When thinking of home repair and maintenance, our first thoughts often go to a kitchen drawer with a hammer, a couple of screwdrivers and a measuring tape. And any project requiring a more sophisticated device or skill will cause us to immediately pick up the phone and call a specialist. But times have changed and those days are gone. No matter what our lifestyle, power tools have practically become a required household commodity instead of an afterthought. We suddenly find ourselves no longer intimidated by them, and interestingly, the power tool industry is directly responsible for that.
What? User Friendly Power Tools?
Since they’re in the business of selling products, the tool industry has quietly been busy redesigning their tools to be lightweight, easy and safe for beginners, ergonomically correct, and yes, with some attractive style elements above and beyond what we’ve known in the past. Many of them even come in their own zippered canvas storage bag. While this information may not be enough to spur someone to undertake a major remodeling project, there’s no reason to fear power tools anymore.
Big box home improvement retailers have contributed to this transition by featuring free DIY workshops on small home repair projects ranging from changing a light fixture to installing a new kitchen faucet. And television programming offers the same with a variety of home design and repair shows. There are even entire magazines devoted to the do it yourselfers out there. Without today’s easy to use tool choices, this would not be possible.
Today’s Home Toolkit
Today’s home toolkit definitely looks different from the old one, and it’s an easy jump to get your toolkit right. Whether you’re hanging pictures or sanding furniture, you will need the right tools to do the job. When you go shopping for tools, it is a good idea to stick with some of the big brands such as Makita, Ryobi, Black & Decker, Ridgid, DeWalt, Milwaukee and others, because they all have customer service and technical support available.
No matter what your situation, you will likely find a need for these tools at some point:
- Cordless Drill – from $60; most versatile tool in the toolbox; can replace cordless screwdriver; variety of bit sizes; doubles as a hole saw for doorknobs, faucets, drains; some models have an integrated LED light to help see the work area; helpful for pilot holes or hanging pictures
- Cordless Screwdriver – from $30; also known as Stick Driver, lightweight, better for small projects.
- Palm Sander – from $30; uses ¼ sheets of readily available sandpaper in a variety of grits; use for small to midsized sanding projects
- Extension Cord – from $25; heavy duty; 50 ft usually sufficient; handy for setting work lights and speakers while you work.
- Battery Charger – from $40; get a charger that will accommodate multiple battery sizes; IMPORTANT TIP: When possible, select all tools from the same manufacturer. Tools Batteries are not transferable between different brands. Universal chargers are available, but they are costly.
- Safety Goggles – from $10; and yes, they’re currently available in designer styles. Look good while being safe.
Today’s nicely appointed home requires a more hands-on approach than in the past because we have become a more DIY society. And well designed and easy to use power tools have quietly worked their way into our lives and have made life just a little bit easier. The joy of owning a big toolbox now comes with bragging rights.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 2 May, 2012