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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879 Responses to “Yuletide Tool List + GIVEAWAY”

  1. Shannon says:

    I would love a miter saw. We have borrowed my dad’s on occasion and I feel so much more productive when I’m using it. I don’t like circular saws, they scare me. Oh, of course, I would also love a Dremel tool. That has been on my list for a few years now, I just never save the money to buy it.

  2. Carol W. says:

    I’d really love a cordless drill.

  3. Anne says:

    love the dremel, but need the spray paint adapter

  4. Gina says:

    This is a hard one! probably the power sander!! what a RAD giveaway by the way! :-)

  5. jena says:

    OH MY HOW WE NEED ALL LISTED…ha ha, the Dremel looks way fun though~

  6. Jordan G says:

    We got that same drill as a wedding present, and it is the best tool to have! Saved my husband’s sanity when he was building our fence… we are also best friends with our beloved Shop Vac, which we use all the time during our renovations.

  7. Kelly says:

    Right now, my favorite tool is a power screwdriver – it’s the only power tool I have! I’d love the Dremel as a good start to a collection.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I think a dremel would be my *new* favorite ;-)

  9. Lori says:

    Wow…the Dremel is on my Christmas list. I”d love an early Christmas git.

  10. Trinh says:

    I would love to get an orbital sander but those Dremel tools look really cool too!

  11. Heather says:

    One of my favourite tools is the laser level. It makes hanging pictures a snap! I would love to see if a Dremel might really be my favourite tool!

  12. Kati W says:

    Current favorite: My new Milwaukee cordless drill/driver & impact driver set with bits–love, love, love! Wish list: You got it–the Dremel Multi-Max; I currently try to improvise with other tools and elbow grease (or skip it entirely) to do what the Dremel could do efficiently and professionally. It’s a dream tool. Thanks for the constant inspiration!

  13. Mollie says:

    Oh my goodness, what a list! I want one of each:o) My hubby just gave me a tool set with a drill and I’ve used it once…but I still beg him to do the dirty work for me (just call me chicken)! I have been eyeing over a dremel for quite some time.

  14. Cassie says:

    I’d love a table saw or jig saw! But right now I really want a shop vac! BUT I would LOVE a dremel! :)

  15. Melissa says:

    Power Sander!!! It sure would make life easier.

  16. Chelsea says:

    With my new baby, I’m kinda tethered to the living areas, and can’t be in the cold garage refinishing things as I’d like! So, I asked for crafty items…. self healing cutting mat is the big one!

  17. Kristyn says:

    That Dremel looks handy! I could definitely use one of them!

  18. Kristyn says:

    I tweeted this contest! http://twitter.com/#!/KristynLBishop

  19. Ohmygoodness!!! I am DYING for a Dremel!! After watching the infomercial for it a couple of years ago, I have pined for it ever since. Come on, random.org, pick me!!!

  20. Anthony says:

    A Dremel is a deffinite must have and I would love to have one!!!!!

  21. Michelle says:

    I would love a jigsaw!

  22. alicia says:

    Wow! What a great giveaway! I would love this tool. My favorite tool thus far in my DIY experience is probably a hammer, so simple but so resourceful.

  23. Karla says:

    The Multi-Max is definitely at the top of my holiday wish list!!!

  24. Stephanie says:

    I have never entered a give away before but this one seems to be calling my name! I know my tool wish list is a mile long, but a Dremel is numero uno!

  25. Melissa K says:

    I decided that if I won a Silhouette after Thanksgiving, I would ask Santa for a Dremel Multi-Max. But Santa’s getting me that Silhouette I didn’t win. So maybe this is my chance! :)

  26. If you saw the state of the grout in my bathroom, you’d know why I need a dremel like most women crave shoes.

    That ugly grout is the biggest energy vampire in my home!

  27. sowmya says:

    staple gun of course !!!!

  28. hippie4ever says:

    Does a snow blower count, ’cause I want one RIGHT NOW!!! I’m trapped behind 1/4 mile of packed snow…. silenttributary at yahoo dot com

  29. Deb says:

    I sleep with my dewalt ,dremel is looking real good right now for Mr. Dewalt to take a break .

