The Essential List of the Different Types of Power Tools

A power tool is defined as a machine or device which is powered by an additional mechanism or source than the human body. The most common source of power for these tools is an electric motor base, but there are some which are fueled by gasoline, however; this source of power is rare and generally applies to garden tools.

An electric power tool is a common item of almost everyone’s everyday life. These incredibly useful tools are found in nearly every industry, and help to perform tasks that could otherwise be impossible or extremely difficult to complete.

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Click on each tool in the list below to jump to the designated section or you can also continue reading.

Power Tools List

  1. Cordless Drill
  2. Impact Driver
  3. Hammer Drill
  4. Rotary Hammer
  5. Impact Wrench
  6. Electric Screwdriver
  7. Rotary Tool
  8. Jigsaw
  9. Reciprocating Saw
  10. Circular Saw
  11. Miter Saw
  12. Band Saw
  13. Table Saw
  14. Chainsaw
  15. Biscuit Joiner
  16. Angle Grinder
  17. Bench Grinder
  18. Shop Vac
  19. Belt Sander
  20. Random Orbital Sander
  21. Disc Sander
  22. Wood Router
  23. Nail Gun
  24. Air Compressor
  25. Moisture Meter

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Power tools list with names and pictures
Power tools list with names and pictures

Power Tools List: 25 Different Types With Names And Pictures

Power tools are not restricted to any one setting, profession, or environment. The actual tool you will buy will, however, call for a specific use.

Power tools are used literally everywhere, in the home, apartment, condo and all the way to the professionals at job sites and builders. Many types of power tools will also be found in use with metalworkers, DYI hobbyists, mechanics, and so on.

So let’s dive in.

1. Cordless Drill

(See Table of Contents)

A cordless drill (or power drill) is an electric drill with rechargeable batteries and it is the most common item in any garage, construction site, or workshop.

This is one of the first power tools that everyone should have. These drills have enough strength to drive screws and drill into thick planks of wood.

The cordless drill is the perfect representative tool for those who enjoy performing projects around the home.

There are also corded drills and these machines are leaner, lighter, and bit more powerful than the cordless version. They are also noisier, not as convenient to use, and restrict your mobility.

A cordless drill is irreplaceably more convenient even though they may be a bit bulkier, and a heavier tool. The biggest benefit of the cordless drill is not having to be hindered or limited by the power cord.

There are two primary functions for the cordless drill:

  • The first is they work great for putting holes into walls, wood, or other tough surfaces.
  • The second use is they can fix fastener and screws onto surfaces. Just as the name implies, it works without having a cord attached to it. This feature makes it easy to handle and manipulate into positions you need to make those holes and attach those screws.

If you choose the right cordless drill you can build a deck or do almost any home improvement project that needs doing. You will be able to assemble furniture and finish a multitude of woodworking jobs.

You can tell how powerful a cordless drill is by looking at its voltage. More voltage will give you more power. There are high voltage models, light-duty models, and then the medium general-purpose models.

Torque is another feature to check when choosing your cordless drill. If you plan on drilling on harder surfaces, you will want more twisting force. Torque is what allows the drill to apply more of the twisting power to your work surface.

Used for:

See a cordless drill in action:

A good selection of cordless drills on Amazon (Affiliate Links below):

More resources:


2. Impact Driver

(See Table of Contents)

An impact driver looks much like the cordless drill, but this tool uses a hammering like action and brute force to get your jobs done

An impact driver and cordless drill can be used for similar tasks, but there are some key factors that make these two separate tools.

Both the impact driver and cordless drill are great to use on small jobs, and they allow you good control while using a range of speeds and clutch settings.

Your impact driver uses concussive blows along with a bit of rotation to drive screws with an incredible amount of force. It applies constant torque and provides you a wide range of uses, and has a keyless chuck to accept a variety of attachments.

They work great on larger projects than the cordless drill will handle, as they can place larger screws into harder surfaces.

The concussive action provided by the impact driver applies high-energy torque directly onto the screw, which allows for some of the pressure to be relieved from your forearm and wrist.

This tool uses a collet which accepts bits and hex-shanked drivers A good impact driver is going to be a versatile and powerful tool to add to your collection of necessary tools.

Used for:

  • Putting a dozen three-inch screws into a decking plank. (see also the Cordless Drill).
  • With its rapid hammer action and twisting force, this power tool can fix almost anything effortlessly.
  • Tightening nuts (for this see also the Impact Wrench).

When choosing the impact tool for your needs, you will want to check the power, torque, speed and hammer action, so the tool handles the jobs you need to finish.

See an impact driver in action:

More resources:


3. Hammer Drill

(See Table of Contents)

A hammer drill is sometimes referred to as a percussion drill and is in the power tool category for machines that can drill into hard materials.

This tool is a form of the rotary hammer that uses an impact mechanism to generate a hammering motion.

