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32 Different Types of Power Tools

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 19, 2024

There are so many different types of power tools, that getting to know all of them may be a hard task. However, there are contemporary and traditional machines that you have to know about, because they may be very helpful at home.

We know that it may take a lot of time to research all of the power tools, so we have gathered all of them in a list. You will get to know the tools, their applications, and you will be able to choose which ones you need at home.

Whether you are a fan of working with machines or not, you will most likely need them in your life at least once. You can deal with many heavy tasks by using power tools, so you better have a glance at those.

List of the different types of power tools

Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is a tool that is mostly used to drill circular holes in different materials, or for inserting screws into material. It is an electric tool that uses rechargeable batteries. It can be found in almost any workshop, garage and construction site.

The cordless drill should be possessed by any man, because it can be used for thousands of tasks. If you are looking for a lighter tool then you can go for a corded drill. It is not only leaner, but also powerful. However, those advantages come with a lot of noise.

The cordless drill is more convenient, even though it may be heavier. It is not limited by power cord and it can be easily carried around and used in many places and locations. With a cordless drill you can do almost any improvement at home such as woodworking jobs and assembling furniture.

Impact Driver

An impact driver is a tool, lighter and smaller than others, but capable of hard and strong force. That’s why the impact driver is used by many workers. It has an outer sleeve which makes it safer.

It can make downward and rotational force and loose screws and nuts fast. The motion that the impact driver makes is in-and-out, and it can also spin. There are cordless and corded options on the market, you can choose the one better for you and the tasks you will be accomplishing.

The impact driver is perfect for small jobs that require force, speeds and different attachments. This tool should be added to your list with necessary at home tools.

Hammer Drill

A hammer drill is a type of drill machine that can accomplish tasks which need efficiency, power and speed. It works fast and it can punch holes with great power and accuracy. Furthermore, it can do it very fast.

So, if you have to drill holes with efficiency, and you have to do it fast, then the hammer drill may be the best tool for you. Keep in mind that it is a very powerful tool and can be dangerous. You can do quick drilling with little physical effort.

The hammer drill should not be used for driving screws, because many people believe it is the same as an impact driver, but there is a big difference and this mistake should be avoided.

Rotary Hammer

A rotary hammer is a power tool that can deal with heavy-durty jobs such as drilling into harder materials. It gives you impact energy and delivers a larger hole, faster than the hammer.

Its mechanism is a piston, not a special clutch. It is larger and has more force than the hammer drill. The rotary hammer does not use an air compressor, it is powered by electricity.

So, if you are going to drill big holes into hard material, you need repetitive drilling with less effort- then the rotary hammer is perfect for you.

Impact Wrench

An impact wrench is a power tool that can provide a lot of torque with small exertion. It works with the help of compressed air, but there are hydraulic and electric models too. This tool is used by a lot of mechanics and DIYers.

The impact wrench can loose nuts from trucks and cars, and that’s why many car repair shops use those. The only disadvantage is the whirring and loud noise they make. It is better to use hearing protection when working with an impact wrench.

Power Screwdriver

A power screwdriver is a tool that uses a power source to make driving screws, instead of relying on human force. Those machines operate under electric power, but there are also battery powered tools.

Electric Screwdriver

An electric screwdriver is a compact power tool that uses both motor and batteries and can accomplish many tasks at home. It has great power precision and it is used for assembling small pieces of furniture, common daily tasks and hanging pictures.

There are two types of electric screwdrivers available on the market- standard and brushless. The brushless option uses less heat and has a longer life span, while the electric one is more effective and precise, but needs maintenance and usually has a smaller lifespan.

Rotary Tool

A rotary tool, or also called router is a tool that can rout a hole of materials like plastic and wood. It is used when there is a construction of cabinetry. The woodworkers use rotary tools almost every day, so if you are planning to work on wood you must have a rotary tool.

Usually this tool is driven by an electric motor. It is easy to carry around and it can be useful at home. You can use a rotary tool to recess door hinges, to carve out neat rabbets and other tasks.


The jigsaw is a power tool that can cut almost any material in a versatile shape. It is also known as a “bayonet saw”. It is a handheld tool that uses an electric motor and a blade to cut. 

So, if you want to cut wood, metal or another material in a specific, unique shape, the jigsaw is the tool you need. You can use them at home for applications, but you can also use them for harder tasks at work.

Reciprocating Saw

The reciprocating saw is a material cutting tool that uses a blade which cuts in a push-and-pull movement. The reciprocating saw is a large tool that is used for remodeling jobs, repairing and construction sites.

