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.
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!
- 12″ Mitre Saw : I like the mitre saw for quick, small straight cuts. For example, if I need to trim down wood dowels. But you can also use the mitre saw to make angled cuts simply by adjusting the position of the blade. I love the 12″ size saw blade with left and right blade tilting capabilities. Learn how to use the mitre saw.
- Belt Sander : The belt sander has a belt of sandpaper that runs in a continuous loop making sanding and smoothing wood extremely easy and quick. Learn how to use the belt sander.
- Corded Circular Saw : Use the circular saw when your project is too large or long to be cut by the mitre saw. However, the circular saw is handheld which means it’s more difficult to create a straight cut without a cutting guide. Learn how to use the circular saw.
- Cordless Drill : Perfect for drilling holes, attaching screws, adjoining two pieces of wood or other material. Learn how to use a cordless drill.
- Jig Saw : The jig saw has a small upright blade that makes it fantastic for making both straight and curved intricate cuts in a variety of materials. Specifically, the jigsaw is great for creating impressive wood shapes–think cutting boards! Learn how to use a jig saw.
- Compact Router : Routers are mainly used for hollowing out inside areas (non-edges) on materials such as wood or plastic. Learn how to use a compact router.
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.