DeWalt Compact Drill Driver & Impact Driver Combo Kit

I get asked a lot about the tools I use on the job and I’m finding more and more women are becoming curious about how to start their own journey into the intimidating world of power tools. A world that will hopefully feel less intimidating after reading through this blog!

First of all, I recognize that there’s a difference between a job site and the smaller DIY projects you would typically tackle around your home. The good news is that a lot of the tools I use are perfect for both! 

This has inspired me to share some of my go-to tools – starting with the essentials – so if you’re a beginner, this is the perfect starting place for you! However, if you’re a tool expert and simply researching your next investment, this is also for you. The common thread that connects us all is the fact that we all understand the importance of having the right tools in your arsenal to get the job done efficiently and safely.

A great starting point for beginners is getting comfortable with drills  My impact driver is a tool I use on the jobsite daily, and when it comes to drills, there’s one combo kit that stands out above the rest: the DeWalt 20 Volt Max Atomic Compact Drill Driver and Impact Driver Combo Kit.

Let’s dive into what makes this kit an absolute essential for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.

Power and Efficiency

First things first, let’s talk about power. The DeWalt combo kit is powered by a long-lasting 20-volt battery, providing ample energy to tackle any task with ease. But what sets these tools apart is their compact design. Despite their small size, they pack a punch thanks to their brushless motors, ensuring maximum efficiency and longer tool life. Whether you’re drilling holes or driving screws, you can trust that these tools will get the job done.

Comfort and Control

One of the biggest challenges with using power tools for extended periods of time is hand fatigue. However, the ergonomic design and rubberized grip of the DeWalt drills ensure that you can work comfortably without straining your hands. This means you can tackle even the most demanding projects with ease, knowing that your tools are designed with your comfort in mind.

The Drill vs. The Impact Driver

Now, let’s break down the difference between these two essential tools: the drill driver and the impact driver.

Drill:
A regular drill has a keyless chuck (a “chuck” refers to the mechanism used to hold the drill bit or other rotary tool attachments in place. It’s essentially the part of the drill where you insert and secure the bit. A keyless chuck allows you to tighten or loosen the jaws by hand, without the need for a separate key.) and is a versatile tool that can be used for drilling holes and driving screws into various materials like wood, plastic, and metal. It features an adjustable chuck that securely holds bits in place, allowing for precise control over drilling and driving speed. Drills are suitable for a wide range of tasks, making them indispensable for any toolbox.

A few additional benefits include:

Quieter Operation: Impact drivers produce loud, repetitive noise due to their impacting mechanism. In contrast, regular drills operate more quietly, which can be beneficial if noise is a concern, especially in indoor or residential settings.

Less Likely to Strip Screws: Impact drivers, while excellent for driving screws quickly, can sometimes apply too much force and risk stripping the screw head or damaging the material being worked on. Regular drills offer more control over the torque applied, reducing the likelihood of such issues.

Multi-Functional Use: While impact drivers are primarily for driving screws, regular drills often come with additional features such as variable speed settings, clutch settings for controlling torque, and hammer drill modes for masonry work. This versatility makes them suitable for a wider range of tasks beyond just driving screws.

Photo Credit: Black Bird Creative

Impact Driver:
An impact driver, as mentioned above, is designed specifically for driving screws and other fasteners. Unlike drills, impact drivers utilize a hexagonal chuck that accepts hex-shanked driver bits.  These chucks are specifically designed for quick and easy bit changes and are commonly used in impact drivers because they provide a secure grip suitable for the high torque generated by those tools. This makes them particularly efficient at driving screws into tough materials like hardwoods and metal, making them ideal for heavy-duty fastening tasks.

Efficiency in Driving Screws: The impact mechanism in an impact driver delivers rotational blows as well as linear impacts, making it more effective at driving screws quickly and with less effort. This is particularly advantageous when working with large screws or in situations where excessive force is needed.

Less Strain on the User: The design of an impact driver reduces the amount of reactionary torque experienced by the user. This means less strain on the user’s wrist and arm when driving screws, especially in tough materials or when driving long screws.

Faster Operation: Due to their higher torque and efficiency in driving screws, impact drivers can complete tasks more quickly than regular drills.

Photo Credit: Black Bird Creative

The DeWalt 20 Volt Max Atomic Compact Drill Driver and Impact Driver Combo Kit is a must-have for anyone who is looking for power, efficiency, and comfort in their tools. Whether you’re just starting your tool journey, or looking for another tool investment, these tools will help you tackle any project with confidence.

So why settle for anything less? Upgrade your tool kit and experience the difference for yourself!

