Help with tools


Old 06-18-04, 12:24 PM
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Help with tools


I have just bought my first home would like some advice on tools that are nice to have.

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Old 06-20-04, 09:15 AM
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That would depend on what you're planning on doing around your new home...(congrats).
I wouldnt just go out a buy a bunch of tools if you're not needing them.
Tools are usually acquired as theyre needed.
Besides the basic hand saw, ruler, good hammer etc., if youre looking for power tools, and 71/4" circular saw is probably one of the 1st things you may need.
The job/work will have a bearing on what to get.
..An important part of tools, (powered at least) is how they feel in your hand. A good grip, not too heavy so that you are comfortable with it, makes a big difference in performance....Just my $.02 worth

Last edited by jatco; 06-20-04 at 09:36 AM.
Old 06-20-04, 11:45 AM
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I agree that you should wait untill you have a project in mind before you buy any specialty tools.

A circular saw will be indespensible if you start some woodworking projects.
What I would suggest to be a good first power tool purchase would be a cordless drill.
You will probably find stuff to do with it right away.
Get one in a middle price range with two batteries, two speed operation and I would say you wouldn't need any more than a 12 volt model. 12 volts has enough power to do just about anything and any larger would be overkill.
Old 06-23-04, 08:28 AM
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Pick up as many tool catalogs as you can use them to learn about tools and how they are used and what each tool is used for

check out your library I know mine has quite a few tool guides

home depot has a series of books about varios home improvemnt subjects that are fair but they do give you a list of the basic tools needed for each specality plumbing, electrec ect (our library has them all )

spend some time in the tool depts of sears home depot lowes your local hardware and building supplie stores

you want to get a feel for quaility tools

now start hitting grage sales and flea markets ebay ect looking for QUAILITY used tools

you can put together a collection of quality tools for not a lot of money this way

plan your specility projects ahead and then start gathering used tools for them
Old 06-25-04, 04:12 AM
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First decide what projects you will most likely do in the next six months, then research what tools you'll need for those projects.
Of course, you'll almost certainly need a drill for any project you do. A 12 volt will do for hanging pictures and other light duty. A 14.4 volt is nice for drywall hanging, furniture-making, building a lumber rack, that sort of thing. An 18 volt is great for heavy duty work like deck-building, and has the advantage of long battery life. A 24 volt is overkill for all but professionals. If you expect to use it daily (or at least a couple times a week), consider a Bosch (my favorite), DeWalt, Milwaukee, etc. If you will only use it once or twice a month for light duty, a mass market brand will suffice.
The main thing: buy the best tool you can afford that will do what you want, taking into account how much abuse you expect it to tolerate.
Other tips:
Handle tools in stores to test their weight, balance, grip and comfort.
Ask lots of questions of everybody. Guys who own lots of tools LOVE to talk about them. Find a guy like that and bug him mercilessly.
Don't be afraid to buy refurbished tools from the better manufacturers. You can get some excellent deals.
Read tool reviews at Amazon and epinions.
A great warranty, not to mention a nearby service center, is very convenient.
For cordless tools, long battery life is priceless.
A circular saw is a likely second tool. For light duty, some of the newer cordless ones are great--light but still powerful. However, if you'll mostly be cutting 2x4s and dimensional lumber, a compound miter saw will be more useful and accurate. A circular saw is one of the more intimidating tools and one of the easiest to hurt yourself with. Many tools are easy to figure out and are surprisingly safe. But get an experienced person to show you proper usage and safety of a circular saw.
If you ever get a table saw or router, DO NOT SKIMP on these items. Get a top quality one or don't get one at all. A table saw is another tool you absolutely must get tutored on by an experienced user.
A note on hand tools: DO NOT buy a cheap hammer. Get a well-made one with some heft. Nothing is more aggravating than one of those toy hammers they sell in discount stores. I consider a try square, torpedo level, utility knife, measuring tape and a good assortment of clamps to be essentials. Almost everyone eventually wants a 4-foot level as well. Again, it's all about what you're going to do.
Finally, the older your home is and the more work it will need, the more you should be willing to invest in good quality tools. A house is a source of great joy, but home repair work will suck the life right out of you if you don't have the right kind and quality of tools.
Good luck!
Old 06-25-04, 07:07 AM
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To echo everyone else when you do purchase tools, buy quality stuff. My personal preference is Craftsman. When they say gauranteed for life, they mean it. Doesn't matter where you got the tool or how you broke it. So if you see a Craftsman tool at a yard sale (good luck!) grab it even if it's broken; Sears will replace it free - no hassles, no paperwork, and they're open 7 days a week.

Here's my list without all the extraneous wordsmithing:

Cordless drill, at least 12 Volt
Drill bit & driver set
Claw hammer (I have a Hart and a Stanley; also a Craftsman that was my Dad's and must be 50 years old)
Tape measure
Set of screwdrivers
Vice grips
Channel locks
Strap wrench
Test light/voltmeter
Hand saw
Subscription to The Family Handyman magazine (a little plug for a advertiser, but I've been a subscriber for about 20 years).

My Dad's favorite expression (quoting HIS father):

"Home ownership is a life sentence at hard labor."
Old 06-25-04, 09:07 AM
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"Home ownership is a life sentence at hard labor."
Beautiful....and soo true. lol
Old 06-29-04, 05:50 AM
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The tool I probably use the most for around the house chores is my cordless drill. A quick release chuck is nice to have on those for quickly changing from bit to bit.
Old 06-30-04, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by pw1972
The tool I probably use the most for around the house chores is my cordless drill. A quick release chuck is nice to have on those for quickly changing from bit to bit.
I agree. Its the best tool I finally got a hold of.
Im using a Ryobi 18V. Damn thing is great.

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