When we first purchased the bus we thought it would be as quick as, gutting the bus, putting up some walls, and living freely. As you know by now, we severely underestimated this project. Not only did we underestimating the time it would take, but we also underestimated the amount of tools that would be required to complete the bus.

So without further adieu, we present to you in no particular order, our top 8 MUST HAVE tools for converting a bus.

#1/2 – Hammer Drill/Impact Driver

Since day one when we began deconstruction of the bus, we have used a Makita hammer drill/impact driver set. Both tools come with a built in LED that activates when the trigger is pulled, and super fast, long lasting lithium-ion batteries. The hammer drill is powerful enough to screw Teks Self Tapping Wood to Metal Screws into the hardened steel bus frame with ease.

#3 – Grinder

Fast and effective. After spending over a month trying several different techniques to remove the tracks from the original bus floor, we finally found the solution. This grinder has some serious muscle and made quick work of a job that was keeping us from progressing on the build. This 7.0-Amp, 11,000 RPM motor powers through tasks with incredible ease.

#4 – Oscillating Saw

We initially cut corners when it came time to buy tools for the build, which was a bit out of character for us since we strongly believe in “you get what you pay for”. After Holly’s aunt and uncle gifted us this new Rockwell saw, we realized what a night and day difference it was from the Harbor Freight one that we had burned out in no time. From cutting outlets and unusual shapes, to scraping and sanding in hard-to-reach places, this saw does it all without struggle.

#5 – Circular Saw

This circular saw is great for quick cuts indoors, and the laser sight is useful for those that have a hard time making straight cuts. This saw also has toolless tilt functionality to allow for fast switching between 90° and 45°.

#6 – Table Saw

Expensive but necessary, this Makita table saw has helped us more times than we can count. Most recently we have used this saw for trimming pallets, trimming floor boards, removing the tongue and grooves from some ceiling boards, and making the bed platform. This list could continue for an entire post, but we are trying to keep it short and sweet. One thing definitely worth mentioning is the ABSOLUTE necessity to wear safety glasses while using a table saw. The blade spins towards the user and can throw wood at a very high rate of speed.

#7 – Miter Saw

Straight cuts are absolutely essential when aligning two boards together. Similar to the table saw, the miter saw is perfect for cutting pallets, flooring, and ceiling boards. This saw is also helpful when needing to cut angled pieces like the trim.

#8 – Reciprocating Saw

We only used this saw to trim our spray foam, and it was worth every penny. Milwaukee makes a foam saw that sells for $649 and that just wasn’t an option since we would only be using it once. We ended up buying a foam knife and modifying the end of it using a Dremel so that it would fit within the reciprocating saw. It only took a minute or two to modify it and the results were great.

So there you have it, 8 MUST HAVE tools for converting your bus. Wear safety glasses! 🙂


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