Dewalt power tools combi drill

Essential power tools for home renovations

Discover the ultimate toolkit to kickstart your home renovation journey. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my list of essential power tools for both basic home improvement and intricate remodeling projects. Whether you’re a sporadic DIY enthusiast or a semi professional tradesman, the tools outlined below are your steadfast companions. The key is equipping yourself with the right tools, tailored to each task. After all, your aim is not only to accomplish each undertaking to your best abilities but also to optimise your time and financial resources.

Dewalt power tool selection

Venturing into the world of home improvement armed with inadequate tools or a mere assortment of hand tools and rudimentary power tools can complicate and extend every job. However, a modest initial investment can yield high-quality tools that promise both exceptional performance and longevity. Drawing from my 15 years of property renovation experience and extensive handyman work, I’ve curated a list of indispensable tools for virtually any home renovation endeavor.

Granted, power tools might seem like a hefty investment. Yet, armed with the knowledge of strategic shopping, you can alleviate the financial strain. Personally, I leverage cashback platforms like TopCashback to procure significant returns on my purchases, effectively accumulating up to £250 annually on essential products and day-to-day necessities. Also consider opting for tool kits or multipacks to maximise savings without compromising quality.

Without further ado, explore my meticulously crafted compilation of the finest tools for elevating your home improvement prowess. If you remain unconvinced about integrating additional power tools into your arsenal, delve into each segment to uncover the compelling reasons behind their inclusion and how they can distinctly enhance your home renovation endeavors.

1. Cordless Combi Drill (& Impact driver)

Dewalt drill driver set

A combi drill is number one on this list due to its importance in the world of home renovations. If you’re just starting out then this is renovation tool 101. You’re likely reading this and thinking to yourself “I already have a drill driver, it’s not a branded model but it works.”

It’s important to note that branded cordless drills come with a host of advantages compared to their non-branded counterparts. While a standard cordless drill driver might have a price tag of around £60, opting for a reputable brand like my Dewalt will only set you back an additional £40-£60. However, in return, you’ll enjoy double the power, twice the features, and a lifespan that’s twice as long. The difference in performance is truly remarkable.

In my case, I made the choice to upgrade by investing in a Dewalt drill driver and impact driver set. This decision not only saved me a reasonable amount of money but also provided the convenience of having two drivers at my disposal. This move effectively cut my work time in half, eliminating the need to switch between a drill piece and a driver piece.

Which brands of combi drivers are worth your investment?

When it comes to 18v combi drills, it’s wise to gravitate towards reputable names like Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee. From my personal experience, I wouldn’t recommend considering any other brand. In fact, I’ve gone a step further and chosen to invest in the Dewalt XR range of tools. This decision was motivated by the fact that these tools share interchangeable batteries, enabling me to own just 3 or 4 batteries that seamlessly fit into any of my power tools. This strategic approach not only streamlines my toolkit but also leads to notable cost savings.

My recommended budget 18v combi drill

Dewalt DCD778 – Find here @ B&Q

This is the drill I own and I use it professionally. It doesn’t have quite as many features as the others but it has plenty of power and never lets me down.

My recommended mid-range 18v combi drill

Dewalt DCD796 – Find here @ B&Q

My recommended high end 18v combi drill

Dewalt DCD996 – Find here @ B&Q

2. Jigsaw

Dewalt XR jigsaw and bits

This versatile power tool proves invaluable across a spectrum of carpentry projects, made even more adaptable by the various blades it can accommodate. With a cutting capacity of approximately 50mm, it excels in executing intricate curved cuts on its own or precise straight cuts when coupled with a guide. From crafting 45-degree angles to right angles, from navigating straight lines to contoured paths and even reaching challenging corners, this power tool stands as a cornerstone in any home renovation toolkit.

I consistently take this tool to each job due to its ability to accomplish a wide array of timber cuts I might require. While certain woodworking tasks might find swifter resolution with a mitre saw or a circular saw, the jigsaw provides a reliable backup when alternatives are scarce.

When selecting a jigsaw, my preference invariably leans toward established brands like Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee. Particularly, the Dewalt XR range resonates with me as it seamlessly integrates with the same battery packs as the combi drill, ensuring enhanced compatibility. Offering cordless convenience, this tool emerges as an ideal asset for diverse settings and scenarios.

Which jigsaw did I buy?

