Kreg Owners' Community

Hello everyone,

I was wondering how many tools you all have in your workshop- power and hand tools- that you actually use in everyday projects. I like to keep my tools to a minimum. I have a mitre saw, a plunge router with a fence (not a table), a jigsaw and a cordless drill. I also have a hand plane, 2 chisels,a  Jap back saw and some general hand tools- mallets, screwdrivers and clamps.  That's it. I have never felt the need to buy anything more. Anyone here agree (or strongly disagree!) with me? 

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I have the same setup as you!  Im glad to know you can get by with only that much.  Only thing i have a hard time dealin withouit is a drill press. Its really hard to make straight holes w/o u drill press. =/
I have every tool you could think of. I don't have a big drum sander. @ Keim lumber it is listed @ $7,500.00. Some day?????

Tools?? My hand tool collection Exceeds the inventory of most pawn shops. Seems that if I cannot find what I need I go buy another. You'll have to understand, My wife is not afraid to tackle any project and knows where the tools are. She will do her thing but not put anything back where it goes. Hence it is lost until some time down the road I find it. I am a retired aircraft mechanic and am used to working with strict tool control and I find it hard to work having to look for the tool I need But not having to follow the tool control system I worked with over 43 years I find it easier to go buy hand tools. I have set her up with her own tool box but this is taking time to integrate into the his/hers tool system I am tryng to work into. Haa Haa Haaa. My mistake, I think, was signing the two of us up for a woodworking course where she learned "all about tools". Granted I don't have a long list of "Honey Do's". Good thing is that the non-hand tool catagory remains in place as is.


Anything to maintain household harmony. Thanks for hearing me out....

I have very little space to work in so I have a Mark V Shopsmith 520 with, Band Saw with Circle Cutting attachment, Jointer, Table Saw, Lathe, Disc Sander, Horizontal/Vertical Drill Press, Drum Sanding Kit, Mortising Chisel set, & Biscuit Joiner.  I have a 13" Planer, Belt Sander, Random Orbit Sander, a Jack Plane, 120v Craftsman Router used in small table and a Plunge Router.  Various clamps, chisels, hand tools.  I get by ok with these items in a small work area.  I learn something new with every project. 

I started collecting tools when I was very young, still have my first wood saw that I received as a BD present as part of my tool kit from my Grandmother. Today that saw would be a lethal weapon, got my first set of stitches w/ that saw. That was around 1959 and still remember working outside w/ my father who was working on the family car a Willy's 4 door black sedan. The amount of tools collected in 50 plus years is mind boggling. I worked in a hardware store then a lumber yard w/ hardware and spent my extra money on tools not drugs, beer or booze. My wife always knew where I was and my purchases never resembled anything most women would want.

I have been down sizing the last few years, sold my milling machine, metal lathe, jointer, shaper a couple of stationary sanders, automotive tools, extra mechanics tools, and alot of hardware. Also sent a car load of hand tools, picks, axes, levels, metal working and concrete working tools to Haiti after the earth quake.

After all this I still dont have the room or time to itemize what I have, My friends and neighbors come to me b4 going to Home Depot or Lowe's for hardware or to rarely borrow a tool (big no no). The insurance company took pictures and said lets just guesstimate the worth for the policy.

Forgot to mention I used to field test tools for Bosch and a couple of other companies. I have used all my tools w/the exception of the antiques I collect and would not want to damage them.

Yes I am a Tool Junkie, limited to what I can do now a days to simple projects and helpers when I get them. I was a GC who grew to turn key dental and medical office design, build, equip and service much of the equipment. Hold many licenses from a few states in many phases of construction and mechanical design and fabrication.

I love to design, build and enjoy the end results with the use of countless tools and hardware either store bought or shop made. The one tool that I use but the use, I HATE was paperwork for accounting, taxes and permits.

Sorry for the long history, stirred the emotions of life b4 forced retirement.

Can't have to many tools or to many years to enjoy them.

Ah very good a pissing contest.


I have 2 x pocket Hole jigs.

I have too many to list, being a contractor, if I dont have a tool to do the job, I get it.  That being said, I have way too many tools!!!   but need them when a situation arises.
Great read. Thanks for sharing.

