6 Must-Have Power Tools for the Serious Home Renovator

Whether it’s converting an attic into a complete bedroom or installing new cabinets in the kitchen, home renovation projects are hard work. You must measure walls and corners, install fasteners, make adjustments and more. And if you make a mistake, you might be forced to start over. The right power tools, however, can streamline your renovation projects, allowing you to quickly and efficiently upgrade your home.

1. Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is an invaluable tool for serious home renovators. Typically featuring either a nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion rechargeable battery, their primary function is to bore pilot holes into wood and other materials. Most cordless drills support a variety of bits, so you can use them to insert screws into newly created pilot holes as well. Just remember to keep your cordless drill charged or invest in a backup battery.

2. Cordless Screwdriver

Many home renovators simply use a power drill to extract or insert screws. While this usually works, a cordless screwdriver is the preferred choice among serious renovators and builders because it performs fewer revolutions per minute. This makes them easier and more comfortable to use. Keep in mind that cordless screwdrivers aren’t as powerful as cordless drills. Therefore, you shouldn’t use them to drive screws into solid materials. Only use them to extract or insert screws.

3. Air Compressor

Some tools are designed to support the function of other tools. An air compressor, for example, is a versatile power tool that’s used for pneumatic staple guns, nail guns, paint sprayers, water hoses and more. Without an air compressor, you won’t be able to use any of these tools. Air compressors feature an electric or gasoline motor that compresses air to a specific pressure. While all air compressors perform this action, there are different available, including twin-stack, wheelbarrow and pan cake style.

4. Belt Sander

A belt sander will allow you to buff and refinish surfaces in your home renovation projects. This handheld, motorized power tool features two small cylinders on the bottom that hold sandpaper. When turned on, the sandpaper moves rapidly against any surface on which it’s placed to remove the outer layer of material. After the outer layer has been removed, apply your surface preferred finish. You can use a belt sander to refinish floors, cabinets, doors and furniture. For most projects, it’s recommended that you start with a high-grit sandpaper and gradually transition to a low-grit paper to achieve the smoothest finished texture.

5. Nail Gun

Also known as a nailer, a nail gun is a handheld power tool that drives nails into wood and other materials. Most nail guns are driven by compressed air though some use butane or other flammable gases. Regardless of type, all nail guns make driving nails into floors, walls and ceilings a breeze.

6. Circular Saw

A circular saw is a power tool that uses a circular, metallic disc to cut through material. Power supplied from either a connected electrical outlet or battery spin the metallic disc. When the spinning disc is placed against a surface, such as a 2-by-4, it creates a clean, smooth cut through the material. Without a circular saw or any other powered saw, you’ll have to cut materials the old way: using a hacksaw. This is incredibly tedious and inefficient for home renovation projects, so add a circular saw to your toolbox.

For serious home renovators, a hammer and manual screwdriver isn’t going to cut it. Invest in these power tools to streamline your renovation projects.

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