DIY Basics

My Essential DIY Power Tools List (Revised 12-2015)

Last Updated on March 28, 2019 by

I’ve written a couple of other posts in the past about my essential DIY power tools list, but I find that as I tackle new and different projects, and as I acquire new tools myself, my recommendations change.  Since I’ve been asked about my recommendations a few times recently, I thought it might be time to update my power tools list.  So here are my top choices.

1.  Miter Saw

A miter saw will always and forever be my #1 top choice as the most essential DIY power tool.  If you can only afford one power tool, or if you’re buying them one at a time in order of importance, make your first purchase a miter saw.

My father-in-law surprised me with a new miter saw on his last visit, and he got me this Ryobi 10-inch sliding compound miter saw. I absolutely love it. I had owned and used the previous model, and it had some design and accuracy issues, but all of those issues were fixed with the design of this new model.

#1 on my list of essential tools - Ryobi 10 inch sliding miter saw.

A 10-inch saw, especially if it’s a sliding saw (which allows you to cut larger items) is about all most DIYers need.  I’ve never owned anything other than a 10-inch miter saw, and as long as it slides, you can cut items up to about 14 inches wide.

Miter saws are invaluable tools if you’re cutting and installing baseboards, framing doorways, installing crown moulding, etc.  You can do quite a bit of home improvement with nothing but a miter saw, hammer, and nails.

2.  Air Compressor and Nail Gun

While it’s completely possible to install baseboards, crown moulding, and frame out doorways with a hammer and nails (I did that for many years myself), an air compressor with a nail gun will make your life so much easier, and will allow you to do those projects in a fraction of the time.

My first air compressor/nail gun combo was a cheap Campbell Hausfeld that I purchased at Lowe’s for $99.  It was okay, and got the job done.  But then a couple of years ago, I treated myself to a new air compressor and nail gun combo, and I got this Porter Cable 6-gallon 150-PSI compressor* that comes with a 16-gauge finishing nail gun that shoots up to 2.5-inch nails, an 18-gauge finishing nail gun that shoots up to 2-inch nails, and a staple gun.

#2 on the DIY power tools list - air compressor and nail gun

The difference in quality between this compressor and my first cheap one was immediately noticeable.  I love this thing, and find that I use it several times a week.  I use both nail guns regularly, depending on the project, so I would certainly recommend having both.

I don’t use the staple gun very often, but I could not have made my upholstered headboard without that staple gun. So while I don’t use it very often (simply because I do far fewer upholstery projects than I do wood working projects), I’m so glad I have it for when I do tackle those upholstery projects.

3.  5-inch Rotary Sander

No DIYer should be without a 5-inch rotary sander, and I’m pretty sure I have found the best one.  Until recently, I always bought the cheapest ones (whatever the blue brand is for about $35), but my last one stopped working during my kitchen remodel, so I decided to get a nicer one.  I bought this DeWalt variable speed sander*, and it’s amazing.

#3 - a 5-inch rotary sander.

I never really knew that there was such a difference in quality among sanders, but there is.  I’ll never go back to the super cheap things again after using this one.  It’s a variable speed sander, it’s not super heavy, and it sands so beautifully.  I highly recommend it for your DIY power tools list.

You can get larger sanders.  When we moved into our house, I purchased a 6-inch DeWalt variable speed sander, thinking I would use it on so many projects and get them done faster with a larger sander.  The problem is that the 6-inch sander was so heavy and bulky and powerful that I was forced to use two hands to use it.  (5-inch sanders are often called palm sanders because they’re small and require one hand to use.)  Quite honestly, I hated it, and would never recommend it.  A 5-inch sander is generally all that any DIYer will need.

4.  Dremel Multi-Max

I’m constantly finding uses for my Dremel Multi-Max*. It’s one of those tools that I use several times a week now, and wonder how the heck I made it all those years without one.

