When I was first starting DIY projects with my partner, we had to go out and buy all our tools. We wasted a lot of time making many trips to the shops, because we didn't know what we needed. Here are some of the tools we bought on those trips.
Everyone should have one of these, even if you aren't into DIY. My mum even carries one around in her handbag! It is surprising how often it gets used.
Look for one which doesn't break too easily and has a lock to hold it in place.
A metal square set is another good tool that DIYers should have. They are far easier to use than a tape measure for small jobs and the straight edge makes drawing straight lines far easier.
This type of hammer has claw on the back of it, it is the one everyone pictures when they think of a hammer. There are two types of claw: the curved claw is the one for pulling out nails, whereas the straight claw is better for demolition.
Look for one which has a comfortable grip. A rubber grip is good because it helps you grip it stronger. I prefer my hammer to be nice and heavy.
As well as being useful for getting into packages, the utility knife is a top DIY tool. They are great for cutting low density material.
The adjustable blade can be replaced and you can get blades of different quality. If you are renovating the whole house, I really recommend getting tough, durable blades, otherwise you will forever be replacing them.
Combination screwdrivers will serve almost all your screwdriver needs. It is far more useful to have one tool instead of a set, although there will be times when the one sized screwdriver is not enough. Personally, I find that the large grip of combination screwdrivers far more comfortable than the type you can get in cheap screwdriver kits.
Look for ones with multiple square heads of different sizes. The quality of the tips is important, as is the grip of the handle.
Pliers are one of those tools which nothing really can replace. Sometimes a flat-head screwdriver will do instead, but for me pliers are a massive time saver, which I wouldn't do without.
Unlike a screwdriver, DIYers should have multiple pliers. They are available in so many styles, you can get serrated jaws or not, various lengths of handles, and various lengths and widths of the jaw. Longer handles give you a stronger grip on the jaw, however shorter ones may be more comfortable to use for bigger jobs, especially if you have smaller hands.
Some examples of the different types of pliers:
- Electricians pliers have insulated handles.
- Needle nose pliers are the ones most households have. They are for holding small parts in place.
- Snub nose pliers have a built in blade to cut wire and cable.
- Slip joint pliers have an adjustable jaw width.
Power Tool Set
I personally couldn't have worked on the house without my power drill. It is the one tool I would be lost without. OK, maybe not lost, but working on the house would be a lot slower without it.
It is a better idea to buy power tools as a set, than individually. Ones with batteries are best for DIY jobs – especially sets that come with two batteries which can be used on all of the tools. With two batteries, while one is charging, the other can be used.
When looking at power tools, get ones which are at least 12V. 18V power tools will make DIY jobs even easier; if you are going to renovate the whole house, go with 18V.