Essential Power Tools for a Beginner’s Toolbox
Looking to spruce up your home? Maybe you want to restore some furniture, or even build something from scratch! DIY projects are tremendously rewarding, and there are a lot of easy projects for beginners. But before you get your feet wet, it pays to have the right tools! Here are some of our suggestions.
The vast majority of modern drills are cordless, and bit sizes are almost always standardized. Instead you should pay attention to power figures, particularly the voltage of the battery and the chuck size. The chuck is the three-pronged device that holds the bit during operation. The amount of voltage and chuck power you need depends on your workload. For wood and metal, a 12-volt drill will work just fine, but if you’re working with brick or concrete, step up to an 18-volt or greater model.
You’ll also need a set of bits. Most standard kits will work fine, but specialty bits are required for glass and other unusual surfaces.
Sanding is an essential final step for many projects, especially those involving wood or metal. Unfortunately, it’s also tedious and carpal tunnel inducing. Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality power sander!
Power sanders are electric, and come in three primary varieties:
- Belt: runs a sheet of sandpaper in a continuous vertical motion. Ideal for large, flat surfaces or removing stubborn material.
- Orbital: vibrates a sanding sheet in small circles. Great for small projects, edges, and paint.
- Random Orbit: vibrates a circular pad in multiple directions. Less powerful, but good for just about any purpose.
Make sure to wear a mask while sanding.
If you’re doing any electronics restoration, a soldering iron is absolutely essential. This little device allows you to manipulate the delicate metal connections on circuit boards and other electronic parts.
For the beginner, a basic “pencil-style” iron will get the job done just fine. Just make sure you get one with a high enough wattage, as sustained heat is vital for a good job. 25 watts should be the minimum. Most affordable cordless soldering irons are not powerful enough.
With a soldering iron, accessories are also important, especially a pair of helping hands.
Need a place to store your ongoing or finished restoration projects? Hillsborough Self-Storage offers secure, climate-controlled storage units that are perfect for antiques, valuables, or works-in-progress. Contact us today for a free quote!