I decided to buy the DeWalt 18V Cordless Jigsaw DCS331N – Bare unit. (Bare unit means you literally only get the unit, no case, bits or any other fluff). I purchased the bare unit because I already owned 3 decent batteries that were compatible and didn’t require a carry case. The only thing I did buy to support the jigsaw was a set of saw bits. The DCS331N is a robust saw capably of a variety of tasks. the perfect addition to my repertoire of tools.

3. Orbital Sander

Dewalt XR orbital sander

You can’t produce a smooth finish to your renovations without a sander by your side. A sander provides the finesse and finesse your projects demand, allowing you to effortlessly refine surfaces and achieve that professional touch. Whether you’re revitalising an old piece of furniture or perfecting the texture of a newly constructed surface, a sander is your ultimate ally.

With various types of sanders available, such as belt sanders for heavy-duty tasks and orbital sanders for intricate detailing, you have the versatility to tackle diverse surfaces with precision. Smooth out rough edges, eliminate unsightly blemishes and prepare surfaces for painting or staining with the aid of this essential power tool. I have both a belt sander and an orbital sander, however I rarely use the belt sander. The orbital is almost always by my side.

Much like the other tools in your home renovation arsenal, the choice of brand and quality matters. Opting for reputable names like Bosch, Festool, or DeWalt ensures that your sander not only delivers consistent performance but also endures the test of time. A reliable sander is a cornerstone of successful home improvement, ensuring that every surface you work on boasts a finish that’s nothing short of impressive.

My orbital sander – DeWalt XR 18V 125mm Cordless Random orbit sander DCW210N-XJ

Find it here at B&Q

4. Mitre Saw

Dewalt XR 18v circular saw

When it comes to shopping, whether it’s online or at your local DIY store, one undeniable fact emerges: there’s an array of saw types available for purchase. So, what sets a mitre saw apart and makes it a compelling choice?

Opting for a mitre saw opens up a world of possibilities for crafting angled cuts across various materials, including wood and steel. These saws prove indispensable across a multitude of tasks, ranging from constructing sheds to crafting meticulously angled sideboard joints. While it’s true that you could resort to a traditional hand saw for these tasks, a mitre saw steps in to perform the same job with remarkable efficiency, drastically reducing the time investment.

However, a crucial consideration is to ensure you select a mitre saw that aligns with your project needs in terms of cut length. Some mitre saws boast a fixed saw blade, while others are mounted on a sliding bar, enabling longer cuts. The range of cut distances typically spans from approximately 120mm to 340mm. Notably, the convenience factor has evolved, and you can now even find cordless options, enhancing the flexibility of these tools.

So why don’t I have a Dewalt this time? Too expensive for me. Whilst I love Dewalts products I couldn’t justify spending in excess of £700 for the size cut I needed. That’s why I settled for the Evolution Mitre Saw. It’s less than half the price and when you upgrade the blade (~£60) you end up with an amazing product.

5. Angle grinder

Hitachi Koki angle grinder

While not an everyday tool for me, it’s become an indispensable part of my toolkit. This versatile tool offers the trifecta of cutting, sanding, and grinding, making it a true multitasker. Its exceptional speed, characterised by high revolutions per minute, makes it a formidable force, effortlessly slicing through even the most resilient materials. From porcelain tiles to metal grinding, rust removal to concrete cutting, I’ve harnessed its power for a range of demanding tasks. There’s hardly any challenge this compact handheld power tool can’t conquer.

Given its occasional use in my projects, I opted for the Hitachi Koki model. It’s a corded angle grinder, which means it might not match the full versatility of its cordless counterparts, but it compensates with robust power and impressive capabilities. This reliable tool has proven its worth, serving as a go-to solution when the job demands a precise and potent cutting edge.

6. Circular saw

Dewalt XR 18v circular saw

The circular saw emerges as your go-to solution when the cutting requirements exceed the capabilities of a mitre saw or jigsaw, either in terms of length or precision. This versatile tool steps in to deliver consistently even cuts along the length of various wooden pieces, effectively addressing scenarios that demand more than what other tools can offer. Its value shines particularly when tackling sheet materials, as it dramatically accelerates the cutting process, making it an indispensable asset for any home renovation endeavour.

Circular saws come in both corded and cordless variations, offering flexibility to match your needs. They present a range of options, each catering to specific requirements. The ability to efficiently handle sheet materials translates to significant time savings, a critical advantage in the realm of home renovations.

My circular sawDeWalt 18V 165mm Cordless Circular saw DCS391

There’s also a specialised version of the circular saw known as the track saw. This variation takes accuracy to a whole new level by allowing for precise straight cuts. Track saws are designed to mount onto a metal ruler track, which serves as the foundation for achieving unparalleled accuracy in your cuts. This tool proves especially useful when tasks demand impeccable precision, making it a valuable addition to your toolkit.

