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7 Essential Power Tools Every Homeowner Needs


Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or seasoned empty nester, there’s no feeling quite like purchasing a new space and making it your own. But new homes often come with unforeseen challenges, and paying professional contractors can quickly add up.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a construction expert to tackle most home projects. All you need is a little motivation and the right tools for the job. Beyond the standard hammers and screwdrivers, you can create a home tool kit that enables you to conquer even the biggest DIY home projects with ease—and save big bucks in the process.

Man showing boy how to use a drill

Depending on when your home was built and the materials used, even simple tasks like hanging a picture frame can quickly go sideways. Using a power drill with a hammer setting allows you to cleanly break through plaster, concrete, or any other tricky surface.

Pro Tip: Not all drill bits are created equal, and some do more than drill. As you compare brands and features, make note of the various bits and attachments each one offers.

man using a weed wacker

You’re likely to encounter scraggly weeds, autumn leaves, and overgrown hedges as the seasons change. If landscaping by hand isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll be wise to keep a cordless weed eater, hedge trimmer, and leaf blower charged at the ready year round.

Pro Tip: Most cordless tools come with a chargeable 20-volt battery, but if your lawn is more than a half-acre, consider purchasing multiple batteries or upgrading to 40-volts.

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Man using electric saw

If you’ve ever tried trimming a jagged tree branch by hand, you understand why our ancestors invented electric tools. Save yourself valuable time (not to mention joint pain!) by investing in a cordless reciprocating saw for these and other small cutting projects.

Pro Tip: Like most power tools, reciprocating saws are designed for multitasking. In addition to wood, they slice through PVC pipe, metal screws, and other tough materials.

woman using a jigsaw

Unlike reciprocating saws, jigsaws are specifically designed to cut curved lines quickly and accurately through lightweight wood, metal, and plastic. Simply put, there’s no better tool for scaling household art projects and doing simple cosmetic fixes on your own.

Pro Tip: With their superior safety, space-saving design, and affordable price, jigsaws make a great gift for first-time homeowners and those new to woodworking tools.

Man pressure washing walkway

Driveways, decks, and siding spend their whole lives outside battling hard-to-scrub elements. Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel watching a season’s worth of grime rinse effortlessly away under a powerful spray that leaves your home’s surfaces sparkly clean.

Pro Tip: Mid-tier pressure washers do the trick just as well as their more expensive counterparts, but proper storage is a must to avoid corrosion and clogs during the off season.

Man attaching tool to air compressor hose

These pneumatic lifesavers aren’t just for inflating your tires—although that’s one task they handle with ease. With the right nozzle attachment, your air compressor doubles as a paint sprayer, nail gun, household cleaner, and more. The possibilities are endless.

Pro Tip: As with any pneumatic tool, it’s important to lubricate and check your air compressor regularly for leaks, pressure buildup, and other potentially dangerous issues.

orbital sander

Whether you’re resurfacing kitchen cabinets or scaling a whole-home renovation, sanding is another job best left to the power of electricity. Its random orbital motion results in superior edging and finishing in a fraction of the time it would take by hand.

Pro Tip: Slow, deliberate motion is the key to success. If you begin to notice scratches in your project’s wood surface, that’s your signal to ease up on your pace and pressure.