I just finished reading over my “List of Building Tools for Every Stage of Deck Construction” again (if you want to do the same, click hereOpens in a new tab..) Wow, that’s a lot of tools. Yes, most of them are in my garage or truck, waiting to build another deck. Yes, you could go buy them all. Throwdown a few thousand dollars, Yes, thousands and more, and get the complete set. I would love to list them all here with a link for everyone, but that would be a book, not a list of must-have deck tools.

So, I am going to keep this list short. To some essential tools, I would recommend for anyone building a deck in their back yard. If you are a pro, thumbs up. There might be a tool here that will help you. I use them every day, but those of us, who get to use our tools every day can spend a little more on “little features” that make a huge difference. But for here, these are must-have deck tools for DIY.

  • DEWALT 20-Volt Max 2-Tool Brushless Power Tool Combo Kit with Soft Case
  • Camo Marksman Pro
  • Dewalt FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Brushless 7-1/4-inch Cordless Circular Saw
  • Garant Fiberglass Post Hole Digger

This is my bare bones deck building tool list. Without these, your ability to build a deck is quite hampered. There are many other great tools, but you can substitute a different tool with similar results. Not these. These are tools I use daily that make all the difference in building decks.

DEWALT 20-Volt Max 2-Tool Brushless Power Tool Combo Kit

It doesn’t matter if you are building a composite deck or wood. You will be screwing. A good dependable impact driver will make all the difference. I love this combo kit because you get both a drill and impact driver. They are not one and the same. Impact driver is for driving screws, a drill for drilling holes. You will need both when building a deck.

I like the fact that it comes with two batteries, for you can use both tools simultaneously. Facing screwing wood decking, this is essential to minimize splittingOpens in a new tab. of deck board ends. It is also super convenient using one battery while the other one is in the charger. You can save money with a tool only purchase, but this is not the time. The duel battery alone makes this combo a good purchase.

Camo Marksman Pro

The Camo Marksman Pro holds the screws in place for edge screwing of wood decking while providing a consistent gap between boards. Placing the screws on the edge of the decking, you increase the holding power of the screws where most needed. The edge where the decking is most likely to curl up and cup.

This technique also hides the screw heads, providing a smooth unmark surface, improving the decking’s look and feel. I highly recommend it. It takes your deck to the next level in finish, with a smooth decking surface.

It will take a little longer and cost a little more than face screwing, but it is so worth it. Deleting of screw heads from the decking along with slivers and mud traps.

You will need screws for the Camo Pro. Click hereOpens in a new tab. to read my recommendations in Deck Construction Products.

Dewalt FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Brushless 7-1/4-inch Cordless Circular Saw

My workhorse of the job site. Only my impact driver do I use more. You need a good circular saw to build a deck. Even with my Bosch Mitre saw sitting on its stand, my circular saw is active. There are so many times you need the convenience of a portable saw. You can build a deck without a mitre saw, but you cannot build a deck without a circular saw.

I love Dewalt power tools. I love my 60V Brushless 7-1/4-inch Cordless Circular Saw. Being brushless, it lasts longer and has more power. An excellent, dependable saw for cutting joists, beams and decking. It is also a tool that will be handy for other projects around the home.


I will almost always recommend cordless tools. They are so much easier to work with, and the battery technology has made lightyear leaps forward in the last few years. My first Dewalt 6 ½” circular saw is sitting untouched, buried in my lockbox without enough power or battery life to be of value. My 7 ¼” 20-amp Dewalt goes with me to every site. It is a workhorse, able to hold its own against its corded counterpart.

But I understand, cordless tools cost two or three times more than corded. For the weekend warrior, that’s a lot of extra money for only a weekend or two.  Cordless is best, but corded will do. My first choice is the battery, but you can still build an amazing deck without.  

Along with my Max, I also pack my trusty DEWALT 15 amp Corded 7 1/4-inch Circular Saw. It is lightweight and is better for ripping. Half the price, it will serve you well. If money is tight, this is a good option.

Garant Fiberglass Post Hole Digger

In my experience, this is better than a gas-powered auger. It takes a little more time and works, but it will cost less and is more versatile. If you hit a rock with an augur, who is going to rescue you? The clamshell post hole digger. Skip the hassle of a power auger.

Not all clamshell post hole diggers are created equally. I like this design because of its handle’s designed to avoid knuckle collusion, and the curve in its arms makes quick work of dirt. Providing excellent scoping of dirt from the bottom of the hole. The sharp scopes dig into the earth better than most.

Digging Bar

When you dig the footings and hit a rock or hard clay dirt, this is my go-to tool. Breaking up the clay for I can continue to dig. Dislodging rocks jamming up the post hole digger. It is strong and does its job well. An essential teammate for your post hole digger.

Next to the tool’s ability to do its job, durability is the most important to me. I like these tools because they are durable. Near the end of a long hard day, not placing them correctly, it will tumble down to the ground. I need tools that I can pick up after a fall and continue working. These tools do that. Let me build decks to be proud of without needing to baby my tools.