#4 top tool recommendation for DIYers - the Dremel Multi-Max MM30

The Dremel Multi-Max is an oscillating saw, which means that the blade vibrates back and forth at a very high speed.  The small flat blade allows you to cut things that you just wouldn’t be able to cut with any other tool.  In addition to cutting, you can also use it for detail sanding.

When I removed the wall in my kitchen and had to cut the thick 3/4-inch paneling flush with the ceiling in the breakfast room, this is what I used.  I also used it to remove the panels from my kitchen cabinet doors so that I could add glass.  I used it when installing my hardwood floor in the kitchen to quickly remove misfired cleats.  I used it to cut the panels out of the rolling doors so that I could add fretwork.  And most recently, I’ve used it to patch my hardwood floor in areas where I’ve widened or added a doorway. But I can’t even list all of the uses for this thing. I honestly find myself reaching for this tool several times a week now. I heartuly recommend adding a Dremel Multi-Max to your DIY power tools list.

5.  Paint Sprayer

There are so many different sprayers on the market, and they can get pretty expensive. But if you’re only painting cabinets, furniture, and small projects, then all you need is a Critter Siphon Gun*.  It uses regular pint size Mason jars, which is incredibly convenient.  You can fill up two or three jars before you start your project so that you won’t have to stop and refill, and if you have any leftover, just pop a lid on it and store the jar.  I absolutely love this thing.

#5 top tool recommendation for DIYers - paint sprayer

It’s very inexpensive, but you do need an air compressor to hook it up to.  The air compressor I have (the one listed above) will work wonderfully with this sprayer.

I used this sprayer to paint all of my kitchen cabinets, and it did such a beautiful job.  It sprays a finer mist of paint than most sprayers, so you’re less likely to get runs and drips in your paint.  So far, I’ve used this to spray oil-based primer, latex paint, and water-based polyurethane.  I did find that it sprays the oil-based primer better if I add a bit of paint thinner to it (not much!!), but I don’t water down my paint at all.  I just use it straight out of the can (paint that has previously been opened needs to be strained* as you pour it into the jar), and it does a great job.  It sprays polyurethane beautifully as well.

Please note: This sprayer isn’t for huge jobs like spraying walls, ceilings, and house exteriors.  For those big jobs, you would want a sprayer that shoots more paint.  But this sprayer is perfect for painting cabinets, furniture, and smaller projects.

6.  Circular Saw

A table saw is preferable, but for those who don’t have room for a table saw, or who just don’t want to spend the money on a table saw, a circular saw will do*.  After years of DIYing without a table saw and relying solely on my circular saw, I finally got a table saw. But I still find that there are times when using my circular saw is faster and more convenient.

#6 top tool recommendations - circular saw

This is the tool that you’ll use to make long, straight cuts, like if you’re cutting pieces of plywood or MDF for a project.  But in order to make those straight cuts, you’ll also need a long, straight fence (I generally use a piece of 1 x 4 lumber) and a couple of C-clamps* to hold the fence in place while you’re cutting.

This is one of those tools that I think a basic model will do.  There’s no need to spend a lot of money here.  There are no fancy bells and whistles that you’ll need on a circular saw.  As long as you can push the button and the blade spins, it’ll be just fine.  The thing that will determine how well it cuts is the type of blade you put on it.

7.  Jigsaw

Honestly, most DIYers can do without this, but a jigsaw* is one of my favorite tools, so I’m adding it to my list.  But obviously, there are other more important tools to spend your money on.  Save this one until you’ve bought the really essential ones.

#7 - Dewalt jigsaw

This is what I used to cut out the circle fretwork panels for my French doors, as well as the frame for the scalloped mirror that I made for the condo.

For years, I’ve used a very old workhorse of a jigsaw that belonged to my dad, and possibly belonged to my grandfather before that. That thing was solid and cut straight as an arrow. But the motor finally started going out, so I purchased a new jigsaw. I purchased a Skilsaw that cost around $50, and the thing was a piece of junk. I tried cutting the scallops for my niece’s bedroom built-ins, and the thing nearly brought me to tears because the blade wouldn’t cut straight up and down. Any side pressure on the blade at all (which is inevitable when cutting curves with a jigsaw) caused the blade to bend to the left or right, meaning that my cuts were angled through the wood, rather than straight up and down through the wood . Fortunately, I was able to get the old one to work long enough to get the job done.