With the use of the percussive mechanism, the hammer drill gives you a rapid succession of short hammer thrusts that is able to pulverize the material you are boring into.

This powerful tool provides you a quicker drilling action with little physical effort required.

On a hammer drill, there are two sets of toothed gears that interact mechanically with one another. These gears hammer while rotating the drill bit.

Using cam-action drills, the hammer drill’s chuck mechanism moves forward and backward on the axis of rotation. This motion is connected to the rotation of the chuck.

A hammer drill has been specially designed to not only spin the drill bit but to also punch it in and out. The distance the bit travels and the force of its blow are small, and the hammering action is rapid.

Each blow is of relatively low force, but these thousands of blows per minute provided by the hammer drill are able to break up concrete if needed.

Used for:

  • The hammer drill is used by those who have a lot of masonry drilling to complete.
  • It works great for drilling holes into stone, concrete, and masonry.
  • Often used to drill holes into concrete footings (to pin concrete walls to concrete floors by pinning)

The hammer drill is a bit bulkier than a regular drill.

This tool is not used for driving screws, and should never be used in this manner. While the hammer drill is often confused with the impact driver, you should know these are two entirely different power tools.

See it in action in the video below:

More interesting articles:


4. Rotary Hammer

(See Table of Contents)

In the line of construction power tools, the rotary hammer is one that will perform your heavy-duty jobs such as chiseling and drilling into hard materials. It is much like the hammer drill as it also pounds its drill bit in and out as it spins.

A rotary hammer is going to give you a lot more impact energy than the hammer drill.

Rotary hammers use a piston mechanism rather than a special clutch, which allows it to deliver a more powerful hammer blow and drill a much larger hole faster.

When comparing the rotary hammer to the hammer drill, you will find the rotary hammer is larger and gives you a more significant impact force.

This power tool utilizes “electro-pneumatic” technology as it is powered directly by electricity and not an air compressor.

These tools have two pistons – a flying piston and a drive piston. Its electric motor turns a crank that then moves the drive piston back and forth in the cylinder.

The flying piston is located at the other end of the same cylinder. The rotary hammer has an oil-filled gearbox, that allows them to operate durably despite its large force and shocks it receives in the often grit-filled environment in which they are used.

What is a rotary hammer used for?

  • Often used for jobs that require repetitive drilling of large anchor holes.
  • This power tool is able to handle drilling holes into masonry and concrete walls.
  • With its hammering action, the rotary hammer breaks up masonry allowing it to be removed by the drills flute bits.

The rotary action of the rotary hammer can be turned off and on so just its percussive force can be used. Point and chisel accessories are often with this power tool, so you can also use it as a small chilling tool.

See it in action in the video below:

 


5. Impact Wrench

(See Table of Contents)

The impact wrench also called an impact gun is a power tool designed to give you high torque output using minimal physical exertion.

This tool stores energy in a rotation mass, and then delivers it quickly to the output shaft.

Impact wrenches use compressed air as its power source, although there are also hydraulic and electric-powered models as well as cordless ones becoming more popular.

The impact wrench is used in a variety of industries, including heavy equipment maintenance, product assembly, major construction projects, automotive repair, and any other tasks where you need a high torque output.

When doing product assembly, a pulse tool is often used as it features a reactionless tightening as it reduces the noise level the regular impacts inflict. A pulse tool is not the same as the impact wrench, as the technology and performance are not identical.

When in use, the impact wrench has a rotating mass which is accelerated by its motor. It stores energy and then quickly creates a high-torque impact when connected to the output shaft.

Its hammer mechanism was designed to deliver an impact and the hammer can again spin freely instead of locking. This design allows for the reaction force to be applied to the body of the wrench as the motor accelerates the hammer, delivering you more torque.

There are a number of sizes and styles available in the impact wrench tool. The one you will need depends on how you plan to use it.

Specialty designs are available if you have a specific application you need the wrench to perform such as removing the radiator from a vehicle or removing a crankshaft pulley.

See it in action:


6. Electric Screwdriver

(See Table of Contents)

An electric screwdriver combines motors and batteries and is one extremely useful, compact tool.

 

Inside is the rechargeable battery, a dual planetary gear system, an electric motor, a switch, a simple locking mechanism, and the chuck itself.

The chuck is what holds your electric screwdriver together. These are pretty simple parts, and the switch is what sends the power to the motor.

Electric screwdrivers give you an advantage if you are working in electronics, as they pack power precision with an on and off switch that is convenient to use.

This small, yet efficient tool saves time and energy on most any job with the added bonus of being easy to handle.

Light assembly applications such as those done with electronics, or medical devices that use intricate work are perfect applications for an electric screwdriver. For more heavy applications like driving screws in hard materials, a power drill is used.

They are able to stop automatically when you preset the torque so operation is simple.

There are two basic types of electric screwdrivers – brushless and standard.

