Whether you are an independent construction company or a large scale contractor, power tools will be one of the driving forces of your business.
Whilst there are hundreds of both tools to choose from, typically these can be separated into more general tools that are owned and maintained by the company and more specialist tools that are brought in for special situations, such as tailored saw and drill hire tools.
However, there are always going to be tools that will be used frequently enough and for enough projects that having them to hand becomes more cost-effective than repeated hires, so here are the five most important types of power tools to own in your construction business.
Renowned for their versatility, the one single power tool that every builder simply cannot do without is the humble power drill, which can trace its current design and form back to Black And Decker’s original 1914 design.
What makes a power drill so useful, however, is the sheer range of ways it can be used for outdoor and indoor construction. There are hundreds of different types of drill bits and attachments that can be fitted onto a standard drill that can turn your drill into practically any other tool.
From boring holes to screwing in fasteners quickly to even drilling augers, shearing metal, fitting rivets and working as a water pump, a well-made, powerful electric drill can become the lynchpin of your business.
If you plan on using your power drill to bore holes in stronger materials or even take down entire walls, a hammer drill is a useful addition to your toolkit, as it combines a powerful rotary motion with a powerful percussive impact.
This can be particularly useful for mounting electrical boxes into a wall where you are unsure how much of the masonry you need to drill into.
It is difficult to appreciate how much time a powerful circular saw can save when shortening metal strips, pipes and timber, as it is very easy to use and can make very quick and accurate cuts.
A circular saw with a powerful blade and accurate guide can be used to make some very accurate and very quick cuts. Some abrasive saws are so powerful and have such sharp blades that they can cut through thick metal, tile, stone and even concrete.
A mitre saw is essentially a circular saw attached to a swinging arm which allows for quick raising and lowering, which can be useful in specific circumstances to measure particular lengths of pipe, timber and other materials.
In some cases, particularly if you require a lot of wood and other material to be cut lengthways accurately, it can be worthwhile to invest in a powerful table saw for your workshop.
Most saws are designed with straight-line cuts in mind. However, for accurate curved cuts, fitted designs and more intricate stencilling, a robust jigsaw with a sharp blade is an ideal option.
Jigsaws are often used for cutting holes in the centre of projects such as kitchen worktops, as well as skirting board designs and cutting around pipes and wires.
However, despite a jigsaw being technically a saw blade, it is used in a very different way to a circular saw, and you should never try to cut a straight line with a jigsaw.
Alternatively, if you want a blade that is slightly stronger but without the guide and grip of a jigsaw, a sabre saw is also an option.
If you need nails hammering into a wall, a good quality hammer will do the job fine. However, if you do a lot of nailing and fitting objects onto walls, it can be surprising to see just how useful a nail gun can be, and for many builders, it has even replaced the hammer for the purpose.
It is easy to see why; whilst hammering a nail can take a few swings, a bit of precision and some care and patience, a nail gun can do the same job in less than a second thanks to the power of compressed air, combustion, electricity or even electromagnets.
The other four tools are useful for pretty much every major project and task a construction team would be expected to do that does not require specialist or heavy equipment. For everything else, there is the multi-tool.
Typically these are used for five main tasks:
- Small, precise sawing and cutting.
- Cutting and clearing grout between tiles and masonry.
- Sanding flat surfaces.
- Polishing pads.
- Scraping various materials.