My Favourite Tools

Easier said than done.  Is it even possible to rate a tool in a favourite category?  Surely each has its own purpose and therefore cannot be rated in a hierarchy of which I like the best?  Well, I would say you can based on the following criteria.  How often is it used?  How satisfying is it to use?  Does it do the job well?  How dangerous is it?  It’s kind of like the top trumps of the tools world.

Victoria just came in, saw I was writing this article, looked at my title and said, “my willy”, as in my willy, not hers.  But as much as she is right, I’m not on about that kind of tool.  I’m talking about power tools and hand tools.

Woodwork Tools

Anyway, back to the criteria and the list.  The top contenders have to be these:

  • Dewalt 18v cordless drill with hammer action.  I purchased this recently to replace my old Dewalt drill which lasted me over 10 years.  Me and that drill went all over the world and I put it though its paces.  I hope this one will be as reliable as that one.  I use this on a weekly basis, probably my most frequently used tool.
  • Sledge hammer.  The good old basher, great for bashing stuff.  I don’t know how I lived without this.  I purchased this when we moved into our current house and needed to break up some hardcore from the fireplace we had renovated.  I remember swinging that thing for hours to mash up the stone.  There was probably a faster way to do it but I got a great workout.
  • Chainsaw.  Probably a 10 on the danger scale, but so satisfying cutting through wood like butter.  We have a log burner now where the old fireplace was and having a chainsaw to cut up the wood is a must.  This has to be one of the tools I’m terrified of and respect the hell out of.
  • Circular saw.  Again, one you have to respect.  One wrong move with this and its goodbye fingers.  When we did our kitchen worktops this was a must.  I told Victoria I wouldn’t be doing the job without one.
  • Axe.  Great for splitting the wood and great for a good workout.  There is something very satisfying about swinging an axe and hearing the sound of wood splitting into two, and the way it sticks into the chopping block.
  • Wood plane.  Probably not the most exciting tool in the world but it’s one that can be very satisfying when sliding down a long piece of wood.  I did all the doors in our house and had to take a couple of millimetres off each one so this made the job much easier.  It would have been much quicker with an electric plane but I love the feel and control you get with the manual one.

I could probably add a few more to this but I’m happy that I’ve covered my favourites.  So it’s time to reveal the winner…  I think in terms of excitement, satisfaction, usability and fear factor it has to be the chainsaw.  Since getting a log burner in the living room this tool has been essential.  My mum gave me access to loads of free wood where she worked under the condition I cut it all up.  So a small investment into a chainsaw was a no brainer considering you can pay about £80 for two square meters of seasoned wood.  I’m also a bit of a scavenger when it comes to free wood.  I’ve probably got about 3 years worth of free wood now and constantly on the look out.  I’m actually running out of storage space now so it’s time to revisit the Triangle Wood Store as you can see in my other blog.  This thing goes through wood like butter but a warning to all who are looking to buy a chainsaw, these things can take limbs off and should be respected at all times.  I always wear protective goggles when cutting wood and strongly recommend reading the instructions before use.  Most people also invest in protective trousers which protect your legs from slippage.

chainsaw cut wood
My favourite! The Chainsaw

I actually purchased a relatively cheap chainsaw, as I don’t use it that often but I’d like to invest in something a little more powerful one day.

This is my uncles chopped wood collection, really puts mine to shame.  This is probably enough wood to last me 15 years!

Uncle's wood store
Uncle’s wood store

What’s next?  I need more tools… I’m constantly trying to complete jobs with the wrong tools and it’s a nightmare, making jobs take 10 times as long and makes for sloppy finishes.  I really want a decent circular mitre saw, a bench saw, Kreg jig, electric plane and some large wood clamps.  Oh, and a workshop!  That would make my life complete.  Better be really nice to the wife 🙂

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