Here I run down the power tools I have personally used in the trades and are still with me today! These are quite possibly going to be the best bang for your buck and will help you out with countless tasks around your house.
They have been through rain, snow, heat, wear & tear, drops, scuffs and the occasional hissy fit, but have still stood with me through all of these years. This page will offer my recommended tools for those more into handy work, looking to get into the trades, already in the trades or just enjoy the raw power that power tools offer.
The RIDGID Set
This was the set that I had purchased about half a year into my apprenticeship. These tools are incredible for working conditions. I am not going to try and hard sell you on these as they are not for every ones specific situation.
I recommend these to people who:
- Are in the trades or looking to get into the trades – Every single piece of this kit will get used frequently if you are looking to become a Plumber
- An Avid DIY’er – This isn’t for someone who’s looking to get a simple job done around the house once and then call up a Plumber later. I recommend these for someone who has more of a desire to do their own work and feel more committed to being the handy man or woman of the house
This set comes with:
- Flash Light – Great for under sinks, working in basements that many times aren’t lit up well, night time work and crawl spaces
- Circular Saw – Many pieces of plumbing require wood backing as support, a circular saw can not only cut those pieces, but make them neat looking and professional
- Sawzall – Cuts through pipe, wood, pretty much anything you need to get cut that doesn’t need finesse (won’t look as pretty)
- Hammer Drill – Great tool used for drilling holes in cabinets, studs, drywall etc. but has many different uses
- Impact Driver – Primarily a great tool for driving screws into things. Always great to have a secondary drill so you don’t have to switch different bits between one drill
- Charger – Plug in your batteries before you head to bed and they’ll be ready well before you wake up!
- Two 18 Volt Batteries – Awesome for switching out when one runs out of charge
- Carrying Case – Perfect for keeping all of your tools neat and organized, as well as additional storage for bit cases and sawzall blades
Why I picked the RIDGID power tool set
RIDGID has been a strong name in the plumbing world for a very long time and have established quite a good reputation among plumbers.
Upon making my decision for which set of power tools I wanted to purchase I was lucky enough to have used multiple different brands while working with various different plumbers.
One plumber used Dewalt power tools, another used strictly Milwaukee, one used RIDGID and the other used Makita.
Me being completely green at the time had next to no tools at all, and they were all gracious enough to let me use their tools until I could afford a set.
While all very good tools, I found the RIDGID to offer the best bang for it’s buck on side of performance.
On the coldest of days, I had little to no issues with batteries not working, where the other brands I found had to be in a warm environment prior to the work day as the cold would drain the battery. Seriously, living in Canada that ALONE was a deal breaker.
The batteries stood up very well against the other 18 volt ones of different brands. After leaving plumbing, I had my Sawzall in storage for the course of the winter time as I wasn’t doing any rough plumbing.
I went to go check the battery light, which indicates how much charge it has left and it was still fully charged. I was blown away.
Plain and simple – I liked the look of the orange and dark grey design that RIDGID offers.
There is an LED light that lights up every time you click on the lever of drills and sawzall and I found myself actually using this a lot in the dark to find my way around when the flashlight wasn’t close by.
I do not recommend you do this. But I was on a job site one day that required the use of power tools pretty much all day. It was a rough-in day and on that day it decided to rain all day long.
With only having a plank of plywood over top of the tool bag to shield it from the rain (stupid me) it ended up getting soaked anyways. I thought for sure I was going to lose the tools but in the end they all ended up working perfectly fine.
Seriously, with a lot of power tools out now of days, whether big brand or small, water is never a good thing for these tools and so the fact that it stood up to it I was majorly impressed.
As I have mentioned, these tools have been with me for years and have stood up to the test of time. On job sites, I would often have to go up in attics or ladders as well as various other high places, and countless times I have dropped one of these tools.
It’s something that is just bound to happen while paying attention to the job at hand as well as not falling yourself and I am thankful that I have never had to take any of my tools in for repair.
I don’t recommend you try and drop these power tools, but having that piece of mind to know that there’s a solid chance it will work in case something happens is great to have.