Your 5 Most Important Shop Tools

Hey all,

Quick question: if you had to choose your 5 most essential shop tools when it comes to making & designing on an everyday basis, which ones would you choose? I’m just looking for general answers (like a table saw, drill, etc.) but if you want to suggest a specific brand or model you’re more than welcome to share that too!

Straight edge

Never did a project without all 5.

exacto knife
foam core
pink foam
spray glue


but if you are thinking of big floor standing power tools:

Belt/disc sander combo

For initial design and quick protos:

  1. Pen/Pencil
  2. Verniers
  3. Knife
  4. Masking tape
  5. Hot glue gun

If we are testing developed prototypes, not that I normally make these myself, then I’d include mig/tig and grinder in there too.

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How did I forget this? I have one at my work and home computer. I have 2 each in my garage and basement toolboxes and at least 6 each in both of toolboxes in our lab.

I’m an idiot. (Not to be confused with our friend @IDiot :slight_smile: )

With power.

What yo said but with a dremel for #5.

  1. bandages
  2. antiseptic
  3. turnikit
  4. peroxide
  5. phone for 911.

    Yes, I am that guy :frowning:

A lot can be accomplished with hand tools. As a student, or amateur on a budget, buying a Ryobi multi-tool kit with a Drill, Circular Saw, and Jig Saw will allow you to make just about anything with some clever jigs for cutting things accurately. That’s all I’ve got for now at home, and I get by. But, my future plans are to buy the following shop tools (more tailored for wood working):

  1. Bandsaw
  2. Drill Press
  3. Table Saw
  4. Belt/Circular Sanding station
  5. Planer

duh, yes, a dremel! I love my dremel. I use it for everything from sculpting foam to cutting an extruded metal rain gutter to length :slight_smile:

Caliper / ruler

  • Spray paint, the graffiti brands get you a long way
  • X-acto knife. I also have a complete kit with interchangeable blades, never use it, just stick with the classic
  • Tweezers (Sparkfun has the best one)
  • Rotary tool (some German brands like Parkside are almost as good as Dremel)
  • Foam core board