There’s nothing quite like the feeling of building or repairing something using your own two hands and a fully charged power tool. You will discover a sense of accomplishment and forget about any stress in your life by focusing on the project in front of you. Whether you’re a professional, a hobbyist, or you just need to fix a few things around the house, here are three power tools you need to have in your collection.

Nail Gun

Not only does the nail gun (or nailer) have the coolest-sounding name this side of the chainsaw, it is an extraordinarily useful tool. Forget the headaches associated with your trusty old hammer and pick up a nail gun the next time you need to drive a nail into something. Instead of requiring a loud pounding, a nail gun only needs one shot to get that nail where it needs to go. As much fun as a nail gun might sound, though, always exercise extreme caution when using a nailer or any other power tool. Nail guns have two types of firing mechanisms, as follows:

  • Sequential Firing: This is the safer option, as you must let go of the trigger each time you want to fire a nail. Sequential firing also requires the gun’s nose to be pressed against the surface you’re nailing before the trigger will work.
  • Dual Contact Firing: Rather than pulling the trigger for each nail you want to shoot, dual-contact allows you to keep firing nails as long as you hold the trigger down and have the nose pressed against the surface. This comes in handy when you are firing a series of nails in a row, but there is the remote possibility that you may accidentally press the nose against something else while your finger is on the trigger.

Depending on the project, there are a number of different types of nail guns available, including framing nailers, finishing nailers, flooring nailers, roofing nailers, and brad nailers. While cordless nail guns tend to be more expensive than their pneumatic counterparts, they provide a more convenient experience since you can use them anywhere. If you’re not sure what kind of nail gun you need, check out for more information.

Electric Drill

A tried-and-true staple of any handyman’s tool kit, the portable electric drill has been around for over a hundred years. Recent advancements in battery technology have made the cordless drill even more essential, with a variety of accessories that can be mounted on to the drill to perform different tasks. The development of lithium-ion batteries allows increased power and more time between charges, so you can do whatever job you need to do without worrying about the battery dying. Some specialty drills are equipped with built-in LED lighting so you can see exactly what you’re doing, and there are also smart drills that will adjust the power you need based on the project you’re doing. Like most gadgets these days, the smart drill can connect wirelessly to a cloud-based tool management system to exchange information.

Power Sander

Although sanding is no one’s idea of a good time, it’s an unavoidable task for anyone who works with wood for pleasure or pay. There’s almost something zen about gently but forcefully sanding your wood down until it’s perfectly smooth. If you’re an active do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t enjoy the monotonous sanding process, however, an electric power sander will do the job more efficiently while basically doing all the work for you. Three of the most versatile types of this tool are belt sanders, orbital finishing sanders, and random-orbit sanders.

  • Belt Sander: For a large, rough surface that requires a vigorous sanding, the belt sander is the heaviest-dutiest option at your disposal. Perfect for removing paint, stain, varnish, and other old finish. If you really want to have a good time, try a technique called gang sanding – clamp a few boards together and smooth down their narrow edges at the same time, rather than doing them separately. Just be careful, because this big guy can be hard to handle in the hands of a novice and can really do some damage to a workshop.
  • Orbital Finishing Sander: The yin to the belt sander’s yang, the orbital finishing sander is lightweight, quiet, and easy to use with one hand. Best used for lighter duty such as rounding sharp edges, sanding off putty, and ultra-smooth wood sanding. That means it’s also pretty harmless and doesn’t pose much of a threat; regardless, safety first.
  • Random-Orbit Sander: If the belt sander and the orbital finishing sander had a baby together, it would be the random-orbit sander. Although it resembles the orbital finishing sander in appearance, this powerful and flexible tool is capable of performing more strenuous tasks as well as ultra-smooth sanding. It has a square pad – rather than a round pad – that spins and vibrates simultaneously to achieve the desired effect. As a result, it doesn’t leave behind a noticeable swirl in the wood. While it doesn’t work as quickly as the belt sander, the random-orbit sander can handle most projects due to its versatility.

Even though a majority of power sanders come equipped with dust-collection bags or wet/dry vacuum ports, you should always wear a dual-cartridge respirator or dust mask when you’re sanding away, especially if the wood is coated with varnish or paint. Safety glasses are also recommended when using power tools, and be aware of any loose or baggy clothing at all times.

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