Top 10 Tools For A Workshop At Home

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Every good tool collection needs the basics. Whether you spend your weekends in the workshop, or simply want an array of tools on hand just in case, use this list of the top ten tools for your workshop to guide your selection process.

1.Oscillating Multi-Tool

One of the best multi-use tools to have in your arsenal, a multi-function oscillating tool uses a motor with switchable attachments to transfer from one job to the next. Use a multi-function oscillator to cut through plasterboard, pipes and cable, then switch attachments to sand down stone, cement and wood. Small and typically under $200, this tool is a great buy that is sure to come in handy time and time again.

2.Cordless Finish Nailer

While you may not get the thrill of swinging a hammer, adding a finish nailer to your tool collection is a great way to speed up carpentry projects, and do it yourself tasks that require nailing. While it does require a strip of specifically designed nails, this tool offers the speed of a nail gun, drastically reducing the amount of time and effort previously spent holding nails in place, and repeatedly hitting with a hammer. With one hand, you can finish up your woodworking, secure a board, or nail down trim. Cordless finish nailers typically range in price from $50 to $500, depending on size and features.

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3.Cordless Screwdriver

This tool offers the ease of simply pressing a button to insert screws, rather than the usual twisting and pressing required by a manual screwdriver. Rather than turning a screw with the force of muscle, this tool uses a small motor located inside the handle to turn the screw for you. Slim and long lasting lithium ion batteries and a $15 to $200 price tag have made this tool a must-have for every home tool kit.

4.Circular Saw

A circular saw is the perfect tool for cutting metal, stone, wood or plastic. Available in portable or table mounted versions, this tool can be carried to a work site, or set up in a home workshop. Just be sure to pick a motor powerful enough for what you plan to use it for. At $50 to $800, these saws come entirely customizable to your needs.

5.Cordless Power Drill

This tool is a workshop necessity, effortlessly drilling holes wherever you need them. Powerful battery operated cordless versions provide the convenience of the power drill without the hassle of a cord to tangle or trip you. With different speeds and drill bit sizes, you can easily transform this tool to fit every job you need it for. Ranging from $20 to $400, finding the cordless power drill for your home workshop is easy.

6.Laser Level

Having come a long way from watching bubbles in a tube, laser levels are a simple, yet high tech way to ensure your photos, shelves, paintings, etc. are hung straight, every time. A laser is mounted to either a tripod or the wall itself, sending a straight red line across the wall or surface you're working on. Basic models begin at $20, making this an inexpensive but effective addition to any tool collection.

7.Stud Finder

To ensure that anything you hang on a wall is properly secured, you must nail it to a stud within the wall. Unfortunately, knowing where the studs are located can be incredibly tricky. Devices like digital stud finders make what was once a tedious task easy. Slide the stud finder along the wall you want to hang something on, and it will alert you when it senses the stud. This works by sending small, precise electric pulses into the wall, which sense changes in depth between open air and studs. Starting at $12, there's no reason to blindly guess where your studs are located.

8.Extendable Ladder

This tool may be simple, but there's no denying it can come in handy. Always be sure to keep an extendable ladder in your workshop to reach rooftops, high ceilings, tree branches and more. From $100 to $300, this tool is worth the price for hard to reach situations.


It goes without saying that a workshop wouldn't be complete without a hammer. With advances in metals and technology, now you have the option to upgrade your hammer depending on your needs and likes. Newer hammers made of titanium offer lighter weight options to traditional models. Auto-hammers use a small motor to drive nails, requiring little to no effort on your part. Some models even include a small LED light to illuminate your workspace. While a standard hammer can only run you about $5, titanium models come in at $100 to $200, and auto-hammers cost around $80.

10.Duct Tape

Last but not least, be sure to include a roll of duct tape in your home workshop tool collection. Use this durable, water resistant tape for anything from securing wires on the floor, to patching holes in pipes, to designing reflective lettering on signs.

Use this guide to ensure your home workshop is fully equipped with all the best, basic and innovative tools you need. From the technologically advanced oscillating multi-tool, to the traditional hammer, be prepared for anything with the right tool for the right job.

Last Updated: July 24, 2011
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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