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Inspiring Inclusion in Every Workplace

I have navigated a traditionally male-dominated industry and witnessed firsthand the power of inclusivity in fostering a more welcoming and productive work environment. This International Women’s Day, with the theme of Inspiring Inclusion, it’s crucial to reflect on why diversity and inclusivity matter in every industry.

Photo credit: Black Bird Creative

Inclusion isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the cornerstone of a thriving workplace culture where every individual feels valued and respected. Here are four important topics that can inspire inclusivity in every workplace, drawn from my experiences in carpentry and beyond.

Embrace Diversity in Leadership: 

Ensuring diverse representation at all levels of leadership is one of the most effective ways to promote inclusivity. When leadership reflects the diversity of the workplace, it empowers everyone with the opportunity to succeed, regardless of gender, race or background. In this way, our industries can tap into a broader range of perspectives and experiences, leading to a more innovative space and better decision-making overall.  

A Culture of Belonging: 

You know that term “there are no stupid questions?” This is what I’m talking about here! Industries and workplaces where individuals are empowered to have open communication are the ones that foster inclusivity. Not only do we solve more workplace problems, we are breaking down barriers and building connections across diverse groups by having a culture of respect, empathy and open communication. 

Additionally, investing in people by providing opportunities for professional development and advancement to all employees can help foster a sense of belonging therefore, investing in the company’s success. 

By prioritizing inclusivity in company culture, industries and workplaces can create a supportive environment where everyone can thrive and contribute their best work!

Following Inclusive Policies and Practices: 

Throughout the last month leading up to International Women’s Day, I have been interviewing and featuring different women in trades to inspire inclusion in my own industry. They have all had such inspiring insight on different ways we can make our industry more inclusive. Workplace and industry policies and practices have come up a few different times with the women I’ve interviewed. Their insights can definitely apply to many different work forces and industries!

Our first woman in trade feature was Paige Heron, and she dived into how simple practices like female only porta potties on site or even waste baskets in the washrooms for feminine hygiene products would foster a more inclusive environment. 

Samara Sampson is another woman in the trades who was featured and she explained how in her industry, there are a lot of great policies in place, but just as important as writing them is actually following them.

Implementing policies and practices (and following them) to accommodate diverse needs can help ensure that everyone feels valued and included in the workplace.

Inclusive Language: 

Language is so powerful and can be the centre point of shaping perceptions and attitudes. By using inclusive language and practices, industries and workplaces can create a more welcoming and respectful environment for all individuals.

This means avoiding gendered or exclusionary language, and instead opting for neutral terms that include all individuals. For example, instead of using terms like “tradesmen,” which implies a male-dominated workforce, use “tradesperson” or “craftspeople” to be more inclusive of all genders.
Molly Allgood is another woman in trades who was featured in the past month, and she brought up a great perspective on the trades industry and mindset. As I dove into the topic of inclusive language, I had her perspective in mind. In her interview, she talked about how our tools and technology continue to advance, but some of the mindsets of tradespeople have not.

I recognize that although these topics talk about inspiring inclusion, it’s much different to actually implement them. How do we navigate inclusion with those that resist? Being mindful and recognizing that there will be resistance is the first step. The more we practice inclusivity, the more normal it will be. 

Inspiring inclusivity in every workplace is not just the right thing to do—it’s also essential to drive innovation, creativity, and success. This International Women’s Day and beyond, let’s commit to building more inclusive workplaces where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Together, we can create a brighter and more equitable future for all.

In my last blog post, I featured Paige, Molly and Samara. You can also find their interview clips on my Instagram page! With International Women’s Day being this week, I have two inspiring and amazing women in trades to feature:

Tessa Ferzli @tattedbrickie

Tessa Ferzli and Kate Campbell International Women's Day

Meet Tessa Ferzli! She is a Portuguese and Lebanese first generation Canadian and a 401A brick and stone mason by trade. She is also Canada’s youngest female red seal mason! Tessa has spent a decade in the trades and is currently in Ottawa, Ontario.

Her journey to become a mason felt like a natural fit as a lot of her family members were tradespeople and in general, her family had a DIY attitude, making her trade a natural fit. 

She was also lucky enough to be inspired by courses in high school and eventually landed a summer job with the company she works for now.

Reflecting on her past experience starting out in the trades, here is what Tessa would do differently:

Reflecting on her past, Tessa recognizes that she didn’t necessarily allow herself to really take in what was going on around her, and she was often on the defensive. If she could go back she would have really tried to absorb the information she was receiving. Rather than taking on any workplace conflict yourself, she recommends reporting to the proper leadership. 

Tessa believes in the value of slowing down, and bridging the gap between experienced journey people and up-and-comers. Unfortunately in her experience, the hardest part of the job was never the workload, long hours or extreme climates, it was sexism in the workplace.