You can customize the reciprocating tool with different accessories such as small blades and clamps, according to your requirements. Most of the time reciprocating saw is used for construction and demolition work.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is a tool that has an abrasive blade that cuts almost any kind of material with rotary motion. This saw is considered to be safe, because it has a frame on the sides and the top of it for protection.

The circular saw can cut any material, including metal, plastic, masonry and wood. The circular saw can be hand-held, portable, corded, cordless, powered by battery or gasoline. If you will be doing straight cuts and precise, efficient jobs you will definitely need a circular saw.

Miter Saw

A miter saw is a powerful, heavy tool that can make cuts at many different angles. It has a strong blade placed to its swing arm, and that’s why it can make cuts at different angles. 

Those saws come in different types such as sliding compound miter saw, dual compound miter saw, normal compound miter saw. All of those have a specific ability, so you better do some research before choosing a type.

Band Saw

A band saw is a power tool that uses a long, sharp blade that cuts materials with ease. It is used in metalworking, woodworking and lumbering, because it can cut a variety of materials.

It can also cut different, irregular shapes in a curved pattern with ease. Most of the time this tool can be seen in garages and workshops, because it can be used not only at work, but also at home. Most of the models are powered by electric motors.

Table Saw

A table saw is a powerful tool attached to a table that has a blade pointed through the slot. You can easily cut anything by gliding it against the power machine. The table saw functions on electricity, but some models function on gears or belts.

This tool can be adjusted according to the needs of its user, it can be moved up and down to accomplish your project easier. You can make horizontal and vertical cuts. However, this type of tool is not portable.

There is another option called bench-top table saw that can be easily moved around, because it has wheels.


The chainsaw is a mechanical power tool which is used in car shops, machine shops, homes, construction sites and basically everywhere. It has rotating teeth that are connected with the rotating chain. It can be powered by battery or gasoline, depending on the model.

The chainsaw is a portable machine that can be handheld and used for many different tasks and many different materials. It can cut almost any material even if it is thick. Those tools may be dangerous and they should be carefully used.

Chop Saw

The chop saw is a woodworking power tool that can make accurate and precise complete square and angled cuts in wood. It has a steel saw blade that spins at high speed. This machine can cut through wood.

It is not a dangerous tool, and it can make both simple and 90 degree angled straight cuts. Furthemore, it can cut through lumber, molding, decking and aluminum

Arm Saw

An arm saw is a power circular saw that is used to cut against the grain of wood, or to make rip cuts. The user has to push the wood against a fence and pull the saw into the cut.

This machine is used to cut long pieces of wood to length, to make cross-cutting and rabbits. It is a must have for woodworkers and DIYErs, because it is an easy to use tool.

Scroll Saw

The scroll saw is a tool that is popular amongst crafters, artists, tailors and quilters. It is more than a basic tool, because it has many cutting abilities. It can cut through almost any material, but its cuts are delicate.

The scroll saw is controlled by a pedal, and it also has a plate where you can rest the wood or the other material that you are cutting. This tool can be used for small projects such as puzzles, dovetail joints and art patterns.

So, if you are going to accomplish small art tasks, you need precision and handheld tools that do not need electricity to work- then the scroll saw is perfect for you.

Biscuit Joiner

The biscuit joiner is a tool that can join two pieces of wood together. It has a rounded saw blade which cuts small holes to join wood parts. The pieces are glued together and they stay apiece.

You can use a biscuit joiner for almost any task that requires woods to be joined together. Most of the time this tool is used for plywood, fiberboard and particleboard.

Angle Grinder

An angle grinder is a portable power tool that can be used with ease for polishing and grinding. It can be powered by a petrol engine, compressor or electric motor, depending on the model you choose.

The angle grinder can be used at garages, auto body repair shops and workshops. If you are buying an angle grinder you should check the motor and the disc size- they should be right and powerful.

Bench Grinder

The bench grinder is a popular tool, also known as a grinding machine that works with the help of abrasive wheels. It is most often used to hand grind cutting tools or to perform grinding projects.

The bench grinder can cut tools such as tool bits, gouges and chisels. It can also shape metal in some cases, or polish workpieces. There are many different models available on the market and you have to choose the one that fits your tasks the most.

Shop Vac

A shop vac is a special vacuum cleaner that is used in construction and woodworking  spaces, since it has a powerful motor and can pick up almost anything including dirt, debris and site materials.

