Consumer Vs. Pro Power Tools

Posted in Home Improvement on June 16, 2018

If you're getting more involved in home improvement projects, you might be thinking about buying tools like a circular saw, jigsaw and several other power tools.

You might have heard from more experienced people, even tradesmen, who will advise, "Buy the best tool you can afford."

You might do that — spend hundreds of dollars on professional-grade power tools — but the question always remains: are they really worth the extra money?

The answer is no, it isn’t always worth buying the best power tool you can afford. Sometimes, yes — mostly, no.

A top-quality professional-grade cordless drill is a good investment. You'll use a drill all your life, and since it's very easy to push a drill to its limit, you'll appreciate the extra power and durability of a pro tool. Drilling masonry, for instance, can severely damage a light-weight drill.

For other power tools, though, you’ll generally do fine with a top-of-the-line consumer tool. Take circular saws, for example. A good consumer tool will have all the power you'll need and cut just as well as a pro model — quality of cut being mainly in the blade, after all. Furthermore, professional circular saws are quite a bit heavier and they lack the safety switch commonly found on consumer saws.

A jig saw just doesn't get used much, and when you do use it, you aren't likely to overload it. Save your money on this tool.

With sanders and routers, it’s a tossup. They don't normally get used enough in home improvement projects to make it worthwhile buying expensive professional models. Get a good consumer-grade tool and you'll do fine. If you intend to do a fair amount of woodworking, however, a larger, professional-grade router will allow you to do much more, and a pro-grade belt sander will give you much better results on delicate work.

Finally, it’s just a good rule not to buy more tool than you need. When you're ready to move up to a bigger or better tool, do it then.