These Are the Best Basic Power Tools for First-Time Homeowners

For new homeowners, lots of problems can pop up that require some love and DIY. We listed the best power tools for the job if this is new territory for you.

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March 16, 2023

If you're new to home ownership, there's a whole lot of other things you'll be new to right away. After the loan goes through, the checks clear and the papers are all signed, there are plenty of other issues you'll soon have the pleasure of dealing with. And while it's obviously an exciting endeavor, the biggest adjustment to make after settling in is dealing with all of the things that go, well, wrong. A lesson a homeowner will quickly learn is that when you're trying to fix something in your house, you'll start to notice the four or five things that need to be repaired before you can go about tackling the original thing you set on fixing. It's that game of dominoes that will ultimately mean you'll either need to spend a ton of money hiring out for experts (which, after alll of the original costs, is far from ideal or even downright impossible), or you'll need to learn how to do some basic DIY repairs yourself. The saving grace here is finding the right power tools for the job. Forget a hammer or a screwdriver — for bigger jobs, you'll need the help of powerful tools that will do some of the work for you with better accuracy than you ever could. But before you go spending thousands of dollars on a bunch of different products, there are some basic tools that you should own. Once these are in your basement or tool shed, you can begin to see what other tools you might need over time. Here are the best power tools to start with if you're a first time homeowner, and they're all on Amazon.


For stubborn or hard-to-reach screws, an electric screwdriver like this one from Black + Decker is an excellent and useful tool to have for under $20. For anyone with a new home, half the work is fixing things or putting together furniture, and this will help get it done in half the time. It has a pivoting handle to reach practically anywhere you need it to, as well as an automatic lock for safety. It also functions as a powerful LED flashlight. Reviewers say it takes an hour to charge out of the package and that most haven't had to charge it since.


A powerful wet/dry vacuum is a must-have for anyone who has a basement or is doing any sort of construction or DIY work in their house. This powerful model has a 6-foot cord and a 10-foot reach that will allow you to suck up debris, water, spills, sawdust and whatever mess you need it to. As someone who had to deep clean their basement and had extensive roof work done, I wouldn't have gotten the house clean without one. It can even be used as a blower to get rid of things like leaves, too.


No list of power tools would be complete without the addition of a drill, which is probably the most recognizable product on the list. But this one by Dewalt is the one I own, and it's the best one I've used: It's more compact and lightweight than other models I've used, it has two speeds and comes with two powerful batteries for uninterrupted work. Essentially, all of this is to say is that it can be used for long amounts of times comfortably and for a number of different jobs, from putting furniture together, hanging pictures, tightening screws and more. The handy carrying case makes it easy to organize and carry around, and it's an everyday tool that makes your job faster. Of course, make sure you're buying it with a set of drill bits, like this one here.


A brad nailer drives 18-gauge nails up to two inches long into materials like wood, eliminating the need to use hammers for large or difficult projects like decorative molding or woodwork. Brad nails are best used for more decorative or delicate projects, as their slender fit works better for materials like plywood. This nailer also has smart features like a jam release mechanism so no nail will get stuck, a removable tip for easy storage and a sequential style trigger to drive multiple nails at once.

It's important to note that you'll need an air compressor for most nailers and other power tools that are powered by air. You can opt for a cordless option as well, but if you opt for the model above, this air compressor will come in handy for lots of other things, too. Additionally, another popular type of nailer is one used for finish nails. Finish nails are typically needed for larger, more serious projects like door or window frames, and while it's not likely to be a tool you'll need for light DIY work, we'll add an option below for one of those as well.


If you're deep into the rabbit hole of thrift furniture flips on TikTok, you've seen an orbit sander: They're the perfect tool to lightly sand down wood furniture like drawers or cabinets so you can prepare to finish and paint or restain them. This model by Dewalt has a dust bag that attaches directly to the tool for easy clean-up, and the rubber grip makes this a comfortable tool to hold for extended periods of time.


A power electric spray paint gun is another DIY must-have. Use it to paint furniture, cabinets or even the exterior of your house. This set comes with all of the additions you need, like cleaning supplies, a hose clip and nozzles so you'll be able to start the job right away.

There are three basic types of saws that you can consider adding to your power tool collection. There's no right or wrong answer for which one will work best for you, as it's more dependent on your needs. A miter saw does tend to be the most popular for first-time users, as it cuts through dense materials like wood with quick accuracy, and can cut angles in either direction. It has a stationary base, and it's most used to cut pieces of lumber to size. A circular saw is less accurate and is a round saw that cuts through materials like wood, tile and sometimes even metal. Since it doesn't have a fixed angle to cut at, you have more freedom but a larger window to mess up the cut if you need it to be completely straight. Finally, a jigsaw is a straight blade that juts out, so you can use it to cut irregular or curved cuts on things like wood or molding.


If you're building up your power tool kit, there's nothing wrong with grabbing this USB-rechargeable rotary around, because you'll never know what you'll need it for. It is a tiny little tool that allows you to sand, polish, engrave, and drill smaller and more detailed objects, so it's great for DIY and small jobs like furniture touch-ups. This even comes with a USB cord and 42 swappable heads.


If all of these choices are simply making you second guess what types of power tools you need, perhaps an all-in-one kit is a great start. This kit by Dewalt is one of the more affordable, basic options, and it comes with a carrying case, two batteries and a battery charger for everything you need to get started. It comes with a drill/driver, a cordless impact driver, a cordless reciprocating saw, a cordless circular saw, a cordless grinder, and a cordless oscillating multi-tool. It's a great value if you're starting from scratch and will help you get started on some DIY projects while assessing what you need in the future.

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