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Portable Power Tools


Power Tool • Portable Tools • Stationary Tools

cordless tools The right power tools can turn a tedious, time-consuming job into one that is easy, fast, and safe.  While power tools were once reserved for the serious professional, there are now so many affordable power tools on the market that even a do-it-yourselfer has no reason not to add them to his tool inventory.

Portable power tools can make a job even easier, because many of them allow you to work anywhere — the house or the yard — without having to be near an electrical outlet.  Common portable power tools include drill drivers, circular saws, jigsaws, reciprocating saws, sanders, routers, power planers, rotary hand tools, and nailers and staplers.

  • Electric Drills:  The cordless electric drill can be used for so many purposes, that it can be considered the most basic power tool for professional and hobbyist tool users alike.  Electric drills can drill holes, drive screws, and remove screws, as well as sand, grind, file, rasp, and buff.  Cordless drills are classified by battery power.  Higher voltage batteries cost more, but they also run for longer periods of time between charging.  Drills come in many sizes and often have variable speeds for use on a wide variety of jobs.  Many portable drills come with a number of accessories that allow them to accomplish many different tasks.  For portable electric drill reviews, visit these Consumer Search and Fine Woodworking cordless drills pages.  For cordless drill selection criteria and safety tips, please visit CordlessDrills.us.
  • Circular Saws:  In addition to being used by professionals, a portable circular saw is the perfect tool for individuals who do their own remodeling and maintenance.  A portable circular saw can be carried directly to the work site, which means that you don't need to haul lumber and other heavy materials into the shop.  Circular saws are sized by blade diameter.  All circular saws feature two standard adjustments:  cutting depth and angle.  Miter guides, rip fences, and protractor guides are the most common accessories for circular saws; these saw accessories ensure that your cuts are straight and accurate.  For circular saw reviews, visit these Consumer Search and Fine Woodworking circular saws pages.
  • Jigsaws:  Because it can make both straight and curved cuts, as well as cut bevels and angles, the jigsaw is one of the most versatile tools for both the professional woodworker and the hobbyist.  A good jigsaw can do almost everything a circular saw can do.  Jigsaws come in a wide variety of models and ranges, from light-duty, single-speed models to heavy-duty variable-speed tools.  For jigsaw reviews, visit this Fine Woodworking jigsaws page.
  • Reciprocating saws:  Reciprocating saws are similar to jigsaws, but their blades are heavier, their strokes are longer, and their motors are more powerful.  Reciprocating saws are commonly used in demolition work, and they can also be used to cut openings for outlets, pipes, doors, and windows.  For reciprocating saw reviews, visit this Popular Mechanics reciprocating saws page.
  • Sanders:  There are basically three kinds of portable sanders:  belt sanders, orbital sanders, and random-orbit sanders.  All three types of sanders are designed to remove surface defects and smooth the finish, but depending upon your project, you may need more than one sander.  Belt sanders are heavy-duty sanders used for preparing wood for finish sanding or removing defects.  Orbital sanders are best used for finish sanding, while random-orbit sanders are the most versatile of sanders and can be used for both rough sanding and fine sanding.  For portable sander reviews, visit these Popular Mechanics and Fine Woodworking sanders pages.
  • Routers:  Routers are used for shaping the edges of a workpiece; they can create molding patterns, make raised-panel doors, make dovetail and box joints, shape edges, and cut internal designs.  Routers can also cut grooves, dadoes, rabbets, and mortises.  Routers come in a variety of weights, and heavier routers handle the most heavy-duty work.  For portable router reviews, visit this Fine Woodworking routers page.
  • Power Planers:  Power planers do the same jobs as belt sanders, but they do them more finely and quickly.  Power planers are necessary tools for the cabinetmaker, but do-it-yourselfers use them as well for smoothing, tapering, sizing, and leveling edges and flat surfaces, as well as planing doors and trim for proper fit.  For portable planer reviews, visit this Fine Homebuilding power planers page.
  • Rotary tools:  Portable rotary tools are great for professional craftsmen doing detail work, but they are also handy for amateurs who want to use them for hobbies and crafts.  Rotary tools feature speeds up to 30,000 RPM and are capable of spinning a variety of bits.  For more detailed rotary tool information and reviews, visit this Rotary Tools website.
  • Nailers and staplers:  A portable nailer or stapler is the essential tool for anyone who wants to fasten things quickly and accurately, including trim, carpet, ceiling tile, insulation, and other materials.  For portable nailer information and reviews, visit this Wikipedia page.

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Portable Power Tools and Cordless Tools