The shop vac is a must-have for every woodworker,  because it can clean almost every area. They are on wheels so they can be easily moved around. They can pick up nails, metal pieces, pieces of wood, dust and other objects that can be found in a working area.

There is a big difference between the shop vac and the normal vacuum cleaner, so you can not use the one you use at home for your workspace, because it is not meant to pick up bigger and harder pieces of material.

Belt Sander

A belt sander is a tool that is used when finishing a wood working, or other project. It uses an electric motor and it removes paint from wood or rougher portions of the project surface.

Orbital Sander

An orbital sander is a power tool for sanding. It is a hand-held tool that rotates and gives a finer finish. It can be found in three different models- air-powered, electric powered or orbital floor sander, depending on your interests.

The orbital sander does not leave marks on  the projects and most of those tools include a dust collector system.

Wood Router

A wood router is a tool that gives you the chance to hollow out areas of hard materials such as wood or plastic. It is most often used by woodworkers.This is a handheld power tool that has various speed controls.

The wood router can cut circles, make raised panel doors and frames, mortise tenons, dovetails and many other tasks.

Nail Gun

A nail gun is a tool that can drive nails into wood or other materials. The nail gun is used when other simpler tools fail at doing this task. This can happen if the material is tough and the normal power tool can’t do that.

The nail gun is powered by compressed air, butane, flammable gasses or electromagnetism. It is used for fishing, flooring and roofing. It can be used by professionals, but amateurs too, because the tool does not require experience or some special knowledge.

Air Compressor

The air compressor compresses energy in the form of gasoline or energy. This device stores the compressed energy in a tank until it comes to its limit. The capacity depends on the model of the air compressor.

This tool is used for many applications such as air conditioners, ventilators and heaters. The air compressor can be used to power up tools such as nail guns and jackhammers.


A lathe is a power tool that can shape almost any material including wood and metal. It drives rotationally and rotates the piece of work placed against it. With a lathe you can do cutting, drilling, knurling, sanding, turning and other tasks.

Many professionals, metalworkers, designers and watchmakers use this type of power tool every day. There are some things that can be created from lathe such as gun barrels, table legs, bowls, screws, crankshafts and candlesticks.

Moisture Meter

A moisture meter is an essential tool for detecting the moisture content in a material. It can be used at home, or at work, since it can identify damage or potential problems that may occur from moisture.

There are different designs of moisture meters, but most of them are small, easy to move around. They use LED indicators to show the percentage of moisture in the material you have placed it.

Wall Chaser

A wall chaser is a tool that can cut channels into walls so wiring or electrical pipes can be installed. This tool is powered by an electric motor, it is hand-held and gives a lot of versatility to its user.

With a wall chaser you can get into spaces that are hard to be reached. You can use it for installing pipes into walls, channels into masonry walls, cutting grooves and other tasks.

Heat Gun

A heat gun is a handheld machine that generates hot air to accomplish tasks. The heat guns are used for shrinking materials like dry wood and film, for bending hard plastin, thawing frozen pipes and strippgin old paint.

The heat gun needs electricity in order to produce heat. In addition, the temperature of the air ranges between 100 to 550 degrees Celsius. The heat is directed toward the subject and it is spread by an electric fan.

Oscillating Tool

An oscillating tool is a portable and compact power tool that can be used for many tasks with many interchangeable blades. With an oscillating tool you can do many things such as polishing, grinding, scraping and cutting through many materials.

It is a must-have for woodworkers and DIYers, because this tool can save a lot of effort and money.

As you can clearly see there are many power tools available on the market. They all have different abilities and they all can be used for different tasks. So, if you are a professional you most likely need almost all of them.

If you are a beginner, DIYer, or you just need some home equipment then  the list is not so big and you can buy some tools that can do a lot of work. Now you have a list with all power tools that can be used, so you can easily choose the ones you need. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is the most common power tool?

The most common power tool is a hammer drill. It is used by 87% of the workers. However, reciprocating saws, power drills, circular saws, rotary hammers and reciprocating saws are used by many people all around the world too.

2.What was the first power tool?
The first power tool was developed by a German company in 1895. They combined the power of an electric motor with a manual drill and created a new type of drill which made a huge difference in the tool industry of tools.

3.What are the main types of power tools?
There are many types of power tools available on the market, but the main ones are: saws, drills, grinders, sanders, woodworking power tools, compressors, accessories, concrete power tools, rotary and oscillating tools.

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