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5 Best Power Tools for Homeowners

Must have power tools to get started as a DIY-er!

Okay so admittedly, when I bought my first home I relied totally on my dad, I had no interest in what the best power tools for a new homeowner were.  Over time, I became increasingly frustrated with myself for being so dependent on him for home improvement projects.  Honestly, I would let pictures sit on the floor for weeks, waiting for him to have some free time to come over and hang them for me! I knew I had to change; I just didn’t know where to start.

At the time, all I had was my little tool kit from target with a screwdriver and a hammer.  Hand tools were not quite enough to take on the diy projects I wanted to create! When I would look through Pinterest, I would see projects I wanted to try but would have no clue what tools I needed to get going! So, I have complied the below, must have tools to get started as a DIY-er!

Now, over time you will likely collects more and more tools, but this is enough to accomplish most projects.  This is also a cost-effective and space-effective list.  Not everyone has the funds or the room for a table saw, so while some projects would be easier with a table saw, you can use a circular saw instead! These are things we’ve considered while compiling and lists, and when creating our how-to guides. 

impact driver

Tool #1: The Drill

It should come as no surprise that the number 1 tool you need is a drill.  The drill is the backbone of any DIY project.  This is also a semi-splurge for us, there are countless drill options available however we recommend the Dewalt 20V Compact Max Cordless Drill/Driver Kit.  This combo kit retails for $308 but it is regularly on sale.  I purchased my set for $228 and there is a set (drill and impact driver) currently on sale on Amazon for $149!  One thing to note, I decided to purchase the impact driver with the brushless motor.  Tools with a brushless motor typically last longer, the motor can move faster, and a brushless motor requires basically no maintenance, reducing downtime, hassle, and service costs.  I have never had maintenance done on a drill, so I really don’t have a baseline, but all this sounded good to me!

While most of my tools are more cost effective, I really can’t stress enough don’t go budget on your drill!  You should pick something that is light, and compact.  Again, personal preference but being 5’1” with proportional hands it’s important to have something that isn’t too large or too heavy.  Your arm will get tired quicker than expected!  This drill replaced my budget buy drill and over the last year I have used for everything from large projects to simply tighten screws on my vacuum cleaner!

Tool #2: The Circular Saw

A circular saw can accomplish any cut a table saw can, but it’s a fraction of the price. It also takes up a whole lot less space. Your cuts will not be as accurate as with a table saw, but when you’re first starting out doing home DIYs, that’s okay! While a Circular Saw may not allow for the accurate cuts a Miter Saw or Table Saw would, it allows you to do wider cuts than the Miter Saw will.  A Circular Saw does involve a bit of a learning curve.  We recommend practicing on scrap wood, etc. so you can get comfortable and confident with your saw!

I have used my Ryobi Circular Saw for several projects.  My favorite project that this was a necessity on was for my bedside tables where I turned a desk into two end narrow end tables.  I can’t lie, this was not my idea!  This project was a copycat project of my sister’s nightstands, and this idea was completely hers!  While living in a small townhome and wanting to fit a king size bed in the small bedroom in the small townhome she decided she needed to find some narrow nightstands.  Of course, with some searching and eye-popping price tags she decides to DIY it! This is a post coming soon!

Tool #3: The Palm Sander


Sanding is one of my least favorite DIY tasks.. it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. The good news?  A palm sander makes the task bearable! It’s quick and despite getting covered in dust, it’s not so bad.  Sanding is a requirement for most DIY projects, especially refinishing furniture, and helps to get a more polished finish on things.  You can use your hand and sandpaper, but for the cost of a palm sander, it’s worth it to invest!  

All my bedroom furniture was found on different resale sites and refinished to fit my décor style, so every piece of furniture in my room met my palm sander!  Also, as noted in the Circular Saw section this is a great tool to clean up any rough edges after cutting.  Now we own multiple palm sanders but we recommend the Ryobi Orbital Sander.  It’s a great tool and an excellent price!

Tool #4: The Battery Powered Nail Gun

I highly recommend getting a Cordless Nail Gun.  Not just to avoid having to purchase an air compressor, but the convenience and ease of using a cordless allows for this to be an extremely versatile tool.  At first, nail guns can be so intimidating because you’re actually shooting a nail.  Once you get started though, you get used to the shooting sensation and see how efficient they are! This saves loads of time and they are relatively inexpensive tools to add to your shed!  The nail holes/heads are also very small which makes patchwork and hiding them a breeze!  As opposed to having to fill over screw holes when using a drill and screws.  This is important for trim projects or any board and batten projects. 

We struggled with what to put higher on the list between the Miter Saw and the Cordless Nail Gun.   These two tools have gone hand in hand for most recent projects, include the DIY Mudroom Bench

Tool #5: The Miter Saw

If you have plans on doing any trim work, you will NEED a Miter Saw!  The circular saw is great, but you won’t get the same clean cuts as with a Miter Saw.  Using a Miter Saw is less intimidating that a circular saw as well.  It’s truly so easy to use and there doesn’t take much skill or learning with a Miter Saw.  We regularly turn to our Miter Saw as our preference over the Circular Saw.  For us is much easier to use and easier to get the clean cuts.  We love our Ryobi 12” miter saw, but one important recommendation, which we learned the hard way is to buy yourself an upgraded saw blade!  For a long time, we used a very baseline blade with only a 60-tooth count this made for good cuts better than the circular saw cuts but when we upgrade to a Diablo 80-tooth ultra-finish blade, we were blown away with how clean our cuts were.  The upgraded blade comes with a bit of a price tag but well worth it in the long run!   

We have used this for the Fixer Upper inspired house chalkboard my sister and I built in her kids’ playroom, Amanda used only this saw for all her board and batten and the DIY Entryway Bench she made. 

The Best Brand of Power Tools for a new Homeowner

When you begin using a power tool instead of a hand tool, it can be hard to get started! I remember when I used to be afraid to go to Home Depot.  It can be difficult navigating not only what the best power tools for a new homeowner are, but what power tool brands are the best bang for your buck! For certain tools, we recommend using a more quality tool brand and for others, we think the Ryobi brand works great!  There isn’t a one brand fits all, it really does depend on the tool and with the wide variety of brands out there, you will have plenty to chose from.  We whole heartedly recommend cordless power tools when you can! Charging batteries may be a bit of an annoyance, but it’s 10 times better than being tethered to a power source! 

miter saw

If you have any other questions about these power tools or any others, just leave a comment below! 

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