Do you want to get started in the rewarding world of DIY? Doing your own home projects not only saves you a lot of money, but it’s also a lot of fun. Although power tools can be intimidating, they’re actually pretty simple to use once you get the hang of it. And once you learn how to master these power tools, building and renovating will become a lot easier! Here’s how you can start using power tools as a DIY beginner.
Every DIYer needs a battery-powered brad nailer. Using a brad nailer is super easy and fun when used safely.
It’s best used to secure material that won’t be holding a ton of weight or pressure. I use mine when working on projects like wall moulding and trim or decor items like wooden Christmas trees or decorative wooden trays. A brad nailer shoots thin 18-Gauge nails that are surprisingly strong considering how easily they can bend. The length of the nails you choose should be approximately double the thickness of your material. I always load my nails first before attaching my battery.
Brad nailers come with a safety feature called a sequential trigger, which I recommend always having ON. The tip needs to be pressed down before squeezing the trigger. Then, you need to release the tip fully before restarting the sequence. Use a brad nailer to make this adorable planter box.
A sliding compound mitre is a safe, versatile and beginner-friendly saw. A mitre saw can cut 90-degree and 45-degree angles and everything in between. A sliding function allows you the versatility to cut wider boards. You can also adjust the bevel to create angled cuts through the thickness of your boards.
I have completed countless projects using my mitre saw, including picture frame moulding, planters, shelves, and lanterns, to name a few. A mitre saw will quickly become one of the most used saws in your arsenal. It was the only saw I had in my tool inventory for the first year of my DIY journey.
Random Orbital Sander
I can’t imagine life without a sander! I love my random orbital sander because it is forgiving and super easy to use. The random rotation helps to avoid scratching and swirling patterns in your work. It’s essential to keep your sander as flat as possible. Don’t apply too much pressure on the surface you’re sanding. The weight of the sander and your hand is more than enough pressure to keep your work surface consistent.
Plus, it’s a good idea to work through two to three grits of sandpaper for each project, from a lower, rougher number (i.e. 60 or 80 grit), to a higher, finer number (i.e. 180 or 220 grit). Laying a swirl of pencil onto your work surface is a great way to ensure you have effectively sanded your entire piece evenly.
Be extra careful when you’re sanding a veneer piece. Veneer is super thin, and it’s easy to go overboard and sand right through it, causing you to lose the natural wood grain. Use your sander to make this IKEA tv-stand hack.
A jigsaw is a convenient small power saw that can give you more project versatility. Because of the smaller blade, you can fine-tune your cutting and venture into things like curves and details.
You can purchase kits that come with a variety of jigsaw blades. Jigsaw blades are measured in “teeth per inch,” or TPI. A high TPI will result in a smooth cut and require less fine-tuning and sanding. In comparison, a lower TPI in a blade will have a faster and more aggressive cut. Lower TPIs will also have a rougher edge that will need to be finished afterwards. Use your jigsaw to make this stunning half-moon macrame hanging.
A stud finder might not be as exciting as saws and nail guns, but don’t sleep on this super-useful little tool! If you’re investing in a DIY tool kit, you may as well take on some useful projects like wall mounting TVs and other heavy items like picture frames and statement mirrors. These tasks can be completed in under half an hour and save you hundreds of dollars if you do it yourself. A stud finder is a necessary gadget to keep on hand for tasks like these.
A stud finder is super simple to use. You need to activate the sensor by pressing down on the button, run it along your wall until it beeps and then mark the spot with a pencil or painter’s tape. Voila! You have found the best location in your walls to support heavy wall-mounted items!
Photos courtesy of Courtney Ryall.