I often have people ask about different tools I like, would recommend, or feel are essential tools to have in my workshop for all my upcycling projects. This happens even more so around the Holidays when ya’ll are looking to add to your Christmas lists. Well I finally decided to create one place for all of the above for easy reference!
I am linking these tools to Amazon so you can see more details, ratings, cost etc for yourself. I am an affiliate of Amazon, so if you ever click one of those links to make a purchase, I will earn a teeny tiny commission for referring you, at no extra cost to you of course.
Please be sure to read and follow all safety precautions that accompany your new tools, and wear the proper safety gear when suggested! You DIYers are on your own here…confessionsofaserialdiyer.com is not responsible for lost fingers!
Let’s start with the big guns, the saws! These are the heavies I use on a regular basis that I could not do without.
- First up is the miter saw:
This is one of the two types of saws I use on a regular basis. I actually just got this Ryobi Sliding Miter Saw with Laser seen above for Christmas and I love it! I gives me the ability to cut perfect pieces up to 12″ in depth. It also has a laser light that let’s me know my wood is lined up right where I want it to be.
Before that I had a really old Delta that I could not even find anywhere but on eBay, but it did not slide, so it only cut up to 6″. It was still perfect for easily cutting my beloved fence pickets to the lengths I need, for chopping the legs off of headboards when needed, and basically cutting anything that is less than 6″ in perfect cuts. This saw cuts straight and angled cuts. This one is highly recommended on Amazon.
- The other saw I use most is a table saw:This Craftsman Evolv 15 amp Table Saw is a cost-friendly option with good ratings that is very similar to what I use. My table saw is what I use to cut my hardboard for my chalkboards, my beadboard for various projects and anything larger that I need to cut.
- If these two saws are too intimidating, there is one more saw that might be the perfect place to start, and that is a Jig Saw:
I have this exact one and it’s a Ryobi Cordless 18V One Plus Lithium-Ion Orbital Jig Saw . It is cordless which is awesome, but the battery and charger are sold separately, which can be quite pricey. (They can be used with their whole line of cordless tools though.) I had this Black Decker Jig Saw prior to getting my cordless one and it worked fantastically for the money. I’d definitely recommend it as well. The Jig Saw will cut all of the above I mentioned. I also used this saw to cut the center panels from my kitchen cabinets when I was replacing them with glass, something I wouldn’t be able to use my other saws for. Your cut lines will not be as perfect, but it does the job.
Those are the saws I use and recommend.
- No workshop would be complete without a drill! I have three drills in my workshop, but my favorite is my Black and Decker cordless drill:
What I love about this drill is that it is smaller than most standard drills, so it is perfect for my small hands, but it functions just as well as the bigger ones I have, definitely a must-have.
- Next up is my nailgun:
I have this Passlode Cordless Straight Finish Nailer. It rocks! I have had to borrow my Dad’s big ole compressor in the past to install mouldings and it was a pain in the you know what. This little baby gets its power from fuel cells instead. I am still on my original two that we purchased. This tool is perfect not only for attaching mouldings, but also for building shelves, adding new backing to furniture pieces, building DIY wooden crates like these, or for projects like installing a Faux Coffered Ceiling.
- I wouldn’t get very far on a lot of my furniture projects without my orbital sander:
I actually have this Ryobi one now which works great, but before I bought that one I had the Black and Decker Orbital Sander pictured above. It was cheaper, worked just as well, and lasted forever with pretty heavy use.
- For vacuuming up all that sanding dust off of my furniture pieces, a shop vac is essential. I have an older version of the Shop-Vac 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum:
I use the brush attachment as not to scratch my projects’ surfaces.
- One of my favorite tools that I use all the time is my Logan Point Driver:
This time-saving tool is how I secure chalkboards into their frames, and it is also a big player when I make trays. It’s so much easier than trying to use a hammer and small nails, although that works too. See this tool in action in this post. You can find the replacement points here.
- I couldn’t do most of my upholstery projects without my staple gun, and honestly, my favorite one to use is super cheap, a light duty Stanley:
I use the 5/16″ size staples the most. What I love about this staple gun is that it is easy for my small hands to use, and it works perfectly for my small upholstery projects. I have had an electric one and it never would drive the staples all the way in properly. If I ever try a bigger, badder option, then I will update this post, but for now this is perfect for my needs.
It’s an upholstery and heavy duty staple remover and it makes light work of removing all those staples, as anyone who has tackled removing the bajillion staples from an upholstery project will appreciate.
- And finally, what workshop would be complete without a good set of clamps?
I have an older version of these Quick-Grip Clamps, several of them actually, and I use them all the time to fix furniture pieces.
Those are my top 10 essential tools I have and use on a regular basis in my workshop! There are still many things missing from our DIY arsenal though, so I will be following up with another list soon. I’ll be focusing on the smaller products and tools that are essential to rehabbing furniture and anything else you want to upcycle, so stay tuned!
How about an oldie but goodie before you go to get your thrifty makeover fix?
Check out what I did with this $30 thrift store headboard HERE! 🙂
I’ll be back on Thursday sharing what I did with this $40 estate sale book case:
See ya’ll then! 🙂
UPDATE: Check out the new and improved bookcase HERE now!
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