A Guide to our New Power Tools

As you guys know, we’ve spent the last couple weekends working on some fun projects for my guest room. Most of the DIYs we’re tackling in that space require power tools, so we purchased some new items to add to our arsenal.

Prior to this, we really didn’t own any “hardcore” tools. Sure our toolboxes were stuffed to the brim with hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches galore…but when it came to “power” we only had our drills. In the past, we’ve always borrowed tools to get the job done. But we figured it was time to invest in some main tools that we could use for future projects. We’re hoping this will force us to tackle some more advanced DIY projects, and really take things to the next level around here.

Our Essential Power Tools for DIY Projects

bostich-nail-gun-comboWe did A LOT of research before buying any of these big-ticket items. We read reviews, looked at posts from other bloggers, and did a lot of shopping around before settling on these specific products. In the end, we think we got the right tools for us! 

Miter Saw

dewalt-miter-sawBrand: Dewalt 10-inch 15-amp compound miter saw

dewalt-power-tools-sawCost: $219

Use: If you’re doing any sort of project with wood, a miter saw is going to come in handy. It makes straight cuts beautifully, but it’s also able to make incredibly accurate cuts on an angle. This was the main work horse for our wood wall project (more on that tomorrow!), and we loved using it.

dewalt-saw-blade-miterDon’t Forget: Be careful & make sure you wear eye protection. It’s a saw, so you’ll want to be extra cautious when using it. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cutting in no time!

Pneumatic Nail Gun

nail-compressorBrand: Bostitch 150-psi portable electric air compressor

Cost: $169

nail-gun-DIYUse: We’re using a nail gun and air compressor to attach all of the wood to the wall for our guest room project. Bridget also used a borrowed nail gun for all of her board & batten projects. It’s waaaaay faster than using a hammer & nails, and it will give everything a more polished look. A nail gun can be used for so many projects. Woodworking projects, installation projects…there are so many cool things that require a nail gun.

bostitch-brad-nails-wood-wallDon’t Forget: To buy extra nails. Yes, the nail gun kit will come with some…but chances are you’ll need to buy many more for your first project. You can buy a pack of 1000 for cheap. Just make sure they work with the brand/size of your nail gun.


jigsaw-dewalt-cuttingBrand: Dewalt 6.5-Amp Corded Jigsaw

Cost: $129

dewalt-jigsaw-diy-cuttingUse: A jigsaw can be used to make both straight and curved cuts in a variety of materials (wood, particle board, metal, plastic, etc.) It’s great because it’s pretty compact, and relatively inexpensive. It’s a great saw for any DIY’er who is just getting into projects.

We originally thought we might have to use this for our fauxdenza plan to cut out a spot for the outlet in the back of the kitchen cabinet, but it doesn’t look like we will need to do that anymore. But we know this baby is going to come in handy for many future projects! We’re thinking something like this might be fun, or even this cool curved headboard.

Don’t Forget: Buy the right blade! You’ll use a different blade depending on the material you’re cutting. So make sure you have the right one on your jigsaw before you get to work.

Bridget-miter-saw-diyIf you’re going to purchase any of these power tools, then we recommend you throw these in your cart too.

Other DIY Supplies to Buy

  • Safety Glasses: A must whenever you’re using a saw! You don’t want any wood shavings getting in your eyes.safety-glasses
  • Sawhorses: We got these ones, and we added a cheap piece of plywood on top. This made for a nice little “work station”, and it was also a good spot to hold our miter saw.saw-horses-work-table
  • Drop Cloths: Things get messy when you’re DIYing. Keep your home clean with some durable drop cloths.

Casey-miter-saw-diyWe certainly are not tool experts. We’re just regular gals learning as we go. But we must admit that we do feel a sense of empowerment using these bad boys all by ourselves. Just goes to show that as long as you’re safe, you can handle anything on your own. Now that’s some girl power!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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