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I've traditionally not got on very well with any DIY projects that I've undertaken, and whilst I'm well aware that a bad workman has a tendency to blame his tools, I do think there's an element of that in my case. Because my tools are completely shit. One of my mates described them as "Fisher Price".

I'm 42. I can't go through the second half of my life without tooling up properly and at least giving myself the chance of successful completion of a DIY project. But I'm an HPCer, which means I look at De Walt tools, think what a lovely colour they are, then I look at the price tag, and someone has to come and help me back onto my feet again. I'm also aware that buying second hand means a possibility of buying broken or stolen tools, which would not be ideal.

So, I'm hoping that the frugal, fully tooled up chaps here can help me to find some gear at a decent price. I'm not going to put a budget on it - suffice to say I'll go as cheap as possible and buy second hand if it's decent quality, and consider new if it's cheap enough and decent quality.

What I'm after is:

  • cordless power drill
  • jigsaw
  • circular saw
  • router
  • sander
  • workbench
  • any other power tools that a real manly man should actually have in his arsenal

And as an aside, any comments on those Ebay £500 tool box jobbies would be appreciated as well. My radar tells me they are probably shite, but worth asking.

Oh, and to give this all some context, it may surprise you to learn that I am not a professional carpenter needing to use the tools all day every day. Realistically, the drill is going to get used a handful of times a year, the others on occasion.

But you know, I need them.

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You need the Screwfix catalog. I got it thinking there might be porn in it, but sadly no. :(

DeWalt is the HarleyDavidson for builders. ;)

Makita, Hitachi, and Bosch are usually good.

Actually buying used tools is a good deal. You can get "professional" quality stuff for buttons.

I got a smashing "truck sized" Wanner grease gun for a fiver at a boot sale.

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You missed out router. I think we had a thread on them.

Excuse the utter idiocy of this question, but by that I presume you mean the type of tool and not a make of tool, yes?

I also missed out a sander, got to have one of them.

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If you are really serious get the 110 volt ones, like used on building sites. You will need a big yellow transformer, about £30, and nobody will "borrow" them, except builders of course.

The reason these are deemed "safe" is the transformer is centre tapped, so you can only get a 55 volt shock. Makes sense to me, as 230 volts can kill. People have "failed" on this drilling holes in a wet bathroom, with a failed earth connection, and ended up dead. :wacko:

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Look round the builder's forums.

Makita seems to be the choice de jour.

But I don't think it's worth tooling up professionally unless you need to use them a lot.

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Hmm, good point Pin. I am actually the kind of person who that might happen to.

Heed the safety warning of the Pin. :blink:

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Look round the builder's forums.

Makita seems to be the choice de jour.

But I don't think it's worth tooling up professionally unless you need to use them a lot.

It's worth buying quality Mr 8itch.

Mate of mine bought completely w8nky power drill to "drill a few holes". It struggled, and expired gracelessly.

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I must admit, as I've got older I have done a full 180 degree turn and now buy quality wherever possible. I think it was a cheap hosepipe that finally caused my to see the light.

I'll check out Aldi and Lidl and the builders forums though, cheers for the suggestions.

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Do you own your own home, and intend to stay there for the foreseeable future? If not, your tools are something to lose whenever you move house.

Do you have ample storage space for everything on your wishlist[1], or do you need a priorities list? Where do your tools come on that list?

[1] and your family's, if applicable.

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Guest eight

Anything from Aldi or Lidl - no seriously. Made in Germany, top quality and 3 year warranty

From drill bits and hand tools to power and cordless tools, they really are good value IMPO

Got to admit I have lots of Lidl tools and they are all excellent - especially little hand tools like pliers and ratchet screwdrivers seem to be really good from there.

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Tools makes as just as a personal choice to some degree than buying you favorite kind of beer.

Yes if you buy very cheap then it will be sh1t. But you dont need top price either.

And most of the top brands are made by or have a lesser known brand attached to them, which if you look past the name is still a good quality product. Correct me if i am wrong but Black and Decker make Dewalt and they share some parts.

Look for trade shows, all the tool manufacturers go to most sme do deals for cash on the day. I bought 151 piece Draper Expert socket set with 70% discount as i got the display one on the last day.

As for retail outlets, machine Mart is a good place.

Also look at modified bits. What i mean is you csn buy a table that turns a skill saw into a table saw. A pillar drill atrachement that turns a normal battery drill into a pillar drill.

To add to your list i would say A dremel with the pillar drill attachment and the extender thing.

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Got to admit I have lots of Lidl tools and they are all excellent - especially little hand tools like pliers and ratchet screwdrivers seem to be really good from there.

I am open to your wise words Cardinal Eight. ;)

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Just to throw a contrary opinion:

Cheap power tools are kind of okay - the really big difference between them and the pro-quality gear is in the time-to-failure. For something like a cheap Black & Decker (say) it will be only 30 mins of use - on a building site this might be used up a few days, so they have to buy quality gear, but for the average DIY 30 mins of usage might last years.

So I'm of the opinion - buy cheap and find out the stuff you really use. You end up with a shed full of cheap power tools, and a couple of good quality items that you come back to again and again. This is much cheaper than buying a shed full of good quality gear that you seldom use.

I would, however spend a bit more on the blades and drill-bits - a blunt blade is a bit dangerous. In the olden days a blunt tool was a waste of effort, so we made sure everything was sharp - but in the days of power-tools we can just get the tool to provide the wasted effort - this is a bad thing.

So I suppose I'd also include a bit and blade sharpener. But this isn't an excuse for buying cheaper bits...

