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 your in the middle of. Regardless of labels, fitting kitchens is a massive part of the home renovation economy. It accounts for millions of pounds per year. For those professionals who count fitting kitchens as part of their job description, owning the best power tools will be the difference between getting jobs finished on time – and on budget – and not!
In this Kitchen Fitters Toolstop guide, we’ll list the best power tools to have in your 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 T10 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 T10 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 T10 router with the Trend KWJ700 worktop jig.
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. Sorted.
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 Dewalt one.
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SEE ALL OUR CORDLESS JIGSAWS HERE
This is Dewalt’s first cordless jigsaw with a brushless motor, meaning it’s a top choice for any tradesperson using Dewalt’s batteries, either 18v or 54v. It has an LED light, improved tool-free blade change mechanism and 4 stage pendulum action for complete control over every cut.
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 Kitchen Fitters 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 HiKoki’s twin pack. Both of the tools are brushless are powered by both Hikoki’s and Hitachi’s 18v battery platform. It’s an affordable twin pack, and it covers the bases of giving you a tough combi-drill for drilling fixings or using auger bits, and an impact driver for driving screws into wall fixings that’s compact enough for working inside kitchen cabinets.
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 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 batteries supplied 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 TCT. Not only is it a compound mitre saw, but 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 TCT 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 a 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. An ideal partner for the T11 router is the T35A dust extractor and vacuum cleaner.
And a massive benefit of the T35A is it’s M-Class rating, meaning it comes up to the minimum HSE guidelines for on-the-job dust control. The supplied filter is, of course, HEPA so it benefits from a 0.3-micron filter efficiency and nylon pre-filter. This is a must for collecting and trapping those tiny dust particles, preventing them from escaping back out into the air.
From a dust extractor point of view, it’s ideal for use with your corded power tools thanks to the 2200W power take off with auto-start. You plug in your T11 router and once you start to make a cut, the T35A will fire up. Obviously, make sure you’ve attached the supplied 5m hose from the T35A to the dust port of your router first! As efficient filtration is a key component of a dust extractor, the T35A benefits from an automatic filter “shaking” function to help prevent blockages. However, if the filter gets blocked the unit will sound an alarm to let you know.
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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!