If you are anything like me, when it comes time to hang up a picture frame or some other wall art ornamentation you’ll use anything within reach that has pounding capabilities and potential. I’ve even used wooden-heeled clogs to drive a nail in the wall. It’s habits like these however that can turn any DIY project into a hole-in-the-wall bruised thumb experience. Every home owner and budding DIY enthusiast needs to accumulate a variety of specific tools and store them in an easily-accessible place to properly ensure a safe and structured administering of doing it yourself.
While you may not be the type to embrace the style of wearing a tool belt, your toolbox should have at least the following necessary and sometimes just convenient tools for the DIY list you want to accomplish within the next five years.
• Claw hammer. Nothing like a hammer head becoming detached from it’s handle, so fix it or get a new one if yours becomes loose. You want one whose hammer head weight will give enough momentum to create an effortless swing.
• Phillips and flat head screwdrivers. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a one size fits all screw so finding a set that has a wide range of sizes is always a plus.
• Crescent wrench. For all those bolts that require every ounce of our patience I introduce the crescent wrench. This little miracle worker understands that we want a tool to do more than one thing simultaneously and the adjustable jaw on this wrench enables that when applied appropriately. Try not to use it when a regular wrench will do the job.
• Measuring tape. No more guesstimating. No more using other inanimate objects as references for distance. A good solid 25’ measuring tape that actually locks and retracts can even help those of us who failed math class.
• Level. In correlation with a measuring tape no matter how much you measure you want your state of the art flat-screen to hang impeccably and while our smart-phones offer level applications you want every crooked surface to feel the cool smooth lines of a level whose bubble is perfectly centered in your universe.
• Electric drill and bits. Never try hanging a curtain rod mounting plate up without one of these. There is a sacred place for hammer and nails but here as well as dozens of other places around the house call out to the prowess of the variable speed electrical drill. A drill with a clutch and a few screwdriver bits can save your wrists when you have to drive more than a couple of screws into some tough wood.
• Utility Knife. Removing old carpet, scrapping unwanted paint, cutting drywall and vinyl flooring and all the other uncut editions that needed broken in, this is a knife that loves getting down and dirty.
• Needle nose pliers. Admit it. Opposable thumbs are all the rage, but wire bending, maneuvering and fishing out small pieces are a task for our inexpensive friend the needle nose pliers.
• Vise grip pliers. These sturdy lockable pliers are the third hand that is never available but always needed. Plumbing, electrical work, gluing, it all asks for additional help.
• Safety goggles. Don’t try to be macho. Your eyes are precious and very vital organs that need protected. While we may think we can properly operate our tools we can’t foresee splintering wood piercing our skin or metal shavings in our pupils.
Now, my dear DIY enthusiast, as you begin tackling or continue the process of all those household projects remember that your toolbox loves and needs new acquaintances. These tools can be found in quite a few avenues now, but do your research and carefully purchase one that will last throughout an entire project and those beyond. As you progress and become more comfortable as a handy (wo)man you’ll find that your Christmas list will include sanders, circular saws and many other tools home improvement stores offer.