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50 best power tools

By David Phelan

Published 05/11/2011

<b>Bosch Uneo</b><br/>
Put the Uneo in your toolbox and you have three tools in one: screwdriver, drill and rotary hammer. It's strong enough to deal with the toughest materials and versatile enough to mean you don't need to keep changing tools. It's light so it won't tire you out, either.<br/>
<b>How much</b> £129.99
Bosch Uneo
Put the Uneo in your toolbox and you have three tools in one: screwdriver, drill and rotary hammer. It's strong enough to deal with the toughest materials and versatile enough to mean you don't need to keep changing tools. It's light so it won't tire you out, either.
How much £129.99
JCB 1400W Electric Circular Saw 190mm
A circular saw is efficient at cutting quickly and to decent depths. This one has a dust-extraction port so you can have a clean working environment and a laser line generator so you can keep it on a straight line more easily (theoretically at least). Soft-grip handles like this one make control easier, too.
How much £71.98
DeWalt DCD740C1 18V 10mm Li-ion Right-Angle Drill Driver
DeWalt's reputation for solid, reliable tools is hard to beat. This curious-looking model is ideal for driving screws or drilling in tight, confined corners - you know, the ones you always find yourself in when you realise you don't have a suitable tool. It's compact and lightweight, too.
How much £200
Numatic Henry Xtra Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
Don't be put off by the comical eyes - this is a serious tool. Henry vacuum cleaners are the builder's friend: they suck up dirt hugely effectively. This one is powerful, picking up pet hair and the fine particles that clog lesser machines. The wide head cleans right to the edge.
How much £149.99
Black and Decker Stud, Pipe and Wire Detector BDS303
This machine detects wooden or metal studs hidden behind plasterwork, plus copper pipes and live wires. Items show up on the LCD screen. It can find the centre of a wooden stud so you know where to drill. The detector is automatically set to find live wires all the time.
How much £25
Bosch Quigo Cross and Line Laser Level
A beautifully designed gadget. It self-levels so you know the horizontal and vertical laser lines that it beams on to the wall are straight. There's a clamp so if there's nothing convenient to stand it on, you can still use it.
How much £49.99
JCB 12V Lithium Drill/Driver
This is a good basic drill and screwdriver, suited to a range of frequent tasks. Like many of the tools here, it has an LED worklight so you can see what you're doing in low-light situations. It's small and lightweight.
How much £67.98
Bosch IXO Cordless Screwdriver
The IXO is a popular, enjoyable to use 3.6V screwdriver. The wall-mountable charger is a magnetic storage unit for the screwdriver and its 12 bits. It's powered by a lithium ion battery that retains its charge for months.
How much £29.99
RotoZip RZ5 Spiral Saw
A spiral saw uses a spinning action to make cuts in difficult materials. It works fast and is ideal for wall tiles, say, or even marble. Not to mention laminate flooring. Its rotary motion is good for cutting straight lines, circles or other shapes as you choose.
How much £189.99
Makita 125MM Random Orbit Sander BO5031
An orbital sander that is good for fast sanding of wood though you'll need a belt sander for large surfaces. This model has a 125mm disc and a dust collector to reduce mess. Well built and long lasting.
How much £90
Black and Decker AutoSelect Steam Mop
Cleaning with steam delivers spectacular results easily, and kills germs without chemicals. This mop is great for deodorising a carpet or cleaning a wood floor when you're done DIYing.
How much £79.95
Rolson Multi-tool Utility Kit
A multi-tool is good for those moments when the powered version is recharging. Along with a knife blade, mini-saw and nail file, there's a hammer, pliers, wire stripper and screwdriver.
How much £14.99
Bosch All-Rounder Kit
You can cut and route, saw and sand with this three-in-one tool. Just change from one accessory to the next with an allen key. Bosch uses electronics in its tools to increase precision. Here, it's used to vary oscillation speeds.
How much £89.96
Makita Combi Drill 18V
