A Quick Guide to Power Tools: When, Where and How To Use Them
Having a well-maintained house is not easy; it’s also not cheap. Constantly working on home problems and different renovations can quite hurt your pocket. Hiring contractors, carpenters, and plumbers can cost more than you think if you have all your bills stacked up in the long run.
Common home problems like damages on ventilation, plumbing, structural foundation, and roof leaks are stressful issues to tackle. It also becomes intimidating when using power tools just looks complicated and dangerous to you. If this is the case, it seems like the easy way out is to pay people to do them for you.
And while it is true that a lot of these issues require technical skills that can only be learned through proper training and adequate experience, more simple home maintenance tasks can actually be accomplished by yourself with the proper tools on hand.
Power tools are not limited to construction works, you can also utilize them for simple home activities like hanging a picture frame, fastening a loose screw, fixing a piece of damaged furniture, or having a bigger storage space.
With this in mind, it would make sense that having power tools at home is a cheaper way to long-term maintenance. All you have to do is learn how to properly utilize them and home improvement will be a piece of cake
If you still feel intimidated and clueless on the right tools to have for your needs and home projects, this article will break down five of the most common (and arguably important) power tools and give you a guide on when, where, and how to use them.
When to use: This is used for drilling holes in projects that need the use of anchor bolts, concrete screws, and wall plugs. You can use a hammer drill to create holes for hanging a picture frame on a wall, mounting built-in cabinets or shelves, installing a wall fan, and other types of fixtures.
Where to use: Hammer drill can be used on hard and tough materials like brick, concrete, masonry, or stone.
How to use: Take note of the torque and speed setting based on the project and material you’re working with. Use the right type of bit (tip) that is appropriate for the material; bits tend to break when used on surfaces where they are not fit. Mark the area you aim to drill and apply sufficient pressure to activate the hammer and penetrate the surface.
When to use: An impact driver is generally used for driving screws. You can also drill holes with it but a special type of bit is required as the impact driver exerts less force than a hammer drill. Using it on harder types of materials can break your bits, so study your device’s limitations and specifications upon using it.
Where to use: You can use an impact driver on materials where you need to fasten screws such as wood, metal, and light concrete. An impact driver works best on dense or knotty wood.
How to use: Make sure that you’re using the appropriate bit based on the type of material you’re working with and its density. Impact drivers are generally easy to use; the bits easily lock into the device and automatically drives screws upon pressing the start button.
When to use: An impact wrench is used to tighten, loosen or remove bolts, screws, and fasteners. Most impact wrenches come with a high torque mechanism, so they work quickly and easily without having to put too much pressure or effort into using it.
Where to use: Wrenches are generally often found in car repair and automobile shops, but using a mechanized device makes work faster and accurate, especially with stronger materials. It is widely used for removing lug nuts when changing car tires. Impact wrenches can also be used at home for different furniture – wall mounting of TV, fastening bed frames, changing busted cabinet bolts, and more.
How to use: When using an impact wrench, the key is to set it at the appropriate speed to match the materials and attach the correct size of the socket needed. Similar to common drills, an impact wrench works easily by pressing the start button once aimed at your bolt or screw. Impact wrenches are also prone to overheating due to their moving mechanism; take a look at your device manual to learn about its working capacity.
When to use: An angle grinder is used to cut different materials. It can be used for different purposes such as tile installation, woodworking, metalworking, and different construction or renovation projects.
Where to use: You can use an angle grinder on a wide range of materials such as aluminum, concrete, metal, wood, bars, and tiles.
How to use: Clean the area where you’re using the angle grinder and make sure that the surface and its surroundings are free from flammable substances as an angle grinder sparks when used which can lead to fire hazards. Maintain the device at one angle and cut the surface in one glide; twisting the grinder can lead it to break and leave choppy marks on the surface. As a safety measure, always wear proper protective gear when using it (goggles and gloves) to avoid debris from getting into your eye or cutting your skin.
When to use: Jigsaws are used for cutting lines, curves, and shapes to woods and boards. They are perfect for building your own cabinet, countertop, cupboard, bed frames or other plastic, wood, or metal-based DIY projects.
Where to use: A jigsaw is ideal for cutting softwood that’s no more than 1-1/2 inches thick and hardwood up to 3/4 inches thick, 1/8 inches for mild steel, and no-iron pipe and sheet metal up to 10 gauge thick. (Source: Family Handyman).
How to use: Select the right blade for your project and material for better and faster results – metals require metal blades with more teeth. Mark the exact line or shape you’re cutting and easily glide the jigsaw as you follow your mark (note that more abrupt edges can possibly break your blade so it is recommended to make soft edges instead). Proper safety wear should also be worn upon the use of jigsaws to avoid getting cut by debris (glove and goggles).
Having power tools at home can come in handy, especially when faced with unexpected and emergency maintenance situations. It can be intimidating and scary to hear the loud grinding noises or the bright sparks that these tools produce when used, but with proper usage, they are relatively easy and safe for all types of work.
The list of important tools to keep goes on, but the ones listed above can give you a headstart on how a simple tool can accomplish different results for different projects. Not to mention, they are all affordable and widely accessible in your local hardware and online shops.
Getting yourself acquainted with power tools and their usage not only saves you money, but also allows you to be creative and innovative on different projects to amp up your home to your satisfaction. Now, that’s what you call a win-win!