I think there may be a misunderstanding when it comes to individuals passions about tools or any hobby. Go to a car, bike, boat or art show and everyone puts their pride on display. It is not practical for us tool nuts to do the same type of display w/o hauling our cherished tools in a few tractor trailers. There are some great shops shown on line that put most big box stores to shame, they are not saying I am better or have more than, but sharing a life's worth of collectible tools, jigs, projects and hardware.

The greatest thing for me over the years including last week when a kid on vacation asked if I could help him make a special present for his mom. The opportunity to teach woodworking, teaching safety first, using the proper tools and supplies are a gift you cannot buy. Being an ex-contractor, when I need work done in my home I cringe because the hired highly recommended contractor does not have a working compressor, dull bits wrong material after checking the job makes me and many of us old timers (that hurts) proud of of our tool collections, acquired knowledge and professionalism. So if we can pass on to the next group, as it was to us what they need to be the best whether as contractors, cabinet makers, home wood shop enthusiasts or hobbyists is a pride in our love of the trades, tools our pasts but definitely not a pissing contest.

Rick ShermanRobert Brennan said:

Ah very good a pissing contest.


I have 2 x pocket Hole jigs.

Michael, I have an old dowel jig that has 3/8 inch holes, and I use that to drill straight holes :)

Don't worry, one day the bug will bite and life will have more meaning.


Ken, I don't think you are showing off.  In fact I think we are very much alike.  Like you, I've been a home owner for many years just not quite as many as you.  I'm an Engineer and an avid DIY'r that does professional grade work.  We have an over sized two-car attached garage that in addition to housing two cars it houses a complete array of lawn and garden equipment including tillers, chainsaws, etc. (partially wooded lot).  Off that garage is a storage area where I keep all of my construction equipment.  Everything from concrete tools to a drywall panel lift (might sell that), to levels, hand saws, hammers, fish tape, you name it.


Then there's my shop.  Basically, It'a second oversize detached two-car garage with a "bonus" room above it.  (It has all the amenities.  I could live quite comfortably out there.)  The second floor has a "lounge" area and a pretty complete woodshop where I have built furniture for family and friends and even a few paying customers.  I have a 17" Rikon bandsaw, a router table, drill press, table saw, compound miter saw and lots of hand tools.  Downstairs has a 3/4 bath and a fully functional mechanical shop outfitted for auto restoration. 


Over the years, I've built several houses, garages, restored older homes, remodeled two,  Oh yeah, I built the shop I have now as well (well I didn't pour the slab or lay the brick, but I did everything else).  I've done everything from electrical, to plumbing, to rough and finish carpentry, to hardwood and tile flooring, roofing, you name it.  I've collected quite a lot of stuff doing all of that. 


However, my real passion is auto restoration.  I have a complete array of mechanics tools, Imperial, Metric and even Whitworth - love the old British Triumphs. I'm on my fourth restoration - two old Porsches and I'm on my second Triumph.  This one is my second frame off.

I have another drill press, an abrasive wheel chop saw, Lincoln arc, MIG and TIG welders, grinder, buffer a couple of vises, and a small bench top brake.  There's a sandblast cabinet that's large enough to do a wheel in and a 12 ton hydraulic press.  The downstairs is fully plumbed with air and there's an 80 gallon, 5hp, IR compressor out back.  I have a 1500 lb. engine hoist and a couple of engine stands, two floorjacks, four jack stands, autobody hammers and dollies, sanding blocks, etc.  There's a big roll around with all of the pneumatic and hand tools. I have multiple DeVilbiss sprayers.  The body is about to come off the TR6 I'm doing.  Oh yeah, I built the body rotisserie.


While I admire the original poster for trying to minimize his tools, in my opinion, if you expect quality results, then you need to have the right tool for the job.  I also believe that for some things, Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, etc. are fine - a jack stand is pretty much a jack stand.  For somethings only name brand quality tools will do. 


Ken Darga said:

mo khan,

Nope---not showing-off, my friend---

Just giving you the facts.


I've been a homeowner, for nearly 50 years.

I consider myself an ''avid advanced do-it-your-selfer'', that does professional work---

lots of it better, than I've seen done my many ''professionals''.

i put thought and time into planning my projects---make notes, sketches, drawings, and the like.


My first house was a fix-ur-upper.

(I learned many things, working with my Dad---building and remodeling.

Started with basic woodworking tools, hand and power tools, then added tools as needed, for the task at hand.

