Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Basic DIY Tools Everyone Should Be Familiar With


Basic DIY Tools Everyone Should Be Familiar With

The right tool can make any DIY project easier.  Before starting your next project, ensure that you won't have to make an emergency run to the hardware store by stocking your garage with the most essential tools.

1.      Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench features an expandable jaw, allowing you to tighten several different bolts with the same wrench.  Most wrenches are ideally suited to certain bolt shapes and sizes; you'll need a wrench to fit each type of bolt that you'll be using.

2.      Electric Drill

With an electric drill, you can painlessly create holes in a number of materials, including wood, masonry and drywall.  You can also use your drill to drive screws into tough materials.  A cordless drill will make it easy for you to tackle a project in any part of your home or yard. A corded drill will give you enough power to tackle tougher materials.

3.      Hammer

A hammer is a critical tool for most DIY projects, from hanging art to creating aquarium stands.  A regular claw hammer will allow you to remove misplaced nails. If you need to demolish a wall, a sledge hammer is an essential tool.

4.      Handsaw

Handsaws are critical for any project using wood, such as building bookcases.  A handsaw isn't as strong as a table saw, but it's much more difficult to injure yourself with a handsaw.  Additionally, a handsaw is portable, allowing you to make precision, last-minute cuts as necessary.

5.      Level

If you're building shelves or a furniture piece, you need a level to ensure that your joints are even.  If you fail to use a level, your project may wobble, fall apart or simply look unprofessional.

6.      Pliers

Pliers come in a variety of different styles to suit different needs.  Needle-nose pliers are excellent for working with small objects or in tight corners.  Wire-cutting pliers are essential for any wiring project.  Locking pliers work as an extra hand to hold your materials in place.

8.      Screwdriver
A manual screwdriver with interchangeable heads is a versatile tool that is useful for almost any building project.  Without a bulky motor, you can use this tool to tighten screws in cramped quarters. You can also invest in an elaborate set of replaceable heads to drive every available screw size.

9.      Tape Measure

A tape measure will help you properly measure wood and other materials before you make any cuts.  This vital tool will prevent you from making foolish mistakes.  Buy a metallic tape measure to avoid a drooping tape when you're trying to measure long distances.

11.  Utility Knife

For making small, precise cuts, few tools are as handy as utility knives.  Keep some replacement blades on hand so that you can always have a sharp blade in your utility knife.


These are just some of the bare essentials you'll need as a DIY homeowner. As you live in your home and make repairs and improvements your skill set will grow. As your skill set grows, so will your tool inventory. Consequently, your garage space will shrink. So be advised, somewhere up the road one of your major projects might be to build a tool shed.    

-- Doug

3 comments:

  1. Great beginning list. I like the idea of a cordless drill. And the Ryobi drill from Home Depot is a good choice as they make tons of cordless tools that all work on the same battery. I would put some sort of square on the list eventually. Speed square maybe.

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  2. I agree, Dan. Probably a carpenter's square at least. Must have slipped my mind!

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