Must-have Power Tools for the Intermediate DIYer

A jigsaw cutting rounded pieces of wood.
  • 1-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-2,000

Whether its restoring an old piece of furniture to its former glory or installing new flooring, the right tool makes any project go by that much smoother. In fact, not only will the appropriate tool get the job done right, but it will also save you precious time that you could use doing something else. With that in mind, here are a few intermediate power tools that every DIYer should have on hand in order to be prepared for the majority of projects around the house.

Nail Gun

nail gun joining two pieces of wood

A nail gun can really come in handy with projects that require brad or finish nails. This includes installing wall trim or moulding, and really anything that needs a fastener with a low profile. While nail guns come in all shapes and sizes, the easiest and most convenient ones to use are battery-powered. Along with the convenience of being cordless, these battery powered nail guns also eliminate the need for an air tank. The best part about nail guns is they are easy to use. Just install the correct nail that corresponds to the project and you are ready to go.

Dremel Rotary Tool

The biggest strength of a Dremel rotary tool, like many of the other tools on this list, lies in its utility. When used with the right attachment, this tool can drill, sand, grind, sharpen, saw, rout, polish, clean, engrave, and carve a number of different kinds of material. Dremels come in a number of different options including cordless, which makes this tool a perfect fit for just about any level of DIY project.


An orbital sander being used on some plywood.

More often than not, you will come across a DIY project that involves working with a wood surface. When this happens, a power sander will quickly become your best friend. Not only will this small device save you hours of hard work that comes with having to sand down surfaces by hand, but it's also super easy to use. Simply buy the appropriate type of paper for the job, attach it to the sander, and get to work.

Jig Saw

The jig saw is king when it comes to cutting curved lines on the go. This makes it a very versatile tool that can be used for a number of different projects, from cutting drywall to framing pieces. Another great aspect is the amount of options available, including jig saws that are wireless and ones that have laser guides. Jig saws are also easy to operate and can be easily guided with one hand.

Circular Saw

A circular saw being used on plywood.

For cuts that need to be made quickly and on the go, a circular saw is the tool for the job. Whether its cutting pieces of plywood to length or cutting down 2x4s for a framing project, a circular saw can really make a job go faster and comes with a fairly reasonable price tag. Furthermore, circular saws come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so finding one to fit your needs is pretty straightforward. For jobs that require limited cuts, consider purchasing a smaller, cordless circular saw, which are easier to handle and maneuver especially well in tight spaces.

Impact Driver

Impact drivers are starting to become a staple in many DIY toolboxes because of their ability to drive screws effectively. In fact, an impact driver can drive a screw better than any other tool on the market, including cordless drills. They are extremely useful if you find yourself involved in projects that require driving a lot of screws into hard surfaces, like installing new subflooring or building an extension to your deck. Although they are similar to a cordless drill, impact drivers use a collet that takes hex-shank bits instead of the usual chuck bits that are common in most drills.

Miter Saw

A miter saw.

Perhaps the greatest part of a miter saw is its versatility. While one might be quick to dismiss it as a tool for the advanced DIYer, miter saws can be used for a host of simple projects. Specifically, a miter saw’s best feature is its ability to cut angles, which makes it perfect for cutting trim and frame work. To get the perfect cut every time, simply turn the saw to the desired angle and pull down.

Of course, as is true with all the tools on this list, make sure you follow all the safety measures that are outlined in the manual to ensure you remain accident-free.