The 10 Most Useful DIY Tools
Attempting home improvements without preparation can ruin do-it-yourself endeavors, especially when you realize you’re missing essential tools mid-project. As most DIY aficionados know, interruptions can lead to unfinished or forgotten ventures. Even experienced remodelers occasionally overlook tools, such as special screwdriver heads or angled paint brushes, and jeopardize best results. Avoid headaches by keeping several fundamentals on hand — some familiar and others unconventional — to assist with your next home project.
Even if you don’t regularly tackle craftsman projects, you should keep multi-head screwdrivers readily available for unanticipated home repairs. Opt for sets with magnetic tips to prevent dropped screws and rubber handles that won’t irritate skin like traditional plastic tends to do.
Whether bending wires or opening jammed caps, pliers with locking or clamping abilities allow for the best control. Pliers work to bend, cut, twist, turn or grip small materials that adult fingers can’t reach, so keep them near crafting or small supply tables where they’ll be put to good use.
High-quality brushes and rollers
Home improvement experts often rely on paint to give old, dated rooms and furnishings quick and inexpensive face-lifts. Therefore, investing in high-quality brushes to apply smooth finishes is essential. “Good paint brushes are a must. Make sure you know which paint brush works with the different paint types,” said Lisa DeNardi of Recaptured Charm. Avoid cutting costs in the way of paint brushes. Common issues with interior painting projects can be caused by inferior applicators, and there’s no point in investing in high-quality paint if it isn’t applied properly.
While some home improvement veterans can eyeball project measurements, it’s best to get accurate dimensions and avoid wasting time or materials. Solo builders might consider wider tapes that don’t fold or bend as much as skinnier models, especially without an extra set of hands to provide stability.
You may think you know a straight line when you see it, but many people end up putting unnecessary holes into walls while attempting to redrill hooks and prevent crooked frames. Self-leveling laser kits free up hands to drill, so one person can complete the job flawlessly.
Janel Hutton and Lanet Hane of Nellie Bellie recommend cordless drills for projects both small and large. “A good cordless drill is invaluable for anything! We’ve used it to make a toy toothbrush holder and to build a wood lath floor. We recommend everyone have one no matter your DIY skill level,” said the handcrafting sisters. Lower-voltage drills work sufficiently for hanging frames and other basic projects. Large-scale remodelers should consider higher-voltage drills to cut through more arduous materials such as stone or thick lumber.
Once you begin working, you might not want to stop — even after the sun goes down. Invest in dependable LED flashlights to deliver ample lighting during late-night DIY ventures. You should also have several portable lamps on hand in case of power outages or for early morning emergency repairs.
Don’t forget about adhesives. Glue sticks might have cut it in kindergarten, but they aren’t strong enough for serious crafting or sewing projects. “A glue gun is best used for light gluing projects. I use my glue gun to attach lightweight materials together, such as thin wood pieces, ribbon and fabric. It is not permanent though, and that is one of the things I like most about the glue gun,” said veteran DIYer Candice Schenk.
Protect floors and furnishings before beginning large-scale remodels. Brooke Harnage of Designed by BH recommends going frugal with cleaning materials since they aren’t meant to be kept in pristine condition. “For your drop cloth, don’t go expensive. A really big drop cloth SHOULDN’T be expensive. Go cheap. There is a good chance it’s going to end up covered in glue, paint, sawdust, etc. That’s what it’s there for,” the DIY writer said.
While many homeowners think they can complete their DIY projects with basic paintbrushes and screwdrivers, some tasks require a more outside-the-box approach. Finance and decor writer Lauren Bowling isn’t afraid to get resourceful when working on her home. “I often use a hanger to open tubes of caulk. I also use my pizza slicer as a great ‘razor blade’ to pry up dried-on paint and old stuck-on labels/stickers/etc.,” she said.
Don’t feel pressured to gather all of these tools at once. Amber Koogler of Averie Lane recommends a learn-as-you-go approach. “We tend to buy tools as we need them. Investing in quality tools will make DIY projects go much smoother!” said the crafting enthusiast. No matter how difficult your project may be, purchase or gather tools beforehand. Helpful gadgets can streamline home improvements and generate the best outcome.