In this post, I’ll share what power tools I consider “essential” for someone that’s getting started with DIY projects. Warning: once you use these tools, you just might fall in love like I did! This post includes affiliate links.
So many tools!
I’m not going to lie, it can get a little overwhelming when you first start working with power tools.
Which ones do I need?
Which ones do what?
Should I bother getting started if I don’t have everything?
What If I don’t have the money?
These are all valid questions when it comes to tools. They can be quite an investment. Luckily, they’re tools that you can get a lot of use and a lot of years out of!
First things first, let’s not get hung up on brand.
I got started with the Ryobi tools. I love them. They’re affordable, accessible, and easy to use.
I’m happy with what I can create with my tools, regardless of brand and that’s all that matters. Use the brand that you feel comfortable with and what helps you actually get started!
I also love that all the tools use the same battery. You have the option to purchase just the tool or the tool + battery combo. I try to purchase tool + battery when I can because the more batteries you can rotate out the better! However, if it makes it more accessible to you to purchase the tool only, then do that!
What are the essentials?
Let’s jump in! Of course I didn’t have a ton of tools when I got started, I slowly built my collection and there are still tools that are on my wish list now.
Seems like every project I do, I add one more to my list – hah!!
Anyway, here’s what I would consider the best tools for getting started with DIY:
Of course a drill is at the top of the list! This is something that you’ll use for almost every single project you’ll ever do! I only recently added the impact drill to my collection and I LOVE that, but if you can only afford one then stick to a regular power drill.
Along with a drill, you’ll probably want to grab a drill bit set and a driver bit set. Something like this is perfect:
Want to remember this list? Save it to your favorite Pinterest board!
#2. Brad Nailer
I absolutely LOVE my battery-operated nail gun. I was not interested in a compressor to start out with. I wanted something lightweight, portable, and easy to use. That’s exactly what I got with the Ryobi nailer.
The downside is that it’s only compatible with 2 inch nails and 5/8 nails. However, I’ve not run into a project yet where that’s been an issue. Personally, the only time I would really want to be using a nail gun with a compressor is if I was working on exterior home projects like a deck.
I use my nail gun for almost every project as well! It especially comes in handy when doing wall treatments like shiplap, board + batten, etc.
Oh and faux beams!! My favorite!
Another one of the tools I use for almost every project: the multi-tool (also called an oscillating tool)
I love the sander feature for when I need to sand something small and quickly (as opposed to dragging out my mouse sander and trying to find the extension cord because the cord on the mouse sander and uselessly short).
However, what I love is the saw attachment. I use it for things like cutting notches out of pretty much anything (trim, sheetrock, wood, floor, etc), making teeny tiny cuts, cutting out holes, notching shiplap to accomodate outlets. The list goes on.
Living up to its name, it comes in handy for multiple things. It’s one of those things that you don’t realize how much you’ll use it until you have one!
#4. Circular Saw
I purchased a circular saw before I got my miter saw and my table saw.
It’s more affordable and you can do a lot with it! Especially when you pair it with Kreg Saw Track to help you make perfectly straight cuts. I used this for two different shiplap projects before I purchased a table saw!
While I don’t use my circular saw as much now that I have a miter saw and table saw to work with, I definitely still use it! There’s some things that just don’t fit those machines and you need the flexibility that the circular saw gives.
Also, I would never have been able to do my shiplap laundry area without my circular saw as the table saw wasn’t in the budget yet and I needed to rip down long pieces of shiplap. Circular saw (+ Kreg jig) to the rescue!
#5. Miter Saw
The miter saw was my first BIG power tool investment as it is quite a bit more than a handheld power tool. That being said, I consider it essential and it’s also used for nearly every project I do. There are many things that can not be cut with a circular saw (board and batten strips are a good example!)
Not only can the circular saw not cut specific things but it also is not nearly as fast and accurate as a miter saw. You need accuracy when it comes to making cuts or you’re going to be wasting a LOT of material.
Honestly, that will get more expensive than the cost of the tool!
Pro tip: if possible within your budget, go for the miter saw that pulls back to allow for longer cuts. You will thank me later!
Having the right tools is essential for a successful project!
However, don’t let the fact that you don’t have EVERYTHING stop you from getting started! Start small. Start with this list!
Before I end this article, I hope I can encourage you to not let tools intimidate you! It’s one of the reasons I personally love Ryobi, they are so lightweight and easy to use that you’ll feel so empowered using them that you’ll fall in love!
Check out @diy.ourhome on Instagram! You’ll see my tools in action 😉