Remodeled the house, inside and out.  Sold it, and moved on to another.


Remodeled and upgraded the next one---inside and out---2-1/2 car garage was my entire workshop.


Also, worked with a friend, help build his entire new home, from ground up.

Started in May and he moved in by Thanksgiving.

Yes, we had some help from a few others, on and off, carrying lumber and driving nails.

Also, had one carpenter, on and off.

Brink and stone work was done by masons. 

This structure turned out awesome, in a wooded area with big oak trees---5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2 fireplaces, 4 car garage, custom cabinets, and all.  Two of the cars bays, had doors on both ends, so as to drive thru and around.


Also, help remodel others houses---inside and out.

Finished basements, making them into living quarters, kitchens, storage rooms, game rooms, or what even they desired.


Then I moved on to another fix-ur-upper.

Remodeled and refinished---inside and outside.

Remodeled the entire lower level---bathroom, family room, bedroom, utility room, pantry, closets, small workshop area for my wifes work room for her hobbies and crafts.

Replaced all windows, upper and lower level---also, new entry doors.

Rebuilt the upper level bathroom, refinished the hardwood floors and all trim work.

(Work in progress---replacing all interior doors and closet doors).

Converted 2 bedrooms into offices, one for my wife and myself.

The dog has the run of the house---(when were home). 

(5 kids are adults, and with their own families.  Youngest son, in his senior year of college, then on to grad school).


Recently built a new elevated deck---tore down the old one and started from scratch.

Frame work and structure, heavy duty---(future plans to build an all-season room above it).

It turned out great.  Designed and built an ''under deck drain system''---water drips thru the deck boards---down onto transparent wave panels, slanted so as to direct the water to troughs and down spouts.

(Selected transparent panels, so as to see-thru, if anything drops thru the cracks---then remove the applicable deck board, from the top-side, retrieve the item and replace the deck board).

The trough and downspouts are hidden---not visible to the outside.

Privacy lattice around 3 sides---allows air-flow to keep things dry.

Under-deck storage used for lawn and yard working equipment, lumber storage, and more.

Under-deck electrical power and lighting---motion control lights---lights turn ''on'', when doors are opened during entry, and shut-off when exiting.

Electric power for running power tools in the back yard and on the patio.

The plans were in the works for 3 years, before work began---lots of planning, 'til I got it where I wanted it.


Built an outside storage shed, to store goods, no longer needed in the house.

It started out to be my auxiliary workshop, but my wife got other ideas.


Re-landscaped, front, sides and back of the house and yard.


All of this work done on weekends, weekday evenings, and days off---during full-time employment.

Yes---I'm busier than a one-legged cat in a sand box.


I've been semi-retired, for a few years, so i've been able to do more tasks and projects, in a shorter time period.  (Got several more on my list).


I've invested in all the tools I have, on an as-needed basis.  They weren't all purchased at one time---they've been accumulated over many years---most new and some previously owned, that are in good working condition.


If one is a newbee, start out with the tools as needed for the desired task, and then expand from there.


Lots of used/pre-owned carpentry and woodworking tools available on todays market.

Lots of construction workers out of work---need the money, and selling off good stuff, for a good affordable price.


Some building supply houses, tool stores, and the like, are overstocked, and will sell at reduced prices.

Visit resale shops, pawn-shops and the like---look for bargains, make an offer---some are willing to sell, to bring in the cash.  (Payment with ''cash'' will get you better deals).


If one has old stuff or goods no longer needed---sell or trade and upgrade.

Someone will find your old tools just to their liking.


NO---none of my tools are for sale, at this time.

My mission on earth is not complete---I'm still here.


BTW---just picked up another biscuit planer/joiner, in good working condition, for $10!

Suitable for some rough joinery work.


Needed new batteries, for some cordless tools---they're were on sale for 2 for $50.

Instead got a new drill/driver, 2 batteries and charger for $60.

Don't need another stinkin' drill, but for another $10 bucks---couldn't pass-up the deal/offer.

I can sell the drill for $25 dollars, (below the selling price of the single drill), and make a few bucks to buy more tools.


ps---gotta go, have to get 30 bags of red-wood mulch put down today--- top-dressing around the landscaping and plantings.


mo khan said:

mmm I might have to buy some more tools to impress you guys! And Ken you can stop showing off :P!

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