When you’ve got a job to do, it sure is nice having the right set of tools. I’ve felt this way more than once over the past several years, especially since buying a house in 2010.

Whether it’s painting, hammering, sawing or something else, there’s no replacement for the right tool.

This past weekend, I helped my brother stain a wooden gliding swing at his house. While I’m no stranger to using a bucket and brush, we cheated this time and used an airless paint sprayer. The swing had so many angles and open boards that we figured it would be easier to spray the stain on and be done.

And indeed it was. We had the swing finished in a matter of minutes, and sprayed on another coat later in the day. To be sure the finish was even, we did drag a brush over the boards while they were still wet. But what a relief from brushing alone, which would have taken several hours.

I bought my paint sprayer from Sherwin Williams about 10 years ago when I was in college.
I painted buildings during summer vacations to pay my tuition.

I no-longer paint for others, but my brother and I have used the sprayer over and over again to paint buildings on our grandparents’ farms, grain bins and even a tractor.

Always a question

It’s one of several tools that I’ve bought over the past few years wondering how much I’d ever use it — and finding out I used it more than I ever thought.

When I was a teenager I asked my parents for a Dewalt circular saw and an angle grinder for Christmas. I got both, although I didn’t have much of a use for either one for another five-10 years.

Today, though, I’m glad that I asked for what I did, because when I need a grinder or a saw — and I sometimes do — I have what I need.

On Saturday, I found myself adding to my collection a bit more. I went into Lowe’s hardware to pick up some sandpaper and I noticed a special deal they had on a set of four Wewalt power tools: A cordless drill, screwdriver, reciprocating saw, work light and two batteries for $199. (Oh, and they came with a battery charger and carrier case!)

I tried to walk past them, and I did so a couple of times. But then I saw a guy ahead of me in line who had just picked one up, and that was my final straw. I needed one, too!

Self-control, sometimes

I try not to buy things impulsively, but the truth is that I had been eyeing the Dewalt cordless drills and screwdrivers for months. I’ve borrowed my brother’s several times over the past couple years and I fell in love with its ease of use. If you’re driving a lot of screws — or even just a handful — there’s no comparison to a cordless driver. Most of the time, you don’t even have to pre-drill, and the tool’s clutch system helps keep the bit from slipping and stripping the screw.

The cordless feature is plain awesome. You can take it virtually anywhere, as long as the battery is charged. This is especially nice for working around buildings that do not have power, or where you can’t safely run a power cord.

I probably would have bought the cordless screwdriver by itself, if it weren’t for the sale Lowe’s was running for all four tools. I don’t mean to give them a plug here, but at $199 for four Dewalt tools, it’s less than half what they’d all cost individually.

Of the four tools in the deal, I’m guessing that I’ll use the reciprocating saw the least, but then again, I might be surprised. Those things are a beast when you’re remodeling, cutting a hole into a wall, or, as I found out this spring, cutting roof shingles.

Enough for now …

I’m hoping to put some distance between now and my next power tool purchase.

I’m a writer, after all, and I should be spending more time typing and reading books. I could buy a lot of books for what I’ve spent over the years on tools and power equipment.

But sometimes things need done — even for those of us who work in an office. And when they do, I like to respond with the right tool!

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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