The Best Power Drills & Other Tools
DIY… Now there’s a loaded acronym if ever I heard one. These days home improvement is big business, and somewhat of a cliche, but it’s also great fun. The sense of achievement that we get from carrying out fixing and improvement tasks around the home all by ourselves is absolutely enormous. If you don’t believe me then you only need to try it for yourself, but perhaps therein lies the problem. If you’re one of those people who loves the idea of getting stuck in, but don’t have the first clue about how to actually do it, and what tools to use, then we can help.
The fact is, the market is absolutely saturated with drills, sanders, saws and whatever else you can think of that are supposed to make your DIY life easier. The trouble is, unless you know what to look for in a tool, or what tool you need for the job then things can quickly get over whelming and very frustrating, especially if you’re staring at shelves and pages full of (what seems like) the same thing.
On this site our primary aim is to help you make the right choice when shopping for power tools, and whether you’re after the best drill, or best jigsaw to suit your needs we can help you make take away at least some of the anxiety of making that decision.
We’re also very proud of our blog, in here you’ll not only find reviews of tools and equipment, but also plenty of ideas for putting them to good use, and how to stay safe when working on DIY projects. Whether you need to overcome DIY procrastination or want to learn how to build a picnic table ready in time for summer, then our blog has it all.
The consumer world really sprang into action back in the 1950’s and since that time every conceivable product to aid in our daily lives has found its way into our homes, with power tools being no exception. Tasks that require the use of power tools have long been thought of as the bread and butter of tradesman, be that saws for joiners or drills for electricians, and whilst it’s true that for some jobs there is no substitute for the skills of a qualified professional, for others there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t get stuck in and have a go yourself. There are many benefits to carrying out DIY, not least because, as mentioned previously the satisfaction it brings, but also because of the cost savings it provides you long term. These days money is tighter than ever, so anything to take some of the burden away from your long suffering wallet can’t be ignored.
Besides buying and using your own tools, you should also be conscious of the fact that over a life time you stand to use them time and again on a variety of different projects, and it’s for this reason that we strongly recommend buying quality. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of buying cheap tools, telling yourself that you ‘only need them once’. Anyone who has ever done this will tell you from experience that it never works out that way, and if you find yourself reaching for your drill 6 months after you bought and first used it, only to find that it doesn’t work or quickly breaks, then you’ll soon understand why. So again, buy quality, it will save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run!
Drills are perhaps the staple of the power tool world, the ability to put holes in things is necessary for a whole variety of tasks, from hanging pictures to joining roof trusses. Because of this range of applications, it shouldn’t be a great surprise to learn that there are power drills suitable for every scenario, but typically we categorise the work into two broad types:
· Light Duty
· Heavy Duty
Typically heavy duty work involves drilling into masonry, stone and thick timber, the kind of work that you’d need to do if you were carrying out building work. The type of drill typically used for this type of work is a hammer, or impact drill. When using this type of drill you will notice greater vibration as the drill not only rotates but also has a ‘hammering’ action to aid in boring through the material.
The next step down from the impact drill is what’s known as a ‘percussion’ or ‘combi’ drill, and as the name suggests, typically this type is seen as a good ‘all rounder’, largely because of its ability to switch between both impact mode, and standard high torque mode for use as a drill and electric screw driver
At the lightest duty end of the spectrum is what’s known as a ‘drill driver’, and again the clue is on the name. Usually this type of drill has a chuck designed to fit both a range of drill bits and also screw driver tips (typically these are supplied). Advantages over using this type of drill for its ‘electric screw driving’ ability often include a clutch mechanism to prevent you from inadvertently over tightening screws, and a reversing mechanism to allow you to remove screws as well as fit them.
Besides these broad subtypes, there are lots of other little variations between one manufacturer and the next, cordless drills, 12 volt and 18 volt varieties, and design variations including weight the weight and overall feel of the drill. Which you choose will come down to what you need the drill for in the first place, as well as your own personal preferences, so be sure to have a good look through our reviews to get a good idea of what’s on offer before deciding which is the best drill for you.
Second only to the power drill, the power sander is another massive time saver for any self respecting DIY’er, long gone are the days where elbow grease (and a fair amount of sweat on the brow) were the only ways you could hope to achieve smooth sanded surfaces and edges.
Sanders come in 3 broad sub types, Random Orbital Sanders, Belt Sanders, and Disc Sanders, and of these Random Orbital and Belt sanders are by far the most popular among consumers.
Broadly speaking, if you only have small amount of sanding to do, or the frequency with which you will need to sand is minimal, then it’s probably safe to opt for using an orbital sander, which although not as powerful as the other types, still take a lot of the strain away from your weary arms. Belt sanders on the other hand are the F1 cars of the sanding world, with the best belt sanders adept at quickly sanding down large flat surfaces in a matter of minutes. The biggest drawback, as you might expect, is that belt sanders retail generally at a higher price to orbital sanders, and are more expensive to maintain with the added cost of sanding belts over the more simplistic sheets of sandpaper that orbital sanders use.
Perhaps third in line to the power tool throne is the jigsaw, able to make short work of cutting complex shapes from sheet material, carrying out the equivalent task by hand with a coping saw can be excruciating slow going, so jigsaws are a real time saver.
Like other power tools, jigsaws are available in both corded and cordless varieties, and vary in terms of several factors including the cutting action of the blade (with some being faster and more aggressive), as well how effectively they remove sawdust from the vicinity of the blade, and the means by which the blade is removed and replaced.
As the middle ground between the humble coping saw, and the more industrial band saw, jigsaws are the ideal intermediary to assist with DIY cutting activities
Whereas Jigsaws are designed to tackle irregular cuts, mitre saws are firmly designed with straightness and accuracy in mind.