Here’s our comprehensive list of power tool types to help you choose the most suitable option for your shop, home, or upcoming project. If you have any questions or suggestions on a type of power tool, leave them in the comments section below! We plan on updating our guide every so that it’s fresh and accurate.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- Types of Power Tools
- Side Grinder
- Bench Grinder
- Air Compressor
- Wall Chaser
- Power Saws
- Table Saw
- Scroll Saw
- Reciprocating Saw
- Biscuit Joiner
- Percussion Hammer
- Power Screwdriver
- Power Sanders
- Heat Gun
- Impact Wrench
- Nail Gun
- Wall Chaser
- Power Ratchet Set
- Thickness Planer
- Oscillating Tool
- Rotary Tool
- Shop Vac
Types of Power Tools
This power tool is also called an angle grinder or disc grinder. It is a handheld tool that can cut, grind and polish metallic and non-metallic objects. You’ll need a compressed tool, petrol engine, or an electric motor is to power these tools.
They are available in corded and cordless forms. Use them to cut and smooth hard edges on materials like stone, metal, and wood.
A bench grinder is a stationary version of grinders. It features a spinning abrasive wheel so that you can lower the material onto it for sharp results. You can change the wheels just as you change the discs on an angle grinder. The most common use of bench grinders is sharpening metal tools such as knives and axes.
This type of power tool has compressed electric energy or gasoline. Using this tool stores up the compressed energy in the tank until it reaches its limitation. An air compressor’s capacity and pressure power may vary depending on its model.
Air compressors have a variety of applications, including cleaning household items, DIY auto repairs, spray painting, filling flat tires and gas cylinders, driving HVAC control systems, and powering up pneumatic tools such as nail guns or jackhammers.
A wall chaser features two parallel cutting discs used to cut slots out of walls or other surfaces. Cutting slots helps you access and run plumbing or wiring up the wall. Just like a circular saw, it’s up to you to draw a straight line as you cut.
One of the most common types of power tools are power saws. These come in many varieties, including:
A bandsaw has a steel band with a sharp blade to cut metal and wood. This power tool is very popular in metalworking, woodworking, and lumbering. The purpose of bandsaws is to split metal or wood in equal lengths with precision and ease.
While stationary bandsaws are more common workshops, there are also a few portable ones on the market.
Chainsaws are mechanical tools commonly found in homes, construction sites, and automobile shops. They have rotating teeth attached to a rotating chain on a guide bar. An engine with a battery pack or gasoline is essential to power the chainsaw.
Chainsaws are handheld, portable tools used for various woodwork or metalwork. These versatile tools can cut any material, regardless of its thickness. That said, chainsaws can be dangerous and must be handled with precaution.
Circular saws feature a sharp, abrasive blade or disc to cut material in a rotary motion. This saw type is safe to use and is designed to keep user protection in mind.
These saws can cut any material, including wood, plastic, masonry, or metal. They also come in various forms, such as corded, cordless, portable, or handheld. They are great for straight cuts and perform the job accurately and efficiently than any other power tool for a similar job.
A flooring saw combines the functions of a circular saw and a miter saw and is used to cut floorboards. It’s portable, and the blade ensures the straightness of the cut. You can easily cut mitered angles with a flooring saw.
A track saw runs on a track and is a great alternative to a circular saw when making small cuts, as the track keeps your saw straight and steady. You can make longer cuts as well, but you’ll need to stop the saw and slide your wood piece into position to cut the next section.
Compound Milter Saws
A compound miter saw is a powerful tool designed to move two ways and make cuts at different angles. You lower the blade onto the material to cut, but you can also tilt the angle’s blade for added precision. Depending on your required use, this will help you get those complex cuts.
A panel saw is a vertical saw featuring a table that stands upright. It’s perfect for sliding large pieces of plywood or other panel sheets across the saw. It also features a rolling tray you set the panel on, so it glides over the saw easily and smoothly.
A chop saw uses a disc blade with an abrasive edge like a grinder to cut through metal and masonry. This power tool comes in both portable and stationary varieties.
A tile saw has a wet abrasive disc to cut tiles without breaking them. This power tool also comes with a guide to help you line up the tile and make straight cuts as you push through the blade.
This type of power tool comes in stationary and portable versions. Instead of a disc or a blade, this tool uses a thin, serrated metal band. The band rotates around two wheels, and you can slide the material into it.
You can cut straight lines or move the material while cutting to make intricate rounded designs.
A jigsaw has a metal band that won’t rotate but move up and down. You can also insert different blades into a jigsaw to cut through various materials, including wood, plastic, metal, and rubber.