The standard electric screwdriver has small carbon brushes inside of the tool which conducts electricity between the rotating shaft and the stationary wires.

This type of electric screwdriver is precise and very effective, but its lifespan is shortened by heat. These types of electric screwdrivers need maintenance more often than the brushless models.

The brushless screwdriver has no brushes and produces less heat so there is less wear and tear on this model, giving it a longer life span.

This choice would be the one for you if you do higher volumes of work. Both types use the same basic steps for operation and have a multitude of tasks you can complete with them.

Some of the common uses of the electric screwdriver:

  • Hanging pictures,
  • Assembling small furniture.
  • Any common everyday task that requires being screwed together or in place.

See a video with one:


7. Rotary Tool

(See Table of Contents)

A rotary tool is a small handheld power tool that uses a rotary tip and will hold a variety of attachments to perform a number of tasks.

It has a compact size, is versatile, and uses a high speed which makes it an attractive alternative to the larger bulkier tools.

Uses:

  • You can attach sanding drums to this handy tool to sand down bevels, or attach a buffing and polishing bit to shine up metal surfaces.
  • Other uses for the rotary tool include attaching a carbide bit and create beautiful etchings or carvings.
  • The wire wheels, when attached to the rotary tool, can remove rust from metal, and it can be set at varying speeds for the different tasks you are carrying out.
  • The rotary tool can also hold a small sharpening wheel that works great for sharpening knives, shears, scissors, and more. When you set the speed to high, make sure you turn the tools away from you, as it will create sparks as it sharpens.
  • You can also attach a carbide-metal cutting wheel to the rotary tool, and at medium speed, it will cut through small sections of metal. You will want to apply cutting oil to the metal’s surface for this task to reduce the amount of heat that will build up.
  • Some of the other creative ideas you can use your rotary tool for include fixing your dishwasher rack. Using a wire brush attachment, you can strip off that old rust that has been building up and give your machine a fresh, new look.
  • You can also save yourself energy and time by using the rotary tool to sharpen those cutters on your chain saw. With the special chain sharpener and its three grinding wheels, you can control the cutting depth of the sharpener to fix up the chainsaw or even your lawnmower blades.

See a Dremel in action:

More resources:


8. Jigsaw

(See Table of Contents)

A jigsaw is a small power tool that is used for cutting curved lines in wood and other materials.

Most saws are known for making straight-line cuts, but the jigsaw allows you to cut more delicate and complicated shapes and patterns.

The dictionary describes a jigsaw as a portable power saw that incorporates a reciprocating blade. This saw can be used in a variety of tasks depending on the kind of cut you need.

The jigsaw is also a fine-toothed power tool that has a narrow blade and will cut out curved outlines for you.

A jigsaw is considered a grandmaster at cutting shapes in a range of materials, including drywall. It is also able to make bevel and compound cuts in boards and other materials.

Using the right blade in your jigsaw is the key to making various cuts in materials. You can use this tool to complete an intricate pattern, install a kitchen sink, saw into a countertop, or cut into a material such as metal or thin-tile other saws are unable to handle.

With the jigsaw not only makes complex shapes and curves into the wood, but you can also use this saw for making crosscuts on a board or finish inside corner cuts that you begin with a circular saw.

These saws are not what you want to use if you have to make fast, straight, long cuts. These types of cuts are better made using a circular saw.

The jigsaw will make you rapid up and down motion cuts. The key to obtaining excellent results with this tool is to match the specific blade to the type of wood you will cut; metal, plastic, wood, tile, or other materials.

The package of blades for this saw will advise you which type of material it is to be used on.

See in the video below how a Makita jigsaw is used:

More resources:


9. Reciprocating Saw

(See Table of Contents)

A reciprocating saw is a machine-powered saw with a cutting action that is achieved by a push and pull motion of the blade.

The type of power tool is most often used in demolition work and construction work.

Some refer to this saw like the reciprocating saw, or hognose as it has a large blade that looks much like the jigsaw and its handle is oriented in a way so the saw can be comfortably on vertical surfaces.

The most common design for the reciprocating saw includes afoot by the base of the blade much like the jigsaw.

When you use the reciprocating saw, you will rest its foot on the surface of the area where you are cutting so that the blade will push away from or pull it towards the cut as the blade goes through its movement.

There are a variety of designs and they vary according to the saws speed, and power. The designs also differ from the less powerful portable version to the handheld models that resemble the cordless drill, all the way to the corded models designed for the demolition work or construction site jobs.

Modern reciprocating saws have variable speed controlled through a trigger or through a dial. Another feature of the newer models is how they can be used in orbital action.

Through this action, the saw oscillates the traversed reciprocation in an up and down motion, which causes the tip of the blade to create an oval pattern, back and forth, as well as up and down. The saw is primarily used for wood and allows for quick cuts.

Popular uses for the reciprocating saw are with construction workers, window fitters, and many emergency rescues services.

