The First 5 Power Tools to Add to Your Tool Box

There are always going to be minimalists that insist you don't need anything but a hammer. So if you're looking to add a few power tools to your toolbox, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, we've put together a short list of the 5 best power tools for beginners to add to their arsenal—whether you're taking on a huge renovation or just trying to keep up with little home repairs.
If you wander into Home Depot looking for a new addition to your workbench, it's easy to be overwhelmed with the latest 10-in-1 power tools that promise to solve all your problems.

Instead, stock up on these basics, if you haven't already. These essential power tools can tackle almost any task:

1. Drill / Driver
Essential to anchoring frames on the wall, everyone should make this their first power tool purchase. Get a combination drill and driver tool that can drill holes in the wall with a drill bit, then seamlessly get to work screwing around with flat- and phillips-head attachments.

2. Laser Level
Another one that going to help you with simple around-the-house tasks, the laser level is a definite upgrade from your dollar-store plastic level. You'll get hands-free precision accuracy each time.

3. Jigsaw
The jigsaw is a hand held tool that can cut detailed shapes into wood, metal and other materials. Where the most saws cut straight lines, the jigsaw can cut curves—making it ideal for any creative projects you've got.

4. Circular Saw
A circular saw is necessary if you're going to be cutting straight through anything wider than a soup can. Whether you choose a hand-held or table-mounted circular saw, it's perfect for sizing down just-a-bit-too-long lumber or shortening table legs.

5. Impact Wrench
An impact wrench doesn't do anything differently than a simple wrench. The difference is that it does it better. Instead of constanlty tightening nuts and bolts that loosen up over time, an impact wrench will securely tighten them the first time it's used.



(Images: Flickr user penguincakes under license from Creative Commons; Beam Laser Level 2010; Plumber Surplus; ToolHead; Hire Station.)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer based in Atlanta, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She loves her fiance, her dog Bacon, and collecting beer koozies when she travels.

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