If you’re not starting from the material’s edge, you can drill a hole into it and lower the jigsaw blade into the hole to start making your cut. You might hear jigsaws referred to as bayonet saws because they have thin, long blades.
A table saw is attached to a table and features a pointed blade. You can easily trim, cut, or saw any material by gliding it against the power machine. Table saws function by a steady, electric motion.
The best feature of a table saw is adjusting based on your need. Depending on how much cutting you may require, you can move the saw up and down. Table saws are ideal for vertical and horizontal cuts, especially the cuts that are too complex to saw by other handheld and power saws.
Traditional table saws aren’t portable, but the bench-top table saw is highly portable. You can even take this type of table saw to construction sites. It comes with wheels, making it easier to move or roll around.
Scroll saws have several cutting capabilities and are highly preferred by crafters, tailors, and artists. Professionals’ focus is cutting fine and intricate materials, so they need more than a basic tool to achieve this goal. And that’s where they prefer using scroll saws.
Scroll saws have a fine blade that cuts materials delicately. Because of this, they are much better than hand-saws or circular saws. You can operate scroll saws using a pedal and have a plate to rest the material on. This includes projects like making jigsaw puzzles or small sculptures. Besides that, scroll saws are also used for splitting art patterns and dovetail joints.
Reciprocating saw is a handheld power tool featuring an electric motor. It is also a blade that operates in a push-and-pull way to cut material. The blade of reciprocating saws resembles a jigsaw.
These saws are most common at construction sites for repairing or remodeling jobs. You can customize reciprocating saws with accessories like clamps or smaller blades.
It’s also best for home-use applications such as carving pumpkins and so much more! You should choose a reciprocating saw any time you want to cut wood in a unique shape or style.
You can use biscuit joiners to connect two pieces of wood. A biscuit joiner features a rounded saw blade that helps cut small-sized holes to connect wood pieces.
Depending on the project, you can use biscuit joiners where you need them. Generally, they help join sheet goods like particleboard, plywood, and medium-density fiberboard.
Another big category of power tools is drills. All the drills help create holes in a surface. They can pierce small or large holes, and you can make holes in wood, metal, and masonry. It’s one of the essential tools for any collector.
There are three types of drills:
This is one of the most common types of drill. It spins to drill holes in your material. You can also reverse its spin, and sometimes, you can also change the speed.
This power tool comes with boring bits to help drill through materials. Besides boring bits, you can get screwdriver bits and use your drill as a powered screwdriver to tighten or loosen screws. One of the simplest uses of a twist drill is to make guide holes for screws.
Drill press is a stationary version of a twist drill. You’ll need to secure your material and lower the drill press into the surface. This power tool ensures that your drill holes are straight. You can also set the depth of the press so that you drill as far as you want to.
A hammer drill spins and punches the boring bit into the material. It’s also known as a rotary hammer. It is very powerful and not ideal for all materials. Also, be sure to use boring bits meant for the impact of a hammer drill.
Used mostly for masonry, you can set hammer drills to rotate or hammer only.
An impact driver is a go-to power tool for workers for a full-throttled force. It is lighter and smaller than other drills. However, it has an outer sleeve that makes it safer to use. You can drill screws and tighten nuts using this powerful tool. The driver produces downward and rotational forces to help loosen screws and nuts.
As opposed to hammer drills that operate only in an in-and-out motion, impact drivers are versatile can also spin. You can easily find both corded and cordless impact drivers on the market.
Percussion hammers don’t resemble a regular hammer. They create a hammering motion and are suitable for making holes into hard materials. They can pulverize various materials without much effort from you.
You can use percussion hammers for drilling holes into concrete, stone, and masonry. Other tools can’t drill holes into these hard materials.
Power screwdrivers run slightly slower and are less versatile than a cordless drill. However, they have more torque than most power drills, allowing you to screw directly into hard materials.
While these screwdrivers can work for any screwing project, they are usually only suitable in certain situations. They’re more useful for those who prefer a higher torque and slower rate. Whether you purchase one of these is really up to your personal preferences.
Sanding is an important aspect of carpentry as it removes mill marks, dents, and other flaws from any object. You can use different sanders to carry out this purpose; the most useful of all is a belt sander.
A belt sander can be stationary or portable. It functions by rotating a loop or sandpaper around the rollers.
It features an electric motor and a pair of cylinders to help trim and finish objects. You may also use sanders for smoothing rough surfaces, shaping and leveling out objects.
Orbital sanders are specialized tools featuring a vibrant sanding surface. This sander is circular and operates in a rotating motion. The tool has an electric motor running at a super high speed. The sanding disk spins circularly, making it easier to get into corners and edges.
