Typically, on a job site, we use both a regular drill and an impact drill. A lot of our front end work will require an impact drill, whereas a lot of the finishing work such as setting cabinets we will only use a regular drill. We recommend getting a set of the two drills that way you can interchange the batteries. One thing to be cautious of is that although the impact drill can be fun, fast, and make a cool noise, you lack control when using it. Do your homework before starting a project on when to use which drill.
Another tool that is very useful at all stages of a project is a hammer. From framing to flooring to finishing, we use a hammer. Usually with much different force though. When framing, you can use your hammer to pound nails or move boards into place. With flooring, we will use it to tap a piece of flooring into place, making it sit tight to the board next to it. Using a hammer during the finishing stages can be a risky decision, so you must be careful. The last thing you want to do is leave a mark in your brand new shelf or cabinet. We use anywhere from 18-22 oz hammers.
Keeping a job site clean will sometimes be more noticeable than the work itself. Cleaning up at the end of each day and periodically throughout each day is a good habit to have. Having a good vacuum can make a world of difference. We prefer rigid because of the durability, reliable filters, and compact size.
Also known as a multi-tool. This tool is a life saver. It’s essentially a utility knife on steroids. This tool will come in handy in more ways than you know. The only downfall is that blades can be expensive and they are not indestructible, so you have to be careful about what you are cutting. We use this tool A TON! It’s great for cutting down door casing if you have a build-up from the tile. It also works like a charm to cut shims.
5. Miter saw
A miter saw can be used for any cutting that you will do on a job site. Some people prefer to use a circular saw for cutting 2×4 material, but we find that using a miter saw with a stand works just as good plus it provides more accuracy. Along with most of the tools, we use the miter saw from start to finish. All our finish carpentry, including casing and base trim, is cut with a miter saw
6. Measuring Tape
This one should come as no surprise. Everything you cut also needs to be measured. Having precise measurements is crucial for all aspects of a project, whether it’s making cuts, creating the layout for cabinets or figuring out how wide a doorway is. For most of the work that we do a 16 ft tape measure is sufficient.
7. Putty Knife
This may come as a surprise to most people, but we use a putty knife more than you would believe. From the demo stage with taking the trim off the walls/doors to drywall touch-ups, we utilize the putty knife on all of our job sites.
8. Utility Knife
Most of the time, this sits right next to the tape measure in your pocket. Utility knives are used for almost anything you need to cut. Any packages that may come to a job site can be easily cut open with a utility knife, any shims that may be showing can be cut down with this tool as well. Also if you are painting old trim that’s already on the wall and are trying to pull the tape off after painting, this tool works great to cut an exact line on the tape to create a nice even line.
9. Nail Gun
There are different variations of nail guns. Typically most of the framing we do is so small and minimal that we will use screws instead of nails but you can most definitely frame any walls with a framing nailer. We use a 16g and 18g nailer on all of our projects. The 16g is used mostly for setting doors/window jamb and heavier trim pieces. Our 18g is used to attach all of our base trim and door/window casing. If you are putting up 1/4 round on your base trim, it may be a good idea to look into a pin nailer or 23g nailer to ensure you are getting the smallest visible holes possible.
10. Your Brain
You always need this to succeed on a job site. Innovation is a skill that you will need that you can’t buy. Every day we run into situations that need basic common sense. You can have the nicest tools in the world, the cleanest job in the world, or the most precise measuring skills, but there will come a time where your brain will be all you need. Having experience and taking your time on the job is crucial to ensure you get the outcome you want.
Shop all of our favorite power tools:
If you’re looking for what power tools to purchase for your remodel project, we wrote another post about our favorite power tools, including prices and where to buy them HERE.
DEWALT Cordless Drill | DEWALT Impact Driver | DEWALT Hammer Drill | DEWALT Miter Saw | DEWALT Circular Saw | DEWALT Jigsaw | DEWALT Orbital Sander | DEWALT Finish Nailer | Husky Air Compressor | Rigid Wood Router | RIGID 16 gallon, wet/dry