8 Essential Power Tools Every Contractor Needs

worker using a power tool

Power Up!

Power tools are a vital part of any contractor’s toolkit. They help save time and effort, making even the most difficult projects achievable. However, with so many different tools available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to add to your collection. In this article, we will explore the top 8 essential power tools and power sources that every workshop or toolbox should have.

Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a versatile cutting tool that is ideal for demolition work, as well as cutting through a variety of materials. When selecting a reciprocating saw, consider the blade stroke length, motor power, and blade changing mechanism. A longer stroke length can help you cut through thicker materials, while a higher motor power can make the saw more efficient. A quick and easy blade-changing mechanism can also save you time and effort.

Oscillating Multi-Tool

An oscillating multi-tool is a versatile tool that can be used for cutting, sanding, grinding, and scraping. When selecting an oscillating multi-tool, consider the oscillation speed, accessory compatibility, and motor power. A higher oscillation speed can help you complete tasks more quickly, while accessory compatibility allows you to use a wide range of accessories. A higher motor power can also help the tool perform more efficiently.

Angle Grinder

An angle grinder is a versatile tool that is ideal for cutting, grinding, and polishing metal, stone, and other materials. When selecting an angle grinder, consider the disc size, motor power, and safety features. A larger disc size can help you complete tasks more quickly, while a higher motor power can help the tool perform more efficiently. Safety features such as a safety guard and a lock-on switch can also help ensure safe operation.

Impact Driver

An impact driver is a powerful tool that is ideal for driving screws and bolts quickly and efficiently. When selecting an impact driver, consider the torque, speed, and battery life. A higher torque can help the tool perform more efficiently, while a higher speed can help you complete tasks more quickly. Battery life is also important, as it affects how long you can use the tool before needing to recharge the battery.


A nailer is a tool that is used to drive nails and other fasteners into wood or other materials. When selecting a nailer, consider the nail size and type, magazine capacity, and power source. A larger magazine capacity can help you work for longer without needing to reload, while a power source such as a cordless battery can give you greater mobility and flexibility.

Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is a versatile tool that can be used for drilling holes and driving screws. When selecting a cordless drill, consider the power, speed, battery life, and chuck size. A higher power and speed can help you complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, while a longer battery life can help you work for longer without needing to recharge the battery. A larger chuck size also allows you to use larger drill bits for larger holes.


A jigsaw is a versatile cutting tool that is ideal for cutting curves, circles, and intricate shapes. When selecting a jigsaw, consider the blade type, cutting speed, and stroke length. Different blade types are suitable for different materials, so make sure to choose the right one for your project. A higher cutting speed and stroke length can also help you complete tasks more quickly and efficiently.

Power Sander

A power sander is a must-have tool for any woodworking project. This tool is used to smooth out rough surfaces, remove old paint or varnish, and prepare surfaces for painting or staining. Power sanders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including belt sanders, orbital sanders, and random orbit sanders. They can be powered by electricity or air, and some models come with dust collection systems to keep your work area clean.

Power Sources for Power Tools

While the above tools are essential, it is also important to consider their power source. Here are some of the most common power sources for power tools:

Air Compressor

An air compressor is a device that converts power into potential energy stored in pressurized air. This stored energy can then be used to power pneumatic tools, such as nailers and impact wrenches. Air compressors come in a range of sizes and power ratings, so it is important to choose one that meets your specific needs.

Battery Chargers

If you use cordless power tools, you will need to invest in a good quality battery charger. These chargers allow you to quickly and easily charge your tool batteries, so you can keep working without interruption. Some battery chargers even have multiple charging bays, allowing you to charge several batteries at once.

Extension Cords

Most power tools require an electrical outlet to operate, which means you will need an extension cord if you are working in an area without easy access to power. It is important to choose an extension cord that is rated for the power you will be using, and to avoid using damaged cords that could pose a safety hazard.

Other Sources

There are also other power sources for power tools, such as gasoline and propane generators. These are typically used for larger tools, such as table saws and air compressors, and they are ideal for use in remote locations without access to electricity.

Having the right power tools can make all the difference when it comes to tackling all types of projects. The above eight tools are essential for any contractor, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro. It is important to invest in high-quality tools and to take the time to learn how to use them safely and effectively. With the right tools and some practice, you can finish any project with confidence and achieve professional-looking results.

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.


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Author: Herbert Post

Born in the Philadelphia area and raised in Houston by a family who was predominately employed in heavy manufacturing. Herb took a liking to factory processes and later safety compliance where he has spent the last 13 years facilitating best practices and teaching updated regulations. He is married with two children and a St Bernard named Jose. Herb is a self-described compliance geek. When he isn’t studying safety reports and regulatory interpretations he enjoys racquetball and watching his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys.