Yuletide Tool List + GIVEAWAY

December 10, 2010

Last year, I wrote up an article ‘Tools for a Cool Yule’ with a list of the the tools I consider important for my own DIY projects.  Now that this year is coming to a close, and some of you may be thinking of adding a few tools to your holiday list, here’s a revised list of a few I consider essential. 

Those of you just beginning to dip your toes into the DIY pool might consider a few of these handy dandy tools to add to your growing collection.  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.  Oh, and if you like the word "Dremel” you’ll love the giveaway at the end! 


Cordless Drill/Driver & Drill Bit Set

dewalt combo

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 pilot holes with drill bits.  Cordless, powerful, wonderful !   I couldn’t live without it. 


Measuring Tape and Level

Essential for everything from hanging pictures and art, to more advanced projects like installing molding, trim and wainscoting


Phillips + Flat head screwdrivers & set of non-slip Pliers.

Basic screwdrivers are a must have, but you can also buy a six-in-one like this one (my kind of stocking stuffer!)  Three kinds of pliers (needle nose, side cutting, tongue and groove and/or flat head) come in handy for removing nails, staples, and upholstery tacks, among other basic DIY household tasks.   


Hammers & Mallet

The hammer is obvious, but the mallet is a great tool for working with delicate nailhead trim and pounding paint cans closed without damaging the metal rim. 


Shop Vac

shop vac

We bought this six years ago when we expanded and remodeled our house.  I consider it essential for cleaning up sawdust and other construction debris after working in my garage/shop.  It’s great for cleaning up crushed Goldfish crackers in the car too.  Smile 



step ladder

I’m vertically challenged, so I’m always scurrying up my step ladder to paint walls or hang wallpaper, caulk trim, or decorate in high places.  Also, I use it as a tripod for my camera when taking pictures, no joke!!!! 


SkilSaw and Jigsaw


skilsaw adn jigsaw


A Skilsaw is fantastic for building stuff (like a custom memo board) around the house or cutting thick pieces of wood in a straight line.  The jigsaw is my new best friend, great for making upholstered headboards or other projects with wood


Particulate Respirator & Safety Goggles

The respirator is essential when spray painting, and the goggles are necessary when particles like paint chips or sawdust go flying.  Safety first!


Heavy Duty Staple Gun, Light Tacker Staple Gun & Hot Glue Gun



Staple guns are one of my best friends, perfect for all kinds of upholstery.  You can solve so many of the world’s problems with a little hot glue, and a hot glue gun is a crafter’s BFF.   In my world, running out of hot glue sticks is cause for panic.


Retractable Blade Utility Knife and Wire Stripper/Cutter

utility knife and wire stripper

I use my utility knife for so many things, even making my own stencils.  Wire strippers are great if you plan to do any electrical work, like rewiring a chandelier or hanging your own fixtures.

Folding sawhorses 

My hub wrapped a big ribbon around two of these last year and presented them to me for Christmas.  I almost cried.  In fact, I think I did cry.  Oh my, how I love my sawhorses!  Throw a piece of plywood on top and you have an instant work surface.  

I used them this past year when I refinished my kitchen cabinets and my laundry room cabinets, and for all sorts of projects working with long pieces of wood


Vise and Clamps

vise and clamp

Both useful for holding your project steady as you saw, screw, drill, or hammer.  Clamps recently came in handy gluing trim to this wood cornice.   


Spray Paint Can Adaptor

spray can adaptor


A snap on adaptor, or ‘spray paint gun’ like Krylon’s Snap & Spray is essential for anyone like me who is in love with spray paint.  It helps with a smooth application and assists in avoiding finger cramps.  Plus it’s just fun to use!


Orbital Sander and Detail Sander


For getting down to the nitty gritty and smoothing out those wood surfaces.  I have and orbital and often use it with fine sanding pads to smooth thick coats of primer.  I’ve recently discovered this handheld 3M sander, it was perfect for our recent staircase remodel and for revamping the boy’s dresser, I love it! 


Hacksaw and Handsaw Combo

hack saw hand saw

For quick jobs working with metal, wood, and plastic. 


Compound Miter Saw & Brad Nailer


miter saw and brad nailer

Aw yeah, I love my compound miter saw.  I confess it still scares me a bit with its powerful blade, and I never use it when the kiddos area around, but I loooooove it.  Compound miter saws are useful for all sorts of wood projects, perfect for cutting molding and trim at just the perfect angle.   Brad nailers allow for quick application of your freshly cut trim.  Heart! 

Hole Saw Kit

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 find them most useful for drilling holes in the back of cabinets to hide your pesky wires.   


And my new BFF: 

Dremel Rotary Tool

With tiny sanders, scrapers, and blades, this baby knows how to multitask!  Recently, I used it for this mirror chalkboard project ~ this ingenious tool is oh so cool.  I swear, walking past the aisle with all the little rotary accessories in their little cases stops me in my tracks wishing and wanting more.  *Sigh*

Which brings me to the next ‘essential’ tool: 

The Dremel MultiMax Oscillating Tool

dremel multimax

Perfect for repair, remodeling and renovation, grinding, scraping, cutting, paint, grout and caulk removal!  These cut in tight spaces and power scrape adhesive, aw yeah.  This oscillation tool can cut baseboards and carpet, sand furniture just like a detail sander, or cut drywall. 

Definitely a tool you want to add to your DIY toolbox! 

dremel oscillating


Want a chance to win the Dremel MultiMax ? 

Eligibility to win the Dremel MultiMax Tool:

1) Leave a comment naming your favorite tool, or one that is on your wish list.  Is it a staple gun, a power sander, a set of screwdrivers, or is it, dare I suggest, a Dremel? 

2) For extra chances to win, link to this giveaway on Facebook, and/or tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.  Leave extra comments telling where you linked (FB or Twitter).

Giveaway ends Monday December 13, 2010 at 8 p.m.  One winner chosen by Random.org.  US and Canada only. 

Good luck and happy holiday weekend! 

For all of you tool lovin’ 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 gadget you love that I should add to my wish list ? 



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