Every weekend workshop warrior has different projects of wide-ranging scales. Our Savvy Builder, Jim Cooper, loves to get his hands dirty—and kick up lots of sawdust—when he's not busy helping people build their dream homes. If Jim's workshop were picked up and plopped on a desert island, these are the tools he couldn't live without:
• Vintage 10-inch table saw
• 6-1/4-inch jointer
• 14-inch bandsaw
• 12-inch planer
• Drill press
His tool brands vary, but his older (and long-lasting) tools of trade have Craftsman (craftsman.com) stamped on them. His newer tools tend toward Delta (deltaportercable.com) and Ryobi (ryobitools.com) labels.
You may not need this caliber of muscle tools at the ready, but no one building a home should be without the basics. The Tradesberry Multi-Tool from Phillips Screw Innovation (http://phillips-screwinnovation.com) is like a modern day Swiss Army knife. It has a digital calculator, digital clock, compass, white LED flashlight, Phillips screwdriver, stainless knife, level with laser and tape measure all in one cell phone sized contraption.