Accessories and variants are available for many specialized uses such as long blades for cutting large pipes and clamps.


10. Circular Saw

(See Table of Contents)

The power tool known as the circular saw uses an abrasive or toothed disc or blade to make different cuts in material with a rotary motion that spins around an arbor.

This is one of those power tools with a rotating blade used to cut a variety of materials such as metal, plastic, masonry, and wood.

You can also use this saw either by hand or you can mount it to a machine.

The term ‘circular’ refers specifically to the hand-held model of the saw, as the chop saw and table saw are additional forms of this saw.

The blades for the circular saw are specially designed depending on the material you intend to cut. The cuts this tool makes are considered cross-cuts, rip cuts, or a combination of both.

The circular saw is commonly powered by electricity, but some models are powered by an engine or hydraulic motor to allow it to be fastened to heavy equipment so the need for separate energy sources is eliminated.

The material to be cut by a circular saw is typically secured in a vise or held by a clamp, so the saw can advance across it slowly.

As each tooth in the blade hits the material, it makes a small chip in it. The teeth are what guides the chip out of the material, to it cannot bind the blade.

Some of the circular saw features are that it cuts with teeth on the edge of an abrasive wheel or metal blade.

It will make narrow cuts that make a relatively smooth surface finish, and the cuts are accurate and relatively straight.

The circular saw a lot of times leaves burrs on the cut edge of plastic and metal, which will need sandpaper to clean off.

 

More resources:


11. Miter Saw

(See Table of Contents)

A power tool saw, the miter saw, also known as the drop saw is used to make accurate crosscuts in your project at the desired angle.

This useful saw is used for the cutting of trim and molding and is relatively portable and small, which comes with blades ranging from eight to twelve inches.

The miter saw makes its cuts by pulling a circular saw blade onto your project in a controlled, short motion.

Your project is typically held against what is called a fence, so you are able to achieve a precise cutting angle between the plane of the longest workpiece and the plane of the blade. Standardly this angle is set to ninety degrees.

This saw has the main feature that distinguishes it from other saws which are the miter index. The miter index allows the blade’s angle to be changed relative to the fence.

Most miter saws can create precise one-degree changes to the miter index, some models make it possible to stop and allow the miter index to be set to common angles such as forty-five, thirty, or fifteen.

There are various types of miter saws:

  • Miter box and saw — This model is the first miter saw created and normally consists of a plastic or wooden, a three-sided box with forty-five- and ninety-degree slits that allow you to use a back or hand saw to make miter cuts in your project.
  • Standard or power miter saw — This miter saw is a powered version and will make straight crosscuts on your project using a wide range of angles. These saws commonly make forty-five-degree straight cuts used for framing documents, pictures, or other prized and important pieces.
  • Compound miter saw — A compound miter saw provides added benefits of being able to rotate its blade and its head to create a variety of angles. This model allows for the cutting of angles that are greater than ninety angles.
  • Other models of miter saws include the dual-compound miter saw, the sliding compound miter saw, and the laser/LED miter saw models.

More resources:


12. Band Saw

(See Table of Contents)

A band saw is a fixed power tool that has a sharp, long blade that has a continuous band of toothed metal that is stretched between two or more wheels and cuts materials.

These saws are principally used in lumbering, metalworking, and woodworking, but are able to cut a variety of materials.

An advantage with the band saw over other models of power tool saws is its uniform cutting action that can evenly distribute its tooth load.

This action makes it possible to cut irregular shapes in a curved pattern much like the jigsaw.

The smallest radius of the curve on a band saw is determined by the width of the band and its kerf.

The kerf is the narrow channel left after the saw cuts and its size is determined by the set of the blade’s teeth, the width of the saw blade, and how much material is pulled out of the sides when cut.

Most of the band saws you will see have two wheels that rotate in the same plane. One of the wheels is typically powered, however, some have three and sometimes four that will distribute the load.

Blades of the band saw are available in different sizes and pitch of the teeth so that the machine tool can become versatile and perform cuts in a variety of materials including plastic and wood.

Most of the band saws on the market are powered by an electric motor, and the first models that used line shafts are now considered antiques.

You can find a band saw in most residential workshops or garages and they are often used in light industry to cut through plastic, wood, or metals.

Many owners of these light-duty projects leave a general-purpose blade in the saw, but the blades are easily switched out when you need to cut through different materials.

See what cool things you can make with a band saw:


13. Table Saw

(See Table of Contents)

A table saw is a fixed power tool sometimes referred to as a bench saw or sawbench and is considered a woodworking tool.

These saws have a circular saw blade mounted on what is called its arbor. An arbor is a round object that materials are pressed against so they can be shaped or forged.

A table saw is powered by an electric motor, and has a blade that protrudes through the top of the table.

With this design, the material you are cutting has the support of the tabletop while you make your cuts.

