Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Power Tools for Home Use

Once you become a home owner, you end up with lots of little jobs that you have to work on that are too small to call a handyman for, and too big for a manual screw driver. This is especially the case if you have a rental property, since some renters will call you for literally anything from flipping a breaker switch to lubricating a vent with WD-40.

I ended up with 2 fairly decent pieces of kit for work around the house. The first is the Denali 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver kit. It's a fairly small and handy set, and comes with drill bits as well as screw driver bits. It doesn't have a lot of power, but it's also fairly safe to use. It's not meant to drive screws into studs, but it's perfect for say, screwing in a long screw onto an existing pre-drilled slot, installing keypad locks, and other such small jobs. The low power is actually useful for delicate jobs, as you won't risk driving screws that are canted or hammering in things that shouldn't be hammered.

For jobs that require more power, I ended up with the Makita 10.8V Impact Driver and Drill. The set is now obsolete, and has been replaced by the 12V combo. They are quite a bit more powerful, capable of driving screws and drilling holes into studs. The battery life is incredible, and the charging time ridiculously fast, though my usual complaints about people who design chargers that go from red to green to indicate charge status apply.

What's nice is that the set is fairly light, which translate to less fatigue. You might not think this a big deal, but when you're squatted down and bent over trying to get a screw hammered in at a corner this becomes huge. The biggest issue is that there was a lot of confusion for me as to what drill bits/screw-driver heads were compatible with this. The poor reviews on the Markita branded bit set scared me from buying them, but after collecting a few sets that were incompatible from the local hardware store I realized that I should have ignored those lousy reviews and just bought them. For a typical home user, these sets are essentially consumables and you should plan on replacing them every few years anyway, so why sweat the crappy reviews?

In any case, in terms of the number of handyman calls I've avoided as a result of owning this set of tools, I've more than made back triple the cost of the tools, so these come recommended.

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