Workshop Series – 5 must have power tools

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Funky Junk's Workshop Series

Funky Junk Interiors and Mustard Seed Creations!

Miss Mustard Seed will be bringing you a new edition after her Luckette’s gig. She’s going to be talking about her biz and how she runs it from home, so stay tuned for that very cool series! 

And I haven’t forgotten about the onging photo series. I’ll get back to it very soon. Promise!

For today, let’s talk power tools!

~ 5 Must-have Power Tools ~

If you are a DIYer and not yet using power tools, you are SOOOO missing out.

Before I had any working knowledge of these scary buzzy things, I was soooo frustrated. I’d have these visions in my head but couldn’t implement a thing because I didn’t have the tools nor the knowledge.

Those days are slowly changing as my own tool stock and knowledge grows.
I’m going to show you my 5 must have power tools I could never do without ever ever again.

Palm Sander

Scary factor – 0/5 – just dusty

Used for – sanding rough surfaces

You totally need a palm sander if you work with any kind of wood projects. If you’re still using those sanding sponges (well, I use them too but for small stuff), you need this guy. It truly does the work for you. Some come with fancy bags attached  but I just use mine outside if possible and all is well. I tend to have poor luck with the velcro type (sandpaper keeps coming off) but better luck with this latch it on type.

Compound Miter Saw

Scary factor – 3/5 – they’re LOUD. But pretty safe.

Used for – straight cuts on thin boards, and miter cuts for moldings

A compound miter saw is your best friend. It cuts wood like a knife does through butter. The cuts are perfect each and every time.  I never put my miter saw away.  

If I were to ever buy another one of these, I’d get the one where they slide towards you more so you can cut larger pieces of wood. Without a doubt. Because I want it ALL. 🙂 If a compound miter saw comes that way that is.

Cordless drills

Scary factor – 0/5. These are FUN!

Used for – predrilling holes in metal or wood, screwing in stuff, making bigger round holes, etc etc.

Oh my word, I could not breathe one day without my cordless drill. I personally love the Makita brand as it’s a power house with the lithium batteries that last a long time. The big bonus is this unit is light enough for women to handle. Trust me, that’s a big deal if you are a woman.

If you buy this thing in a set, it’s MUCH cheaper. My set came with two drills as well as two batteries. Always have two batteries!  Oh oh! And this one has a little LED light that comes on when you use it too. 

I also like all the doodads in the matching case. But they are not the best of quality. Most of the bits in mine are terribly stripped, but we renovated my house HARD for a good 2 years or so, so I’m due to toss this one and buy new.

Nail Gun

Scary factor – 3/5 at first, but now, 1/5.

Used for – carefree nailing for molding, and thinner boards.

My newest discovered toy (I’ve had it for awhile) is the nail gun, in the picture above, located at the bottom left. Ptchoo! Ptchoo! Yes, it’s that easy to nail in stuff. LOVE it, but you need an air compressor to run it. Go ahead. Ask Santa/Hubby for this little combo and I’m most certain you’ll get it if Santa/Hubby can use it too. (wink!)


Scary factor – 1/5, but raises to 3/5 if you have a dull or bent blade or flimsy surface.

I just turn mine off and rethink it. 🙂 

Used for – freehand cutting wood

The jigsaw is a finicky thing if you don’t hold it just so, and as cuts are freehand, so are your not-so-straight-lines, so curve them on purpose like the above photo and you’re good to go!

Useful but scary tools are:

Tablesaw. But I’m scared to use mine so there it sits. I want one that mounts onto the wall. I can’t remember what they’re called, but they appear to be so much safer to use. Used for cutting nice straight lines in long boards. 

Circular saws are good for cutting bigger longer stuff, but I’m scared to use this one too. They can really kick back on you. So rude! I generally have someone in the know around me when I use mine.

Grinders scare me too and are pretty dangerous if not used with caution, but man, can they cut metal!

Chop Saw – I don’t have this and they totally scare the crap outta me, but I like to use my friend Dan’s under his supervision. These cut big chunks of metal, making fireworks of sparks.

Don’t forget to tie long hair back, wear safety glasses, long tight fitting sleeves and hearing protection with the more dangerous tools as well!

Me ~ “Yo, Miss Mustard Seed! It’s been awhile! Do tell, what are your fav power tools you use yourself and on your wish list?”

MMS ~ “Well, you hit the nail on the head.  My top five power tools are exactly the same as yours.  I am blessed to have a great hubby who likes woodworking, so we also own a table saw, band saw, circular saw, planer, jointer, a drill press and a few other things.  We would like to add a panel saw and a dust collection system down the road, but we have a great set-up.  I talk about power tools without commenting on my paint sprayer.  That is obviously the power tool I use the most, but it’s not cost effective or necessary for an average DIYer.”

Let’s talk tools! Love power tools? Scared of them? What do you use most? What’s on your wish list? Are you interested in learning how to use any of the above?

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Categories: Tools & Building, What To Get

48 thoughts on “Workshop Series – 5 must have power tools

  1. I’m in the scared category when it comes to saws. I can handle a sander, drill and nail gun. I really have not had to learn to use a saw because I have a very talented husband who can use them all and build me anything. I just have to find a photo of furniture I like and he builds it for me. I’m so blessed!

  2. I was scared just reading this! I know I need to just do it…. but I have this thing called a HUSBAND. I can’t seem to make myself just learn it.. he’s all for it, that’s for sure.

    Thanks for the interesting post. Now I need a project.

