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. AH! I want a Dremel, and have wanted one for quite a while. Yay!

  2. Candace says:

    A hand sander…. though, i completely forgot to PUT it on my list! Dremel? Would have it’s work cut out for it!

  3. Tina says:

    The two tools I keep eyeballing at the hardware store and talking about to my husband about are a dremel and a nail gun. I love, want, and NEED both!

  4. Alisa says:

    I would love a table saw! So much can be done with a table saw…

  5. Jessi E says:

    A compound miter saw is tops on my wish list, but a Dremel is not far behind at all!

  6. Teddi says:

    definitely a power sander… I have a few projects that I would love to have that for. I would take a Dremel though as well… ahh..tools.

  7. stacey says:

    I would love a Dremel. They are awesome!

  8. Megan E. says:

    I would love a Dremel tool! This would make some of my home improvement project SO much easier!

  9. Erin R. says:

    YES! These tools absolutely make me drool! I have been on quite the DIY kick and that Dremel Multi tool is a dream! It is on my wish list AS WE SPEAK! Me and my fellow DIYers are planning on getting one of these after the holidays are over (we all kinda overspent on our Christmas angels…eeek!).

  10. priscilla says:

    I would love a miter saw!

  11. Angie G. says:

    The Dremel MultiMax tool is on my wishlist! =)

  12. Patricia in Denver says:

    I love all the tools shown, my 2 favorites being the cordless drill and the dremel. However I do lots of small crafts and the dremel would help tremendously. I love, love, love your projects!

  13. Charlotte Thornley says:

    Yes, that is everything I want on my list. It has to be pink probably so everyone in my house will leave my stuff alone and not use my tools! Routers are the best.

  14. Charlotte Thornley says:

    I shared this post/site with my friends on Facebook.

  15. OMG! I am seriously salivating over here. I don’t even own a rotary tool and I drool over all the deals at Canadian Tire! I would love a dremel, but I will confess my #1 priority right now is a Compound Sliding Mitre Saw… I have big big plans for woodworking this year, including a play stove, fridge and sink for my little girl ;)

    Good Luck everyone!

  16. Brittney S. says:

    The Dremel Multimax is totally on both my list and my boyfriends list. Two birds, one stone!

  17. Sarah says:

    I would love to have a professional paint sprayer

  18. jackie says:

    The Dremel! Thanks for the chance!

  19. jackie says:

    I shared on facebook!

  20. Katie myers says:

    I would love to open a jigsaw, dremel, or a new sander to replaced the one that just died!
    Merry Christmas

  21. jackie says:

    I tweeted about it @babyandmegifts

  22. Tonnia says:

    I would love a Dremel! But NEED another hot glue gun since mine kicked the bucket this past summer and I have using a mini glue gun…ugh!

  23. Sara says:

    I would love, love a miter saw after doing trim without the assistance of power tools. But I also would love a Dremel. Ours burnt out. Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway.

  24. Em D says:

    I really want a miter saw… there are tons of projects on my list waiting for the right tools.

  25. Margie says:

    I would love a jigsaw or a dremmel! They’d come in very handy!

  26. Erin says:

    My favorite tool is my staple gun! Anything to do with fabric is my favorite tool!

  27. Carleen says:

    On my wish list is the Dremel.

  28. Carleen says:

    I shared on Facebook.

  29. Dremel is at the top of my list; both the rotary and multi max tools. It would be great to win!

  30. I’ve shared this on Facebook.

  31. Michael says:

    My favorite is a Nobex Champion miter box. Much less scary than the power versions, and incredibly accurate — even for those tiny little moldings.

  32. Lindsey says:

    I’m hoping for a miter saw!

  33. Tara says:

    Recently my favorite tool is a brad nailer because it has enabled us to go chair rail and crown moulding crazy lately! We’re putting it everywhere!

  34. Kim Behning says:

    I would love a Dremel – it’s been on my list for awhile.

  35. Kristin says:

    I would love a cordless drill, along with the courage to use it!

  36. PK says:

    My favorite tool right now is my staple gun. I recently finished a fabric-covered headboard, and I’m eager to tackle some pleated window valances next. If I could just find the perfect fabric – I’ve been looking for MONTHS!

  37. Meggen says:

    my fingers are crossed that santa will bring us an electric sander or dremel!! after just recently moving we’ve found SO many projects to fix up ourselves…oh how i love electric tools! :)

  38. freda says:

    I want to win! I’m loving my new (used) belt sander tight now.

  39. Lindsey says:

    My favorite tool, now and forever, is a good old cordless drill. You can do so much with it!

  40. Yvonne says:

    A Dremel multi-tool or jig-saw for me and the compound saw or hole saw for my husband!

  41. Cena says:

    Thank you for the list!

  42. Susanna says:

    My favorite tool is DEFINITELY a dremel. I’ve never had my own, but I would LOVE to get one!

  43. Cena says:

    Thank you for the list! I like the jigsaw.

  44. Karen B says:

    The Dremel Rotary tool is one of my favorites!

