There are a lot of gratifications you can get working with hand tools, and several jobs demand the care and precision that hand-tool craftsmanship renders. But when you start to take on greater projects, when time turns into a major factor, you would begin to imagine ways of putting electricity to work rather than muscles.
Power-driven tools save the home carpenter a lot of time, labor, effort—and the boredom that comes up from doing a long, tiresome job. Power tools are not, nonetheless, a substitute for skill or careful workmanship. In the hands of a carpenter skilled in the use of hand tools, power-driven tools can do the job more speedily and probably more smoothly, but in the hands of a careless or untrained carpenter, these tools can wreck a job and waste materials. Most power-driven tools are available as electric-driven tools or air-operated tools. For the air-powered tools, the power unit is the mobile air compressor. There are several other power-driven tools, gasoline, electric, steam, and of late, battery-operated, but the number of such tools that the home carpenter will find accessible is small.
The home carpenter would use electric-powered tools, generally of the type that can be plugged into an ordinary 110 or 115volt outlet. Each power tool is made to do one type of work. But since each tool has a motor, and manufacturers continually seek to make each tool more versatile, many power tools can do several things they weren’t initially designed to do.
Though almost any other power tool with a motor can be conformed into a makeshift device to do the work of most other power tools, the most effective work is done with a tool made for the certain purpose. For this reason, it is crucial to select a good basic power tool, one that grinding will do as many of the jobs you want done as fast as possible.
When you choose a power tool, be sure just what it can and can’t do. A good power tool is expensive. Naturally, if you cannot afford any power tool except an cheap one, you must settle for a minimum. But a power tool is a long-term purchase—an instrument you’ll use for many years. You’ll get longer and better use from it when it is well made and sturdily built.
In most circumstances, a portable power tool would do all the jobs as well as a table model. If budget is a factor in making your option, it is better to choose a good portable tool than a cheap bench model. You may well find that one or two portable tools would do as well for you as a large bench tool costing many times as much. Actually, two portable electric tools—the drill and the saw—can be the foundation for a whole home workshop.