You’re only as good as your tools.


First Things First:

Go to the Experts

I’m a fan of buying local, but if you don’t have a local hardware store that sells serious tools, Lowe’s or Home Depot are a good place to go. The people are friendly and they’re used to helping customers figure out the kind of tools they need to get the job done.

Lowe’s even has guides for choosing power tools, hand tools, and more.

Get the Essentials  

If you find yourself often in the midst of a DIY project, there are a few tools that could probably help your process. These tools are essential for most projects and may be a good start for you. There’s no need to buy power tools if you don’t know if you’ll use them. Essential power tools are, obviously, essential, so it’s likely you’ll use them. But if you’re working on a project that requires specialty tools, consider renting or borrowing first.

It never hurts to have a power drill, nail gun, or a circular saw for construction projects around the house, especially if you plan to build a deck, patio or outdoor entertainment space.

For more intense projects, consider a table saw or a miter saw. You may even want your own bulldozer, but maybe rent/borrow one first.

Rent/Borrow if You’re Unsure   

Power tools can be pretty expensive. They’re an expensive investment that’s worth trying out a couple times first to see if you really use them that often, or if you like the style or brand you are using. Renting power tools and equipment allows you to try out a variety of products before having to commit.  

Home Depot allows customers to rent power tools. Just check out their website for pricing and selection details.

If you don’t want to rent, consider asking a friend if you can borrow their power tools for a project. That way you can try out the tools without having to buy.

When You’re Ready to Buy:

Get the Combo Pack

If you’re starting your tool collection from scratch, a combo pack is a great way to get the most for your money. Buying a combo pack allows you to buy several tools, but only have to purchase a single battery and charger, which is cheaper than buying a battery and charger for every tool you buy.

Stick with a Brand

After you’ve rented or tried out a friend’s tools, and you’re ready to buy, consider sticking to one brand. Sticking with a brand can get you loyalty rewards and continuity with your tools. You can often save money buying combo packs from a brand, and you will probably only have to buy one kind of charger.

Shop Sales

Once you know what kind of power tool or equipment you want, including brand and accessories, peruse or wait for sales. Holidays are often when tools are on sale. There are also days and weekends, like Father’s Day or Thanksgiving/Black Friday, or the Summer season, when tools and equipment go on sale. You don’t have to leave the house to shop sales either. You can get great deals online, too.