If you just want to do some things around your house or barn, then you don't really need a chop-saw. It's nice to have, but not essential. What is essential, is having the right fasteners. Your building is only as good as the nails or screws that hold it together. These serrated, narrow, sharp-tipped, star-drive screws are my favorite. They are pricey, but so much easier to use then other choices that they are well worth it. Especially since doing the job yourself is so much cheaper than hiring someone else that they are still a bargain. These are also an absolute must if you are working with pressure treated lumber. The chemicals used in treated lumber changed about 10 years ago and they will eat through ordinary metals. The only thing that is safe to use are either stainless steel (REALLY pricey) or these ACQ compatible screws (I don't know what ACQ stands for, but if you are using treated lumber look for this on the package). You really don't want your deck to fall out from under you because the screws all rotted away.
I am not trying to sell anything here. I am not endorsing any one brand or make. It is just that I have had a lot of people ask me about some of the work I have done here and the tools I use. I have learned a lot about building in the last few years and would be happy to share some of it. I especially get a lot of comments from other women who would like to do some of these things, but feel too intimidated. Having a few tools and knowing how tho use them can be very liberating.
My philosophy on what tool to buy, is to buy the one that fits your hand and your price. My budget is always stretched as far as it can so I bought nearly all of my tools off of eBay. I researched and did more research until I knew exactly what I needed and then I looked for bargains. I found some great deals. Buy good quality, but don't get obsessed about having the best. Often you are paying for name recognition and fancy features that you won't ever use. Find the tool that is easy for you to use and fits your budget.
The most important thing, especially for women, to keep in mind about power tools, is that they are tremendous levelers. It does not take any great strength to pull a trigger on a saw. Anyone can use them. Don't let yourself get sucked into the myth that you have to be a big, strapping man to do carpentry. It isn't true. Granted, brute strength is useful, but not necessary. There isn't anything overly complicated about basic carpentry. It is a matter of making sure that the materials you use will support the end result and putting the pieces together. It isn't rocket science.
If you are just starting out, take the time to practice, be safe. Get a feel for how your tools work and what they do. Get comfortable with them, then go build something. You'll be glad you did.