All of that to say that if you plan on doing any fine detail cutting with your jigsaw, you’ll want to spend some money on it and get a really good one. Don’t bother with the cheap ones. My next one will probably be the Dewalt pictured above, or one very similar to it.

8. Table Saw

Last, but certainly not least, on my DIY power tools list… the table saw. I put off buying a table saw because I thought I needed an expensive one, and I made it just fine for years with just a circular saw. Boy, was I wrong! I actually ended up winning one in a contest, but it’s a relatively inexpensive Ryobi table saw that comes with a stand*, and so far it has done every single thing that I’ve needed it to do. This is another tool that I wonder how I lived without it for so long.

#8 and last on my essential diy power tools list - a Ryobi table saw.

After DIYing for so many years without a table saw, I can’t even express how nice it is to finally have one! Being able to set it at a certain measurement, and then cut several things knowing that they’re all going to be exactly the same, is worth every penny of the price. I couldn’t have done my music room ceiling or my bathroom ceiling without a table saw.

So that’s my current essential power tools list for DIYers.  If you’re a DIYer, and there’s a tool you highly recommend that I’ve left out, let me know!

*Affiliate links

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Thanks, Kristi, this is a great list to have. The right tools make any job go easier and faster and give the final result a professional look. Shall we start calling you Toolwoman? argh, argh, argh… 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan B
    September 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Get recommendations Kristi. Can I also add that if you can afford to splurge for the mitre saw stand. Mine is a DeWalt with a stand and when I have to use the one without the stand I think I am going crazy. I also have the same nail guns — you will use the nail gun if you build cabinets or bookshelves that need backs.

    When you use the circular saw do you have a guide? We bought a table saw because I can’t cut straight with a circular saw, and that circular saw scares me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 17, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Smaller tool that are essential are level,good tape measure and a speed square. They are really helpful. Oh a sanding block to take off the little extra if you cut a little crooked.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    September 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

    The Kreg Jig!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      C.B. McDuff
      September 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      This was the one that I have been thinking aobut adding – It seems to be a much needed “gathering” tool. What is your opinion on a Kreg-Jig and which is the best to start out with?

      BTW —- LOVE those DOORS!!!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Cheryl Smith-Bell
        December 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

        This is what she left out! I got the master system, that sells at Lowes and Home Depo. The only thing you’ll need is a bigger box of screws, there is only about 10 of each type in the kit. It is really simple and works great. I highly recommend it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Daphne Fallis
    September 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I am totally renovating a 3 story Victorian house (saved from becoming a parking lot!!) and one tool that I have that is essential when working on bathrooms and backsplashes is my tile saw. I have an inexpensive (less than $100) one that has worked well for me and I couldn’t do these projects without it!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      I’m going to start a tile good next week. Which tile saw do you have?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for the list.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 17, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Happy to say I have them all! (not all the same brands, but some) In fact, my old sander pooped out on me a few weeks ago (might have had something to do with me leaving it out in the rain!) so I replaced with the DeWalt you got. It’s great. I love tools. But not so much the Porter Cable Belt Sander I thought I needed to do my kitchen floors. Within 10 mins I had broken two fingers with it and totally took off a nail. I know, ewwww. That baby was WAY outta my league. Back to Home Depot it went. Hand is still healing. Thank goodness it was NOT my dominant hand. Cuz I can still sand my floors with one hand on my DeWalt. 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeanne in Austin
    September 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Good list, Kristi. Suggestions: I would highly recommend adding an 80-tooth sawblade to the miter saw. It will make cuts so fine and splinter free that you will hardly need to sand them. Add the same for the circular saw if you want fine, rather than fast, cuts.