The depth of the cut you can make is determined by how you set your blade in an up or down position. If you have the blade positioned higher, protruding above the tabletop, you will get a deeper cut.

The angle of your cut is controlled by how you adjust the angle of your blade.

There are several types of table saws:

  • Bench-type saws — were designed to be set on a table for support when used. This model is used most often by homeowners, and are almost always operated by a universal motor.
  • Jobsite model table saws — are a bit larger than the bench-type and generally sit on a stationary or folding stand while being operated. This model of table saw is most often used by contractors, carpenters, and other tradesmen.
  • Compact table saws — are larger than the portable saws and are placed on a stationary stand. They also use a universal motor but are usually driven by small toothed belts. These saws are similar to those used by contractors but are a bit lighter and smaller in construction.
  • Contractor model table saws — are heavier and much larger table saws. These models are attached to a base or stand, and often have wheels attached to the base for ease in moving were needed to be used. These models are also used by homeowners and hobbyists as they have a standard electrical circuit that gives adequate power to operate them.
  • Cabinet style table saws — are also a heavier machine and are constructed from large amounts of cast iron and steel. This construction minimizes the vibration of the machines and increases the saw’s accuracy.
  • Other variations of the table saw include; hybrid, mini and macro, and sliding.


14. Chainsaw

(See Table of Contents)

The chain saw is a mechanical, portable saw which uses a set of teeth that are attached to a rotating chain.

The chain runs along a guide bar and the machine is used for cutting projects such as pruning, bucking, limbing, or cutting down trees.

These cutting projects are often done for creating firebreaks during wildland fire containments, or for homeowners to harvest firewood for heating their homes.

Chainsaws were designed with a chain and bar combination and are powerful tools that can also be used for chainsaw mills or in creating chainsaw art.

Some special models of the chainsaw have the ability to cut through concrete, and there are some versions that can be used to cut through the ice for creating ice sculptures.

The engine of a chainsaw is traditionally either an internal combustion engine or the two-stroke gasoline version.

The combustion engines are supplied either through an electronically adjustable carburetor or a traditional carburetor.

If it is constructed with a traditional carburetor, it needs to be adjusted when operating in low or high altitudes and the fuel, the oil-to-gasoline ratios have to be adjusted for proper operations.

The engines on the chainsaw have been designed so the machines can be operated in different positions to reach those awkward types of cuts needed to be done. The chainsaw can be rotated upside down or tilted at a ninety-degree angle. When chainsaws first hit the market, the engines would kill if the machine was not held straight.

Generally, each segment of the chainsaw’s chain features small sharp cutting teeth that take the form of a folded tab.

These tabs are chromium-plated with angular or curved corners and are extremely sharp. Chains are available in different gauges and pitches, and built into each tooth of the chain is a gauge that goes ahead of the tooth to limit the depth of cut.


15. Biscuit Joiner

(See Table of Contents)

In the line of power tools, the biscuit joiner, or plate joiner is a woodworking tool most often used to join two pieces of wood.

The biscuit joiner operates with a small circular saw blade that cuts a crescent-shaped hole, or mouth, in the opposite edge of two pieces of wood.

The compressed, highly dried, oval-shaped wooden biscuit is then covered with glue.

The glue-covered biscuit is then inserted into the slot and the two boards get clamped together. As the glue expands, the biscuit improves the bond of the wood.

The biscuit joiner is primarily used to join plywood, medium-density fiberboard, or particleboard. It can be used with solid wood, as well to replace tenon and mortise joints which can make them almost as strong.

This power tool can also align pieces of wood when you need them to join edge-to-edge to create a wider panel.

Biscuit joiners can be used to align workpieces when you need a ninety-degree angle between your workpieces and provide a quick way to achieve a perfectly flush joint while you reinforce a joint.

These machines typically have an adjustable fence, so you are able to set an angle for putting together mitered pieces.

There are special types of biscuit joiners available including ones with removable panels, metal connectors, and hinged models, which make these machines more portable and flexible.

The body of the biscuit joiner has a blade that is spring-loaded, and when in its normal position can be retracted.

To use the biscuit joiner, you align the machine and using firm pressure, you push the body forward against its blade. This motion is what makes the cut, and the waste material gets blown out of a slot on the right-hand side of the base.

The depth of the cut you make with the biscuit joiner can be altered with an adjustable stop, and you can rotate the base through ninety-degree turns to alter the offset of the base.

Some models of this power tool allow you to cut angles other than at ninety-degrees, which will greatly speed up your assembly of projects such as making cabinets.


16. Angle Grinder (aka side grinder, disc grinder)

(See Table of Contents)

An angle grinder is sometimes called a disc grinder or side grinder and is a portable hand power tool. It is used to grind and polish, and although designed as a tool for rigid abrasive discs, it has an interchangeable source of power that allows for a wide variety of attachments and cutters.

The angle grinder can be powered by an electric motor, compressed air, or a petrol engine.

