Essential Tools for the Do It Yourself Handyman

Are you the type that enjoys fixing things around the house? Do you like building things for the yard or making crafts as gifts? Be it crafting a bench for mother’s birthday or fixing the lawn furniture, you’ll need a set of tools. While the list of tools that you can buy is nearly unending, there are essential tools that you’ll likely use regardless of the job.

You can absolutely go on a shopping spree and buy everything you need, but most of it may sit in your garage for a while. The following is a list of (generally) essential tools for any DIY (do it yourself) handyman or homeowner.

Cordless drill/driver

The average person, even if they aren’t planning to build or fix much will likely come to need a driver. A driver is a tool that’s designed to drill holes and drive screws. They come with a variety of bits for screw-driving and drilling and a slip clutch that enables adjustment of torque. The versatility means a quality driver will be good for any job that doesn’t demand a ton of force.

Impact driver

For jobs that do require a bit more force, impact drivers typically deliver three to four times more force than their alternative.  The downside is that they exclusive drive screws. The upside is that they do it faster than any other tool. Impact drivers use a combination of bit rotation and concussive force to get their job done. If you’re planning on drilling through thick surfaces, the impact driver is a clear favorite, otherwise, you’d be fine without it.

Electronic Stud finder

If you’re looking to install shelves, add an addition or ever just hang pictures, you should probably look for the studs in your wall first. A stud finder makes that possible without the trial and error of poking around or using a pivoting magnet to find nails. Stud finders work by searching for changes in capacitance in your wall.

A Dremel rotary tool

The Dremel rotary tool may be the most versatile tool you’ll ever own. There are heaps of attachments, so the tool will essentially become your workbench’s equivalent of a Swiss army knife. If you are to buy one, the corded version is suggested so you can maintain consistent power.

Tape measurer

This tool falls under the radar on many people’s list but not knowing the dimensions of what you’re working on is an easy way to fail. There’s nothing flashy about it, but knowing what sizes you need and are working with is key to building well. It doubling as an aid to draw straight lines if need be isn’t too bad either.

Miter saw

If you work with wood, this will get a ton of mileage out of you. The miter saw is used to make quick crosscuts and miters via pulling a large, usually mounter circular saw blade down on the board. There are different versions with some being moveable and some not. Just find the right one for you and your work.

Reciprocating saw

A reciprocating saw is, in the hands of most do-it-yourselfers, a multipurpose demolition tool. One can be used to cut though wood, plastics, and metals. It’s also easier to control than a reciprocating saw. A reciprocating saw functions by bringing its saw blade up an down. Depending on the job, you’re only a blade change away from quickly taking down whatever you need to.

Orbital reciprocating saw

For those that may need a bit more speed when cutting woods, an orbital reciprocating saw is a tool for you. The difference between an orbital reciprocating saw and a reciprocating saw is the blade direction. An orbital saw adds an in and out movement to the prementioned up and down movement. This produces a less accurate, but speedier cut.

Belt sander

A belt sander is for large, flat surfaces. It’s simply a high powered motor driven sandpaper belt. It’s perfect for especially rough wood. When using a belt sander on flat boards, always sand parallel with the grain of the wood to avoid scratches and move the sander continuously. This will help you avoid sanding in depressions and blemishing the look of your project.

Orbital sander

Orbital sanders are more lightweight than belted and motor driven models. They’re also comparatively quieter. These also lack the power of the above. However, the trade off is they don’t damage your project. Orbital sanders are best used for smooth wood sanding, removing dried coats of paint and rounding over sharp edges.

Get out there

Which of these you need is dependent entirely on your project and budget. Many of these tools can be rented from hardware stores, but if you’re looking to buy, check out Drills and Drivers. Just make sure you’re having fun and being safe during your work.

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