Framing a house is perhaps the most labor-intensive part of construction. Heck. Buying framing labor is no easy task itself. But framing up a house is easily the most exciting part of the build as pieces come together like a jigsaw puzzle slowly turning a few sticks into a wall and a few walls into a room and a few rooms into a house! Like anything though a good framing job depends on good tools. And not just any tools. GOOD tools. Mention framing in a room full of contractors and you’ll like get a grocery list of relatively nondescript tools like a hammer, a measuring tape, a framing square, and the like. But just as no concert pianist would want to perform Lizst’s Piano Sonata in B Minor on an old Schoenhut Classic Baby Grand Piano, no contractor truly wants to work with just any ‘ol yard sale tool and neither should you. The list below showcases what may be the best of the best in terms of essential tools for framing a house.
Makita 5007MGA Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric Brake
The Makita 7-1/4-Inch Magnesium Circular Saw with Electric Brake features highly durable magnesium components and a powerful 15 AMP industrial motor. It balances weight, power, durability, and ease of use, making it easy to use in both a workshop and on site.
DEWALT 20-Volt Max Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Variable Speed Brushless Cordless Hammer Drill
I use my drill for almost everything. At times (shhhh! don’t tell anyone) I have used the butt as a hammer. This DEWALT hammer drill is compact at just 7.8″ front to back. It is lightweight for going up the ladder (just 3.5 lbs.) and performs in two speeds allowing for better speed and torque control. And if that weren’t enough it also has an onboard LED light with 20 second trigger release delay for increased visibility in confined spaces.
Irwin Aluminum Framing Square
While pretty standard and inexpensive the framing square is essential to anywhere two pieces of wood join. With multiple scales – 1/8″, 1/10″, 1/12″, and 1/16″ – the Irwin is solid and easy to read.
Mechanix Wear CG Leather Framer Gloves
Gloves could be the most underrated tool on the job. They protect against the elements as well as blisters, splinters, and more. This particular pair has a wide-fit hook and loop closure and is fingerless to allow freedom for the thumb, index, and middle finger, which are all essential for grip and motion.
IRWIN 2050 Series 78-in Magnetic Box Beam Standard Level
I probably can’t say it enough: “Straight walls. Straight walls.” Without straight walls your entire structure will fall out of level. This model is 6.5′ tall, is sturdy, has a strong magnet, and is perfect for creating those straight walls; metal or wooden.
Paslode Angled 7.5-Volt Framing Cordless Nailer with Battery
There is nothing quite like a Paslode on the job site. For too long contractors have been tethered to their air hoses. Not so with the Paslode. A battery powered, gas injected, framing nailer, the 7.5-Volt Framing Cordless Nailer drives up to 9,000 nails flush per charge and weighs just at 7 pounds. Even the 7.4-volt Li-ion battery is notable with a full recharging time of 1.5 hours. Best of all, it has a 2-minute quick charge for up to 200 shots.
Vaughan 19-Ounce 17-Inch Max High Performance Framing Hammer
Vaughan’s high performance framing hammer is a solid choice at 19oz. It is easy to swing and has milled face grips that can easily be used as a nail head. The Vaughan is also magnetic which means it can be used to hold nails without losing them. The handle us made of hickory wood and provides great balance while reducing fatigue.
Did we leave a particular tool off the list? What do you consider essential for framing? A chalk box? A flat bar? What about something as simple as a pencil? Let us know in the comment section below.