Saws and Sanders For Building Decks
Miter Saw (Chop Saw)
These saws are expensive but
a dream to work with if you plan to do a lot of building over the
coming years. They used to be 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 do so very accurately.
Building decks requires all kinds of cross cutting so a miter saw is used all the time. It is an essential tool for any
builder. Buy a decent one preferably with a 12" blade and you will be
able to easily 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 as 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 into the larger blade sizes.
The base should be wide, thick and feel solid. It should sound smooth too. Cheap circular saws are loud, over heat, wobble and break down over time. You end up always having to compensate for the cheaper tool.
A saw with about 12-13 amps will give you the right amount of power for sustained cutting and ripping. Get a decent circular 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
your deck and related components a smooth feel and very professionally finished look.
don't necessarily need the full on 3hp multi speed plunge router,
although they are awesome for all sorts of other jobs too. That said, even a small single hand
held router can do wonders.
Get a handsaw. They are cheap and entirely useful when you least expect it. You never know when you will need to make a quick cut and don't
feel like untangling electrical cords, plugging in a tool and having to hear the noise electrical tools make.
Learn how to use a handsaw properly. They work best 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 require less muscle. A nice little extra to put on your wish-list.
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 or a radius
corner on the decking or something of that nature.
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 or handsaw in that
area and hold it firm due to the awkwardness of the position.
sanders like this can really smooth deck boards quickly. But be
careful because if you fall asleep at the wheel they 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
There you have it, a fairly comprehensive list of what is required from the cutting, sawing and sanding perspective.