And for safety I'd make sure that the bench is sturdy enough.

[i'm also surprised that you've not got a chainsaw on the list - They're dangerous and not a DIY tool, but you surely have to have a chainsaw...]

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I've traditionally not got on very well with any DIY projects that I've undertaken, and whilst I'm well aware that a bad workman has a tendency to blame his tools, I do think there's an element of that in my case. Because my tools are completely shit. One of my mates described them as "Fisher Price".

I'm 42. I can't go through the second half of my life without tooling up properly and at least giving myself the chance of successful completion of a DIY project. But I'm an HPCer, which means I look at De Walt tools, think what a lovely colour they are, then I look at the price tag, and someone has to come and help me back onto my feet again. I'm also aware that buying second hand means a possibility of buying broken or stolen tools, which would not be ideal.

So, I'm hoping that the frugal, fully tooled up chaps here can help me to find some gear at a decent price. I'm not going to put a budget on it - suffice to say I'll go as cheap as possible and buy second hand if it's decent quality, and consider new if it's cheap enough and decent quality.

What I'm after is:

  • cordless power drill
  • jigsaw
  • circular saw
  • router
  • sander
  • workbench
  • any other power tools that a real manly man should actually have in his arsenal

And as an aside, any comments on those Ebay £500 tool box jobbies would be appreciated as well. My radar tells me they are probably shite, but worth asking.

Oh, and to give this all some context, it may surprise you to learn that I am not a professional carpenter needing to use the tools all day every day. Realistically, the drill is going to get used a handful of times a year, the others on occasion.

But you know, I need them.

Unwise if you ask me.

Firstly : The key is not the tool but the bit of the tool that is the action end.

For example, 200 quid drill with 1.50 drill bit = no good.

20 quid drill with 10 quid drill bit = good.

Second thing : Do you really want to get good tools, because then you will have nothing else to blame for your crap performance ? How will it feel, to not only find out you are indeed crap, but be a couple of grand down on stuff you can't use as well ?

Thirdly : Where do your tools put you in the male hierachy ? If you buy a set of tools that surpass your mates, it make cause a significant case of tool envy that will ruin your relationships.

Fourthly : You now lose the ability to get the job done for you. No longer can you ring up mate X and say, can you come round and help me, my tools are crap.

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I have to admit to having no power tools at all...a hammer, a couple of ladders, a few saws, a push lawnmower, hedge clippers and a few other bits like sand paper. Do the odd job like cutting down and sawing up a tree, splicing wood into rotten timbers etc, wouldn't like to tackle anything too difficult lest I botch it and compromise the saleability of the house. House is in pretty good shape, garden immaculate despite being large and complicated. Is all this tool stuff a bit false economy and an excuse to have man's stuff to mess with. Doesn't look great either when you come top sell, work benches and clutter in garages are a bit of a turn off for me.

The guy I bought the house of seemed to have all the gear yet for some reason I have spent the last three years putting the house right.

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[i'm also surprised that you've not got a chainsaw on the list - They're dangerous and not a DIY tool, but you surely have to have a chainsaw...]

I already have a chainsaw! I get proper man points for that, I suppose.

Unwise if you ask me.

These are all excellent comments, especially points 2 & 3. Tool envy can be a nasty thing, I agree.

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I've just watch listed a load of stuff on ebay, including a few transformers. My wife will be fantastically impressed :)

Every wife likes to see yellow transformers about the place. Sort of makes you "manly". :mellow:

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I have to admit to having no power tools at all...a hammer, a couple of ladders, a few saws, a push lawnmower, hedge clippers and a few other bits like sand paper. Do the odd job like cutting down and sawing up a tree, splicing wood into rotten timbers etc, wouldn't like to tackle anything too difficult lest I botch it and compromise the saleability of the house. House is in pretty good shape, garden immaculate despite being large and complicated. Is all this tool stuff a bit false economy and an excuse to have man's stuff to mess with. Doesn't look great either when you come top sell, work benches and clutter in garages are a bit of a turn off for me.

The guy I bought the house of seemed to have all the gear yet for some reason I have spent the last three years putting the house right.

The trouble is, every time I even start to think about a DIY project, I look out in my garage, and I have a similar collection to you. Most of what I have is poor quality, broken, or just shit. And it pains me. My dad was an experienced DIYer and always had the right tool for the job. I feel unworthy by comparison.

Crashmonitor stopped just short of saying that give Reg Prescott a decent set of power tools and you still have Reg Prescott, but with less money, more blood, more quickly.

That kind of efficiency is attractive to me.

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Could be useful for some posters on here ...

left-handed-toolkit.jpg

Left-Handed Tool Kit, £224.95

If you know anyone who’s left-handed, you know how they struggle with tools made for right-handed people. Now you can help them out – with a complete set of tools made just for left-handers! There’s a left-handed hammer, left-handed saw, left-handed screwdrivers, and left-handed tape measure, plus a full set of left-handed wrenches, pliers, cutters and vise grips… and much more! Over 200 left-handed pieces in all! The Left-Handed Tool Kit contains everything the left-handyman needs to work easily and comfortably on any job around the house. For the left-handed, it’s a dream come true. But because it’s specially-made for left-handed people, the Left-Handed Tool Kit isn’t cheap. Its unique manufacturing costs, plus the low quantities involved, make this set more expensive than the typical right-handed tool set. But if you know a left-handed person who struggles with normal tools, you’ll be doing him or her an enormous favour by giving them a Left-Handed Tool Kit! Don’t wait – order yours today!

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