The motor on the angle grinder drives a right-angled gear head that has an abrasive disc, or a thin cut-off disc, both of which can be replaced when worn out.

Typically, the angle grinder has an adjustable guard as well as a side-handle so you can use it as a two-handed operation.

Some angle grinders, depending on how fast they operate, can also be used as a sander by attaching a sanding disc and a disc or backing pad. A backing system is normally made from hard plastic, medium-hard rubber, or phenolic resin depending on how flexible you want your project.

Angle grinders are standard equipment on construction sites, metal fabrication shops, and are commonly used in machine shops along with bench grinders, and die grinders.

This power tool is able to remove excess material from your project. It has a number of discs you will be able to use in a multitude of tasks.

One of the best-known uses for the angle grinder is for emergency rescues. You will also see them in use at service garages, workshops, and auto body repair shops.

When choosing an angle grinder, you want to make sure it has the right disc size and has a powerful motor. You will also want to check the power source, RPMs, and arbor size.

The disc size and power increase together, and the disc sizes, measured in either millimeters or inches will run from four inches up to twelve.

You will want to ensure you choose the right disc size for the projects you will do, and it has the power to get through them.


17. Bench Grinder

(See Table of Contents)

A bench grinder is a form of grinding machine that uses abrasive wheels.

The larger version of these grinders are mounted on a pedestal which is often bolted to the floor, or sometimes sits on rubber feet.

The bench grinder is most often used to hand grind cutting tools or to perform other rough grinding projects.

The bench grinder can be used to cut or sharpen tools such as chisels, drill bits, tool bits, and gouges.

It can also be used to shape metal before it is fitted or welded. With the wire brush wheel that acts as a buffer and which can be interchanged on the grinder with the grinder wheels, it can polish your workpieces.

Typical wheels on the bench grinder are vitreous-bond wheels. A vitreous-bond wheel is made from green silicon carbide abrasive.

These work best, but do have a tendency to crack. The grinding wheels when attached to the bench grinder, should not be used for grinding softer metals such as aluminum.

Soft metal can become lodged in the pores of the wheel, which will then expand with the heat of grinding. These metal pieces that have become lodged in the pores can later dislodge from the wheel and cause serious injury.

You should never grind on the disk-shaped side of the bench grinder wheel as this side is designed for grinding periphery only. Grinding of any other nature on this side increases the risk of a wheel explosion.

Some cutter and tool grinders have a cup-shaped wheel designed to perform grinding on the side.

With the bench grinder, you will need to keep the tool rest tight and with two to three inches from the wheel. This placement will prevent your workpiece from slipping down between the tool rest and wheel. This placement will also catch any stray sparks.


18. Shop Vac

(See Table of Contents)

A special kind of vacuum which is most often used in woodworking and construction is known as the shop vac.

The shop vac is a high-powered motor unit with incredible suction that can pick up chunks of building site materials, debris, and dirt.

These vacuums feature a large, tough hose and an extra big canister to hold the debris it picks up.

They are known for being wonders able to clean some very dirty areas.

People call the shop vac a bucket vacuum as they look like buckets with a large hose protruding from it. One of their features is the wheels they rest on to make them easier to move around in any space.

These are the type of vacuum you would use to clean your house as they are intended for big-time jobs.

One of the common uses for a shop vac in on construction sites or in woodworking shops, and is why they are called, ‘shop vacs.’

The shop vac can pick up screws, nails and other metal pieces, chunks of wood, sawdust, and other objects often found on the ground of a construction site or woodworking shop.

There are some big differences between the shop vac and the vacuum you use to clean your house. The standard vacuum used for household chores is meant to pick up dirt, dust, and little particles.

The shop vac can suck up wood chunks and nails without any problem. The shop vac also has a tougher, bigger hose to handle the debris it sucks up, and the machines themselves are bigger and bulkier.

The shop vac has a much more powerful motor than the house-cleaning vacuum models, and they often need to be flipped and lifted in order for you to empty the dirt from them. Another major difference is the filter system. Household vacuums have good filters to improve air quality, and the shop vac does not have a filter system.


19. Belt Sander

(See Table of Contents)

A belt sander or strip sander is used to finish woodworking projects and other projects. The belt sander has an electric motor that turns a pair of drums where a loop of sandpaper is mounted.

These machines can also be stationary in which case you have to move the material to the sander for its finishing touches.

There is a very aggressive action from the belt sander when applied to wood, so it is usually only used for the beginning stages of your sanding process.

It will rapidly remove the rougher portions of your project’s surface. A belt sander can also be used for removing finish or paint from wood.

When the machine is fitted with fine-grit sandpaper, it will give you a smoother surface on your project.

The stationary belt sander can remove non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, however, the non-ferrous metals do often clog the grinding wheels. When these grinding wheels are clogged, it will make the belt sander useless for soft material grinding.

