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Power Tool Glossary


Power ToolPortable ToolsStationary Tools

Most power tools may be classified as drilling, cutting, or shaping tools, although a few special purpose power tools are classified as impact tools.

Drilling Tools

  • Drill Presses are stationary tools that are commonly used in wood and metal shops for drilling vertical holes in dense, solid materials.
  • Power Drills, which are available both as corded drills and cordless drills, are used to make holes of specified diameters in a wide variety of materials.
  • Rotary Tools are small, handheld devices that are used for detailed drilling, grinding, shaping, and polishing at high speeds.

Drilling a Hole in Drywall with a Power Drill

Cutting Tools

circular saw
  • Radial Arm Saws are stationary tools that can crosscut wide boards and make bevel cuts.
  • Table Saws are designed to make cross cuts and rip cuts by means of a round, motorized blade that protrudes through a slot in a level table.
  • Band Saws are stationary woodworking shop tools that can be used for a variety of cuts, including straight rip and cross cuts as well as curves and angles.
  • Miter Saws, also known as chop saws, are designed to make angled, or mitered, crosscuts.
  • Reciprocating Saws are high-power electric jigsaws that, depending on the saw blade, can be used to cut through most types of materials.
  • Circular Saws are portable tools that are used to cut framing lumber, plywood, and other sheet goods.
  • Jig Saws, also known as saber saws, are handheld electric saws that can make straight, curved, and angle cuts with a reciprocating or an orbital movement.
  • Scroll Saws are high-speed, powered coping saws that can be used for detail work on a variety of materials.

Shaping and Sanding Tools

orbital sander
  • Wood Lathes are turning tools that rotate a piece of material where it can be shaped into a rounded form.
  • Routers are versatile power tools that are used to cut edges, grooves, and slots.
  • Jointers are large, stationary tools that are used to make the face or edge of a board straight and true.
  • Benchtop Sanders are stationary sanding tools that are commonly used for shaping work.
  • Belt Sanders are portable, aggressing sanding machines that are used for coarse surfacing and shaping work.
  • Orbital Sanders are the simplest and safest form of power sander, and are frequently used for finish sanding.
  • Bench Grinders are designed for stationary grinding, buffing, and polishing when securely attached to a workbench or tool stand.

Impact Tools

  • Power Nailers are used to drive nails or staples quickly and quite effortlessly.
  • Hammer Drills are handheld drills that are typically used for drilling into masonry.

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Power Tool Glossary - Power Tools Defined