tools needed for sitework at present time

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by old timer chippy, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. old timer chippy

    old timer chippy New Member

    As i'm now considering getting some sitework after doing renovations and general building for most of my building career (luckily) im just in a quandry about exactly what tools and gear to buy/invest in, to do 1st/2nd fix on todays sites.
    Currently i only have 240v gear,i saw an ad for some 110v tools but then i thought that sitework guys are all getting 18v tool sets because this prooves to be least hassle on todays sites,including chopsaw and nailers.....then i read advice not to take expensive tools on site atall!
    just what are you site chaps using now ,is a nailer indispensible?chopsaw on rails?
    perhaps i am wrong but it doesnt look like much fun ,subcontractor in a Build Britain Better era but ...potentially well paid,i might hack it with the right tools.
    apologies if this has been asked before and thanks for your answers
     
  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    You need these without question, opt for cordless throughout as otherwise you'll have to lug a generator about and spend a fortune in petrol:

    -Paslode first fix nailer (I have tried, owned or sent back nearly all other models and can confirm that overall they are the best)
    -Paslode Second fix pingun, similar to above, but I hear very good things about Dewalts pingun, do not buy the first fix nailer though as it's garbage
    -Impact driver
    -Cordless circular saw
    -SDS drill

    If you are opting for second fix then:

    -Either a 110v chop saw with 50m reel and a genny, or a cordless chop saw
    -Check the site policy first because it's five hundred odd quid for a Class M but a dust extractor may be needed, cordless one costs even more
    - Again, check the site if the doors are pre-hung in matching linings but you may need a 1/4" router along with a hinge jig, whether you opt for corded or cordless is your call, I own the cordless Dewalt 1/4" router and it's outstanding

    In your position I would buy the tools naked to match the batteries and chargers I assume you already own as it's a hell of a lot cheaper than buying the complete kit each time.

    A last bit of advice, if you are coming from a domestic setting straight into sitework, you will experience a real culture shock, the secret is to persevere and not let it beat you, it will not be easy for a while unless you are lucky enough to be on a small builders development rather than one of the national ones.
     
    WillyEckerslike and ginger tuffs like this.
  3. ginger tuffs

    ginger tuffs Screwfix Select

    and be ready for the culture shock and people not having time for you
     
    WillyEckerslike and Jord86 like this.
  4. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    And the appalling management, swamp area surrounding the house you need to work on, no access, no materials, no help, no labourers to clean up after you, the only benefit of all this covid nonsense is that they can't cram all the other trades in the house with you at the same time now. Welcome to the jungle.
     
    jimoz likes this.
  5. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    Much as I wish the OP every success I think I would rather boil my head than do site work. It was bad enough doing refurbs with different trades all working in the same space. Not done those for a while thankfully - although there can be decent money to be had - mainly by the developer!
     
  6. old timer chippy

    old timer chippy New Member

    thankyou thats very interesting!i get a culture shock every time i leave my village,
    but tell me, what is a class M?
    is it a health and safety criteria for dust??
     
  7. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    It's like anything really, you have to find your own system and way of doing things that suits you and keeps it interesting, I always opt for price work as I like the drive and the incentive/lure of more money but I also like setting little records or goals for myself speed wise to keep things entertaining as it can get monotonous quite quickly when working on your own. As much as I don't like sitework, if I had to rely on word of mouth, the couple of adverts I have on the internet and browsing job requests online on a site or two, I would have starved years and years ago.
     
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  8. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    It's a class of dust extractor that building sites specifically request, and which incidentally happens to be eye wateringly more expensive than class L, which the sites won't accept.
     
    jimoz likes this.
  9. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    A number of the machines rated as class L have the same filtration as their class M cousins but without the flow monitor and associated alarm. That cannot warrant the increased cost but they've got you over a barrel.
     
  10. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    You can buy a Class M sticker online you know.........
     
    jimoz and chillimonster like this.
  11. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    I know. Bit annoying having shelled out for the real thing....
     
    Jord86 likes this.
  12. ginger tuffs

    ginger tuffs Screwfix Select

    and dont forget a your chains and padlocks to secure but if you get on a small site you can earn good money
     
  13. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    As amateurish as it sounds on private work I hook the Henry Hoover up to my chop or circular saw and it works as well as you'd expect, I won't buy a Class M on principle so on site I predominantly first fix and do the rough stuff, it's not just shelling out five hundred odd quid for the extractor, it's yet another tool that a home has to be found for, and yet another one to lug in and out of the van and house.

    An absolute and utter fortune spent on tools, just to cut some wood. It beggars belief when you sit down and think about it.
     
    ginger tuffs and WillyEckerslike like this.
  14. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    Impact driver and cordless circular saw. What would you recommend Jord? Looking for those myself. Not tied to any brand at mo. Be good if the saw has a dust bag or can be attached to a hoover.
     
  15. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    At the moment I use Dewalt for both, if you're right handed then the 18v DCS391 saw is in my opinion the best cordless saw around for the money, the blade being on the left means that when you use it right handed the visibility of the cut is far greater than the traditional corded saws which have the blade on the right side which enables you to be far more accurate freehand than with opposite bladed models, plus ergonomically it's superb as it balances really well with the battery, I use 5ah. There's not really a dust port to attach a hose or anything though, so minus point for that but overall it's a great tool. The 18v impact driver is very light and compact, and has enormous power but impact drivers are much over muchness as all the brands are similar in size, torque, power and weight so it really comes down to keeping the impact driver the same brand as the saw in order to use the same batteries and charger with both, costing you a lot less. Look up CNS Powertools as they're down your neck of the woods and you should be able to go in and try before you buy, see what you feel comfortable with.
     
    koolpc likes this.
  16. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    Ok, thanks. Good info
     
  17. ginger tuffs

    ginger tuffs Screwfix Select

    same as jord you cant beat dewalt 18v range with the bigger battery range
     
    koolpc likes this.
  18. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    I guess it will only be for occasional jobs
     
  19. jimoz

    jimoz Screwfix Select

    I've got the mini tuff it's class m was about 120. Not the best but gets you a pass on site.
    I wouldn't bother op I've just started subbing on a big builders site and it's nothing like domestic or private extensions. I just turn off and don't let it wind me up. Day work helps!
     
  20. Shytot

    Shytot Active Member

    I work for a small developer in posh part of Altrincham. I would hate to have to go on a big site again .Im 55 and still enjoy work but don’t think I could cope with price work or big site work anymore . One-off large gaffs for me ..
     

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