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Looking to build a DIY enthusiast tool kit


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I am a DIY and woodworking enthusiast. I make a little with my work but its mostly a hobby. I do a lot around my house remodeling. I am also in the process of building a travel trailer. I will also be buying an old farmhouse and some property or building my own tiny house, either from plans or something similar. I probably can't do the whole build myself but I will be doing much of the finish work. I had a tool kit with a mix of dewalt and festool .I was planning on leaving the country for 2 years for mission work before Covid hit and sold all of my tools. I use tools at work but also want to build up what I want/need for my personal projects.


As of right now I only have a dewalt impact driver and Milwaukee 12 volt installation drill kit. I want to stick with milwaukee for my cordless tools at the very least. The dewalt is just a holdover from what I hadn't sold yet. For the types of projects I plan on doing, what would the must have tools be? And which ones should I start with? I'm thinking a more powerful drill, multi tool, and circular saw are musts. Once I build or buy my home/land I will have a permanent shop and will be adding the built in stuff, miter saw, table saw, bench, etc. But I need a place to start and there are so many options that I am trying to start with the basics and add as I need more specific task tools. Thanks for the help!

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I would have to say your basic tools for what you are doing would be the following.  I just got done remodeling my house and working on my addition so i am think of that my most used tools were.

  • Drill/Driver
  • Impact Driver
  • Circular Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Framing Nailer, along with finish nailer
  • I used my oscillating tool, but not as much

Get your self a great tape measure, level, square and a boat load of carpenter pencils


If you are going to be doing any demo work with the farm house, a reciprocating saw is a must.


I could go on and on, but from what I remember, those where the most used tools for me.  There were other things that I relied on such as a laser, sander, Bluetooth speaker and more but if money is at a premium, I would start with the ones above.



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That's definitely along the lines of what I had in mind. I'm definitely thinking of the hand tools as well but the power tools are the biggest expense so I was trying to get a feel for that more. I do still have a festool half sheet sander but will probably pick up a 5" orbital sander as well.


In terms of the tools, I am leaning towars 18 volt for the drill/driver, circular saw, nailers, and oscillating tools. Are they worth the added expense? What about the fuel options? Which I know come in m12 as well to throw another wrench in my thought process and considerations.


As for the  table saw, I think I'll eventually have a built in full time shop in the property so I don't know if I want to buy any jobsite versions because I'll have those more as built ins where I'll have a full table for each. I know that involves cutting farther from the rook I'll be working in but will make more precise work easier as well as not buying tools I'll want to replace later. Unless I just build tables around the jobsite table saw, but then I should buy a corded version to begin with, which it doesn't look like milwaukee has one of those.

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Id probably build the kit that I currently have myself:

Milwaukee M12 Fuel hammer drill

Milwaukee M12 Fuel circular saw

Milwaukee M12 jigsaw

Ryobi One+ 18v random orbital sander (although maybe step up the the Milwaukee version)

Milwaukee 1//4 sheet palm sander

You could go miter saw or table saw but I dont know that a table saw or miter saw does anything that a circular saw doesnt, it just makes some of the cuts easier.  Id love to have both but I dont know that Id use them enough to justfy spending the money on it.  Id love to just go out and blow $700 on a Milwaukee miter saw and $600 on a table saw.  I probably could save quite a bit of money by just going Ryobi but as someone who owns Ryobi and Milwaukee, Milwaukee stuff is just better and if Im going to do it, I'll spring for the Milwaukee stuff because as a homeowner/DIYer, its going to last me a lifetime anyways.

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On 11/18/2020 at 7:27 PM, jimmy986 said:

Why the m12 hammer drill versus the M18? The price difference isn't huge.

Do you think the jigsaw in more useful than the multi tool


Oh gawd no! 😁 The multi-tool is unbelievably useful in so many ways, and makes so many things easy that would otherwise be either difficult or impossible without it. I just used mine today, in fact, to (1) cut the heads off two 3-inch steel screws that were impossible to unscrew out of the very hard 100-year-old floor joists they had been screwed into to hold down a piece of plywood (don't ask 🙄), and (2) trim about 3/4 of an inch off the end of that piece of plywood so that I could lift it up without taking down the drywall that had been installed above the ends. Installing a new kitchen floor or bedroom carpet and need to trim an 1/8-inch off the bottoms of the door casings? Easy as can be with the multi-tool—easy to make a very straight cut and it doesn't throw saw dust all over the room. It's a brilliant invention.


Personally, I like the 18V cordless tools, but the small size of the 12V can be awfully convenient. It just depends on what you need to be able to do with them and whether you need (or prefer) the smaller size of the 12V. The M12s might work perfectly fine for what you need to do with them, and you already have one M12 tool and battery.


I remodeled my house 18 years ago (and it's an ongoing process) with all DeWalt cordless tools and loved them. They wore out several years ago and I hadn't been doing nearly as much work on the house so I just got some cheap Harbor Freight tools at the time. Since COVID started I've been doing a lot more work on the house, so I recently decided to start getting Milwaukee M18 tools. The M18 FUEL Surge impact driver is fantastic—it's so quiet!



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