If you've decided to join us here in the 21st century and get yourself some power tools instead of relying on your old hammer and nails, welcome. Sit yourself down and pay attention to these tips for shopping for power tools.
Go to the right place
Make sure you're at a place that's going to have what you need. Are you looking for a big range that'll give you loads of options, or a Ma and Pa joint that'll have a smaller range but more personalized advice? Head to the big hardware stores if you fall into the former category and your locally owned shop if you're in the latter. Some guys like to have a wander and make all their own decisions, so the bigger stores are better for them, but novices and those looking for a bit of in depth advice might prefer the smaller hardware shops.
Know your brands
Go online and look up reviews of power tools so you know which ones have worked for other people. Be aware that just because one brand does, saw, circular saws really well, it doesn't necessarily mean their hammer drills will be any good. You may need to shop around several brands to get the best of everything, but if you pick brands that are tried and true, like STIHL power tools, you know you'll always be onto a winner.
Start with the basics
If you're just starting out as a power tool user, there's no point jumping straight in to buying the most complicated tool you can lay your hands on. Start with a simple tool that does what it's supposed to do really well, then upgrade from there if you need to. Otherwise, it's more likely you'll end up with a drawer full of complicated instruction manuals for stuff you never use than ending up with a whole lot of well-crafted projects and a magazine-worthy yard.
Don't be fooled by the hype
If you've watched a few too many man shows on Foxtel, you might be seduced into thinking that you need top of the line everything, and a shed bigger than your house to put it all in. If you're a bachelor living in a rural area, that might be practical, but for most men who are doing home maintenance and smaller projects on the weekends, having such a huge shed and a wide array of tools will be nothing more than a hole in your wallet and a creepy looking building in your yard that makes the nneighborswonder what exactly you're getting up to in there. Look at your situation, then buy the tools in the quantities that go with it.
Ask a mate
You can read reviews online all you want but sometimes nothing beats the advice of a mate. Ask him what works for him, what he regrets buying and what he thinks would be right for you. Power tool shopping isn't rocket science, so head to your local store today.
Bob Johnson is a full time sales rep and DIY enthusiast.