This drill has a two-speed gear-box so it's suitable for a wide range of tasks and the push-button to change from forward to reverse is perfectly placed. Its battery recharges quickly and Makita is known for reliability.
How much £234.99
DeWalt DW331K Jigsaw
The DeWalt has a powerful motor (701 watts) with variable speeds of up to 3,100 strokes per minute. The rubber grip and a sophisticated counterbalance mechanism mean it's smooth to operate.
How much £149.99
Karcher K3550X Pressure Washer
For prepping surfaces, a pressure washer is essential. This model has decent pressure (1800W) and the latest water-cooled motor to maximise power.
How much £199.99
DeWalt DCD785L2-GB XR Drill
This is a compact and lightweight drill with DeWalt's latest XR battery technology. It's reliable and solid, with extra control from an electronic motor brake.
How much £299.99
Makita Orbital Action 4350FCT Jigsaw
Makita's corded jigsaw is comfortable to hold and adaptable. An LED light shows you where you're cutting and it is both powerful and relatively quiet.
How much £139.98
Bosch PFS 55 Fine-Spray System
Speed up your painting or varnishing with this system - up to three times faster than a paintbrush. It can be used to spray paint, varnish or even pesticide.
How much £59.99
Black & Decker Workmate 536
This latest version of the classic workbench includes dual working heights. It's impressively versatile and the vice is handy for cutting or painting.
How much £59.99
Makita 14.4V LXT Screwdriver BFS441RFE
Makita's tools may come at a price but they're superbly well made and have great styling. The battery charges in 22 minutes with a sophisticated air-cooled charging system, and it's much lighter and smaller than many.
How much £347.95
Bosch PSR 18 Li-2 18V Cordless Drill Driver
The new version of Bosch's best drill is light, convenient and powerful. The electronic speed control is particularly handy to make sure you can start gently and build up, thanks to the gear-change mechanism.
How much £120
Black and Decker High-Performance 750W 115mm Angle Grinder
Angle grinders are serious tools. A grinder with a smaller disc, like this one measuring 115mm (4.5in), is great when there is a small space to work in. It's also good for preparing surfaces.
How much £49.98
Ryobi One Plus 18V Corner Sander
Sanding into the corners is easy thanks to the pointy edge to the Ryobi, and sanding sheets are attached firmly thanks to the hook and loop system. It's fast and effective, and you can lock it on for continuous use.
How much £16.98
Vax Rapide Ultra 2 Pet Carpet Washer
Whether you're preparing a carpet so you've got a clean environment to install your shelves, or cleaning up after the mess, a Vax is ideal. It pumps water and special cleaning solution into the pile, then lifts it out with brushes.
How much £179.99
Bosch Laser Tape Measure PMB 300 L
This is a neat combination of a 3m tape measure with a laser measurement and digital display for great accuracy. It can also be used as a laser spirit level vertically and horizontally.
How much £40
Black and Decker 18V High Performance Li-Ion Hammer Drill
This has a 24-position clutch for precision screwdriver and handles different materials well, including masonry, along with wood and steel.
How much £126.99
Einhell RT RH 32 3 1250W Function SDS Hammer Drill
Cordless tools aren't up to the very toughest jobs so, in that case, pick a corded machine like this one. The handle is designed to absorb vibration.
How much £74.49
Draper Expert 1350W 230V Combination Router Kit
A router is a versatile groove-cutting tool, ideal for jobs such as edging on skirting boards, making woodwork joints and so on. This one has separate bases depending on the job.
How much £150
Makita 14.4V LXT Stapler BST110RFE
Stapling can be dangerous, so this stapler comes with goggles. It's cordless and powerful. Solid enough to make it easy to hold in place on tougher fabrics, it's still reasonably light - 1.9kg.
How much £386.83
Ryobi Autohammer
Ideal for tight corners, this is light and compact, with a magnetic guide to hold a nail in place. It's effective, though to drive a nail in flush you'll also need a conventional hammer.
How much £77.20
DeWalt D21815K Percussion Drill
Another corded drill for when you need extra power, the DeWalt is solid and reassuringly heavy. This model has high wattage (850W).