    The second tool that I use all the time is a benchtop drill press. They are quite inexpensive and can drill all kinds of holes in all kinds of materials. And they will drill at precisely 90° (or at an angle if you tilt the table). I mounted mine on a small kitchen cabinet, so I have room for my drill bits and stuff.

    I also highly recommend adding a table saw when you can afford it. Cuts will be much more precise and even, and it is a lot safer (use the blade guard) and more comfortable to use than a circular saw.

    My last suggestion for a “tool” is Craig’s List. I have gotten a number of tools (drill press, scroll saw, clamps, etc.) at really good prices that I couldn’t afford if I had had to pay full price.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mindy Dye
    September 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I was shocked that you didn’t list a drill. When I have to buy new power tools, I tend to go towards any that are battery operated (preferably lithium). I have found it’s much easier to not deal with cords and/or extension cords when doing DIY projects. I LOVE my RYOBI cordless drill and cordless nail/staple gun.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Betsey A Freyberger
      September 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      My husband loves the Ryobi lithium battery tools. One battery for every tool!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lisa E
      December 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

      That’s exactly what I was going to add because I use the screw driver bit the most out of all of my power tools for every day stuff.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Great list, thank you! And I appreciate the added tools in many of the comments. Lol…I’ve come a long way in the last couple of years from only having a rechargeable screwdriver and a hammer 🙂 I have the sliding compound miter saw, circular saw and a power drill. Next three up in no special order are a nail gun with compressor, paint sprayer and the Dremel Multi-Max! For now I borrow a friend’s jig saw. The small non-power items I use regularly are a square, a tape measure & a stud finder.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Great list…..great products!!
    If you have the funds, a jig saw with orbital action is great….most of them have keyless blades too, which is wonderful!!
    C.B. Mcduff, the Kreg jigs make life a lot easier too!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    I look forward to reading your posts every week. Your down to earth explanations and out of the box approach to DIY has really inspired me to start a few of my own projects. This no nonsense list is exactly what I needed to get started! Thanks for taking the time to give such thoughtful descriptions of each of the tools and giving great reccomendations for affordable, quality, products. You have saved me from a huge headache at the home improvement store. Now I feel like I know what I need to get my projects complete without throwing my money away on tools that are too expense or chintzy. Happy DIYing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Good article, Kristi. My husband has taught me a lot about power tools over the last 28 years! The first thing I learned was about quality. Buy the best you can afford because, as you learned, any brand of a specific tool does the same basic function but they DON’T all do it with the same result. That’s were the quality comes in and shows itself. although any circular saw or table saw will cut and your project determines the blade needed. Remember, dull blades and using the incorrect blade causes injuries as well as inferior work. I found a lot of my information on tools and their ratings from Consumer reports and, most of time, through woodworking, construction, and tool sites and magazines. Since hubby had subscriptions to several magazines I got familiar with them and their content. Otherwise, I’m not certain I would ever have known about them. Some of the quality of a tool is in the parts you dismiss like amps, volts, etc. as well as how it does what it does. All saws cut but which one starts fastest, maintains a consistent speed during the cut, stutters etc. The sources of information gives you this type of information as well as the why its important. Sometimes the info actually saves you money. Articles also include great usage tips and safety advice. I found that, for my usage, I didn’t always need the amount of power I thought I did so could buy the next model down. Also, as you pointed out consider your hand size and strength. I have very small hands, even for a woman, so this is very important to me. When I bought my last cordless drill I went to Home Depot and Lowe’s so I could feel the size, weight, trigger placement before buying. Thank heaven hubby usually gave me brand, model, requirements for the tools he wanted or else I knew from conversation or the articles he had been reading when buying tools for him as gifts but I did do my own research and buying for a few like his floor standing drill press and (according to him) was an excellent choice. Oh, just thought of this, another great sources of information is smaller retailers who sell power tools, especially if they deal with contractors. I found one locally who was great and all the people were very knowledgeable and had years of experience with these tools in their own careers plus the knowledge gained from the contractors and other tradesmen that they dealt with. So, even though all brands of a tool may do the same thing, some do it better which may decrease errors or inferior outcomes and save you lots of time in later steps of your project, like sanding, mitering as so forth. Also, don’t forget the renting option for tools you won’t use often, something Kristi has shown us multiple times. Renting will let you have the right tool, say table saw or compound miter saw, but without the big price tag. But, think about the number of times you will use a tool within a year. How many times can you rent the tool before your cost reaches the purchase price? That’s a fairly good way to decide the buying or rent question. As for cordless vs corded, (isn’t cordless a great invention?) cordless is my first option too except in situations where the cordless version doesn’t have the necessary power for the job you will be doing. My best advice is simply: First, educate yourself. It will save you time and money along the way and make your projects much more fun. Second, price shop especially online. I bought several tools, large and small via internet and at a generous savings. In fact, my hubby wanted a certain mobile miter saw stand and the only place it could be found was on the internet. No one carried it locally. (Good thing cause it turned out to be really HEAVY!) So, go explore tools and have fun doing it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 28, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Thanks Kristi and all other posters who have added their comments. I’m a DIY virgin and only own a cordless screwdriver at this stage. Hubby does have drills, circular saws etc. That said, hubby and I are about to start reupholstering eight dining chairs with padded backs (front and back). I have read about the pneumatic staple guns and I’m wondering if I should buy one and the compressor that’s required to run it for this project? Hubby says no and that he’ll help me with the stapling (which means he will end up doing it and my contribution will be limited to sewing of the piping cord). I’m looking for advice, should I spend $150 to buy the compressor and pneumatic staple gun? Are there alternatives? I too have small hands and petite in build.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      September 28, 2014 at 11:17 am

