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Whether you are a homeowner with projects to complete or a professional tradesman, power tools are a valuable investment. Power saws, drills, grinders, and other equipment and accessories can help you to finish any job quickly and correctly. Most types of power tools are available from a wide variety of brands.
Common Types of Power Tools
Having the right tool for the job could mean the difference between finishing the job today or finishing it tomorrow (or even starting over). Some of the most common power tools are:
- Circular saws: A circular saw rotates a round flat blade to cut wood, metal, or even plastic, depending on the type of blade that is being used. These saws have a bevel to adjust the depth of the cut. This is one of the most commonly used saws in construction projects. Circular saws may rely on a rechargeable battery or be plugged into an electrical outlet.
- Impact drivers: An impact driver relies on a hammer mechanism that pushes it forward while it spins. Impact drivers are often used to drill holes into harder materials, such as hardwood, metal, and concrete. Impact drivers only drill specialised holes for screws or drive the screw into the material. You can also use a nut driver bit or a socket to zoom through assembly work.
- Grinders: Grinding machines, or grinders, are a type of cutting tool that uses an abrasive wheel as a cutting edge. There are two main types of grinders: bench grinders and angle grinders. Bench grinders are often used to finish workpieces in order to give the piece a high-quality surface and shape. Angle grinders are handheld grinders used for cutting, polishing, and sanding.
- Rotary tools: A rotary tool is a handheld power tool with a rotating tip that comes with a variety of tips and accessories. Rotary tools are used for etching material, sanding, rust removal, and even polishing. Many rotary tools are battery operated, but some have a corded option.
- Miter saws: A miter saw is mounted on a rotating arm that allows you to make cuts at angles with ease. This is an essential tool for complex woodworking, allowing you to create moldings, countertops, door frames, and other detailed wood products.
- Jigsaws: A jigsaw is a convenient handheld power tool that allows you to make quick, easy cuts in almost any type of wood. Jigsaws are used to make freehand cuts in either a straight or angled line.
- Heat guns: A heat gun is a handheld device that is used to blow hot air to dry paint or adhesive.
- Nail gun: A nail gun is a power tool used for quickly and efficiently pounding nails into objects. They may be powered by a rechargeable battery or air compressor, or they may be electric.
Pros and Cons of Cordless Power Tools
A debate that began with the invention of cordless power tools, which is better: cordless or corded power tools? Let’s look at the main advantages and disadvantages of using cordless power tools:
- Pros: Almost every power tool today comes with a lithium ion battery. These batteries can hold a lot of power. Cordless power tools are often lighter in weight, which means they can be used for longer periods of time. Many batteries are also interchangeable with other power tools of the same brand. The batteries are often quickly and easily recharged. Cordless tools are easier to use on a job site because they do not require a secondary power source. Cordless power tools offer greater flexibility when working on outdoor projects. Cordless power tools have a clear advantage for any mobile contractor or business. Storage is another big advantage to cordless power tools. Things like cordless drills and impact drivers can be placed inside a drawer without worrying about all of the cords getting tangled. Most cordless tools come with storage containers. You can buy a combo kit that includes several tools and one or more batteries that can be used with each tool. Combo kits often mean you get multiple tools you need and pay less per tool!
- Cons: Even though battery life for cordless tools has advanced greatly in recent years, they don’t last forever. This means that you may have to charge the battery at an inconvenient time, which could result in lost worktime. This can be annoying when you or someone else forgets to put the battery back on the charger. Also, the battery creates extra weight and bulk. While most modern lithium ion batteries are lighter weight than their predecessors, they are still extra weight and can cause additional fatigue. It’s likely that you’ll need to purchase a backup battery or a replacement battery. The batteries aren’t always inexpensive.
Finding the Right Power Tool for the Job
When it comes to home maintenance, it’s important to have the right power tools on hand. The best power tools for home maintenance are:
- Table saws: A table saw uses a similar blade to that of a circular saw connected to an arbor. The difference is that a table saw’s blade comes up from the middle of a flat surface. The flat surface provides support for the material being cut. Table saws are mostly used for woodworking. You can adjust the height of the blade to adjust the depth of cuts being made. Table saws often include with guides to help when making the same cut on multiple pieces of wood. All table saws are corded.
- Impact wrenches: Impact wrenches are also known as impact guns, air wrenches, air guns, torque guns, and impactors. It is a socket wrench power tool. This impact wrench delivers high torque output with ease. Most impact wrenches use an air compressor. However, electric or hydraulic impact wrenches also exist.
- Staple guns: Staple guns are handheld power tools used to drive heavy staples into various materials. Some of these staple guns are manually operated, but others use batteries, cords, and air compressors as power sources.
- Power drill: A power drill is a useful multi-functional tool for any toolbox. A drill can not only drill holes in the wall, but with the right accessories, it can also act as a screwdriver, a circular saw, a socket wrench, a hole cutter, and numerous other tools. Drills are available in corded or cordless models with batteries.