The Self Build Self Help Site Some Good Things to Have

Nail gun

Again, for the serious user, but words cannot say how much time they save, and how easy they make nailing.

Forget about air driven guns - you won't want the hassle of being 'attached' to the air supply. Otherwise, they mainly come in two power formats - gas driven and, more recently, battery driven.

Another consideration is first or second fix. A first fix is a must. This will drive 3" nails and so will make light work of putting noggins between joists and putting stud partitions together.

Three other volume uses are for fastening roof battens to the rafters, nailing down particle floor boards and putting together feather edge fencing.

Second fix guns are less useful - the more delicate hammering for second fix isn't so onerous.

Screw gun

Used for screwing plasterboard to ceiling joists and stud partition, the screws provide a much better - stronger - fix than clout nails. And the screws are quicker to put in, except when you get a screw jam, which frustrates you like crazy.

There is a choice of mains operated and cordless guns, with cordless proving to be easier to use - especially as, on the one I have, the flex isn't long enough to go from the cable reel on the floor to the gun at the ceiling - who develops and tests these things!. And some makes seem to jam less than others. Of course, things change so enquire at your professional tool shop to get their opinion.

Cordless drills

It goes without saying that these should be part of the tool box, but get a good one in terms of power and with a hammer action. There are dozens of drills, bearing various titles - hammer / percussion / combi drill so, again, discuss your requirements with a professional tool shop.

SDS Hammer drills

An SDS drill generally is a very robust drill with the power to easily drill into concrete and other hard materials. They usually incorporate a hammer only action which, with the provided chisels, makes breaking up concrete easy - easier than wielding a sledge hammer.

Core bit drills

Core bit drills are specialist, and not cheap. They are specifically designed for use with core bits, and incorporate a clutch. This will ensure that, if the core bit jams, your shoulder is not wrenched from its socket!

Unless your are very clever and can incorporate all openings for vents and pipes within the blockwork during construction, you will need to drill holes in the blockwork at some stage. And a 110mm hole for for foul waste takes some drilling! - and if it jams you will definitely be thankful for the clutch.

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