Power Tools

In the workshop, it can be said that of all the equipment you might have in there, the power tools are the ones that keep the boat afloat in respect of the work that is done.

They are labor saving in the extreme and make light of most jobs that can be envisaged where in the days before these useful electrically powered tools, everything was done the hard way by hand or with hand tools.

power toolsThat's not to say there were not some advantages to doing some jobs that way. A hand plane is still superior in terms to the professional kind of finish that can be obtained by a master craftsman to a powered plane I the hands of an amateur.

But for the most part, power equals speed and in this day and age it is the speed at which a job can be completed that fills the order books and keeps the customers coming back for more of what you do in there. So let's take a look at some of the popular power tools that are commonly used in the workshop.

Power Drills

The power drill or electric drill as it is also known is probably the most used of all power tools in or out of the workshop, such is its versatility and usefulness in a wide variety of repair, refurbishment and new build jobs. Holes need to be drilled for screws, bolts, rivets, nails or dowels etc to be placed in wood, steel, aluminum, masonry, tiles, glass and other materials.

The power drill also doubles as a sanding or rasping disc driver, a high speed wire brush, a tool sharpener, screwdriver, hole cutter and even a mini power saw. But its main use is of course for drilling those all important holes wherever they are needed and especially in the bigger, tougher jobs such as drilling through thick masonry or steel, there is no hand tool comparable to the task.

Power Saws

For cutting wood of any length, depth or width, the circular saw is king and the power band saw is emperor for accuracy and speed. While the hand saw can be used with great accuracy to provide a professional finish in the hands of the skilled carpenter, the powered version is faster, very nearly as accurate and makes the job far easier to complete in a fraction of the time.

There are many different types of power saw, with the jig-saw or scroll saw a highly versatile tool for cutting odd shapes and large holes in wood, laminates, plywood, hardboard and chipboard as well as wallboards, plasterboard, ceiling tiles and a with special blade attachments even floor and wall tiles.

Power Sanders

While drills and saws do the hard work of creating the holes and cuts that are needed to prepare the materials for joining and construction, the power sanders are the tools for finishing the job. They create the smooth surfaces and edges that are essential to a professionally finished woodworking job.

There are two main types of power sander:

  1. One being the orbital sander which is a popular DIY tool
  2. The other being the belt sander which is more popular in the workshop for speed and rapid, rough sanding of surfaces that are then further smoothed by the orbital sander

A smaller and more versatile version of the orbital sander is the mouse sander. This employs a small, triangular sanding pad for getting into those awkward corners and places the larger sanders cannot access.

Power Cutters and Grinders

The angle grinder or power cutter is a useful tool for cutting tiles, bricks and other large masonry objects as well as cutting steel reinforcing bars, or rebar, cutting through walls to make a doorway and generally cutting through materials that the power saws are not built for.

They act in a similar way to the circular saw except in place of a cutting saw blade, employ a special circular cutting disc of different materials that are specific to the cutting job required of them. A steel based disc is best for cutting through masonry and tiles, while a composite abrasive disc is best for cutting through steel bars, girders and cables.

Power Routers

The power router is a specialist tool for creating the bevels and routing out channels in wood for cabinet making and similar joinery jobs. This is a tool that requires some skill in routing in a straight line although the depth is something that can be preset before starting.

Power Screwdrivers

While the multi-speed electric drill can double as an effective powered screwdriver, there are dedicated tools that are much lighter and easier to handle especially for those smaller screws that need to be driven in speedily and accurately. They are often cordless, rechargeable battery powered devices that make screwing in all types of screws a simple task that is not as tough on wrists and forearms as hand screwdrivers can be.

Power Staplers

For furniture making and restoring, a power stapling gun is a must for making this task as fast and easy as possible. The smaller versions are perfect for smaller stapling of fabric to wood to make the creation of padded furnishings a breeze to do.

Power Nail Guns

These tools are perfect for driving nails into wood and other materials quickly and without the constant banging away with a hammer. A single strike with a powered nail gun drives the nail of varying lengths straight into the material being nailed all the way without having to come back and hit it further, making for a clean nail drive and a faster job.

The variety and uses of all these and other specialist power tools in the workshop are seemingly endless. They provide the operator with a fast and effective means of carrying out many jobs that would otherwise take far longer if only hand tools were available. You can find a great resource for tools of all descriptions here

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