How much £164.29
Makita 18V 82MM Planer BKP180RFE
If you're hanging a door, you may need a planer to trim the base. Makita's model has a large rotating blade drum and a powerful motor.
How much £400
Black and Decker KX3300 Wallpaper Stripper
Stripping wallpaper can be tedious, but a machine like this steams the paper so it's easy to remove. The KX3300 heats the water fast but can't boil dry.
How much £53
Vax S6 Home Master Steam Cleaner
This mid-sized steam cleaner is great value (it was £134.99) and keeps producing steam for up to 40 minutes. Like other steam cleaners, it's chemical-free.
How much £99.99
DeWalt DW340K 240V Heat Gun
A heat gun is an essential decorating accessory, ideal for stripping paint. This model has variable temperature control so you can get the paint hot enough. The kit also includes a scraper and four nozzles.
How much £39.99
Dremel 4000-1/45 Lithium-Ion Cordless Rotary Tool
Ideal for smaller DIY and craft jobs, the Dremel cordless kit is a lightweight, easy-to-use tool with with accessories for everything from sharpening kitchen knives to removing paint.
How much £82.98
Black and Decker 10.8V High-Performance Ultra Compact 2 Gear Drill Driver
Don't be deceived, although it only has a 10.8 voltage, this is a high-powered drill driver in a small case. The clutch has 20 positions so you can set it exactly as you need it.
How much £129.98
Bosch PSA 900 E Sabre Saw
A sabre saw is good for cutting through steel and wood and its shape makes it especially good for use in the garden, say, though it's not cordless. A trigger switch means you can control the sawing easily.
How much £150
Dulux PaintPod
The PaintPod pumps paint from its reservoir through to the spongy roller at the end of the tube. It uses special paint that helps deliver paint to the wall smoothly. When you've finished painting, the PaintPod cleans itself, including the roller.
How much £34
Karcher SC2500 C Steam Cleaner
This large-scale steam cleaner makes short work of larger surfaces and comes with plenty of tools for floors, detail areas, and terrycloths for refreshing and cleaning upholstery.
How much £229.99
Bosch Digital Detector PMD 10
A detector to stop you from drilling into a live wire. It can be set for partition walls or to adjust automatically. It has guide lines to point you to the centre of where you should be drilling.
How much £80
Black & Decker 14.4V Lithium-Ion Evo Multi Tool
This is another tool that every DIYer should have around as it does the work of three. Change the head and it's a drill-cum-screwdriver, a jigsaw and a sander.
How much £99.99
Draper Expert 18V Cordless Combi Hammer Drill with two Li-Ion Batteries
Draper's Expert drill comes with two batteries, a twin-speed gearbox and sophisticated speed and torque controls. It works well and is enjoyable to use.
How much £230
DeWalt DC330KB 18 Volt Heavy Duty Cordless Jigsaw
This model has a shoe that twists through 45 degrees in both directions. The dust blower means the line that you're cutting is kept clear of chips and debris. Highly satisfying to use.
How much £309.95
Draper 1800W 230V Hot-Air Gun
Another hot-air gun for stripping paint. Though Draper points out you can thaw pipes with it or shape plastic tubing, too. It has two nozzles.
Where How much £32.99
Dyson DC34 Animal Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
For a small decorating spill choose a powerful handheld. This one doesn't lose suction, recharges quickly and is a cinch to empty.
How much £169.99
Makita Crossline Laser SK102Z
Like the Bosch Quigo, this device is self-levelling, providing it's standing on something no more than four degrees from level. The laser has a range of 15m.
How much £134.95
Bosch Xeo Cordless Universal Cutter
If you need to cut carpet, material, thick cardboard, cables or other household materials, the Xeo is a small but powerful tool that is easy to use.
How much £40
Dremel Trio Spiral Saw
The Trio is made for cutting, sanding and routing. It comes with assorted attachments for cutting straight lines or curves and circles, and a guide to ensure you're cutting straight.
How much £115.99

Doing it yourself? Plumb lines, pressure washers and heavy-duty drills you’ll need to get the job done

>> Click 'More Pictures' to launch guide

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