Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Right Power Tools For Beginner Woodworkers

Power tools come in hundreds of models, purposes, brands, settings, and more. The variety can be compared to computer software: they are made to do certain tasks amazingly and others not at all. You need to know what you want to do exactly before you purchase a tool. As a beginner woodworker, the best power tools to purchase shouldn't be too specialized. You'll want a tool that you can utilize in multiple projects to get the most use and practice out of it.

The most common tools which we would consider "must haves" because they are required for so many purposes are:

1. Drill

A drill is a power tool that is an essential for any tool collection. It's main purpose is to drill holes into a surface using drill bits that are specific sizes. A more versatile version is the drill driver. With this you can switch out drill bits for driver bits (bits that fit into screw heads) and also loosen or tighten screws. Just explaining what a drill does should make you realize that hole-making and screw-driving will be very frequent occurrences in woodwork, making this tool a necessity.

2. Circular Saw

The Bosch CCS180 Circular Saw, part of the CLPK430-181 Combo Kit (on sale now)

When it comes to cutting tools, you'll want one that is versatile. The circular saw, out of all the power saws, is the best to start out with. A circular saw can cut wood, and when you're more experienced and feeling adventurous: concrete, metal, and more. Just do your research on which blade to use for each surface. A big selling point: it's handheld, allowing for portability. In use, it slides above the wood being cut while pulling the wood with the blade. This saw is easy to use and cut straight lines with, but it's important to properly measure and mark what you are cutting. A corded circular saw is better than cordless because it has superior cutting power and you won't ever have to replace a battery. Just make sure you keep the cord out of the blades way!

3. Random Orbit Sander 

If you're going to be doing many DIY woodwork projects, a sander is not a want, it's a need. There are many power sanders available, but the random orbit sander is probably the most versatile one out there. Don't get it confused with the Orbital Sander because they're very different. The random orbit  is great because it's easy to control and it's also difficult to damage your project with unless you intentionally try. It's called a random orbit because it sands by vibrating in tiny circles while also moving in different directions. This multi-directional sanding results in an ultra smooth finished surface. Another reason to choose this sander is switching the abrasives is easy. They take hook and loop discs, which are the more expensive option, however, they are essentially like using Velcro. Very quick. Best part is they can be re-used if the sandpaper is not worn all the way out. A cheaper option is pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) abrasives. Like stickers, these peel and stick on to the sander. These cannot be removed and reused, they're better off being used until completely worn before removing to minimize waste.

4. Jig Saw

For beginners that want to cut wood into curves and shapes, a jig saw is the perfect power tool to accomplish this goal. This tool can also cut straight, but it requires a very, very steady hand so I wouldn't recommend buying a jig saw for this purpose. Using a jig saw is pretty straight forward. For a beginner, and even when you become experienced, tracing what you are cutting onto the wood will reduce the risk of wasting wood or possible making mistakes in spacing that can't be undone. We recommend a corded jig saw, where you have maximum power and unlimited run time (no waiting on a battery to charge mid-cutting).

5. Miter Saw

This saw is always being debated as the "most used saw" and it's usually put up against the circular saw when beginners are trying to decide which one they should buy first. They are very different as you can tell in the images. A miter saw is a stationary tool that has the spinning blade attached to a movable arm. The arm is adjustable so it can be used in different angles.The miter saw is better for precision, however, with the blade not being very big, they cannot cut anything that's more than a foot wide. This is why the circular saw has higher priority on our list.

There you have it, our recommendations for tools you should start your collection with. Edmonton has had some chilly weather lately, HOWEVER next week we're supposed to get a few days with highs of +17 degrees Celsius!  This is the perfect time to get outside or open up those garage doors and get the ball rolling on that list of projects. Right now we are having a huge sale on power tools by Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee, and Bosch (see flyer by clicking here). If you're just starting out, come by Edmonton Fasteners and our experts will answer all your questions and find the right power tools for you, whether it's high end or low end, cordless or corded, etc.Thank you for stopping by and we hope to see you in our next post!

1 comment:

  1. My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! Joeri


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