When it comes to home improvement, it’s not always easy to know whether to do-it-yourself (DIY) or hire a contractor. However, one thing is clear: DIY home repairs can save you a packet. With a well-stocked toolbox at the ready, you can DIY your way through a few home decorating, house maintenance, car repair, and landscaping jobs. However, don’t waste your money buying every tool in the hardware store. Here is a list of a few, really useful DIY tools that will see you through most basic home repairs.
Before you go out and buy a load of serious power tools, cover your bases with the essentials. These include a hammer, screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, pliers, utility knife, spirit level, and speed square. Also, be aware that when it comes to tools, it’s important to choose quality over price, so treat each purchase as an investment.
1. Cordless Power Drill
As you begin your DIY journey, you’ll need one of these in your arsenal. From hanging up pictures to building a table, a cordless drill is an essential power tool for drilling holes and driving in screws. Although a cordless drill with a rechargeable battery is less powerful than one with a cord and plug, it is lightweight and a bit easier to handle. Most come with a second battery which also helps for more time-consuming tasks. Replacing the drill bit with a screwdriver bit also means you can drive screws much faster than if you use a hand-held screwdriver.
2. Tape Measure
The one DIY tool you cannot do without is a sturdy tape measure. Whatever job you’re doing, you probably need accurate measurements, whether it’s to check space for a new dishwasher or hang a picture in the correct position. A locking and retracting tape measure allows you to feed the tape out and lock it in position while you measure, so you don’t have to hold it down. Then when you’re done, you can simply retract the tape at the push of a button.
A saw is a pretty essential DIY tool, but which one is right for your needs? A circular saw is great if you need to cut large amounts of wood quickly, but this is only really necessary if you plan to do major DIY jobs like building a shelf, decking, or replacing windows. It’s an unpretentious, but extremely hardy tool that can make a huge job much quicker and easier. However, if you’re just using it to create a few Pinterest-worthy, art and craft masterpieces, then a jigsaw is probably a better bet. A jigsaw can cut curves and patterns and is excellent for small, tight corners.
4. Glue Gun
A glue gun is a wonderful DIY tool to have at home. Not only is it good for simple repair jobs, but it’s great for craft projects with the kids. It’s a handheld tool with a heating element that melts a stick of glue, and the adhesive comes out of its cone-shaped tip. Speak to a consultant at your local hardware store to find out which type of glue gun is best for your needs.
5. Protective Gear
Lastly, for all DIY jobs, you should invest in a few items of protective gear to ensure that your eyes, ears, nose, and hands are protected from potential injury.
- Gloves: A pair of strong gloves will protect your hands from splinters, high temperatures, or a possible hammer blow. They will also help you to grip your tools.
- Goggles: Safety goggles/glasses protect your eyes from sawdust, flying debris, splashes of chemicals, and other dangers. Choose a pair that is lightweight, sturdy, and sits comfortably.
- Mask: A dust mask protects you from inhaling fumes or dust while sawing and sanding.
- Earplugs: Foam earplugs or earmuffs will stop you from damaging your hearing as power tools can be really noisy.
Once you’ve mastered the use of these basic tools, you can expand your collection to complete even more impressive DIY jobs.
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst
As the food and decor editor of Woman&Home, Claire enjoys nothing more than eating great food in beautiful locations. In a perfect world, she would travel for a living and have a Lord of the Rings marathon every weekend.