4 In DIY

The DIY Girl’s Guide to Power Tools

Power tools. They’re just for guys, right? WRONG! So wrong. Anyone with the drive to learn how to use power tools can and should, because it’ll drastically open up the range and quality of DIY projects you can create for your home….a.k.a furniture and accessories! You’ll no longer have to rely on someone else to cut things for you (like I used to), nor will you be limited to pre-made materials found on say…Amazon, because you’ll be able to make those pre-made materials to your exact specifications yourself. Total freedom and control–whoop!


I used to be incredibly intimidated by heavy duty power tools, and if I needed something cut or routed, I’d always rely on Ken to make that happen. All of this changed when we renovated our home, and it was essential for me to also learn how to use our power tools in order to work in tandem and keep the renovation moving forward. And I’m so glad I learned!

Power tools are not inexpensive, by any means, so I often ask for them for birthdays and Christmas. Yep! Do what ya gotta do, Sistah! I’ve even asked around with family, friends and neighbors to see if they have specific tools I could borrow, and I’ve always found people are more than willing (and a little intrigued) to let me loan them out. What to build furniture and accessories for your home? Learn the basics of power tools here.

If you want to start using power tools in your projects, take a look at the 6 power tools below I use most often in my DIY’s. Learn about their main functions and then follow the links to mini tutorials on how to operate each tool. Last but not least, put your new tool skills into action with my Handmade Modern Home project ideas at the bottom of the post!

Now that you’re familiar with each type of tool, my advice is to start with one project that you want to make, and give the power tool involved a try. Start slow. Once you’ve mastered one tool, move onto the next! You’ll be a comfortable with all 6 tools in no time!

Project Ideas to Put Those Power Tools to Work:


Safety First! Guidelines for Best Practice:

  • Always follow the recommended safe working guidelines and instructions of any tool  you are using.
  • Wear safety glasses when operating any power tool.
  • Do not wear loose clothing around moving machinery or power tools.
  • Work at a calm and reasonable pace. Many accidents are the result of taking short-cuts or attempting to work too fast.
  • Wear hearing protection when using most loud power tools. If you hear ringing in your ears after using a loud tool or machine, that is a sign that the noise is loud enough to eventually cause hearing loss.


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  • Rachel
    June 1, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    I’m so glad you got over your fear of power tools, because they’re so useful! I’ve still got to learn how to use a few more, so thanks for the resources. Just a heads up though, your circular saw link is broken.

    Here in Portland we have tool libraries, does Minneapolis have those? We have several, specific to different neighborhoods, and they’re basically just free tool rental. It’s great for when you just need a tool for a specific project.

    Father’s Day sales are the best time to stock up on power tools for yourself, ha. Gotta subvert those gender stereotypes whenever we can. 😉

    • francoisetmoiblog@gmail.com
      June 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Rachel! I’m not aware of tool libraries in Minneapolis, so I’ll definitely need to look into it. What a great idea and resource! And the Father’s Day sales tip is genius. Thanks again, Rachel!

  • Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake
    June 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I really REALLY want a jig saw! Thanks for this great guide, so helpful! And as always I love all your projects! <3

    • francoisetmoiblog@gmail.com
      June 7, 2016 at 7:49 am

      Marlene! I totally agree–jig saws are amazing!!! Rachel recommended in an earlier comment to check out Father’s Day sales for deals! Maybe you can score one then!!

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