9 Best Power Tool Kits | March 2017
- built-in battery temperature control
- saw delivers 900 strokes per minute
- drill can run a bit weak
- high clamping force on the chucks
- impactor feels well balanced
- no bit holder on the drill
- includes a belt hook
- the batteries last a long time
- all tools have ergonomic grips
- included charger works fast
- thin blades leave less dust
- work light is weak
- tools don't overheat with extended use
- comes with an allen wrench
- jigsaw includes two blades
- impact driver w/ 1,330 in-lbs of torque
- flexible floodlight for hands-free use
- includes two contractor bags
Choosing The Right Power Tool Kit
Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to buying a power tool kit: you can attempt to find a kit that contains all the tools you are ever likely to need, or you can buy a kit meant to satisfy a narrower range of specific needs. In the first category you will find the homeowner or landlord looking to handle a range of smaller scale projects and repairs; in the latter category you usually find the professional builder or the dedicated hobbyist who already owns a decent array of tools.
Assuming you want to find a power tool kit that may well have all the devices you will ever want, first consider what constitutes covering the most basic needs. At the very least, such kits should contain a drill capable of sinking bits into various materials and of driving in (or removing) various screws, a circular saw that can handle most lumber up to the two-by-four with ease, and a reciprocating saw (often and accurately known as a sawzall -- pronounced "saws all" -- though in fact that term is a copyrighted brand name) that can be fitted with a variety of blades.
With those three tools and a decent hammer and a pair of pliers, you can likely tackle almost any project that does not require a professional's level of knowledge and experience. If you are looking for a an even more complete kit, then look for options that also contain an impact driver that can be used to secure bolts, self-drilling screws, and more. Also consider a cut off tool that, fitted with the right disc, can be used to slice through pipes, grind down old surfaces, or even to sharpen tools like an axe. Also don't overlook the convenience of a bright light which is often included in larger kits. A light source than can be perched on the floor or mounted to a wall or other surface can be invaluable when you are working in the dark.
For the professional builder or the accomplished DIY enthusiast, there is likely no need for a general tool kit with one of each type of the basic tools. Instead look for kits that include various takes on a tool category. For example, many power tool kits contain a skill saw, a jigsaw, a cut off tool, and a reciprocating saw alongside those other devices like a drill or lamp. And while you may already own one, two, or even three of said devices, it's hard to buy individual tools for the same price as you will get when buying a set. Therefore considering a power tool kit that contains several items you already possess might make simple economic sense. You can think of the redundant tools you acquire as backups in the event that one breaks later on in life.
Other Accessories To Consider
When you are using power tools, you should also be using at least minimal protective gear. This means, almost without exception, wearing thick work gloves and protective eyewear. Your hands are always the body part closest to that spinning blade or whirling bit, and your eyes are susceptible to damage from even the smallest fibers thrown up as you work; don't skip the basics when it comes to protective clothing. And depending on what materials you will be working with, also consider a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Inhaling fine particulate matter tossed up by a power tool can cause both acute and chronic health issues.
As for tools and accessories you likely won't find in a power tool kit and that you likely don't already own, one of most affordable, helpful devices is the stud finder. These handy handheld gadgets can save you hours of frustration and wasted effort when you properly sink screws into secure lumber rather than watching as chunks of drywall are ripped out by a collapsing shelf or falling picture frame.
Also don't overlook the effectiveness of "basic" hand tools, such as a classic screwdriver or wrench. While power tools can almost always deliver more torque and force, they can seldom deliver the same precision as a human being wielding a tool with care.
A Few Words On Power Tool Safety
As in all other aspects of life, always put safety first when using power tools. The primary reason power tools can be dangerous is the fact that accidents caused by these devices can happen so quickly. A blade's "kickback," a thrown drill but, or a shower of sparks can all occur in a mere split second, and the results of an accident caused by a power tool can include ruined machinery, costly property damage, and even severe personal injury.
Before you commence using any new power tool, even if it is a unit you feel competent in controlling, take a few minutes to get to know that specific implement. Check the chuck of a drill to make sure its bits will be held fast once in place, for example. Make sure you have properly locked the blade on a circular saw before even plugging the tool in. And inspect all protective and control surfaces, such as the rails on a reciprocating saw or the grips on an impact hammer, to make sure that nothing is loose, cracked, or compromised. The time to find a problem with a power tool is before you ever commence using the device.
Also make sure that you always use the proper power source for your tools. That means, when possible, working with batteries that are fully charged so you can count on proper function of devices thusly powered. And make sure to use outlets and, when needed, extension cords that are rated to handle the specified voltage of the power tool at hand.
Next, make sure you know exactly what materials you are going to be working with. If you are sawing through lumber, consider whether screws, nails, or other hardware might be present. If so, consider making an initial cut with a rugged reciprocating saw and then making a finer cut with a skill saw later. If you are drilling into metal, don't use a but designed for wood. Common sense is your clearest guide to power tool safety, but patience and attentiveness are also critical features.