Tools are essential for any project. But which tools are you actually relying on? While there is a special tool for every task you can use, you don’t necessarily need all the tools in the shop to start working on projects. It is smart to match the right tool for the job and build your toolbox slowly.
You’re likely to see a wide price range for any tool. This usually corresponds with the quality. The best place to start is in the middle, looking for tools that are affordable and will allow you to do great work. Consider how often you will use the tool. It is worth paying more for a tool you will use every week than if you only use it occasionally. You can rent expensive tools and specialty tools.
Safety gear is the first
Safety gear is often overlooked. First, your own safety. If something feels unsafe, it most likely is. You can always find another way. You can also refer to the second instruction manual of the power tool that you are about to use.
Your eyes are the most visible part of your body that needs protection. Safety glasses are required when you use a power tool or any other hand tool that could cause damage to your eyes, such as a drill press. Safety glasses should meet the ANSI Z-87 standards. When using a grinder, you will need to use full face shields.
Lungs need protection, too. Dust masks and respirators can help protect your lungs. Paper dust masks can only be used for particulates such as sawdust and insulation fibers. When working with chemicals or toxins such as lead paint dust and solvents, make sure you have the right filters.
Although they offer the best protection for your ears, they can be uncomfortable. Earplugs are much cheaper and provide almost the same sound reduction.
Your cell phone is a piece safety gear. It’s a good idea to keep it handy for emergencies, but not so much that you become distracted.
Make your own hand tool arsenal
Each toolbox should have a variety of sizes, both straight and slots. A multi-bit screwdriver is a better option than individual screws. These multi-bit screwdrivers can be fitted with a variety of screws by using hex-type inserts. A tape measure measuring 25 feet can be used for most measurements. A combination square is useful in layout.
A Type 1 fiberglass stepladder, 5 feet in length, is an ideal tool for reaching higher heights. An extension ladder is also useful for outside work. You should match the ladder height with the height of your home and purchase at least a Type 2 ladder. Type 3 ladders are more sturdy, but they are less expensive.
A 16 oz. A 16 oz. A flat bar is useful for prying and a cat’s claw is more adept at pulling nails than a hammer.
Keep a variety clamps on hand. They are essential for holding and gluing materials, as well as for temporary handles.
Most metal cutting tasks can be handled by a hacksaw and a set of tin-snips. A cordless drill and bits are also essential. Regularly charging your cordless tools will extend their lifespan, especially if they aren’t used often.
A set of 3/8-drive sockets, in both metric and inch sizes, completes a basic toolkit. Locking pliers are required to handle most nuts or bolts.
Get ready for painting and patching
Filling and spackling will be handled by a 1 1/2-inch putty knife or a 4 inch taping knife. To smoothen surfaces the best, use a sanding blocks.
The most popular DIY project is painting. High-quality brushes and rollers can make a huge difference, and they don’t have to be expensive.
A 2 1/2-inch angled brush for sash is very handy, especially in corners. A shorter-handled brush works well for tight spaces.
Gear Up for Outdoor Projects
A shovel, bow rake and steel leaf rake are essential for any yard. A gardener’s trowel is essential if you want to grow plants. Hand pruners are good for trimming small branches, while loppers can be used to trim medium ones. An arborist’s saw can cut the rest.
A mower is the best tool for lawn care. While reel mowers can be used for smaller yards, electric mowers that are cordless are ideal for larger areas. Larger yards will require a riding or gas-powered push mower. A broadcast spreader may be needed for fertilizer.
Make Your Carpentry Tool Library
Handsaws are losing ground to power saws. However, a Japanese-style “pullsaw” with a replaceable knife is still very useful. A cordless jigsaw allows you to cut straight lines as well as curves using a jigsaw. For framing lumber or other thick materials, circular saws are faster and more efficient at straight cuts. Stick with one brand of cordless tools so that you can interchange the batteries.
To make your work accurate, you will need a level. A minimum of a 4-foot level is required.
A miter saw is required for trim work. A 7 1/4-inch sliding saw can do a lot of work and is much more affordable than larger saws. A cordless, 18-gauge brad nailer is a better choice for interior trim work. It’s faster and more efficient than hand-nailing. To drive proud nails beneath the surface, make sure you have a nailer.
A rafter square and a chalkline are essential for framing. Impact drivers are fast replacing cordless drills to drive screws and lag bolts. These small tools are powerful.
A Few Electrical Tools
You’ll be well on your path once you have a basic toolkit that includes a drill and a screwdriver. A circuit tester is the first specialty tool you should buy in order to make sure that power is not being used.
For twisting wires together, linesman’s pliers can be used. For removing individual insulation, you will need wire strippers. A cable stripper is needed to cut the sheathing from standard non-metallic sheathed cables.
An electrician can help you pull the wires from an existing house.
Find Plumbing Tools for the Materials you’ll Use
The basic toolkit includes many tools that you will need to do plumbing work. Toilet plungers are the most common household plumbing tool. The cheap, plastic drain snakes are great for removing hair from blocked showers.
You will need a pipe cutter to cut copper pipes in most houses. If you plan to solder new connections, you will need a propane torch as well as sandpaper.
You will need a ring cutter and a ringcrimper if your house has PEX. You can find the ring crimper that works with the PEX fittings at your local shop. Consider purchasing a PEX-clamp removal tool.
What’s the best option for tools? Plenty. You can tackle a wide range of home-improvement and remodeling projects with the equipment listed here.