Tools for a Cool Yule
December 2, 2009
One observant reader wrote to me the other day reminding me that I never followed up on my first article about my DIY supply closet. Now that it’s December, it seems time to talk about my favorite tools that I’ve used over the past few years. I’m also including my wish list for 2010, especially since I know my secret Santa is reading. (Hi shmoopie.)
I’m not one of those gals who wants jewelry for Christmas. Nope, not me. My Christmas list includes some serious gadgets for advanced levels of home improvement and furniture fixin’. I’m just one of those chicks who really digs tools, so you’ll have a tough time labeling me as any sort of damsel in distress.
When I see pictures like this from the war era, and I am reminded that my affection for power tools is not something strange to my gender or new to my generation. Au contraire. In fact, I know that most of you who read my musings or write your own DIY blogs have a deep affection for power tools as well.
Here’s a look at some of the tools I consider important for my own DIY projects.
Note, this list is not exhaustive, nor is this list anything near what a professional might possess. These are just my personal favorites and the tools I frequently use. Perhaps these will give you a few ideas for gifts for yourself or a fellow DIYer.
Cordless Drill/Driver & Bit Set
I have a DeWalt just like this one. They are expensive, but worth it. I use this for everything, from removing seat cushions to assembling furniture to drilling holes with the bit kit. Cordless, powerful, wonderful ! I couldn’t live without it.
Craftsman Shop Vac
We bought this years ago when we added on to our house. I consider it essential for cleaning up sawdust and other construction debris after working in my garage/shop.
I’m vertically challenged, so I’m always scurrying up my step ladder to paint walls, caulk trim, or decorate in high places.
Set of Phillips and Flat head screwdrivers & set of non-slip Pliers.
Basic screwdrivers are a must have, but rather than a set you can always buy a six-in-one like this one. Three kinds of pliers come in hand for removing nails, staples, and hard to pull teeth. Kidding about the dental work part.
SkilSaw with multiple blades
Great for building, and when cutting thick pieces of wood in a straight line. We just used ours last week to cut a table in half. Grrrrr.
Measuring Tape and a Level
Wide Beam Flashlight and 100 ft Extension Cord
Ratchet Wrench with Sockets & Hex Keys (Allen Wrenches)
Don’t forget crescent wrenches too (not pictured)
Heavy Duty Staple Gun, Light Tacker Craft Staple Gun & Hot Glue Gun
A couple of staple guns and a hot glue gun are a DIYer’s best friends.
Particulate Respirator & Safety Goggles
Hammers & Mallet
The hammer is obvious, but the mallet is a great tool for working with delicate nailheads and pounding paint cans closed without damaging the metal rim, also for driving dowels or chisels.
Utility Knife and Wire Stripper/Cutter
Wire strippers are great if you plan to do any electrical, like rewiring a lamp or hanging your own fixtures.
Vise and Clamps
Both useful for holding your project steady as you saw, screw, drill, or hammer.
For getting down to the nitty gritty and smoothing out those wood surfaces.
Hacksaw and Handsaw Combo
For quick jobs working with metal, wood, and plastic.
Compound Miter Saw
For cutting all sorts of wood and trim at just the right angle.
Hole Saw Kit
Not essential, just really cool. These handy attachments work with your drill to give you perfect circular cuts when you need them. I just recently acquired mine to drill cord holes in the back of my cabinets.
The tools above are the tools I own and use a lot.
Here’s my Secret Santa Wish List of Tools for 2010
Dremel Stylus Multitasking Detail Tool
With tiny sanders, scrapers, and blades, this baby knows how to multitask.
Electric 18 gauge Brad Nailer
Gimme gimme for all that detail trim I want to add next year.
Oh, the finger cramping I could avoid with this handy gadget.
Magnetic Nail Setter
…and the thumbs I’ll spare with this tool.
Variable Speed Jig Saw
I can only imagine the possibilities !
I need these just to set up another work bench in my garage – they are great for painting, sanding, stripping or staining large pieces like doors, windows, or trim.
Me want for reupholstering those chairs in my garage !
If you’re thinking about upgrading your own tool kit, my friends over at One Project Closer are always a great resource for up-to-date home improvement coupons for Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears. They’re always reviewing the latest tools on the market, so hop on over and take a tour around.
If you’re looking for links to these tools I’ve mentioned, many of them are on my DIY Tools list and Wish List at my Amazon store. Of course, many of them are also available at your local home improvement stores as well.
So for all of you tool lovin’ nail poundin’ skilsaw cuttin’ nail gun firin’ DIYers out there, tell me, did I miss anything ? What did I forget ? What tools do you consider essential ? Got any great links for hot new home improvement gadgets I need to add to my wish list ?
And one final thing, has anyone bought or used a power paint sprayer ? I’m seeing a lot of bad reviews online for anything priced under $100 dollars, but I’m looking around for a good one to save time on future painting projects. Help !