  30. Laura says:

    My favorite tool is my drill but I need a new one…so sad when they die!

  31. Bethany says:

    I have had my eye on a dremel for a while! AWESOME giveaway!

  32. Teresa Novak says:

    I really need a nail gun for hanging some crown molding I want to add. :)

  33. Kelly says:

    I am going to have to go with the dremel!

  34. Julianne says:

    I just moved into my first house and I need it all. I think a cordless drill would be the most useful to start, but I have a few projects that could use the dremel!

  35. Andrea Watts says:

    A staple gun would be great to recieve

  36. Rachel May says:

    I really love our cordless drill!

  37. Andrea Watts says:

    I shared on Twitter

  38. Queen Mommy says:

    I definitely have a staple gun on my list. It will be very useful in helping me finally finish those dining room chairs I’ve been working (or not working) on for months now (so many stupid, frustrating staples).

  39. Dana E says:

    Oh goodness how I love tools! I could really use that compound miter saw to cut my crown molding! That’s on our wish list this year.

  40. Jen Puttmann says:

    The dremel oscilating tool is actually on my wish list! I hope one will be in my garage very soon!

  41. Jenny says:

    My shopvac JUST broke. I never knew I used that thing so much, until it broke. I also use my screwdrivers a lot, but their scattered all over the house! I promise I’ll keep this set ALL TOGETHER! Merry Christmas and your house decorations are lovely.

  42. Kely says:

    I have actually had my eye on the dremel for my next tool to add to the arsenal. A skill saw would be nice too.

  43. Gloria says:

    I want a miter saw the most, but I wouldd take anything because I just don’t have that many tools!

  44. Janelle says:

    I would love any sort of new drill. Our old one is on the fritz and it would be nice to have one that works!

  45. Jin says:

    The DREMEL!!!!

  46. tillie says:

    OMG I love my dremel multi-max and I really, really need another one.

  47. The hubs is in need of a new cordless drill. I am in need of a dremel… like bad!

  48. Great giveaway! I think my favorite tool is my multi bit ratchet screwdriver. Basic, but so handy!

  49. Jessica says:

    I would actually love to get a Dremel or a jig saw!

  50. Kathy M says:

    As I scanned your favorite tools I realized that I have almost all of them except for the Dremel Multi-Max, which I would love to add. My favorite is my shop vac. What a workhorse! I’ve used it frequently for the last ten years both inside and out. I’d be lost without it.

  51. Anna says:

    Oh, how I would love the Dremel! Just found your blog….love it.

  52. Hilary says:

    The Dremel looks so convenient! I recently borrowed one from a friend for a project and it was a breeze. I’d love one of my own.

  53. Aimee Ritchie says:

    I would LOVE a Dremel! What a great giveaway!

  54. Aimee Ritchie says:

    I shared with my friends on facebook about this giveaway!

  55. Cory says:

    It’s ironic that you highlighted the Dremel tool because I have been salivating over this for the past several months! But I’ve held off in hopes that it shows up at Christmas! I would be one happy girl to get this under the tree :~)

  56. Gena says:

    I would love the Miter saw. We originally had one but our shed was robbed and they took all our tools (lawn mower, blower, weed eater, miter saw, and all the hand tools) It’s the item we plan on getting if we get enough back on tax returns.

  57. Amanda says:

    i would love a dremel! we’ve got so many projects we need to work on right now, this would be perfect!

  58. Rebekah says:

    I’d like an air compressor!

  59. Jessica McMurtrey says:

    I know my hubby has been dying for a Dremel!!

  60. johnna says:

    There are so many that I want and need…palm sander, dremel multi max, etc!

  61. jackie says:

    Love the Dremel…..this is a dream giveaway!! MERRY WISHES!!

  62. Dee in BC says:

    I’ve always wanted a Dremel!

  63. Julie says:

    I want a dremel! I love to think of all the projects I could accomplish if I had one.

  64. Felicia says:

    I loooove love love the dremel set !

  65. Jacki says:

    Favorite tool/most needed tool is a compound miter saw! We always have to borrow our neighbor’s!

