Saws and Sanders For Building Decks
Miter Saw (Chop Saw)
These saws are expensive items but
a dream to work with if you plan to do a lot of building over the
coming years. They used to be truly just a chop saw because they cut
only up and down, limiting their usefulness.
Now they are more
properly called Miter Saws because they can rotate multiple angles and
very accurately. Building decks requires all kinds of cross cutting so
it is used all the time.
This is an essential tool for any
builder. Buy a decent one with preferably a 12" blade and you will be
able to cut right through 4x4s. You will own this saw forever and use it
more than any other power tool in your shop.
These saws are also a must for deck building. The 7 1/4" blades are
not bad so long as they are sharp but an 8 1/2" blade is better. You
will find that the quality of the saw is usually better once you get in
the larger blade sizes.
The base should be wide, thick and just
feel solid. It should sound smooth too. Cheap circular saws break down,
over heat and wobble over time. So you are always compensating for the
A saw with about 12-13 amps will give you good power for sustained cutting and ripping. Get a decent saw.
router is very useful when building a deck because it can be used to
soften edges of deck boards, top rails, stair stringers. It just gives
you deck and related components a very finished look and smooth feel.
don't necessarily need the full on 3hp multi speed plunge router,
although they are awesome for other jobs too. Even a small single hand
held router can do wonders.
Cheap and entirely useful when you least expect it. Get a handsaw.
You never know when you will need to just make a quick cut and you don't
feel like plugging in or hearing the noise or untangling plugs.
But learn how to use a handsaw properly. They work great when you keep the blade sharp and let the saw do the work for you.
Orbital Hand Sander
orbital palm sander is a great tool for quickly smoothing larger areas
like hand rails. These sanders are much faster than a block sander and
muscle. A nice little extra to put on your wishlist.
saber saw is sometimes referred to as a jig saw. It's a very useful saw
for building a deck when you have to create curves, either a radius
corner on the decking or something like that.
Reciprocating Saw (Sawzall)
kind of a saw is great for cutting protruding beams below the joists
and deck structure. It's really difficult to get a circular saw in that
area and hold it firm in an awkward position. The same goes for a
handsaw unless you are skilled with it.
sanders like this can really smooth the deck boards quickly. But be
careful because if you fall asleep at the wheel it can also cause a lot
of damage quickly. Let the sander do the work. Not your muscles.
old fashioned hard work is what is required to make this sander work.
But a sanding block is indisensible. You will need it for all kinds of
That is a fairly comprehensive list of what is required from the cutting, sawing and sanding perspective.