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7 Power Tools To Never Leave The Shop Without

Are you just starting your handyman business and wondering which tools you need to carry with you?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer.  It pretty much just depends on the services you offer.  As I’ve said before, just because you’re a handyman doesn’t mean you have to know how to do everything or even be prepared for everything.

Spend some time deciding on the services that you will provide and then get the tools required for those services.  Or, even better, just buy tools as you need them.  That’s what I did.

Eventually, you’ll get your tool situation dialed in to fit your style.

Personally, I have a minimalist approach to the tools I carry with me to keep things simple.  If I don’t need to cut mitered edges, I won’t bring a chop saw.  If I’m not going to do a lot of cutting or benchwork, I leave the sawhorses at home.  This not only eliminates the need to tow a trailer, but helps keep my truck clean and organized.

However, there are certain tools that I use often enough to where they have a permanent home in my truck.  Here are the 7 power tools that I never leave the shop without.

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#1 – DEWALT 20-Volt Max Li-Ion Drill

This is hands down the most used tool for me personally and I’m assuming the same goes for most handyman businesses.  Having a nice drill is essential for any pro handyman.

I’ve been using this same drill for over three years, put through some serious abuse, and it’s still working like a charm.  The batteries last for much longer than I usually need and charge in less than 30 minutes.

#2 – Circular Saw

This is the circular saw that I’ve used since I started my business.  Typically, I’m all about using the highest quality tools and I’m a little embarrassed of this one.

This is an entry level tool and not recommended if you are planning to go pro.  I bought it before I started my handyman business and it just won’t seem to die, so I haven’t upgraded.  Although I’m sure once I do I’ll wonder why didn’t upgrade sooner.

Either way, a circular saw is essential if you will be performing an carpentry work.

#3 – Shop-Vac Wet/Dry Vacuum, 5-Gallon

Keeping the customers house clean is really important to customer satisfaction so this thing goes with me to every job.

I like this model because it’s small, light weight, and really powerful.  It’s the perfect size for easy mobility in and out of a customer’s home.  I’ve been using this thing for the last 6 years and it hasn’t let me down.

#4 – 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder

I believe everybody should have an angle grinder because of it’s incredible versatility.  Need to cut a bolt that’s too long?  Angle grinder.  Need to cut a piece of stone to fit just right?  Angle Grinder.  Need to make a custom bracket that you can’t find in a store?  Angle Grinder.

I learned about this tool while working as a granite installer in college and it was by far the most used tool for the job.  This thing will rip right through just about anything as long as you have the right blade.  And if used in the right hands, it can perform some relatively intricate cuts.

I recommend having a diamond wheel, a few metal cutting wheels, and a concrete/mason grinding wheel and you’ll be able to cut just about anything.

#5 – DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool

This is one of those tools that you never really think you’ll use until you have one, then you end up finding a hundred uses for it.  The most common use for me is to cut drywall.  It cuts right through like butter and gives you a clean cut with very little dust.  It’s also great for undercutting a door frame and eliminates the need for a jamb saw.

I love this DeWalt cordless version because it uses the same battery as my drill and is just as well made.  The downside is that it requires it’s own type of blade as most do, but with a small modification with my angle grinder I can get Dremel brand blades to work like a charm.

#6 – Reciprocating Saw

Sometimes when you really gotta tear shit up, you need this beast of a tool.  It’s a must have whenever removing a door frame since it can cut through metal, wood, plastic, or whatever else gets in it’s way.

There are also cordless versions available.  Personally, I would continue to rock the corded version because it would be really annoying to run out of batteries during a cut and something with this much power uses a lot of juice.

#7 – Dremel Variable Speed Rotary Tool

This tool can be a little tedious to use because there are so many damn parts in the box and a hundred different bits, but sometimes you just need the surgical precision that it offers.  Technically you could get by without one of these, but every pro handyman should have one.  They also make cordless versions, but I don’t use it enough to go cordless.  I just want to know that when I’m ready to use it, it’s going to work.

There you have it, the 7 power tools that I carry on me at all times.  Do you see anything missing?  What do you think?

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  • wade kulesa January 28, 2015

    Great list. I think you’re spot on. The only thing I would add would be an impact driver in addition to the drill/driver. Having the impact comes in handy when you need a little extra umph! That and maybe a good quality level

    • Dan Perry January 29, 2015

      Yes, an impact driver would be a nice upgrade. And a level is a definite requirement, but I’m talking power tools here. There are about a hundred more tools I keep on me at all times. Are you talking about a laser level, or maybe something really cool I don’t know about yet?

  • Kenny January 29, 2015

    I wouldn’t discount the battery powered recip saw. I use mine probably 80% of the time over the corded one. I also always have a pruning blade or two because these work great to surgically remove the branches that seem to always be in the way of exterior work.

    • Dan Perry January 31, 2015

      Your right, I shouldn’t discount a tool I’ve never owned. It would be nice to have a cordless reciprocating saw.

  • James Mason February 11, 2015

    You can never have enough toys, I have an obsession with power tools! Great list if your just starting out.

  • Rob McGregor April 9, 2015

    Continue to find your info very useful. I have one thing to share, after most jobs I always seem to have bits and pieces such as screws etc laying about, so I have in the truck what I call a drop box roughly A4 size container all the loose stuff left over gets dropped in there were I can sort it out at the end of the week, I have found it very time saving and I know we’re to look if need be. Cheers

    • Dan Perry April 10, 2015

      Great Tip, Rob. Thanks for mentioning that. I actually do a similar thing, but I just put it all in the bottom of my tool bucket.

  • Pedro June 22, 2015

    How about light? So many projects that would otherwise be simple become much more difficult without appropriate lighting.

  • Charles February 20, 2016

    I would add a compound miter saw to this list. I keep mine on the truck

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