  66. Stacy says:

    I’m new to the DIY game, and have been loving your website for inspiration and direction. I would LOVE a Dremel tool. In addition to being super handy for DIY projects, I could use it to cut off the yucky bits of my puppy’s Nylabones : )

  67. Christie says:

    I want that Dremel muti max REALLY BAD! That would make my Christmas very Merry. :-)

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  68. rebecca says:

    i would love an air compressor!
    rwvanvoorhis at gmail dot com

  69. Mandy P. says:

    I dream of pneumatic…any pneumatic tool, really, but alas, I have neither the funds nor the space for such hardcore toolcraft.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  70. Jordan says:

    I have an orbital sander on my wish list!

  71. Em says:

    I have requested a random orbit sander and a staple gun. A dremel would almost be too much to ask, but here’s hoping!

  72. Maria M. says:

    I’m dreaming of a drill and/or jigsaw for Christmas. I used an nail gun for the first time this weekend…wow was it fun! I could use the Dremel on some existing projects I have right now. :)

  73. Becky says:

    My husband is just starting to get into wood working, and if I were to get something, I think it would be a circular saw for him, because it means great beautiful things of wood for me!! I love his new hobby…

  74. sara jane says:

    My Dremel drill press is my fave tool, but that oscillating Dremel looks AWESOME!

  75. Leslie says:

    As of now, my sander is my favorite tool…but if I won a Dremel, I’m sure it would quickly become my favorite

  76. Maria M. says:

    Forgot to mention I shared with my facebook friends. (Maria Guice Meyers).

  77. Jon'el says:

    I would love a Dremel! I just “stole” the tools from my mom’s house. I got 3 different type of sanders, a router, tape measure, and circular saw. I still have my eyes on her Dewalt driver. The tools were actually my dad’s and my mom will never use them like I will so I gifted them to myself for Christmas, lol. She actually bought a miter saw for her bathroom redo which I claimed as well =) Within the past year, I have most of those tools but I want more.

  78. Amy says:

    I definitely love power sanders.. mostly because I hate the feel of the gritty sandpaper on your hands.

  79. Amy E says:

    LOVE the dremel… could do so much crafty stuff with that with all the scarp wood we have. Just got a new duplex and can’t wait to start home projects!!! Have a wonderful Christmas… your blog gets my wheels turning for new Christmas decorations!!

  80. Lori B says:

    I am a DIY newbie so I only own the basics on your list. The Dremel tool would be an awesome addition!

  81. Janna says:

    GREAT giveaway….thanks! And thanks for all of the inspiration you give me with your blog/ideas!!
    I really needs most all of these tools eventually….but the one I’d be most excited to get would be the nail gun!!!
    Happy Holidays!

  82. Abby J says:

    I think I’d love a compound miter saw so that my husband can put up crown molding in our house! :) But I would also love a Dremel since it can do so many things.

  83. Amy P. says:

    I’ve been wanting a Dremel! Thanks for the chance! Merry Christmas!

  84. cate s. h. says:

    I would love a pneumatic staple gun to finish some upholstery projects. A Dremel would come in handy with so many of my DIYs.

  85. Tamra says:

    Just getting started with this DIY stuff, so I have asked for a staple gun for Christmas. But, you know, this would be better!! :)

  86. CJ says:

    my power drill – it has attachments for sanding, jig-saw and even a vacuum

  87. Justine says:

    Ooh, I’ve been wanting a Dremel Multi-Max, so I realllllly hope I’m lucky! I’ve been using my hot glue gun lately, but I really want a brad nailer as well. Also looking to buy my husband (so he can make me furniture) the Kreg jig system.

  88. Justine says:

    just tweeted (tinabutnottina)

  89. Katie G. says:

    A shop vac is on our wish list!!

  90. Lacretia says:

    I definitely want a sander and a spray paint can adapter!

  91. cate s. h. says:

    posted on facebook :)

  92. sangeetha says:

    Okay – almost all the tools on your list are on mine. I already have some of them, but high on the list is the circular saw, dremel tools and some of teh hand saws

  93. JackieL says:

    The Dremel Multi Max and compound miter saw are calling my name!

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