Must-Have Power Tools for the Beginner DIYer

Today is all about DIY power tools! If you’re just starting your journey into home improvement projects and you’re not sure which tools and brands to start with, I got you!

As you probably already know, at Designing Parkside I am deeply committed to helping you get the home you want on a reasonable budget by doing the work yourself. I call myself a self-taught DIYer, designer, and organizer. This is mostly true, but I also have my dad to thank for my confidence and interest in DIY and self-reliance. Growing up he was always working on a project and did all the fixing around the house himself. When I purchased my own home, he used to help me do these things too. When he passed away suddenly a few years ago, I was left to do these things on my own, and I quickly realized he had given me the ability and desire to do it and do it well. I am so happy to share his passion and be the one to guide you on your own DIY journey! 

One thing that I have found as my skills and confidence have progressed is that having the right tools for the job really, really makes a difference when you’re serious about DIY. So today I’m going to give you my recommendations for basic power tools. This includes my favorite power tools as well as some other little devices that just make things easier to do even if they aren’t absolutely necessary. Most of these tools can be purchased at your closest Home Depot or on Amazon. I hope these help you along your DIY journey as much as they have helped me! If your project includes painting, you can find my must-have painting equipment here.

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In this post I recommend mostly Ryobi brand tools. Ryobi tools were designed for the DIYer and are available at a cheaper price than some other tool brands. I have been using Ryobi tools for years and have loved them!

No matter what brand you choose, I do recommend sticking to one or two main brands for your collection. By sticking with the same brand, you are able to use the same batteries for all of your tools. This will save you time and money in the future!

Top Must-Have DIY Power Tools

These first 7 power tools are the ones I recommend any serious DIYer should start with! I am giving them to you in what I believe is their order of importance! This way you know where to start if you are thinking of purchasing tools. The world of power tools is not as intimidating as you might think!

Drill

I don’t know where I would be without my Ryobi drill. If you are screwing things together (or taking things apart!), a power drill is an absolutely essential tool. The amount of time and effort and energy this thing saves me is huge! It is also a very affordable purchase, especially given how much I use it. I’ve owned this tool for a long time and I have no regrets about it at all.  

Power drill, a DIY power tool

Miter Saw

It was hard for me to decide whether my drill or Ryobi miter saw should take first place in this list, and I decided in the end that the miter saw is a very close second, and I mean VERY close. I use this saw so much, in fact I use it for almost every single project! One could even argue that this is the easiest saw to use as a beginner. It’s perfect for straight or angled cuts, and is my go-to for cutting trim, moulding, or really for any material that fits!

Ryobi Miter Saw

Oscillating Multi-Tool

I love my Ryobi oscillating multi-tool (are you seeing a brand theme?)! It is so handy and does so many things. It can cut, sand, and grind. Where it really shines though is getting into small spaces where other tools won’t fit. It’s great for cutting all types of materials including pipes under sinks, cutting attached baseboards or door trim, or grinding grout out from between tiles with precision and ease. It is light enough for me to use easily too! Definitely recommend this one for a fellow DIYer.  

Nail Gun

Now we are starting to get into the slightly scarier sounding tools! But don’t be afraid of a little nail gun like this. Also known as a brad nailer, this gun is absolutely necessary for any kind of finishing work! Whether you are installing baseboards or using trim as a front on a piece of furniture, this tool is your best friend. It is so easy to use, and with small gauge nails, the holes are easy to cover with a bit of wood filler.   

DIY power tools, a brad nailer

Jig Saw

My Ryobi Cordless Jig Saw is such a great must-have tool that I’m happy to have in my back pocket for tricky cuts! I can make straight or curved cuts with it, and it will cut wood, metal, flooring or plastic. It’s excellent for cutting jobs that require a little bit of detail and finesse. And I can’t say enough about Ryobi and its cordless tools! Everything is easier when you aren’t dragging a cord around looking for a power source.

Ryobi jig saw

Orbital Sander

I use my Ryobi Orbital Sander so much! If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you will know I like a good IKEA hack, which usually involves painting a piece of IKEA furniture to make it look new again. A critical part of this process is sanding down the entire surface to be painted, which would be so painful to do by hand! For this task alone I recommend this sander. It’s also great for sanding wood for all my other finishing projects! 

Orbital sander, one of my favorite DIY power tools.

Circular Saw

My Ryobi Cordless Circular Saw is great for beginners and seasoned DIYers! It makes straight cuts of any length, and I use it all the time for cutting a piece of plywood to the size I need it. A circular saw is much easier to use than a table saw if you are cutting a full 4×8 sheet of plywood on your own. It is safe and lightweight and great for straight and easy cuts, and I feel very comfortable using it.

Cordless circular saw

These next 4 are DIY power tools that are not exactly essential, but are a great addition to your toolbox! Definitely consider adding them to your collection if it is within your budget to do so.  

