5 Of The Best Tools For Builders | Checkatrade
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5 of the best tools for builders

Having the best tools for the job goes a long way to completing projects efficiently and to a professional standard. So in a world where time is money, which tools came out on top when we asked our members for their personal recommendations?

We asked our members to share their most essential construction tools, and the results are in.

So whether you’re just starting out and want to laden your toolbag with the tools your comrades couldn’t be without, you’re in the market for a few new bits of kit, or you’re just downright curious, you’ve come to the right place.

The top 5 best tools for builders revealed

A builder using a hammer drill

Drumroll please, our members voted the following items as their favourite tools:

  1. DeWalt DCH273 hammer drill
  2. DeWalt impact screwdriver
  3. Fluke voltage testers (T90 & T130)
  4. Festool sander
  5. A Stanley knife

What do you think? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments, below.

The top construction tools names

But wait, we want to talk brand names, because we know from the results that everyone has their favourites.

You’ll be pleased to know the big boys made the list: DeWalt, Festool, Fluke, and Makita were the most frequently mentioned construction tools named by our members.

However, plenty of you vouched for these brands too:

  • Milwaukee
  • Hilti
  • Autel
  • Stanley
  • Ox
  • Lishi
  • Ryobi
  • Bosch

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What about the best construction hand tools?

If you’ve got that nagging feeling that something’s missing, take a look through this list of the best construction hand tools, as voted for by our members, to see where your own toolkit might be lacking.

  • A table saw for quick, precise work.
  • A plunge saw for long, clean cuts.
  • A router. It’s got to be Trend, obviously. And a jigsaw.
  • A decent pen knife, laser level, staple gun, hammer, and drill.
  • An insulated screwdriver and plier set and non-contact voltage testers.

Voltage testers in use

Other construction tools and equipment that made the cut

We’ve looked at our members’ favourite brands and construction hand tools, but what other tools does a builder need to help get the job done?

Let’s open up the back of the van to reveal the must-have construction tools and equipment our members couldn’t leave home without.

  • An Odd Job work platform was a popular shout.
  • And the Little Giant King Kombo Ladder got a mention too.
  • As did the Viking Arm, for all those times when you need a little extra muscle.
  • For paint or mortar stirring, Einhell came up trumps with our members.
  • And a Wet n Dry Vacuum proved invaluable to many.
  • Wire cutters and cable strippers also got a vote. As did a quality rachet, the Wera Zyklop infact.
  • Super Rod tools were a popular choice for sparkies who want to work smarter.
  • And sometimes, it’s easy to forget the basics, like a trusty bucket. Who doesn’t need a bucket?!

Nifty inventions to make life easier

Our members love to keep these tools to hand too:

  • To help easily mark the point for fixing and drilling, our members voted for the Marxman.
  • To remove the guesswork when taking a perpendicular measurement, the Matey Measure got your vote.
  • And to insulate electrical wires, it’s Empire Tape all the way.
  • Mole grips/locking pliers for those troublesome rounded nuts and bolts.
  • And the 10 in 1 Painters Folding Tool by Purdy. A decorator’s must-have.
  • Klein Tools Magnetic Wire Pulling System got the vote for routing cables in enclosed spaces as if by magic (or magnetics….)
  • The Dremel Cordless Pro was hailed as a great quality, versatile tool.
  • And for the lightsaber of the construction world, our members voted for the Leica DISTO Laser Distance Measurer.

So there you have it, the top builders tools, brands, and ‘can’t-leave-home–without’ items for builders up and down the country, as voted for Checkatrade members.

If your vote is for deals and discounts and getting your work tools at exclusive prices, check out the Checkatrade member benefits.

What about battery power and charging speed?

Battery power and charging capacity should be a key part of your decision-making process.

It goes without saying, with a cordless tool, you want a battery that’ll provide the power you need, long battery life to complete the type of projects you’re involved with, and a short charging time.

Having said that, it’s a good idea to carry two batteries to avoid being caught short.

cordless combi drill with spare battery

When comparing batteries:

  • The larger the voltage, the greater the torque strength, or power.
  • The higher the amp rating (Ah), the longer the battery charge will last.

Voltage ranges from 12V to 60V, with the larger voltage being better suited to more heavyweight tasks.

Bear in mind that generally speaking, higher voltage equals a larger battery, which means a heavier tool. Something to bear in mind if you’ll be using the drill for long periods of time.

Amp rating ranges from 1.5Ah to 12.0Ah, giving you lots of scope to choose the right capacity for your needs.

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How to choose the best cordless combi drill for your needs

A cordless combi drill is an essential bit of kit for any trade, jumping in to complete a range of jobs with ease. But with so many options on the market, what should you look for when weighing up the right one for your needs?

We don’t need to tell you there are a ton of cordless combi drills on the market with huge variances in price and performance.

To help make sure you choose the right cordless combi for your needs, we run through the key features you should compare before putting your hand in your pocket, including:

  • Warranty and guarantee
  • Battery and charging speed
  • Additional features to make life easier

What warranty and guarantee should you expect?

Before you commit to buying new power tools, it’s a good idea to check the warranty and guarantee offered by the manufacturer.

Product warranty

If we look at two of the biggest power tool brands, Makita and DeWalt, both offer a three-year product warranty to cover faulty goods, as you might expect.

Extended warranty

However, some of DeWalt’s tools have a seven-year warranty, so it’s worth asking the question and doing your research to have this peace of mind in the event that your tools fail you.

Returns policy

If you just don’t get on with the tool for one reason or another, you’ll want to know what the returns policy is. Can you refund or exchange?

Again, you’ll find differences between brands – Makita gives a 30-day test drive, whereas DeWalt is more generous, allowing 90-days to figure out if you like the kit.

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electrician using a cordless combi drill on-site

What’s the best Dewalt combi drill?

For insane power from a compact combi drill, go for the DeWalt DCD785 Combi Drill.

If you’re looking for high spec, it’s the DCD796 model.

The DCD999 claims to be even more powerful than the bestselling and robust, DCD996.

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Start saving

Quick summary

  • Product warranties and guarantees vary from brand-to-brand. Do your research to check you’re happy with the terms
  • When it comes to the battery, the ideal combination is one that gives you the amount of power you need, for the length of time you need it, with a short charging time
  • Always go for two batteries so you’ve got one on charge
  • Consider what specific features will make your jobs easier and choose a model that ticks all the boxes
  • Check out our post on the battle of Makita vs DeWalt to see which brand came out on top


What is a cordless combi drill?

A cordless combi drill combines the functionality of a drill driver and a hammer drill, giving you an all-purpose, compact tool with many applications.

It can be used to hammer, drill holes, and drive screws, easily switching from one task to another. Being cordless, you can of course move freely without a power source, working in tight spaces if needed.

Combi drills come with a choice of drill bits to suit a variety of materials including wood, metal, and masonry, giving great versatility.

Its power makes light work of even the toughest materials – breaking through quickly and with little effort.

Often referred to as the ‘jack of all trades’ of power tools, a good cordless combi drill is a must for all trades.

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