There are various sizes of belt sanders ranging from the small handheld models to the ones which are wide enough to stand on their own.

Some of these power tools are as large as 0.7 by 1.2 (2 ft. 4 in by 3 ft 11 in). There is often a significant amount of sawdust created with the use of belt sander. For this reason, most of these tools are equipped with a form of the dust collection system. Some of the dust collection systems are as simple as a cloth filter bag.

A taut-belt sander will allow you to adjust the angle of the idler drum and keep the drum centered. A slack-belt sanding is used most often in the manufacturing process of medium-sized objects such as guitars.


20. Random Orbital Sander

(See Table of Contents)

A power tool used for sanding is the random orbital sander and is a hand-held tool where the sanding blade delivers a random-orbit action.

The angle of rotation with the head of this sander varies, and it is able to give you a finer finish than the standard orbital finishing sander.

The random orbital sander comes in three different models; orbital floor sanders, air-powered, and electric powered.

The air-powered and electric versions of these sanders are handheld, and the floor orbital sander is larger machines which roll.

The simultaneously spinning of the sanding disk as it moves in small ellipses is how the pattern of the random orbit sanding creates its pattern. This movement ensures there are not any abrasive materials left behind when the sander travels the same path twice during its rotation.

This random sanding action does not leave any swirl marks on your project and it is not sensitive to the wood grain direction.

The random orbital sander is useful when you are sending two pieces of wood that you will fasten at right angles.

These sanders use sandpaper disks, and most of them include dust collectors. The disks are attached with either a hook and loop system or pressure-sensitive adhesives.

On the models which feature a dust collection system, there is a vacuum that sucks the discharged dust through holes in the pad and paper. The vacuum will feed the collected dust to a bag, canister, or shop vac.

The random orbital sander uses from an eighty grit to a one-hundred-sixty grit range. They are a delicate tool when compared to some of the power sanders on the market, however, compared to the palm sander, they are almost brutish and significantly larger.

The random orbital sander can typically be held and operated with one hand, however, there are a few models that are more powerful and will require the use of both hands.


21. Disc Sander

(See Table of Contents)

A powerful tool used to smoothen surfaces with sandpaper is the disc sander.

The sander is capable of having sandpaper attached by a mechanism that moves it rapidly within a housing unit on the machine.

The sander can be a hand-held tool, or it can be fixed to a workbench.

The disc sander is normally powered electrically, but there are some models used in auto-body repair work that is operated by compressed air.

The disc sander is most often used as a stationary tool and consists of a replaceable circle-shaped sandpaper wheel. The sandpaper is attached to the wheel, which is turned by compressed air or an electric motor. Materials that can be shaped with the disc sander include wood, metals, soft plastics, and other soft materials.

The material chosen for your project is sat on the front bench where you can adjust it from various angles. The disc sander can be used for either fine or rough sanding depending on which sanding grit you use.

When you use the disc sander, you will hold the project against the sandpaper as it erodes the rough surface to leave a consistent, smooth finish. This tool can also be used to improve the flatness of a surface as well.

The disc sander is known for ‘kicking back’ during operation, therefore it has an extended danger zone in the back and front.

When operating this tool, you need to keep your hands, fingers, and any other body parts out of this area. If your hands, fingers, or other body parts are allowed inside this ‘danger’ zone, it could result in serious injury.

Operating the disc sander, you should always stand to one side, and never directly in line with the plane of rotation. You should also never operate the disc sander without safety eye protection, ear protection, and a dust mask.


22. Wood Router

(See Table of Contents)

A wood router is part of the power tool family and allows you to hollow out an area in relatively hard materials such as plastic or wood.

The wood router is primarily used in woodworking, especially with those who create cabinets.

These machines are typically handheld power tools, although there are some which are fastened, cutting-end-up inside a router table.

The hand-held versions of the wood router are a specialized form of a hand plane and have a broad base with a narrow blade.

The blade protrudes beyond the base plate. As a power tool, a wood router has an electric motor. The hand-held versions today are most often called a router plane, and this power tool is considered one of the most versatile woodworking power tools on the market.

There are a variety of router styles on the market that include the double knob handled, D handled, and those that plunge.

Different manufacturers of wood routers produce them for different types of woodwork. The better-quality routers have variable speed control and their bases can be locked in place, so they can also be used as a fixed router.

Some of the models have a soft-start feature so their speed can be built up slowly. This is a desirable feature for the routers with a large cutter. They can hold a three-horse power router and be able to turn it on without the soft-start would be dangerous.

The routers that have a toggle type on/off switch need to be checked each time to ensure the switch is on the off position before plugging it in for safety.

Wood routers have numerous uses, and with the multitude of bits and jigs with this power tool, makes them capable of creating mortises, tenons, dovetails, moldings of infinite varieties, cutting circles, making raised panel doors and frames, and much more.


