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Give your man a bit of power; DIY donny in association with JEWSON Electric drills, saws and sanders make life much easier - the hard part is choosing the right one.

Byline: Donny Sheridan

If you want to give the DIYer in your life a really happy Christmas, persuade Santa to leave him (or her) a power tool under the tree.

And here is some advice to help you choose the right one from the vast selection available.

The main brand leaders are Bosch, Makita and De-Walt, which are designed for the professional.

But if your budget is tighter, there are many good power tools on the market for around the pounds 100 mark.

Don't always think the best deals are at large DIY stores - always check your local builders' merchants for good discount deals.

Power tools are either corded or cordless. Corded tools are powered by mains electricity and you can't beat them for performance or price.

However, there are pros and cons.

Acorded tool will be more powerful but won't have the portability or safety aspects of a a battery-operated equivalent.

The three most popular types of power tools for DIYers are drills, saws and sanders. They are constantly being refined to provide more accuracy, less weight and more power - while keeping prices low.

Take time to consider what you do most. Think about the materials you will be working with - wood, metal or stone - then decide what is best for your needs.

DRILL DRIVER

Drills small holes and drives in screws.

If you choose a rechargeable model, remember a lithium-ion battery is stronger than any others and has double the charge cycles of Ni-cd or NiMH batteries.

The larger heavy-duty combi drills have hammer action but this is an expensive feature which is better provided by a corded drill, which costs under pounds 100.

The best option is to go for the lighter drill/driver as that is all you will really need and a 12-volt Ni-cd battery will be fine because it can be stored for long periods without damage to the battery. The 18- volt model is heavier with more power but if you are only drilling and driving you don't need the extra expense.

Lithium-ion holds power even when the battery is low in charge but it is designed for continuous use, such as kitchen-fitting, where the drill/driver is being used all day.

Get two batteries with whatever cordless drill you buy so one can be charged while the other is in use.

JIGSAW

With the right blade you can cut through metal, timber plastics and ceramics. The main function of a jigsaw is to cut intricate curves in timber and other materials.

Expect to pay more for a cordless model, which you won't need unless you are doing a lot of cutting in your garden or in awkward areas.

Asingle-speed jigsaw is fine unless you are doing more decorative work, when paying extra for variable speed might be worthwhile to prevent splintering.

SABRE SAW

The sabre or reciprocating saw is ideal for home improvements and with the correct blade there is nothing it can't do - from shed workshop stuff to cutting down metal fencing or gates.

CIRCULAR SAW

Mainly used by professionals for cutting sheet materials such as plywood and MDF.

Personally I would spend the money on a palm sander which is more useful.

DONNY'S LITTLE HELPER SAFETY SPECTACLES

Don't avoid eye protection because you reckon goggles make you look like a numpty.

You can get high quality safety specs for less than pounds 10. The DeWalt spectacles not only protect your eyes from dust and splinters, they also guard against glare and UV light.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 14, 2008
Words:583
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