It wasn’t necessarily her own team that caused difficulty, rather it was the trades or customers around her who didn’t want her on the job site simply because of her gender. Her best advice for surviving environments like these is “fake it until you make it!” Her facade of confidence really threw people off while making those around her believe in her. Inspiring! 

Tessa is now truly confident in her trade and work, and she knows her stuff! This is obvious in the quality of the projects she has completed, but it didn’t come without a struggle. 

Advice Tessa has for those who are just starting out in the trades:

“Really absorb the information you’re receiving,” Tessa explains. There are so many wise trades people on a worksite, that really taking it in and learning is key to Tessa.

Tessa believes that you don’t necessarily have to burn yourself out to prove your worth at your place of work. Instead simple skills like open communication and organization will set you apart.

Chiara Sulyok @chiarasulyok

This is Chiara Sulyok! She is a Regional Partner with Alair Homes for the Vancouver Island and Arizona units. Her role consists of collaborating with units on their day-to-day operations, team building, job site operations and setting goals for the year to help elevate the business so it can continue to grow. 

Chiara loves nothing more than working with these partners, and learning how she can push them to be better! 

Chiara’s journey to the trades was far from short and sweet. Growing up with a father in construction, she always knew she had a love for what he did and specifically loved being involved with concrete pours on his weekend jobs. Having grown up in the 70s and 80s, Chiara recognized quickly that it was hard to convince not only her dad, but also her teachers that she could work in the trades.

Originally Chiara went to school for Horticulture which allowed her to explore carpentry and this piqued her interest. Being a mom and having a family, she would eventually bounce back and forth between horticulture and serving. 

After Chiara had her son, she knew it was time for a career change and she enrolled in a six month trades program for interior finishing where the concepts basically touched on everything! Her teacher at the time offered her a position with his renovation business where she learned so much and worked with him for many years before starting another role with another small company. At this time, she felt very inspired and lucky as there were only two other women in her class and there were essentially no opportunities for females when she was getting started.

Eventually Chiara would go on to take a role as a project manager which was a huge game changer for her! She got to work with every trade on site and was present for every step in whichever projects she was working on. She then received a General Manager position which would lead to her current position as Regional Partner.

In Chiara’s experience, these key skills are what it takes to be successful in the trades:

Chiara believes that the key skills needed for a career in the trades are attention to detail and communication. “Always ask questions!” Chiara explains. She believes you should always understand what it is you’re working on and try to dial into the personality of the person you’re working for, so you can really see their vision. This gives you the opportunity to be creative in giving that person exactly what they are looking for.

Chiara also explained the importance of workplace alignment and how there are so many different trades working on one site therefore, understanding the big picture is key.

Struggles and challenges Chiara faced in the trades:

Chiara explains that one of her biggest struggles coming into the trades was confidence. Coming in as a female, she had no female mentors on the sites she worked on. She felt extremely intimidated, but persevered by pushing through the fear and remembering why she was there. She says “I stayed focused on what I wanted and I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me that I couldn’t do it!”

In her experience in the trades, she says there were a lot of doubts suggesting that it’s not an industry for women. But she felt that the more challenges that came her way, the more she wanted it!

Changes and improvements Chiara hopes to see in the industry to encourage more diversity and inclusion:

“More teaching, embracing and welcoming newcomers.” This is what Chiara believes to be important if we want to inspire inclusion in the trades industry. “The whole ‘sink or swim, tough-love mentality doesn’t serve us anymore!” she says. Chiara believes that, in this generation we have to teach and embrace the people who want to come in. “We can guide them and teach them,” she explains. Chiara makes a great point that if we want people to stay in the trades, we should grow with them rather than push them away.

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Inspiring Inclusion in the Trades

As a woman working in the traditionally male-dominated field of carpentry, International Women’s Day holds a profound significance for me. It’s not just a day of recognition; it’s a celebration of resilience, empowerment and the relentless pursuit of inclusion. This year, the theme “Inspire Inclusion” resonates deeply with my experiences as a woman in the trades.

Throughout my career and my diverse experiences as a carpenter, I have faced constant skepticism and stereotyping. I had many doubters suggest I was only there to meet a quota or because I was pretty enough for television (speaking to my time on well known HGTV shows like Holmes on Holmes and Deck Wars). But through determination and passion for my craft, I persevered. Each project completion became a testament to my capabilities as a carpenter, regardless of gender.

HGTV Kate Campbell who was in Holmes on Holmes and Deck Wars International Women's Day

After years in the business and with a lengthy resume of successful projects, I believe that I am a tradesperson as worthy as any male tradesperson. And yet, in my work as an influencer and advocate, I still bump up against disbelief and skepticism. This has brought to my attention that ‘inspiring inclusion’ is much more than just inviting women to the table; it’s about fostering an environment where their voices are valued, respected and embraced. I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of inclusion when teams incorporate or welcome women, they become more innovative, collaborative and resilient. 

