Modern tools for the Home Handyman
There has been a revolution in power tools for the home handyman over the last few years, brought on principally because of the massive developments in lithium ion batteries, but also because of the massive manufacturing capability of China.
It is possible for the home handyman to be able to build high quality fencing, decking, wooden garden beds and wooden garden furniture using a small set of power tools, and none of these need to be from high end manufacturers.
The home handyman will definitely need a good skill saw, but he or she does not need to pay more than $50 or $60 for this. A good tungsten carbide tipped blade is essential. The handyman will also need a good battery powered drill and a good battery powered impact driver, and it is probably better to try and get a good brand, but it is not necessary to spend a lot of money. The handyman will also want to have a good set of drill bits and screw bits.
Other tools that are vital are a decent set square, level, a good tape measure, a good string line, a good pair of hands clamps and a good builders pencil. It’s also possible to pick up a cheap but effective electric plane, which is good for smoothing down the square edges of garden planter boxes and furniture etc. A hammer is also necessary, but in almost all cases the hammer will only be used to tap timber for adjustment purposes, as the modern impact driver pretty well replaces the need to hammer in any nails.
A very handy piece of furniture for the home handyman is a solid picnic table, as these can be used in conjunction with the hand clamps as a very solid workbench in order to cut up timber. With the modern skill saw and using the hand clamps to grip the work, and as long as the blade is relatively new and very sharp, then it is possible to cut any timber as accurately and as clearly as with a modern drop saw. However it is probably preferable to use a drop saw for cutting up decking, as it is fast and very accurate and provides a very neat finish simply because the end of the cut is at the bottom of the timber because the cut is vertical.
The impact driver is the only way to go when assembling planter boxes and the framing for any fencing and decking, as it is very accurate and fast to use, the screws themselves are very cheap, and the fixing itself is very strong and therefore only a few screws are needed. With a good set of power tools and supporting equipment, projects such as building a deck or building garden planter boxes or furniture can be completed much faster and with a lot more fun than previously, leaving a lot more time to accurately layout the work before starting construction.