Power Tools 101: How to Use a Circular Saw, and Why You Definitely Need One in Your Tool Kit

Power Tools 101: How to Use a Circular Saw
In partnership with The Home Depot


A healthy fear of power tools isn't a bad thing. They're powerful tools, after all – capable making big holes in solid objects and ripping whole boards in half with one swift motion. That being said, power tools are also extremely useful, and once you've learned how to safely and effectively operate them, they open up a world of DIY possibilities. The best way to combat any reservations you have about operating power tools is to do your research. Continue Reading

Power Tools 101: Power Sanders.

No matter how great the payoff, sanding is no fun…kinda like exercising, tweezing your eyebrows, or studying for final exams.

Electric sanders don’t make the process any more fun, but they will speed it up. And with prices under $100, they because a very useful tool for the homeowner and ambitious DIYster.

Sanding. Techinically, sanding doesn’t make wood smoother, it makes it uniformly rough: abrasives in sandpaper make tiny cuts in the wood. Sandpaper is categorized by “grits”, with the numbers corresponding to the average grit size: coarse (20-60 which are used for removing lots of wood or saw or burn marks, medium grit (80-100) which then remove the scratches made by the coarse grit paper, and then fine grit (120-1000).
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Power Tools 101: Circular Saws.

The circular saw is perfect when portability is crucial. At home, provided it you use it safely, it makes an ideal first power saw, as it can do both rip cuts and cross cuts, and will continue to find uses in woodworking and DIY applications.



Size and Blades.
The standard blade size for a corded circular saw is 7 1/4”, though there’s at least one 9 5/8” model. Cordless saws are generally smaller, and come in 5 3/8” and 6 1/2”. Continue Reading

Power Tools 101: The Cordless Drill/Driver

No matter which sort of DIY projects are your forte, eventually you’ll need to drill a hole in them and screw them to something else. Enter the Cordless Drill/Driver, the telltale trophy of the true Do-It-Yourselfer, and most people’s entrance into the world of power tools.

    When looking to purchase your first drill, or when updating or augmenting an old standby, the number one rule is to buy what you need, or what you think you might need in a year or two. Continue Reading

Power Tools 101: The Right Tool for the Job.

Types of Power Tools. Some say there are two basic groups of power tools: professional and homeowner. It’s more helpful to think of power tools in four categories: light use, DIY, contractor, and high-end. Of course, there’s plenty of overlap, and no particular manufacturer makes tools in only one category.



    • Light use tools are those designed for light-duty, occasional use around the home: assembling furniture, hanging blinds or artwork, minor repair work, etc. These tools are usually found at general retail stores and home centers.
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