You don’t need to have the best or most expensive tools to be a good maker. The higher prices paid for premium equipment may well lend useful or time saving features to the professional that uses them on a daily basis, but for the part time maker such as myself, the jigsaw picked up for £15 from the middle isle of Aldi works just as well as the Makita model that costs four times as much.
So, just for fun and reference, here is a list of all the tools I own, along with any relevant notes. You’ll see most of these are lower-end models, although I have splashed out here are there – mostly on Bosch and Evolution brands.
Cordless power tools
Battery technology has advanced in leaps and bounds since the early days, with a lot of cordless tools able to give their corded equivalents a run for their money. There is a small amount of vendor lock-in if you want to avoid buying different batteries for everything, so it’s probably worth investing in the best you can afford, to save money in the longer term.
Bosch Power for ALL 18v battery
I somewhat fell into the Power for ALL range by accident, mostly due to the recommendation of a cordless drill from my mother who works at B&Q. I can’t say I’ve regretted going down this route, as their tools are good quality and affordable, but they don’t seem to offer as large a range as Ryobi’s ONE+ battery system.
I have four 1.5Ah batteries, and two chargers, so I’m able to keep a rotation that prevents me from having to wait for batteries to charge, but I have ambition to get a couple of 4.0Ah batteries for when I need some extra power.
- Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 Cordless Combi Drill – A fine cordless drill that has served me well, and will no doubt continue to do so.
- Bosch PDR 18 LI Cordless Impact Wrench – Another fine addition to my collection, and really nice not needing to keep switching the bit in my drill to that of a driver for screwing into my freshly drilled holes.
- Bosch PKS 18 LI Cordless Circular Saw – Although I’ve never used it for this purpose, I always liked the idea that I could use this in a Homebase car park to cut wooden planks in half so they can fit in my car.
- Bosch AdvancedOrbit 18 Cordless Orbital Sander – I got this before I had the workshop, so I was grateful that I was able to use it outside without tailing an extension cord out the window, but a full battery charge only lasts about 20 minutes, so heavy battery rotation is needed for big sanding jobs.
As mentioned above, going for the most expensive tool isn’t always required, and as various tools from the middle aisles of Lidl and Aldi fall into your basket, you’re going to end up with a range of incompatible battery types.
- Ferrex CCT18GW 18V Li-Ion Nail Gun – An Aldi clone of (I think) the VonHaus Cordless Nail Gun/Electric Nailer, but with £40 off the price tag.
- Deco Style 18V Li-Ion Cordless Paint Spray Gun – I just wish I’d gotten this before painting the whole house with a roller.
- Workzone 4 In 1 Li-Ion Cordless Screwdriver – An elegant step-up from turning a regular screwdriver when you don’t need the full power of an impact driver.
- Workzone 12V Multifunction Tool – Does what it says on the tin.
- Ferrex Cordless Glue Gun – Much better than the crappy £5 jobbie I had before.
Corded hand tools
Alas, not everything can be cordless, and sometimes you simply don’t want it to be, as there’s no denying the power that a mains operated tool can bring.
- Bosch PBS 75 A Belt Sander – An absolute beast for when you want to generate a lot of sawdust in a short amount of time.
- Bosch PFZ 500 E All Purpose Saw – I inherited this from my grandfather. Less a workshop tool, but perfect for cutting thick tree branches down.
- Black & Decker KA210 Type 1 Sander – Another tool inherited from my grandfather.
- Black & Decker Mouse Detail Sander – My first sander.
- Dremel 3000 Rotary Tool – Probably my first ever power tool, it has proven invaluable for a whole number of tasks over the years.
- Workzone Digital Heat Gun – Useful for paint stripping, and applying heat-shrink tubing.
- Workzone Pendulum 850w Jigsaw – This was the first powered saw I purchased, thinking I’d be able to use it for everything. It didn’t take long to realise I can’t cut in the straight line.
- Workzone 1200w Router – I picked this up because it was cheap, but at the time I had no actual use for it, so it sat in it’s box, unused, for a least a year before I first needed it.
- Workzone Router Table – Is actually really fiddly to set-up, and I found the back panel to be mostly useless.
Bench top tools
- Evolution R210SMS Sliding Mitre Saw – An amazing birthday gift from Lucy’s father, after I asked if I could borrow his mitre saw – he said “How about I just buy you one?”
- Evolution Universal Mitre Saw Stand – I got this myself for the dual purpose of being a stand (so I could keep my workbench clear for other stuff), and to act as a stop block.
- Bosch Bench Drill PBD 40 – A unique design in a drill press, which makes it easy to adjust the speed of the drill, and small enough to easily store away when not in use.
- Workzone Belt and Disc Sander – Great when you need a lot of sanding power, while being able to use both hands for precision.
- Workzone Electric Band Saw 350W – At time of publishing I’ve only had this a few days, and have yet to get it working correctly. This might be going back.
Free standing tools
- Evolution Rage 5-S Multi-Purpose Table Saw – I think everyone that buys a table saw can’t help but feel like a real woodworker. It has opened up so many options and avenues for me.
- Trend PH/JIG/AK Pocket Hole Jig – Kreg appear to be the popular brand in this area, but I went for the Trend model because the body made of Aluminium felt like it would be longer lasting than the plastic variants.