Top 6 DIY tools

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A good set of tools can make home improvement and personal DIY easy and stress free. Owning a well equipped toolbox is stereotypical reserved for dads and older men. However, during these harder economic times, a quality set of tools can be an extremely cost-effective investment. Men and women, of all ages, can achieve excellent DIY results around the home with some common hardware products. When purchasing a new set of tools it is always worthwhile spending a little extra, to obtain true quality. Many cheaper varieties will break down or snap during the first few times they are used. Good quality tools can last a lifetime and will pay for themselves many times over. They are also useful and practical gifts ideas, perfect for Father’s Day and young men’s birthdays. If you are stocking your first toolbox or looking to expand your current selection, here is a list of 6 DIY tools that no one should go without:

Claw Hammer

The hammer is one of the oldest tools, most commonly used for hammering nails and small demolition jobs. Hammers have greatly improved over the years and a claw hammer is an essential tool for every toolbox. The 16 oz claw hammer offers the perfect balance between strength and weight. Heavier hammers can be a pain to carry around while lighter varieties may not produce enough power to get the job done. Classic hammers come with a wooden handle. However wooden handles tend to break easily and fail to cushion the shock of driving in nails as well as fiberglass or other synthetic materials. The curved claw on claw hammers are a great feature, useful for removing nails and disassembling structures.

Cordless Drill

A good cordless drill is ideal for drilling holes but can also serve as several other tools, notably, both Phillips and flathead screwdrivers and the traditional wrench. It is, therefore, another essential tool to have in your tool box. Ensure the drill you choose has multiple speed settings and is reversible so mistakes can easily be undone. While corded drills are more lightweight and will never run out of power, cordless drills are significantly more portable and versatile. Consequently, when choosing a cordless drill, you should seek out one with lots of power, measured by the battery voltage. While some drills offer values upwards of 20 volts, it should be remembered that the higher the voltage, the heavier the weight. Around 14v is recommended for everyday DIY tasks. For an excellent balance of portability, power and speed check out the Makita Lithium-Ion Compact Series. Your new drill isn’t complete without a drill bit set. The set can be built up over time, as there is hundreds of purchasable attachments, and can transform the standard cordless drill into the huge selection of tools mentioned previous.

Utility Knife

You will be amazed how often your utility knife will come in handy. From cutting drywall to slicing string and even sharpening pencils, the utility knife is an extremely practical tool. Almost every DIY task will require the sharp blade of the utility knife. Look to purchase a utility knife with retractable and replaceable blades. They are much safer to use than ordinary knifes and being able to change the blades ensures that they are always sharp.

Tape Measure

If you are measuring to see if your new table will fit in your kitchen or putting up some shelves in the bathroom, a quality measuring tape is a must. Again it is important to strike a balance between size and performance. The 25-foot measure is the optimal choice. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or clip to your jeans but still long enough to cope with any household construction task. Ensure the tape is strong enough to maintain its rigidity when extended a few feet without bending and the measurements presented are clear and easy to read.

Spirit Level

The level ensures that whatever you put up is straight, and as the name suggests, level. A 9-inch torpedo (so named because of its curved ends) spirit level is sufficient for small jobs around the home such as hanging pictures and assembling shelves. However if you plan on performing larger construction projects, such as erecting fences, a 2-foot carpenter’s model will better meet your needs.

Pliers Set

A quality set of pliers is crucial for carrying out electrical projects around the house. The set should include needle nose pliers, perfect for cutting, bending, stripping or gripping wire. Their long, skinny noses are also useful for getting into small, narrow cavities such as fishing screws out of tight spaces. The plier set should also carry a pair of wire cutters, ideal for cutting and stripping wire. The Irwin Mini Plier Set offers several variations on the necessary pliers with Pro Touch Grips for extra comfort during use.

If you feel I may have overlooked any essential tools please feel free to add them in the comments section below.

- Chris

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