Good construction tools are essential if simple manual labour is to reach the level of efficiency required for a company to compete in today's markets. These tools allow work to be both safer and more productive, as well as improving the consistency and quality of the output. However, the range of construction tools available means that it is important before buying to know which tools are suited to any particular function, as trying to use the wrong tool for the wrong job can be dangerous as well as inefficient.
The market in industrial tools is very diverse, with a wide variation in standards of quality and in price points, as well as many competing brands. Accordingly, before buying any tools, the consumer needs to have adequate information about brands, prices, and distribution points to allow an informed decision to be made about the best products for their particular budget. Some distribution routes are better than others for a consumer with the high street tending to be expensive and Internet retailers, such as eBay being more competitive.
A building site can be a chaotic and noisy place. However, it should also be also a hive of activity, where a host of different tools is employed to quickly and efficiently erect and decorate the building under construction. Each job has specific requirements. Although it may be possible to achieve a good result by "making do" without using the best tool, in order to achieve the optimum efficiency, the right tool should always be chosen. Depending on the job at hand, the following are among the most commonly selected industrial tools.
A belt sander is designed to rapidly remove large amounts of material, such as wood, from a surface. Specifically, it is important to note that a belt sander uses a coarse abrasive sheet rather than a fine abrasive. This coarse action is optimised for scraping away material quickly over a large area, rather than achieving a fine finish. This means that a belt sander is ideal for levelling off an uneven timber floor, reducing an oversized door to fit snugly, on any other task that involves shaping wood, but it does not result in a surface smooth enough to take paint.
Where the belt sander finishes, the orbital sander takes over. The orbital sander is designed for achieving a fine, perfectly smooth finish that is ideal for painting or varnishing. It achieves this by using a finer grade abrasive than the belt sander but also by employing a different movement technique. The orbital sander employs rapid rotation movements, which are designed to minimise the degree to which the surface is scratched. For smaller areas and fine work, the baseplate of an orbital sander can normally be changed.
When it comes to stripping off old paint, a heat gun is the ideal tool to use. Faster than a hand scraper and much more cost-effective, a heat gun employed properly removes paint from a wooden surface without damaging the wood. Most heat guns offer a choice of temperatures, with some ranging between about 50 degrees all the way up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. Heat guns also frequently come with interchangeable nozzles to allow the heat to be either concentrated or dispersed, as needed.
A jigsaw is an essential item for construction work, wherever an internal cut into a piece of wood is required, such as installing a basin or cutting into a kitchen worktop to install a draining board or sink. A jigsaw lets the user cut straight or on a curve, making it truly versatile. It is important, however, to match the blade used to the material being cut into. Blades are optimised for different materials by differentiating the type and number of teeth. For woodworking, be sure to use woodworking blades.
A power drill is an essential tool on any construction site. With an infinite number of uses, it is not surprising that power drills are available in such a diverse range of specifications. Corded or cordless, these drills vary greatly in their power rating, as well as in relation to optional specifications, such as interchangeable chucks, the number of gears, torque settings and speeds, and the presence or absence of a hammer action for penetrating concrete or masonry.
Of particular note for woodworking applications is the ability to use many power drills as an electric screwdriver. This can be especially helpful when the drill is cordless, providing an easy and convenient way of driving screws located at awkward angles or in difficult to reach locations.
Fast, powerful and accurate, a circular saw is an extremely effective tool for resizing large wooden boards, cutting through thick timber, or cutting up just about everything else likely to be found on a construction site. With the ability to choose blades capable of suiting almost any purpose, a circular saw is a staple item of construction equipment.
Completely different in purpose from a circular saw, a mitre saw is used only for cutting precise angles of the sort needed to fit skirting boards, ceiling mouldings, or wooden beading. It is also ideal for framing and may be used in kitchen or bathroom installation for the wooden borders above or below cupboard units. Mitre saws typically have a small blade that is aligned using a movable metal framework marked with degrees. This set-up allows exact angles to be calculated with ease.
Laminate trimmers are specialist items of equipment intended for cutting veneers. They can be used both with wooden veneers and with substitute wood veneers, such as Formica. Laminate trimmers are typically palm sized and designed to be easy-to-hold and manipulate with just one hand. A laminate trimmer works by guiding itself along the edge of the surface being covered with a veneer and trimming the veneer to a neat fit.
Planers are tools designed for shaving the edges off wooden boards, doors, or other structures. Originally, planers were operated by muscle power with people using strength and technique to scrape an enclosed and guarded blade along the surface of the rough wood. Modern electric versions make this process much simpler and more efficient, and many even have collection systems to gather the shavings. Powerful versions can cut even hardwood cleanly, and they can be programmed to cut to a preset depth, leaving a smooth, uniform surface.
Pillar drills are more stable than hand drills and generally more powerful. This stability makes them safer, as well as being more suitable for certain tasks, while their extra power makes them ideal for drilling into thick planks of hardwood or other tough materials. The drill head on a pillar drill is generally raised and lowered by a rack and pinion powered lever, which allows great precision as well as ease of use.
The very specialisation of some of these tools makes plain that a buyer needs a good idea as to what a particular job entails before spending any money on tools. It is not enough to have a vague idea that a saw is needed to cut some wood. To be sure of getting the best tools, the buyer needs to know how much wood is to be cut, of which type, and to what size.
It is always important too to consider the power ratings of the tools being bought. Most tools come in base models, middling, and "professional" versions, often with several grades in between. The difference in both cost and utility between the various grades can be very substantial. For most construction work, tools of more than the minimum power are likely to be required.
However, that need not mean the most expensive or fancy models. The best construction tools are rugged, capable of standing up to a little rough handling and may look rather plain. That does not mean that skimping on tools is wise. A good, solid brand is frequently the best buy, as it is the most likely to prove reliable. In many cases, a good second-hand tool is better than a poorly made new one.
This leads to the question of where to buy the tools. Given the high cost of buying at conventional outlets, industrial tools are likely to be cheaper if bought online, where the overheads are lower and competition is high. eBay has a particularly good range of construction tools at competitive prices.
When looking for industrial tools on eBay, all that is required is to go to the eBay home page and type into the search bar the name of the tool you are searching for. If you want a circular saw, for example, just type in "circular saw". This brings up pages full of listings for circular saws currently available on eBay.
You can narrow these listings down considerably by specifying further details of the saw you want. You can specify the manufacturer's name if have a particular brand in mind, and you can ask to see only new or used items, or only those items offered by sellers who are within a certain distance of your address. This can be helpful if you are planning on inspecting or collecting the saw.
If you need more information about a particular item that you are interested in, contact the seller and ask. You can also look at a seller's feedback from past customers, which should help you judge the seller's reliability. Given the vast range of construction tools that are used these days, few if any retailers can meet your needs as comprehensively as eBay.
Industrial construction tools come in diverse guises, with each one having a specialised role. Choosing the right tool to fit the job is an essential part of achieving safe and efficient working practices. For these reasons, knowing which tool to buy depends on having a clear idea of the requirements of the job in hand.
Other factors that need to be considered even after the correct tool has been identified include selecting the right power rating, and ensuring that the tool in question has the necessary blades or other attachments to achieve its intended role.
Knowing the best places to buy industrial tools is also important, both because it helps ensure that the full range of options is open, and because outlets vary considerably in price and therefore value. Conventional retail outlets are an expensive way to buy industrial tools, which can be obtained at more competitive prices online. eBay has one of the most comprehensive ranges of industrial tools, covering both new and used options and items from major brands.