      There’s no way I’d reupholster eight dining chairs without one. It’ll go so much faster, and be so much easier. Definitely a worthwhile purchase.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm

        That’s what t thought. Now I just have to convince my hubby. That’ll probably be harder than reupholstering eight chairs using a manual stapler

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 9, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I have been following you for about a month now, and this post helped me out tremendously. I knew most of these things were on my general ‘want’ (ah, hem, need!) list, but because of your specific recommendations, I am ordering the paint sprayer today. I have my cabinets all prepped and I am hoping to spray paint them this weekend. Looking forward to a much better finish than if I were to have just used a brush! Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl Smith-Bell
    July 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    just got pointed to this post! Yeah! Just the info I was looking for! Thanks so much!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brad W.
    December 9, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the list. I appreciate that you have used each of these and personally know how they perform!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for all your recommendations, Kristi. I agree on the miter saw- I use mine all the time, even though it’s ancient and too small!
    I just got a Ryobi Airstrike 18 gauge nailer and seriously don’t know why I waited so long. I don’t really have a lot of storage space, so going with cordless electric works for me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan B
    December 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I love my Porter Cable guns. The best part is that they don’t require oiling, completly plug and play. I had a Ryobi ($150) table saw and now have a Rigid ($450). The Ryobi did a good job, but the case melted (don’t put it near a space heater) and if I was trying to cut a larger piece of plywood someone had to hold the saw in place or it tipped. My Rigid is a ROCK and sooo quiet, I love it! The table saw taught my husband and I to buy the best we could afford, and to shop online. I don’t have an orbital sander and I find it works best on wood I am going to stain. A belt sander is handing in making furniture to erase uneven mistakes.

    My newest tool is a framing gun. I am so excited to start building a fence this spring. Woot!! Now I have to talk him into a planer.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this list. I have been trying to find the post where you mentioned your favorite sprayer because I want one for Christmas. You rock!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks Kristi. I value your opinion. I’m surprised you didn’t include a kreg jig.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 10, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Thanks so much Kristi, I have been eagerly awaiting this topic update and its just in time for my list to Santa ;).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for the list. I was wondering the reason why you don’t use your table saw to do miter cuts as well and prefer to have a separate miter saw.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 10, 2015 at 11:06 am