  3. I have those tools and the nail gun is scarier to me than then the miter saw. Not sure why. I think I could use a new jig saw as ours is pretty old and a bit on the wonky side. Now, what about a router? I have always wanted to get one but not sure how much I would use it. Do you have one of them?

  4. Oooo, I could talk power tools any time! Love them — and for exactly the reason you suggested, it allows so many more possibilities of things you can do! I do speaking engagements and always do a sander demonstration to show how safe it is (I actually sand my face — it usually gets a reaction!) So wanting a welder! But love the sawzall, drill(I like corded), nailer(rough), cut-off wheel, tile saw and dremel. I just have a basic miter/chop saw but I used my friends compound miter the other day — boy was that thing SWEET! The table saw does scare me a little bit too, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil.


  5. I’ve really just gotten around to start using power tools, other than a drill, in the past year. I use my drill, sander and a compound miter saw the most. I have a jigsaw but cant work it very well and the skill saw scares me to death.. i’m starting to use the nail gun a little more but it still makes me a little nervous too.

  6. I wonder why women in general are so afraid of this stuff and men aren’t? I think loud noisy things were simply invented moreso for guys… ya think?!?

    Excellent point on having a man around the house to do this stuff for you. I don’t have one so I don’t ‘think like that’ any longer. 🙂

    And then there are those of you that ‘get to wait’ for him to have time, yes? If so, pick up that tool and just do it! If I can, so can you!

    FJ Donna

  7. Sub an electric stapler/brad nailer for the nail gun and I have all of the above and love them one and all. Also have a table saw and a circular saw.

    My Dad never pulled the “You are a girl, you can’t do this” sort of thing when he was building stuff around the house. So I learned a lot from him. My table saw intimidates me a little bit but thanks to my compound miter saw (one that slides) I don’t have to worry too much about cranking up the table saw.

  8. I like tools, but they do scare me. Couldn’t live w/o my palm sander. My dad and I were making a wine holder for my sister once and I was cutting the wood with a scroll saw. I wasn’t wearing safety goggles and the blade flew off and hit me in the eye. Fortunatley my eye happened to be closed at that second, but I’m scared to use a scroll saw now.

  9. I just love how you dive right in to everything you do. You’re fearless!! As for me…my prince finally showed up when we were age 50. When I want something done, he always cheerfully says, “I HAVE the technology!” My hero!!

  10. Didn’t read this yet. You know I will…just saw the title. Does my vacuum cleaner count? I’m in love with it!!! Going to use the sweet heart right now!!!


  11. I expanding my power tool repertoire today with the purchase of a power paint sprayer, which I’m totally stoked about!

    I regularly use the power drill, palm sander, jig saw, and circular saw. I’m still doing the miters with a handsaw and box, but a compound miter saw sounds fun. I’d also LOVE a brad nail gun and power stapler. Santa, are you listening?!?!?

    I think the reason women are afraid of power tools is a strength issue. You really have to be in control of the tool to feel safe, and sometimes were just not.

  12. My dad was a carpenter and I was *still* intimidated by bigger power tools. Our wonderful high school shop teacher teaches an adult woodworking class for free every winter and I took it last winter. I’m less scared now, and will use most power tools by myself. I still “let” my hubby help sometimes, though. 😉

  13. Ok first things first. I think a sewing machine is a power tool too!
    Second. I have a compound miter saw! One that slides. And I really mean I have it, I bought it, it is mine! But my Love can borrow just as I borrow his tools 🙂 Have used it in my first project and I am no longer scared.
    I am getting to know power tools, one by one!

  14. I’m dying for a nail gun! I’m being greedy and asking for a cordless one! watch out! My hubby got me a compound miter saw for mother’s day . some people think that’s sad, i think it’s fab!!!!

  15. You’d think that I’d be doing the real tool thing…my dad built our house himself with his workshop tools. I stood by and handed him nails, cords, etc. when I was just 6 yo.

    OK, I don’t really belong here. But I like reading about this and think that you are off-the-chart amazing and I’m starting to think that you’re really Bob Villa and you’ve stolen pictures of some woman and named her Donna.

    My favorite tools are kitchen tools. Sorry. Not scary, very boring, I realize.

    However, I got scared reading about the nail gun, circular/table saws too. Must be a past memory or something….like nervous scared…hmmm.

  16. I love, love, love power tools. At the end of the day, though I always say a little thank you prayer that it was a safe day.
    I am aware of how dangerous they can be. I wish you wouldn’t be afraid of your table saw! It’s one of my favorites. I rarely use mine without the guard in place. I see people do that all the time, and it can be very, very, very dangerous. (kickback) I watched a video online when I first got mine, and it shows a piece of lumber being hurled across the room at the force of a tornado! But with the guard and pawls (sp) that won’t happen!
    Miter saw, love it! Nail gun… I have an 18 gauge battery operated one. I love, love, love that I don’t have to be tied down with an air compressor. Would I love to have a 16 gauge with an air compressor, sure I would. But don’t have a hubby or good fairy to buy me one.
    Drills, all I have to add is that it’s great to have more than one, so you can drill a pilot hole, sink, then screw all without changing 3 bits!
    Cool post! makes me want to run out and start sawing something right now!

  17. I too “Love my Power Tools”… could not live without them.. My hubby is afraid of them…lol
    What I’d love to have is a “Panel Saw” but no room for it!
    The only sadness here, “I have a pacer/defib implanted and can not use “Battery Tools” so I must have cords! bummer!
    Good Post!

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