DIY Toolkit: Important Tools For Minor House Repairs
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It usually takes time to build a perfect DIY toolkit. Start with the essentials, and build on your collection as you take on new projects. Sooner or later, you will be proficient at a wide range of DIY home projects – and your toolkit will reflect this (as will your budget, considering the money you will save on hiring somebody to do it for you!).
A Basic DIY Tool Collection
Hammer: From hanging a photo to replacing wall molding and millions of DIY projects in between, a hammer is most likely the most-used tool there is. Do not choose just any hammer. Select a claw hammer – a hammer with a claw on one end for pulling nails and prying material – with a flat peen (the surface which drives nails) rather than rounded.
Tape Measure: Many home repair and improvement tasks require a tape measure. Get a retractable tape measure, which is made of a firm metal and snaps back into the case when you push a button. For some jobs, a 25-foot tape measure is sufficient.
Carpenter’s Level: With a great level you have a straightedge for cut lines and a tool to tell you if an object is flush (straight up and down) or level (completely flat). Do not let the store’s option overwhelm you – a standard 4-foot bubble level, which uses air bubbles inside a liquid-filled cavity, is basic but reliable.
Carpenter’s Square: Get both a speed square, which is hand-held, and a bigger framing square when you can. Squares are great straightedges, tape measures and right-angle testers.
Utility Knife: Whether you call it a box cutter, razor knife, or any of several typical terms, a utility knife is a DIY tool essential. Your utility knife makes quick work of cutting through drywall, carpet, linoleum, rigid foam insulation as well as many other materials. Keep a supply of razor blades in the knife’s hollow body.
Flashlight: From peering under your foundation to working in the dark to restore power to your breaker box, your flashlight will shed some light on a variety of tasks.
Screwdrivers: If you plan to restrict your DIY ventures to standard construction and fixture setup, a handful of screwdrivers will get you started. Select both Phillips-head screwdrivers (that have a cross-shaped tip) and flat-head screwdrivers (with a knife-shaped tip). More advanced repair works may require different heads. To save money, think about a multi-bit screwdriver with interchangeable tips.
Pliers: If you need to pull staples, cut wire, or loosen tight connections, pliers can help. Look for three standard types: needle-nose pliers (that have a pointed end), side-cutting pliers (which look much like scissors) and adjustable flat-nose pliers (aka flat-head pliers).
Wrenches: When pliers will not get the job done, look for your wrench. Grip or take out pipes, nuts, bolts and some other stubborn household products. Start with a set of adjustable crescent wrenches for all-around usefulness.
Staple Gun: A staple gun comes in handy for setting up faced fiberglass batt insulation, hanging plastic sheeting and other projects around the home. Manual staple guns require a little more muscle but prevent the need for electrical power.
Drill: Once you have a drill, you’ll wonder how you previously got along without having one. From simple tasks such as hanging curtains to more complex jobs like changing wood flooring, a drill – cordless or not – makes it much easier. A cordless drill is more convenient but has a limited battery life.
Saws: Two basic saws will see you through most general DIY home projects. First off, pick a handsaw for places where you do not have power or for situations where a power saw just is not practical. Then, decide on either a table saw or a circular saw. A table saw is sturdy and makes cutting boards and other material easy. However, a circular saw is portable and hand-held, making it more convenient. When you are ready for a brand new saw, think about a jigsaw or reciprocating saw.
Stud Finder: A stud finder will help you quickly find the framing members in your walls, ceiling and floor.
Orbital Sander: Small enough to effortlessly control with one hand, an orbital sander is perfect for basic work. Keep a supply of sandpaper, of various grits, on hand.
Ladder: Depending on the jobs you anticipate tackling, you might prefer a stepladder instead of an extension ladder. Extension ladders are practical outdoors and reach higher, but stepladders work internally or outside.
All of the tools in the world won’t help you if you do not have accompanying supplies. Always keep wood glue, superglue and caulk in your supplies. Add an array of nails, screws, bolts and nuts to your tool collection as well. Do not forget tape: masking tape, electrical tape and duct tape in particular. A heavy-duty extension cord is important. Your collection will continue to expand over the course of your DIY adventures.
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