23. Nail Gun

(See Table of Contents)

A nail gun is a tool that is used to drive a nail into wood or other materials. It is also called a nail finisher, framing nailer or nailer.

These construction power tools are typically operated by compressed air, electromagnetism, propane, butane, or for the powder-actuated tool variety, a small explosive charge.

The nail gun has replaced the hammer as a tool of choice in many building projects.

Nail guns use nails, or fasteners, that are mounted in long clips similar to a stick of staples. Some nail guns are collated in a plastic or paper carrier depending on the design of the nail gun.

There are some full head nail guns used for pallet making and in roofing jobs. The strip nailers use a clipped head, so the nails can be lodged closer together, and allow for less frequent reloading.

This version of the nail gun, sometimes called the clipped head nailers, are often banned by local and state building codes.

Nail guns can also be manufactured in a ‘coil’ type. In these nail guns the fasteners, or nails, come in plastic or wire collation.

These are used in nail guns with a drum magazine. The advantage of a nail gun in this version is it has more fasteners per load than the other models, but it does weigh more.

The industrial versions of the nail guns are designed to be used against concrete or steel and have a self-loading action. The ‘nails’ or ‘fasteners’ in these models are most often explosive caps, but most need nails to be loaded by hand.

There is a wide variety of nail guns on the market. They vary in the length of the gun and the gauge or thickness of the nails they will deliver.

The smallest size is typically 0.025 inches in diameter, and are called ‘pin nails.’ The largest size of fasteners or nails generally has a shank 0.11 to .013 inches in diameter.


24. Air Compressor

(See Table of Contents)

An air compressor is a device or machine that is used in a variety of jobs. Generally, they are able to power a variety of useful air tools.

These air tools are used in building or construction work and include tools such as jackhammers, power hammers, air impact wrenches, air sanders, and grinders to just name a few.

An air compressor is able to pump high-pressure air into gas cylinders to supply divers and help power pneumatic tools. Air compressors are also useful for homeowners and there are special air compressors that are used for inflating tires.

Air compressors are typically powered by electricity or gas. These machines are used in manufacturing plants, gas stations, construction sites around the country, as well as in many residential garages.

They have become increasingly popular in home workshops, garages and basements. The air compressor can be used to operate a number of power tools, including spray guns, wrenches, nail guns and many more.

One benefit to the air compressor is that does not require a large motor as they are able to use the compressor, a single motor that can convert electrical energy to kinetic.

Most of these machines have a crankshaft that connects pistons or rods, a cylinder, and a valve head. The air is driven out of the tank, and to the power tool.

While in operation, the air compressor will cycle on and off independently to ensure there is enough pressure inside to maintain airflow.

You may want one of the machines as part of your power tool family if you are interested in carpentry, or other crafts.

If you use an air-nailer, the air compressor is ideal for powering them. These machines also make it easy to complete spray-painting jobs, and if you are considering a paint job for kitchen cabinets, this is exactly what you looking for to achieve smooth, well-done painting.


25. Moisture Meter

(See Table of Contents)

Moisture meters are essential in a lot of industries to detect moisture content in materials.

Building inspectors for both home and industrial structures use them to identify potential problems or damage that may have occurred or is occurring from moisture buildup in a building.

Industries such as furniture makers, use the moisture meter to ensure they are using quality materials for their products.

Contractors who install flooring also use the moisture meter to make sure the conditions are ideal before they install a floor over a subfloor or concrete slab.

The indicator scales on a moisture meter will vary in appearance, but all will read the moisture content in percentages. Some models provide an analog scale, and some will display read-outs digitally. The accuracy of percentage reading will vary by the meter according to its brand and type.

Many of the moisture meters you see are calibrated to wood. This feature will give you a relatively accurate reading of much moisture content is in the wood you are testing.

The scales on these devices generally range from five to forty percent. If you are testing the moisture content in concrete, the scale will typically range from zero to one-hundred.

Moisture meters have a visual LED indicator to show the percent reading on a scale measuring dry, moderate, or saturated readings. Some models also include a third scale that will measure gypsum. These readings range from 0.2 to 50 percent in moisture content.

When you select a moisture meter for your use, check to see if the model you’ve chosen includes the gypsum scale readings.

Some models of moisture meters use color indicators which are helpful for you to determine if the material your testing is dry or if there is a potential problem with moisture.

When the color green is displayed, your product is dry. The color yellow indicates moderate moisture present, and the color red indicates a lot of moisture is present.


Final Word

This list of twenty-five power tools shows you the incredible amount of work that can be accomplished with these machines that will save you a lot of time and physical labor.

Power tools have multiply users and use both in the home and industrial establishments. Two of the top advantages of using these handy machines are they get your work done at a reasonable speed and they are more effective than other tools.

Check this list and discover the world of power tools and find the perfect ones to make your life easier.

Related: Hand Tools Everyone Should Have | Carpentry Tools List | Hand Tools vs Power Tools

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.