Essential Power Tools for Homeowners

It’s been said that the difference between a professional repair person and an amateur is in the tools that are used. The matter is still a source of controversy, but one thing is certain: Having the correct tool for the job makes a project faster, easier and more enjoyable. On this list, you’ll find some of the best power tools for homeowners.

  • A cordless driver/drill is one of the power tools every man should have. There are many companies manufacturing these tools, and you really do get what you pay for in most cases. However, there are reasonable values out there for homeowners who only intend to use the tool occasionally. Good choices come from companies like Skil, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt and Craftsman.


  • A skil (circular) saw is ideal for rough framing, cutting plywood, and for general cutting chores. These saws are known for their rugged durability, and even a bottom-of-the-line model can last for many years.


  • Compound miter saws may take some homeowners by surprise as far as usefulness is concerned. These saws make clean, square cuts every time, and they do so more quickly than other types of saws. Consider getting a saw with a minimum of a 10″ blade to cut the widest variety of framing materials.


  • A reciprocating saw is sometimes referred to as a “sawzall”, and it can handle a variety of jobs. For cutting metal, remodeling, demolition and the odd automotive project, these are some of the top power tools out there. With a steady hand and some practice, you can get straight, clean cuts with a reciprocating saw.

Kawasaki Reciprocating Saw

  • A table saw can be expensive, but even a basic model will quickly pay for itself in terms of versatility and usefulness. Commonly called a “contractor’s saw”, these tools have attached stands but can easily be moved from place to place. Unless you’re doing precision work such as cabinetry, a portable table saw is good enough for most jobs.


  • A belt sander is made for sanding long, straight pieces, but it has many “off label” uses. Turn it upside down, and you have a quick and easy way to sharpen hatchets or shape wooden parts. Even the cheapest models work great for occasional use.


  • An air compressor is the king of versatile tools. From inflating a football to powering an air wrench, an air compressor is a must-have. For most homeowners, a small air compressor is sufficient, but prolonged use may require the purchase of a larger model.


The tools listed above should give you a good start on your home improvement shopping list. It sounds like a lot of money, but it may help to think of it in terms of saving every time you DON’T have to call in a pro. There’s tremendous satisfaction in doing the work yourself, and having the right tools can make any job easier.