Makita plunge track saw
Makita plunge track saw

Hand saw? I know this isn’t a power tool but an essential nonetheless. Finally you might want to consider a decent hand saw as these are pretty much always required for jobs that mechanical saws just can’t handle.  They’re also great for making clean accurate cuts through hard and soft wood.

7. Router

I’ve chosen to invest in two distinct types of routers due to their highly targeted uses. Firstly, there’s the full-sized plunge router which I use for cutting kitchen worktops. Additionally, I have a palm router that significantly simplifies the process of fitting interior doors.

plunge router and palm router

While routers might seem a bit more specialised compared to the other power tools discussed in this article, they are quintessential for carpentry and joinery during home renovations. For example, installing oak kitchen worktops necessitates a router and a jig system. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank for these tools; you can find reliable options for less than £100. Investing in a router proves crucial for tackling specific tasks with precision and finesse.

They don’t manufacture the JCB router any more but here is the closest equivalent and the plam router shown above:

8. Multitool

Dewalt multitool

A multitool is a great versatile tool capable of a number of different tasks. It’s the perfect tool to add to your home renovation toolkit. Here’s just a small list of things it’s capable of:

  1. Cutting Wood: An oscillating multitool can effortlessly make precise cuts in various types of wood, whether you’re trimming, shaping, or creating intricate designs.
  2. Metal Cutting: With the right blade, the multitool can slice through metal sheets, pipes, nails, and other metal components.
  3. Removing Grout: The multitool’s oscillating action, combined with a grout removal attachment, makes it a great tool for scraping out old grout between tiles.
  4. Sanding and Polishing: By attaching sanding pads or polishing accessories, the multitool can smooth rough surfaces, prepare wood for finishing, and even polish metal.
  5. Detail Sanding: The multitool’s precision allows it to access tight spaces for detailed sanding, reaching corners and intricate designs.
  6. Plunge Cutting: The multitool’s ability to make precise plunge cuts makes it ideal for tasks like cutting openings in drywall or flooring.
  7. Trimming Door Frames: When installing flooring, the multitool can trim door frames to ensure a seamless fit.
  8. Removing Adhesives: Attachments designed for adhesive removal can help the multitool efficiently strip off old adhesives, stickers, or tapes.
  9. Caulk Removal: The oscillating action of the multitool combined with a caulk removal attachment makes removing old caulking from joints and seams a breeze.
  10. Cutting Plastic and PVC: An oscillating multitool can easily slice through plastic pipes, PVC materials, and other plastics.

Again, I stuck with a Dewalt but there are plenty of great multi tool models out there.

Here is my multitool: DeWalt XR 18V Cordless Multi tool DCS355N-XJ


The tools outlined above form the cornerstone of essential equipment for home renovations, serving as steadfast companions throughout the majority of projects. If you’re committed to refining your DIY skills and broadening your expertise, investing in an upgraded power tool arsenal is a strategic choice. Prioritising renowned brands and extending your budget slightly leads to tools that not only excel in performance but also demonstrate exceptional durability compared to their lesser-known counterparts. This foresighted investment in quality tools from the outset ensures a lasting payoff as you embark on your journey of successful and satisfying home improvements. Remember, the right tools not only make tasks easier but also elevate the overall outcome of your projects.

Why am I such a fan of the Dewalt range of power tools?

It all started unintentionally. My first proper power tool was a cordless Dewalt Combi Drill. Before that, I used cheaper drills from Argos without much thought. Then, when I got a job in the audiovisual events industry, I noticed everyone using Dewalt or Makita drills. I decided to invest in one of these drills, and the Dewalt happened to be £10 cheaper, so I went with that. Since then, I’ve stuck with Dewalt mainly because their batteries can be swapped between tools. This has made things easier and more cost-effective for me.

Try some more of my posts on home renovations and tools:


  1. Hi Fred. I personally like to buy Dewalt as I have done for many years. They are reliable and get the job done right. I’d also recommend Makita power tools or if you have the money then go for Festool power tools.
    Thanks for reading

  2. Hey Ben,
    Thank you for share your helpful content with us..
    I am Lover of DEwalt & ryobi power tools brand. i am collected Jigsaw of dewalt brand, it’s work very nicely.
    i am happy to use this brand. What brand of Jigsaw do you recommend and why?

  3. Circular saw is most efficient and most useful tools. I have a circular saw and use frequent. Thank you for the post.

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