, compare prices, wait out for discounts, get tools that use the same battery, etc. etc. etc.

One question that doesn’t get covered as often is, what power tools should you get started with as a newbie DIY-er? Here are five suggestions:


If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll get a drill/driver before anything else. Which is absolutely reasonable since you’ll be using it for the most common of tasks around the house, like hanging pictures on the wall. Start with something built on intuitive technology that instantly determines when a screw is flush with wood. It usually has no physical clutch since the tool can make the adjustments itself.

Random Orbital Sander

Love woodworking? A power sander couldn’t be more useful. Sandpaper and a sanding block should work great for small areas or some fine sanding, but for larger flat areas such as table tops, you need a power sander. Get one with variable speed and a dust bag to help you control the mess.


While often used to cut curves and shapes, a jigsaw is also useful for making straight cuts with a guide. You may not be able to rip long plywood sheets with it, but it’s still preferable to a circular saw overall. For more control over accuracy and speed, buy a jigsaw that comes with different orbital settings.

Rotary Tool

A rotary tool can be used for grinding, sanding, polishing, cutting and practically all types of minor repairs in the house. The secret is having a lot of attachments and accessories. There are many high quality brands whose kits come with everything you need to get started.

Cordless Screwdriver

Yes, it’s possible to driving screws using a cordless drill/diver as long as you have the right bit on it, and it’s the best tool you can have for tougher work, like driving a screw into a stud. But you can store a cordless screwdriver in a kitchen drawer so that it’s easier to find when anyone in the family needs it. To put it simply, this tool can save you the energy and frustration that usually come with using an old, outdated screwdriver. Get a cordless screwdriver with an adjustable handle as it will be more useful.

As you probably know, there is a whole world of power tools out there for you to explore. But for starters, the above will more than enough to get you in your rhythm.

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