Orbital sanders are suitable for various projects, especially those that require light sanding. It helps prepare surfaces for painting, refurbishing, or sealing. The finishing of a surface isn’t possible without orbital sanders, and that’s why they’re also called “finish sanders.”
Heat guns are handheld power tools that generate hot air for various tasks. For example, you can use heat guns to strip old paint, shrink materials like film, bend hard plastic, dry wood, or thaw frozen pipes.
These special tools need electricity to produce heat, and the temperature of hot air they produce goes up to 550 degrees Celsius. The heat directed toward any target is via a nozzle and spreads around by an electric fan.
An impact wrench is also known as a torque gun, air wrench, and impactor. This power tool provides a high amount of torque with minimal exertion. It requires compressed air to function. But, you can find them in hydraulic and electric models as well.
Impact wrenches are commonly found in tool chests of most mechanics. They are perfect for loosening nuts from cars and trucks. Because impact wrenches make a loud noise, it is best to wear a noise-canceling hearing aid when using them.
A jointer is a powerful tool that helps smooth or flatten the edges of any hard surface. This power tool can cut the wood into a desired width and breadth. When people cut wood by hand, it results in uneven edges. Fortunately, a jointer helps you level the rough edges instantly.
People confuse jointers with planers because of their similar uses. However, both of these power tools serve slightly different purposes. Jointers should are ideal for flattening the wood. On the other hand, planers give parallel surfaces to both sides of a wood piece.
A lathe is a popular power tool used to shape various materials such as wood and metal. It has a rotational drive that rotates any object set against the cutting tool. This tool provides operations like sanding, cutting, knurling, drilling, facing, and turning.
Professionals like metal workers, watchmakers, pottery creators, and designers rely upon lathe for their work projects.
Some of the objects you can create from lathes include candlesticks, cue sticks, gun barrels, table legs, screws, bowls, and crankshafts.
Nail guns are a power tool used to drive nails into wood or any other material. But many other tools give the same result, including a handheld hammer. So what exactly makes a nail gun different? Nail guns are useful when simple tools like a hammer fail to drive into an object. This happens when the material is so tough that a basic tool cannot drive the nail.
Nail guns are powered by electromagnetism, pneumatic compressed air, or flammable gases like propane or butane.
Carpenters mostly use this tool for roofing and flooring. Besides professional workers, amateurs can also consider using it.
A router is a power tool that creates shapes on materials like wood or plastic. Commonly, woodworkers use routers to make cabinets. These tools are very portable and versatile, making a must-have for professionals.
The most common router has a spindle driven by an electric motor and a hand plane. While it is an essential tool for woodworkers, a router can also be useful at homes. You can use routers for trimming, shaping, and cutting edges. It also helps carve out neat rabbets and recess door hinges.
You have to move a router over the material’s surface to cut grooves and beveled designs. You can change the attachments to curve different edge types.
A wall chaser is a tool designed for cutting grooves and channels into walls to install electrical wiring. They have an electric motor for spinning discs. Wall chasers are handheld and provide versatility to the user. This makes it easier to get into hard-to-reach wall spaces.
Some of the common applications of wall chasers include laying an electrical table, cutting grooves, and installing pipes into walls.
Power Ratchet Set
Save your hands from the wear and tear of repeated motions with a power ratchet set that does the work for you. These tools use batteries to power the motor, allowing you to work on your projects without making an effort to operate a manual ratchet.
A power ratchet helps save time and lets you work in tight spaces. Many sets offer additional safety features that can keep you safe and extend the tool’s life.
A thickness planer trims a board’s thickness and can re-cut it as needed, but it does so from both sides. You have to feed the board into the tool for trimming. This power tool is much easier to use and produces more accurate results than a regular hand planer.
This power tool can do many different things. It has interchangeable attachments that fit into the tool. It rotates quickly back and forth to re-shape surfaces. You can do everything from sanding to grinding to cutting with the different attachments.
Most popular brands have 50+ attachments available, so the versatility of the oscillating tool is almost endless. Plus, these tools are small and portable, making them ideal for smaller jobs on the go.
This is one of the most versatile tools out there. You can use rotary tools for almost any small project because they come with hundreds of attachments and accessories. They’re a small tool with a rotary tip that spins very quickly. You can use rotary tools for sanding, carving bevels, etching, polishing, etching, or shining metal surfaces.
You’ll find these tools in various professions, from nail salons to woodworking shops.
Most professionals will need a shop vac for their workshop. Unlike vacuum cleaners, you can use a shop vac to clean up big messes, wood chunks, and sawdust. The power and size of shop vacs vary considerably. These tools have no belts or rotating brushes, so they’re more durable and heavy-duty than average home vacuums.
Shop vacs are useful in many situations. We believe everyone should have a shop vac, even if you don’t do DIY projects.