Kitchen Fitters - What's the Best Power Tools to Own
Posted by Mark Hunter - December 14, 2016
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Whether you call yourself a kitchen fitter, or just a plain old "chippie", probably depends on the day of the week, or time of the year, or just the work you're in the middle of. Regardless of labels, fitting kitchens is a massive part of the home renovation economy, accounting for millions of pounds per year.
For those professionals who count fitting kitchens as part of their job description, toting the best power tools will be the difference between getting jobs finished on time - and on budget - and not!
In this Toolstop guide, we'll list the best power tools for any kitchen fitter to have in their kit. We've opted for the following:
- worktop jig
- drill driver/impact driver twin pack
- mitre saw
- plunge saw
- dust extractor/vacuum
Every kitchen fitter needs a router, and you might as well get one from the UK's best known router manufacturer. The kit we're recommending even comes with a router cutter set, 35 pieces in total, each of which features TCT blades.
SEE ALL OUR ROUTERS HERE
The T11 itself is a classic 1/2" version with a 2000W soft-start motor which outputs up to 20,000rpm, controllable via the speed dial. Essentially the T11 will handle all of the router jobs you'll need to perform in the process of fitting a kitchen.
Partnered with a router, like strawberries and cream, is a good quality jig. It's as important on any kitchen fitting job as opposable thumbs. To that end, we're recommending you partner your Trend T11 router with the Trend KWJ700 worktop jig.
SEE ALL THE WORKTOP JIGS HERE
It has fixed lengths for between 250mm and 700mm wide (40mm thick) worktops, and allows you to set up cuts for three 150mm dog bone bolt recesses.
In terms of the cuts you can make, it will set you up for left hand and right hand corners, 400mm radius peninsular joint, 45 degree end cut with slight radius, 45 degree trade corner solution for hob units, 100mm radius corner, 40mm radius corner, 35mm kitchen door hole and 3/4inch BSP hole for mixer taps.
Perfect for cutting out worktops for sinks or any trimming job you'll encounter during the day, a good quality jigsaw is vital.
The main consideration, however, is going to be whether you need a corded jigsaw or a cordless version. The advantage of corded is unlimited power supply! However, the advantage of cordless is no trailing wires and the ability to work where there isn't a hooked up power source...
Click here to see all of our corded jigsaws, and here to see the cordless jigsaws.
We're opting to go cordless for our jigsaw, and we reckon you can't go far wrong with a Bosch one. Credited with inventing the concept in the first place, Bosch has a great reputation for the quality of its jigsaws.
SEE ALL OUR CORDLESS JIGSAWS HERE
The Bosch GST 18v LI S is a straight, or bow, handled jigsaw which gives you a fantastic ergonomic grip, ideal for cutting curves or for working upside down!
Whether you're making holes in masonry for cabinet fixings, using hole saws to run pipes or fitting hinges to doors, a good quality combi-drill and impact driver are the tools you need to have in your kit.
Buying a twin pack of cordless tools is often the most cost effective way to buy these tools, so that's what we recommend you go for. You'll usually get a couple of batteries and charger in the kit.
SEE ALL OUR CORDLESS TWIN PACKS HERE
We're opting for Metabo's Combo Set. Both of the tools are brushless and both benefit from robust die cast aluminium gear housing, which protects the tool. The SB 18 LTX IMPULS Combi Drill has two speeds and up to 32,300bpm in hammer mode. The SSD 18LTX 200 impact driver outputs up to 3,300imp and provides 150Nm or torque. Both of which are perfect for kitchen fitting applications!
Again, this is another power tool that's always going to find a use in the kit of a kitchen fitter, whether it's trimming the bottom of a door, taking the edge off a worktop etc.
We've opted for a cordless version for the same reasons as listed above; the flexibility to work anywhere. But this time we're going for a body-only (or naked) cordless planer. These tools are cost a bit less and you just use one of the batteries in your existing kit.
The Dewalt DCP580N is a brushless, cordless planer. It runs off the same XR 18v batteriessupplied in Dewalt's twin pack, so just slot one in when you need to use it, and because it's brushless, it won't being a heavy draw on the charge in the battery.
SEE ALL OUR CORDLESS PLANERS HERE
Ok, we're going to be a bit controversial here. Yes, you need an accurate mitre saw for kitchen fitting applications, in fact for any second-fix job. But that doesn't mean you need to break the bank to add one to your kit.
A key consideration when you're looking for a new mitre saw is portability. You'll probably be hauling it in and out of your van, navigating your way through clients' properties to get it to where you'll be using it.
SEE ALL OUR MITRE SAWS HERE
So, we've opted for the Evolution Rage 3-B. Not only is it a compound mitre saw, it's also very compact and light. On top of that, Evolution is famous for its TCT blades which will slice through wood, wood with nails in it, aluminium and plastic.
In other words, perfect for any kitchen fitting cutting application!
The reviews of the Evolution Rage 3-B state that you'll need to square off the fence and guide before you use it, but that's often the case with mitre saws straight out of the box.
For some reason plunge saws don't appear to be as popular as they should be for kitchen fitting, however that trend needs to change! A plunge saw will easily replace bulkier table saws and once you know how to use them efficiently, will handle loads of jobs that you'd normally rely on a plunge saw for.
Marry a plunge saw up with a guide rail and you'll be making 100% accurate cuts on long pieces of material over and over again. It can also quickly make bevel and mitre cuts on small piece of material.
And when you're cutting laminates, a plunge saw is the sure-fire way to guarantee not only an accurate cut, but a clean cut, even when cutting into the glossy side of the worktop, for example.
SEE ALL OUR PLUNGE SAWS HERE
All in all, a plunge saw is a massive time saver for any kitchen fitter.
For this guide, we've opted for the Makita SP6000J1. It's fitted with a 165mm carbide-tipped blade. Plus there's a version that comes with 2 guide rails, which you can find here.
We all create dust and debris when we're working. And with more and more jobsites making the possession of a dust extractor a requirement, it makes sense that we look for the best one on the market.
To help you keep the dust under control whether you're using the planer, the plunge saw or the router, we're recommending the Bosch GAS 35 M AFC Dust Extractor M-Class.
For starters, the GAS 35 M AFC, of course, M-Class rated, so you're ticking one massive box right there by having this as your dust control set up. It features power take off, so you'll be able to hook up your router or mitre saw to it while you work.
The AFC results in sustained suction power for continuous work progress due to automatic filter cleaning.
And once you've finished at the end of the day, it doubles as a vacuum cleaner, so you've no excuse for not leaving the place pristine before you pack the van up. As for any spillages, it's wet and dry, remove the dust bag and filter and can soak up around 19 litres of water.
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So that's our guide to the best power tools for kitchen fitters. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know in the comments, plus tell us the tools YOU rely on!
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