Because true inclusion requires more than just lip service, I felt inspired to make this year’s International Women’s Day a month-long celebration by featuring different women in trades on my social media and blog. Different backgrounds and experiences enrich, leading to more creative solutions and better outcomes. This helped me shape the interviews that are to be released over the next month because inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also the smart thing to do for businesses and industries!

Over the next several weeks, you will see interviews from different women in trades on my social media and blog. The questions I have asked them are carefully crafted to spark the conversation of ‘inspiring inclusion’ in the trades industry. It starts with awareness and then leads to education. By doing this, I hope to challenge ingrained biases and stereotypes by promoting role models and highlighting the achievements of women in non-traditional fields, like trades. 

Together we can inspire the next generation to pursue their passions without limitations!

Women in Trades Features:

Carpenter Paigey @carpenterpaigey:

Carpenter Paigey and Kate Campbell International Women's Day

Meet Paige Heron! A carpenter from Toronto, Canada. Paige joined the trades after her parents encouraged her to apply for a local cabinet company one summer during university. She had zero trades experience, and was pursuing a totally different career. Her parents thought she might enjoy it, and turns out, they were right! After that summer, she would work at the same cabinet company every summer leading to her designation as a carpenter.

What does Paige hope to see change and improve in the trades industry to ‘inspire inclusion?’

She hopes that providing simple items like wastebaskets in the Porta-Potties at job sites for feminine products will support inclusivity on a very ground level. She would also love more discussions around women in trades maternity plans as she hopes to one day have children, and would like to know what that looks like in her own career, as she is sure others do as well!

Advice Paige would give to women who aspire to have a career in the trades:

“Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” This is a concept Paige believes should be applied to the workplace and your everyday life! You might not get it perfect every time, but she encourages getting comfortable with jumping in while also giving yourself grace. 

Therefore; practice makes perfect!

Molly the Carpenter @mollythecarpenter

Molly the Carpenter and Kate Campbell International Women's Day

Molly Allgood took a bit of a roundabout way to get to her designation as a carpenter. It was always an industry that was around her through her Uncle Eric, who was a carpenter himself. He would encourage her to help him with projects, and Molly really looked up to him. However, carpentry was not a top of mind career for her.

After some personal triumph, she recognized her love for building cottages during a summer job in university, so she went back to school and became a carpenter! 

What does Molly think it takes to be a woman in trades?

Molly explains that being a good listener, communicating well and doing your best at whatever task you’re given, no matter how little or big that task is, is the key to success in the trades!

Molly also encourages women looking to get into the trades to believe in yourself, trust yourself, do the best job you can and have a great support system around you. With those things, she believes you can handle and tackle anything that comes at you!

What does Molly hope to see change in the trades to ‘inspire inclusion?’

A change of mindset. Molly really believes that our tools and technologies are constantly changing, adapting and improving. However, the mindset and thinking of people in her trade are very much stuck in the past.

Samara Sampson @wingnutless 

Samara Sampson and Kate Campbell International Women's Day

Samara Sampson is a 308A red seal sheet metal worker out of Smart Local 285 inToronto, Canada! She also co-founded @women.on.site which is a nonprofit organization for women and gender diverse people in the trades, STEM, manufacturing and Ag industry. 

Samara felt inspired to get into the trades after taking an automotive class in high school where she was excelling and her instructor took note. This ‘sparked’ her imagination to pursue a career as a welder. 

What advice does Samara have for women looking to get into the trades?

“I personally had a lot of self doubt and fear. A lot of what I did, I did afraid. But I came out the other side . . . I’m not ever going to let anything stop me, and you shouldn’t either! Trade jobs are here and we’re not going anywhere!” – Samara

How does Samara  think the trades industry, specifically her industry, can ‘inspire inclusion?’

Samara believes the industry has come a long way, but believes in the promotion of outreach. She knows that skilled trades do need people in much needed roles. Samara believes that by getting into the schools and talking with parents to bring the awareness that opportunities are out there would help ‘inspire inclusion.’ 

Samara says in her experience, guidance from mentors was really helpful therefore; mentoring programs would ‘inspire inclusion’ as well.

Although Samara is aware that there are a lot of policies in place in the workplace, they may not always be enforced. She believes that setting safe standards for the workplace, always and holding people accountable will improve and diversify the industry.

Stay tuned to my social media and blog as we roll out more features during the month ahead! Happy International Women’s Day. I hope my initiative and content inspires you to promote inclusion, no matter what industry or role you’re in. – Kate Campbell

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