Guide to Buying Power Tools
So you need a drill, jigsaw or sander, but you've only bought hand tools and you typically avoid the power tools aisle. Well, you're probably thinking: Where do I start? Doug Mahoney of the great blog Toolsnob helped us compile a quick and easy guide to help anyone buying power tools.
The most important consideration is value -- a personal equation involving cost, durability and lifestyle. A Bosch battery drill might cost $200, and it's going to withstand the beating of daily labor. But a Black & Decker might cost a quarter of that and as long as you're not planning on dropping it from a 20' extension ladder, it might be the right choice for you. I don't buy into the idea that the most expensive tools are the best because it depends on what you're using it for and how often you use it.
Take into account these other issues before your power tool purchase.
This one is really important to me. If you're going to be doing a lot of work with a tool, it's got to be easy on your hands. This ties into safety as well. An awkward tool is a dangerous one.
Like I said above, high price or low price doesn't really matter as much as what I'll be asking the tool to do. It's a trade-off. The most durable, precise tools tend to be the most expensive.
This is very important with the larger tools, like table saws and miter saws. I won't even look at a table saw that doesn't have one of the new blade guards. It's just not worth it. A $500 tool may sound expensive, but it's cheaper than a missing finger.
Again, it depends on what you're using the tool for. If you want to become the next James Krenov, you've got to get the best, but if you're going to be doing some light-duty puttering around the house, this might not mean so much to you.
A must for the professional, not so much for the DIYer. Even if you're a serious Mr. or Mrs. Fixit, your tools aren't experiencing anything like those used at a construction site.
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