The Top Power Tools Every DIYer Wants for Christmas
A DIYer can never have enough power tools. Take a look at what our editors truly want for Christmas.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
High-Powered Oscillating Tool
The most common complaints about oscillating tools are slow speed and a lack of power. Dremel has addressed these issues with a model that boasts a 5-amp motor, while most oscillating tools are in the 2- to 3-amp range.
The extra-wide oscillation angle of 3.5 degrees removes more material with every pass of the blade for faster, more precise cuts. Its angled body allows clearance for fingers during flush cuts and its compact front end gets the tool into smaller spaces than competing tools can.
Last, Dremmel has fitted the tool with a wrench-less blade change, simplifying task for quick change-outs. The tool comes with a bag and 30 accessories for cutting, sanding multiple materials. It sells for $125 on Amazon.
Always get perfect trim on all your projects.
Cordless Glue Gun
Ryobi has transformed a useful tool into one that’s super handy. Its new One+ 18V Cordless Glue Gun feels like a real tool in your hand. And it heats up quickly. You need to know these 19 hot-glue hacks.
Unlike most glue guns, which lie on their sides, this model stands up straight, keeping the business end out of harm’s way. And as the name says, it’s cordless! You can choose one of several Ryobi One+ lithium batteries and has a run-time of more than three hours. You can buy the tool and batteries online at Amazon.
An Innovative Hole Saw
Spyder Products has been around for less than 10 years and has already come up with several industry-changing tools. And its new hole saws are packed with a ton of features. Use these tips to master your hole saw.
The Rapid Core Eject system makes removing the core as easy as pushing a button and pulling down on the saw blade. The carbide-tipped blade shown here rips through wood as if it were cardboard and can even drill through concrete!
You can also enlarge existing holes. For example, if you need to enlarge a 2-in. hole into a 3-in. hole, just install a 2-in. hole saw inside a 3-in. hole saw. The 2-in. saw acts like a guide instead of the drill bit—that’s impressive! The basic 14-piece carbide-tipped kit sells for about $100 at Lowe’s.
Milwaukee Brushless Drivers
We love Milwaukee’s new impact driver and hammer drill: brushless motors for longer run-times, Milwaukee’s best batteries and all the bells and whistles (LED lights, power meters, belt hooks, etc.).
We’ve used these tools hard for a few months now and they haven’t let us down. We were particularly impressed by the impact driver’s speed selector, which can give you better control when set for slow speed.
You can get the two tools as a set, with two batteries and a charger. Plus, you’ll find lots of other pro tools that use the same excellent battery platform.Here’s why you should never use chrome-plated sockets with an impact driver.
Attention Basement Remodelers…
And anyone else who drives lots of concrete screws. You might want to throw some money at the Irwin 1881131 Impact Performance Series Concrete Screw Drill-Drive Installation Set. (If you shop around online, you can find it for $35 or so.)
This nine-piece set contains everything you need to drive the most common concrete screw sizes: four drill bits, a drive sleeve, two hex drive bits and two Phillips drive bits. The drive sleeve makes it simple to shift from drilling to driving in seconds. These tips make fastening to concrete a snap!
User-Friendly Miter Saw Stand
Old-school miter saw stands represented a leap forward for their time, but when it comes right down to it, remain clunky and awkward. New models, like the Delta Steel Adjustable Rolling Miter Saw Stand employ a folding design that takes up less shop space, sets up quickly and (best of all) rolls on wheels.
All you do is push one foot lever to fold it up and the same lever to unfold it—nothing could be easier. Master the tighter miter.
In addition, it includes extending support arms and work stops to each side of the saw and its steel-tube construction can support 400 pounds. If you’re looking for a user-friendly saw stand with all the features, check out the Delta Steel Adjustable Rolling Miter Saw Stand. It retails for about $190.
Lenox recently added a curved recip blade to its already impressive lineup. The curve helps change the angle of attack on every stroke, which speeds up cutting—similar to the orbital action on many reciprocating saws. Save time and money with these tips for reciprocating saws.
These blades are not intended for dainty scrollwork; they’re most useful when you have a whole bunch of aggressive cuts to make. Lenox Gold Power Arc Curved Blades are available at Lowe’s, tool suppliers and online. A five-pack costs about $17.
Big Blade, Deep Cuts
Cut, flip, cut again. That’s how we have to cut a thick post or beam with a regular circular saw. Maybe the cuts line up, maybe they don’t. With the new 10-1/4-in. worm-drive saw from Skilsaw, you can cut through thick materials in one clean pass. When should a circular saw blade be replaced?
The saw has a cutting capacity of 3-11/16 in., and it weighs only 16.45 lbs. (less than some 7-1/4-in. worm-drive saws.) The motor is powerful enough to plow through the toughest laminated veneer lumber. This beast of a saw, called the Sawsquatch, costs about $429 online. — Mark Petersen
Ever More Powerful Cordless Yard Tools
Not that long ago, battery-powered outdoor equipment was a promising idea, but not all that practical. But battery technology has improved, and the power of modern lithium-ion batteries has grown substantially. First there was 18 volts, then 36 volts, then 40, 56 and now even 80 volts from a single battery!
Reliable push-button starting, quieter operation and no messing with gas (or worse, mixing gas and oil!) or clogged carburetors. You’ll find most of the major manufacturers making these next-generation tools: Echo, Ryobi, Milwaukee, Oregon, Kobalt, Craftsman, Stihl and Greenworks.
Each offers many tools that take the same batteries: mowers, trimmers, chain saws, blowers, pole trimmers, hedge trimmers and more. The new 80V battery from Greenworks will even run a snow blower! Cordless tools cost more up front, but they are super-handy! If you’ve ever doubted that battery-powered tools would pack enough power for you, give these new ones a try.
A Superior Air Hose
I’ve been using a Flexzilla air hose for about five years now as I build our summer home. It’s seen me through framing, sheathing, roofing, siding and trim. This hose is as good as it gets: It lies flat with absolutely no coil memory. It’s soft and doesn’t mar woodwork but is tough enough to use on the roof.
It coils easily, and the bright color makes it easy to spot, so you’re less likely to trip or run over it. It’s one of those rare accessories that I would instantly replace if I ever lost it. The 50-ft., 3/8-in.-diameter version costs about $35 at home centers and online. — Ken Collier
Use your finish nailer in ways you hadn’t thought of before with these tips.
A Sawhorse and Then Some
The Centipede—a multi-legged, portable support base—folds out in seconds and is as versatile as it is funky looking. It can function as a workbench, tool stand, table base, or as a pair of good, old-fashioned sawhorses.
It’s not only perfect for construction but also handy on a camping trip, tailgating or anywhere you need a stable platform. The two sizes both come with quick clamps to cinch down sheet goods, and X-cups designed to hold 2x4s. The 2 x 4-ft. model can support 1,500 lbs. The 4 x 8-ft. version can handle 3,000 lbs.!
Up next, read about our simple hacks to maximize the usefulness of your sawhorses.