  45. Crystal says:

    There are so many items on this list that I need or want, and some that I have are on their last legs – staple gun and cheapo drill are pretty much done. Would love to win the dremel.

  46. Chista says:

    uh yeah, a dremel is wanted around my house!

  47. Cyan B says:

    I’ve been wishing for a sander lately. Something to help me out with some furniture refinishing.

  48. Michelle O. says:

    I love all my tools. I don’t have a Dremel though and winning one would be awesome!

  49. Erin says:

    On my wishlist is a jigsaw. In fact, any saw at all, as we have none, which really puts a damper on all my DIY plans. Thankfully, my dad is still willing to loan some tools in a pinch, but I’m 30 now, and I don’t think I’ll feel truly grown up until I’ve got a workshop of my very own :)

  50. Kelly P says:

    Strangely enough, that dremel tool is actually on my husband’s Christmas list!

  51. Barbara says:

    I have a few of those tools as I build my toolchest. Fed would love to add the multimax tool and a cordless drill

  52. Kelly says:

    I am just beginning my DIY love story and need all of those tools, but the cordless drill is at the top of my list.

  53. Myla says:

    My hot glue gun!! Above and beyond!

  54. Sara Tippett says:

    I would love the Dremel multimax!!!

  55. Jennifer c. says:

    Hammer is def. my fav. tool! haha

  56. Vanessa says:

    When I first met my husband the only tools I had were a butter knife and a rock, yep a special rock in my desk drawer for pounding nails. Things have changed a lot, Mr B is a toolhound so has most of what I need to do a job right. My Favorite most used tool, lately, is a glue gun, but last summer it was a pressure washer and professional paint sprayer(both borrowed from great friends).

    I’m tempted to forget fixing dinner and run out and get one of those spray can adaptor! The Dremel tool would be super!!! Thanks for the chance to win :-)

  57. Kurt says:

    Drill would be the #1 all the way. :)

  58. EcoJoe says:

    My favorite tool is a crowbar definitely. So good at ripping stuff apart, yet delicate enough to extract the most fragile nail.

    I’ve used mine so much that most of the yellow paint on it is rubbed off now.

  59. Jennifer says:

    My favorite tool is the jigsaw…. can’t exactly say I’m a master at using it, but I love it!
    And I have been eyeing the Dremel MultiMax for awhile now!

  60. Kellie says:

    OMG – the The Dremel MultiMax Oscillating Tool! I’ve been watching the info-mercial wanting to cut out the hollow tiles (which I installed – hey 4 or 5 in the whole house isn’t bad!).

  61. Anthony Stephens says:

    The dremel multi tool is exactly what i need to finish up the rest of my projects.

  62. Cher says:

    A paint sprayer is definitely on my wish list this season!

  63. Anny says:

    I need a drill but want a spray can adapter lol

  64. Nancy says:

    I would enjoy having this. Sign me up!

  65. Ann says:

    My wishlist for christmas this year includes a socket wrench set. I’ve never played around with a Dremel but I hear wonderful things. I’d love to try it out!!

  66. Sheila gruber says:

    I now want one of those spray can adapters like crazy!

  67. becky says:

    an electric sander would be great!

  68. Mariah says:

    Staple gun please!

  69. Hooray, Santa (aka Pretty Handy Guy) got me a Dremel for Christmas. Now, where to start? I just don’t know what I should practice on. ;-)


  70. Christy says:

    Fabulous! I hope you keep this updated, it’s wonderful and thank you for your sharing of knowledge for the rookies out here!

  71. Kati says:

    Ashamed to admit, I do not yet have a glue gun … am interested in buying one, but I have a question for you all – corded v. cordless, what is the verdict?!

  72. Lily says:

    Just had a birthday & recieving a new Dewalt Compound Miter Sliding Saw, from Boyfriend! My two favorite tools are: my radial arm saw (still runnning well for 29 years) & Bosh 18Volt Portable Drill! #1 on my wish list is: Dremel MultiMax List (for Christmas?). I am remodeling my own home now & next spring to start on a friends country home! So any help from useful power equipment I will take!
    Wonderful web site you have. I will definitely use your wainscoting ideas! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas & projects & information!

  73. Norma Rosenberg says:

    Loved your list. Great reference material for when I want a new toy. Thanks for posting.

  74. Deebi27 says:

    An amazing list,,,you are a treasure trove of ideas and how to make those ideas come to life! Thank you :0)

  75. Patrick says:

    Good to see a thorough list of the essentials! My favorite go-to tool is the cordless reciprocating saw.
    Some call it a Sawzall. These are extremely versatile & available in many brands. Have countless uses for wood, metal and plastics and proper blades of all lengths. Mostly used for demolition in remodeling, but I’ve found many other uses like harvesting a Christmas tree, trimming branches in the yard/garden, cutting off old or broken anything ie metal/plastic pipes, stud walls, nails or bolts between boards, etc A real time and trouble saver for demolition before remodeling. Also fun and easy to use.

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