Router

I use my Ryobi Fixed Base Trim Router to create perfect sharp edges every time. While this is not a necessary tool, it sure is handy! Routers can also be used to cut out patterns if you want to do inlay or decorative surface work or another delicate woodworking project. 

Impact Driver 

This is basically a more powerful version of my drill that got the number one spot! Whenever I need a little more force to drive a long screw or to get a stubborn screw out of something I’m taking apart, I appreciate the extra torque I get with my Ryobi Impact Driver.  

Ryobi impact driver, a DIY power tool

Table Saw

It took me a while to commit to my Ryobi Table Saw, but I’m so glad I did. Table saws can be scary to use at first, but as long as you take the right safety precautions there’s nothing to be afraid of! It makes long straight cuts a breeze! I get this saw out for bigger projects and it always gets the job done.

Portable table saw

Tile Saw

I don’t use my Ryobi Tile Saw that often, but for tile projects, it is an absolute must. Compact and affordable, this wet saw makes any tiling project so much simpler. If you are planning a big DIY tile project, it’s definitely something to consider.  

Tabletop tile saw, one of my favorite DIY power tools.

More Recommendations

This next batch is made up of fairly specialized tools that I might not use all the time, but when I do I love them and I’m so glad I have them! 

Caulk Gun

Caulking seams and edges is a really nice way to really finish off any project, especially baseboards, trim and moulding. While a battery powered one isn’t totally necessary, it is a luxury to have if you do a lot of caulking. With a traditional caulking gun my hand starts to cramp and get tired during a project, but this battery operated one doesn’t hurt my hand at all, makes this task that much easier! I use this Ryobi Caulk and Adhesive Gun, and I have never regretted this purchase.  

A caulking gun

Pocket-Hole Jig

I love my Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig! This tool makes it easy to hide screws by creating pocket holes, and put pieces of wood together in an elegant way.  

Pocket hole jig

Air Pump

This hand held battery operated Ryobi Air Pump can be used for so many different things! I like to keep it on hand to fill up my car tires. It also has attachments to fill up balls, balloons, and air mattresses!

DIY power tools, a battery operated Ryobi air pump.

Crown Moulding Jig

This Crown Moulding Jig is necessary if you plan on adding any crown moulding in your home. I tried cutting crown moulding on my own and wasted so much material getting the cuts and angles wrong before I decided to purchase this. It takes all the guesswork and fiddling out of the process, and I’m all for that!

crown molding tool

Laser Level

I know I said this was a list of things that weren’t quite necessary, but this Laser Level did almost make my list of must-haves! There are other ways to ensure your picture frame or moulding, photos, or any material is sitting at the right height, but this is the easiest by far.  

Bosch laser level

Lithium Screwdriver

This is not just any screwdriver! The pivoting head on this Lithium Screwdriver means that I can get into tight spaces with it. And of course, the fact that it is powered doesn’t hurt one bit either! 

Lithium screwdriver, DIY power tools

Wet/Dry Vac

My Ryobi Wet/Dry Vac has been a real cleanup game-changer for me. True, it doesn’t do anything some rags or a regular dry vacuum cleaner couldn’t do, but it’s so much easier! It’s lightweight and portable and makes cleaning up liquid spills and leaks so simple. It is more heavy-duty than a vacuum cleaner so I can pick up larger pieces of wood and sawdust debris when I’m cleaning up my workspace too.  

Staple Gun

This Ryobi Staple Gun is super handy! If you are doing any sort of upholstery projects this is a must have tool!

Ryobi staple gun

Stud Finder

A Stud Finder is such a simple handy tool that can save you so much time and struggle! Hanging shelves and heavy items on a stud is absolutely essential, and a stud finder is the best way to make sure you hit the right spot.  

a stud finder

Planer

A Planer is a great way to clean up rough lumber, smooth out rough edges where your saw went through and made a cut, and make salvaged boards seem new again. Definitely not a necessary thing, but I have made a few old pieces of wood look new with my planer and I think it has been a worthwhile purchase! 

Ryobi planer

That’s it! Now you have my top picks for must-have, recommended, and nice-if-you-feel-like-it tools! If you are serious about adding any of these power tools to your tool collection, consider this Ryobi Full Tool Set, a great value deal. If you buy a few tools together, you can save a bit of cash! I like a good deal, don’t you? And if you’re wondering about my slight obsession with Ryobi products, part of the reason is that their batteries are interchangeable with almost every single Ryobi product. This means that you don’t have to purchase separate batteries for each tool you own, which is also a great way to save some money. You can purchase them a couple of different ways, either as a set of one battery with a charger, or a set of two batteries.  

Do you have a favorite power tool that you just can’t imagine doing DIY without? Tag me @designingparkside with your own DIY projects and power tool pics or leave a comment! 

Happy DIYing everyone!

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