      A miter saw is just much more practical for things like cutting crown moulding, baseboards, door casings and jambs, and other trim. I can’t imagine trying to do that with a table saw.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sam Fisher
    January 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    For me, I’d probably have to go with the air compressor as my favorite tool. The main reason for this is that you can use numerous other tools that require air to get the job done. Plus, air compressors come in many different sizes. For whatever one you get, do be sure to get the right one for the job you are doing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I know this isn’t directly focused on this thread of conversation, but do you have a recommendation for a paint sprayers that WOULD be for walls, etc.? We are getting ready to do a lot of painting and I’d love to use a sprayer instead of just brush/roller. Also, do you have pointers of dos/don’ts? (If you have already answered this question, please just refer me to that post!)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May 27, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    I really appreciate the information in this post. Recommendations from an experienced DIY is a godsend! Would like a nailer, but I need a stapler for so many things!!! Am concerned at the weight of the one you recommended as I am 73…is this PC Combo kit you have recommended hard to maneuver? Is it durable for when you have to move it around?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      May 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      It is very durable. As far as hard to maneuver, I would guess that it weighs around 25 pounds. There are plenty of plans online for building a rolling cart to fit it, though. That would make it so much easier to wheel around wherever you need it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chelle Ellis
    July 2, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I wish the link for the Kreg Jig would have been on here because we are about to buy one from Amazon and I wanted to give the click thru credit to you.. since you are the reason I even know about a Kreg Jig in the first place. I even searched Kreg Jig and followed all links but only the Kreg Crown Moulding Jig link came up.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    This is a very helpful list. I just started gathering my power tools so I’m in a process of researching. There is so much choice it gives you a headache hehe 🙂 My next purchase will be a jigsaw. Nothing fancy, though. I like the one you’ve got but for me, it’s still a bit pricey so I’ll have a look in a budget section. Thanks for all the info Kristi 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie Walwer
    November 12, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Hi Kristi,
    I love your blog. I ordered the Critter siphon sprayer after reading your blog post about how you painted your kitchen cabinets. We are renovating a townhouse, flipping it, and used the Critter to spray the existing kitchen cabinets. They are beautiful, and people who live in the town home community that stop in to see our progress ask us if we installed new cabinets, they have the same cabinets in their town houses and don’t recognize them! I’d love to send you before and after pictures. I don’t have a blog. We painted the wall throughout the townhouse Revere Pewter and the cabinets are painted with Behr’s Iron Mountain. We changed our the hardware to brushed nickel. We also installed a laminate called Calcutta! When I read your article about your new kitchen plan I got so excited that we have used similar colors and finishes!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    October 27, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Why weren’t drills on your list? I can’t go half an hour without using one – for making holes or drilling screws out or in. I love to use phillips screws when possible but I work a lot with old-grown wood and antiques, calling for straight slotted screws to be appropriate.
    Can’t brag about the brand of my drill. It’s my father who has who has been gone 15 years – it’s all metal and hard wired. So you know how old it is but with extension cords I go any where, I don’t worry about batteries when I’m at the top of a ladder and torque is powerful (an absolute need for old-grown lumber.)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    February 1, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    How come no mention of a router?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      February 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Because I don’t use a router. I have one, but I’ve never even taken it out of the box.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        February 1, 2018 at 8:07 pm

        Kristi , What router do you have? I’m in the market for one and I could use some advice.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 7, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Kristi, I know this is an old post but I am now in the market to buy some tools. Tired of driving to my dads to borrow his. 🙂 Anyway, I have a question about the Critter. You said not for walls but would you do closet and hall doors with it? I am going to be removing the paint from closet doors (tired of the black I did a few years ago) and would rather spray them next time. Wondering if this sprayer would be good for that? Thanks, Beth

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Colleen Mitchell
    January 7, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Hi Kristi! I was checking this out because I’m going to be buying some tools this spring. I really appreciate all of the recommendations and advice but several of the links are dead or the product is no longer in stock. Any chance you’ll be updating this list? I bet you’ve gotten some great new tools in the past five years! At any rate, this is a great place to start…you rock!