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Essential Power Tools for Builders and Tradesmen

14/10/2011 3:42:47 PM

Custom builders and professional tradesmen are only as proficient and efficient as the tools they use to perfect their trade.

Custom builders and professional tradesmen are only as proficient and efficient as the tools they use to perfect their trade. Tools are evolving and improving daily, but there are still a few basic tools that are must-haves for construction and carpentry. 

These basic tools come in large varieties and many are chosen due to personal preference. Long-time builders tend to use their tried and true tools. Newcomers to the construction industry are more apt to see what is new to the market and give it a try. The basic category of tools stays the same, but there are many versions of the same tool.

Here is a list of the top essential tools for builders and tradesmen listed in order of their popularity.


Cordless Drill 

This particular tool can be used for many jobs for example drilling holes of many sizes into several different types of materials. Attachments are available for this tool to be used as a screwdriver, sander, steel brush paint removers, etc. You can also get circular attachments for cutting holes into surfaces. There are several different manufacturers of the cordless drill. Some are lightweight/light duty drills; others are heavyweight/heavy duty for large jobs. They come with two rechargeable batteries. 


Best Value Cordless Drills for Professionals

1. DeWalt DC720KA

2. Makita BDF452HW

3. Bosch 36618-02


Best Hammer Drill

1. DeWalt DCD970KL

2. DeWalt DCD950KX

3. Hitachi DV18DL


Best Compact Drill

1. Hitachi DS10DL

2. Makita DF030DW

3. DeWalt DCD710S2


Best Impact Driver

1. Makita BTD144

2. Bosch 25618-02

3. Hitachi WH18DL


Best Corded Electric Drill

1. Milwaukee 0201-20

2. Hitachi D10VF

3. DeWalt DWD115K


Nail Guns

A nail gun is used to drive nails into whatever product you are working with. The nail goes in with one push of the trigger. This greatly speeds up the progress of your construction job. Long strips of nails are loaded into the nail gun. These are powered by air compressors, pneumatics or electromagnetism. It’s a little inconvenient to lug air compressors to your job area, but that is quickly forgotten when labour, time and money are conserved. Do not attempt to operate a nail gun until you have read the safety instructions and are wearing the safety equipment recommended.


Best Cordless Nail Guns

1. Black & Decker FS180sBNB

2. DeWalt D51238 K

3. Paslode CF 325

4. DeWalt DC628K XRP

5. Hitachi NR90GR



Different cuts require different blades and saws to do the job. Here is a list of saws generally used in and around construction areas.


1. Jigsaw – this is a hand held saw used for creating patterns and customizing specific cuts for many uses.

a. Bosch 1590 EVSK – best value

b. Hitachi CJ110 MW – best corded jigsaw

c. Craftsman 17235 – best no frills jigsaw

d. Festool Trion PSB300 EQ – best overall jigsaw


2. Circular saw – these have a circular blade and are used for cutting a straight line. They are equipped with many safety features and some have a laser line feature that takes the guess work out of line of sight cutting. Blades are available for cutting many different types of materials in varying widths, such a wood, plastics and metals.


Best Cordless Circular Saws

a. Makita BSS610 LXT

b. DeWalt DC390B

c. Milwaukee 073-22 V28

d. Ridgid R845 


Best Corded Circular Saws

a. Makita 5007MG

b. MK Morse CSM9MB

c. Festool TS 55

d. Akia 5007NK


3. Reciprocating saw – heavy duty saw for cutting through metal, tree limbs, etc. These have large blades and work using a push/pull motion. 


Best Corded Reciprocating Saws

a. Milwaukee 6536-21

b. DeWalt DW304PK

c. Milwaukee 6520-21

d. Dewalt DW310K


These are considered the most essential power tools for all tradesmen. But remember, you should never handle power tools without following the proper safety precautions. Let's discuss a few of these precautions now.


Tool Safety and Maintenance

There is always going to be other essential tools that deal directly with the job you are doing, such as masonry, plumbing, cabinetry, electrical, etc. and etc. An essential tool is one that lets you perform a particular function with ease and precision. It is critical that you take care of the tools that you own, more important than that is to use your tools safely at all times. Unfortunately sometimes tools are mishandled or used carelessly and accidents occur. On many worksites OSHA rules are posted and personnel show up unannounced to check that the rules are being followed. The best course of action is to be proactive and lead by example. Using and wearing proper safety equipment is not an imposition it is a vital part of performing your job.


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