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Building kitchen counters and cabinets is incredibly rewarding, but without the right power tools, it will be impossible to get the results you’re after. Many DIY enthusiasts assume that they can make custom kitchen units without using power tools. Trying to start a project like this without the tools you need is never a good idea. It can be equally difficult if you have the tools on hand but you don’t know how to use them properly. To help you build the kitchen you’ve always wanted, we have put together a guide on the tools you will need (and how to use them). 

Essential Power Tools to Build a Kitchen

There are many, many different power tools that can be used to build kitchen counters and cabinets. People with experience in using tools will use multiple tools but people who have not had much experience should always start with the basics. Here are the most important tools you will need to start building your dream kitchen.


Circular saws are ideal for this type of project. This type of saw has a toothed blade made to cut material in a rotary motion as it spins around an arbor. It has a guide sight in front of the blade, situated on the shoe. This guide will help you cut through wood or plywood more accurately. When using this saw, avoid cutting too deep. You want the blade to saw through just enough to come out underneath the wood. It also helps to have a tough, hard to cut surface positioned over your workbench to avoid cutting into the wood surface. A jigsaw can also be used as well. These versatile jigsaws cut curves into wood, along with bevel cuts, and various other cuts. They are easy to use and cut through various levels of wood thickness. Safety is highly important when using any type of saw. Never start the saw when the wood is touching the blade and always follow manufacturer instructions. 


Routers hollow out sections in wood. These tools can be used to finish edges, make cutaways, shape contours, and turn basic slabs of wood into moulded cabinets. Routers are usually used in router tables. They cut, trim and shape wood and other materials quickly using a left to right motion. Moving the router in the wrong direction can very quickly ruin your wood. The router needs to move against the bit’s rotation. You will be able to cut into your material with precision, without losing control. Moving the router in the same direction as the bit’s rotation will make it difficult to keep control as you work. It helps to first position the router between you and the material and then move in the right direction.


Drills are essential for all DIY projects. For making kitchens units, you will need the right drill bits, too. A hammer drill is the best bet for drilling holes into concrete and will assist you in mounting the cabinet to the wall using the hammer function. The hammer action moves the drill bit in and out, resulting in a faster, smoother hole. This type of drill can also be used to drill pilot holes for cabinet assembly if you don’t also have a cordless drill driver. A cordless drill driver is also essential as you can drill pilot holes and screw the units together as well. You can also use it for hard to reach places that a corded drill can't reach. Various sized bits can be used, depending on the hole size you need. The best bits for wood include brace auger bits and brad point bits. These allow you to make smooth holes that can be used to add hinges and joints. A cordless screwdriver will also come in handy, allowing you to add screws quickly and easily. 


Made to smooth surfaces, sanders can be used at various stages of the project. They are good to use before using a router so that the wood is smoother and less prone to jagged edges or too much sawdust. In many cases, they will be used after drilling as well. There are various types of sanders to choose from - some easier to use than others. The best sanders for kitchen cabinets and counters include mouse sanders and orbital sanders. These are both user-friendly, helping to smooth wood into corners. They come with sanding discs in various textures, from extremely rough to smooth. To use, work the sander slowly and carefully over the wood, stopping to remove debris as you go. Never force the sander - this will cause rough patches. 

Ready to start building your kitchen? Tool City has all the tools you need. Shop our power tools and accessories online now to get started.