Today I was at my local True Value Hardware in search of a new Shop Vac. Our old one was going on eight years and suddenly died on me last weekend for no obvious reason and mid clean up job. No matter what we tried to do to fix it (cleaning the motor, checking the circuits), nothing brought it back to life. So today, in the back of my car sits a brand new Shop Vac and tomorrow I have a date with my sawdust covered garage floor.
On my way home I remembered every year I write about DIY tools I consider essential and what better time than before the holiday rush to revisit the topic. Some of you new DIYers may be thinking of adding a few tools to your toolbox, so here’s a list of twenty-five I consider essential. This list is not exhaustive since it’s limited to only twenty-five, but these are my personal favorites and the tools I’ve found myself using the most over the past year.
#1: Cordless Drill/Driver & Drill Bit Set
I have a 12 Volt DeWalt, but recently just acquired an 18 Volt Black & Decker with more torque. I use my power screwdriver just about every week for everything from removing seat cushions to assembling furniture to drilling pilot holes with drill bits.
#2 and #3: Measuring Tape and Level
Essential for everything you build or install in your home like molding, trim, or wainscoting. Look for mini versions too at your home improvement store for smaller projects like hanging artwork on the wall.
#4 and #5: Set of Phillips + Flat head screwdrivers & set of non-slip pliers.
Basic screwdrivers are a must have, but you can also buy an all in one. 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.