DIY is popular as a means of home improvement, now more than ever. However, it is not always a simple decision to bypass a professional and do it yourself. The main advantage of DIY is the amount of money it saves you.
The key to saving money by taking on home improvement projects yourself is having a well-equipped toolbox.
Spend your budget on a few well-thought quality pieces that you will use repeatedly. This strategy is better than splurging on tools at the store with anticipation that you might use it.
This buying guide will show you the basic tools you need to get through most home repair projects.
Best Hand Tools: Some Reviews First
Hand tools do not require a motor or electrical power to operate, they are used manually.
Take hammers for example: nails need hammers to be useful. Most hammer designs have a head and a curved claw on the opposite side.
One end of the hammer drives in the nails while the clawed end pries them out. The tool can also be used for jobs that require hitting with force. For example, hitting framing wood into place or breaking up plastered walls.
Below you will find reviews on top hammer and screwdriver options!
- General maintenance and repair work
- Home repair
- Construction work
- Fence building
The handle of this hammer is made of durable fiberglass covered with an impact protection poly-jacket.
- The fiberglass handle has high strength and will last a long time
- The head-to-handle epoxy bond doesn’t weaken over time
- This hammer is optimized for precision thanks to its weight
- The rubberized handle is non-slip and shock-resistant
- The smell of the rubberized handle can be pungent for the first couple of days
The Estwing is an indestructible cracking hammer that you can use for a lifetime. The hammer is comfortable to grip due to the bonded and molded shock-reduction technology. The handle reduces vibrations on impact and also enhances its durability.
The hammering head is one piece with the rest of the hammer and the hitting surfaces are highly polished.
Use this hammer with the following:
- Star drills
- Hardened nails
- Create heavy blows
- Comfortable and durable with the shock-reducing handle
- The hammer is essentially forged in one piece for durability
- Excellent rubberized grip
- Limited swinging room if you are using this hammer to pound
In case you have the budget for only one hammer, we recommend the 16 oz hammer. The smooth head and the curved claw ends can be used for both light jobs and more heavy-duty tasks alike.
Look around your house, most things are held together by screws. Some of these objects include doorknobs, lamps, furniture, and cabinet doors.
There are two types of screws:
- Flathead screws, which have one slot at the top
- Philip screws which have a small plus sign in the middle
To work with both types of screws, you need both a Philips head and a flathead screwdriver. To build an efficient toolbox, you should have an assortment of screwdrivers to deal with different sizes of screws.
- ⅛ x 2 inches
- ⅛ x 4 inches
- 3/16 x 6 inches
- ¼ x 4 inches
The set also comes with 4 Phillips screwdrivers of the following dimensions:
- #0 x 2 ½ inches
- #1 x 3 inches
- #2 x 4 inches
- #2 x 6 inches
- Easy to grip and insulated handles
- Lifetime guarantee
- These tip sizes omit common screw sizes
On the other hand, if you prefer a less cluttered toolbox, you have the option of getting one multi-bit screwdriver.
Such a screwdriver has one handle with a variety of bits that you can swap in as necessary,
- Philips – #1 and #2
- Slotted – ¼ inch and 3/16 inch
- Nut driver – ¼ inch and 5/16 inch
- The driver features a rust-resistant chrome-plated bar
- The inter-changeable bars maximize the tool versatility
- Comfort non-slip grip handle
- Ideal for small and clutter-free storage spaces
- The new bulbous handle design is too bulky for average hands
If you end up with either one or several screwdrivers, that’s alright. The only concern should be that they are strong and have a comfortable grip.
The Best Tool Sets for DIY Projects
Do you need to undertake a repair project?
Whether you need to fix a small home DIY or as a professional contractor, you need a set of tools. A curated toolset is therefore a must-have for everyone.
- 13-ounce hammer
- 2-piece screwdriver set
- Torpedo level
- 18 mm snap-off knife
- Mechanical tools
The toolkit can take you through a host of household emergencies or through crafting something new. Each tool in the kit is constructed with durable stainless steel and a polished nickel chrome finishing.
The finishing, coupled with a layer of yellow ABS plastic casing, allows these tools to last a lifetime.
The ergonomic design incorporates a reverse-switch mechanism easily operated by your thumb. The ratchet handles add to the comfort and ease of use.
- Versatile for many projects
- The tools meet the ANSI safety requirements
- The tool construction is of premium quality to last a lifetime
- The tool storage case is highly portable
- The tools tend to shift around the storage box during transport
This toolbox offers a safe, stylish, and comfortable way to carry all your tools to every project.
DEWALT presents you with its mechanical tool and socket set. The tool case contains 204 hand tool pieces. This set focuses on ratchets and sockets, which is excellent for projects that include a large number of nuts and bolts.
The tools guarantee endless durability and heavy-duty functions backed by the DEWALT lifetime warranty.
The tools include a 72-tooth gear system that grants the user precision when ratcheting with high torque.
- The ratchet has a slim profile to easily and quickly access tight spaces
- DEWALT sockets come with a non-slip gripping surface
- Each of the sockets is well-labeled so that you identify their sizes
- Lifetime warranty
- Enables precise control
- If you open the case the wrong way, the tools may come spilling out
Curated tool sets from reputable brands are worth the investment. They are a one-time purchase that will last for years.
Best Fireplace Tools
The fireplace is a focal point of any room and the tools that come along with it are just as impactful. These tools tend to the fire and clean up once the fire is dead.
Therefore, fireplace tools not only need to be stylish, but they also need to be functional.
Ferro and Fuoco fireplace tools are designed by Marco Ferreri. The hand-forged iron tools are made from recycled scrap iron on Italian train tracks. They came with a wall mount to hand above the fireplace.
The set is sold in threes as a shovel, poker, and tongs.
- Made from recycled materials, which is great for the environment
- The steel-alloy material of railway tracks makes durable fireplace tools
- Last a lifetime
- The price is on the higher side
Although fireplace tools cost hundreds of dollars and can be difficult to source, they are a statement piece worth splurging on.
Best Smart Tools
We already have smart manufacturing, smart homes, and smart gadgets, so smart tools are only natural. Consider adding smart tools to your DIY toolbox.
This smart feature offers you a way of managing your DeWalt tools remotely. The application allows you to connect, track, and customize your tool settings across different job sites.
DeWalt Connect also offers warning notifications in case the tool battery overheats. This can disable the battery pack remotely.
The app has a tracking feature that releases an alert when the battery goes out of Bluetooth range.
- Keep track of your tool and battery to minimize misplacing
- It saves time by applying customized settings in an instant
- It is a safety feature to guard the battery against overheating
- The app is compatible across multiple devices
- Once the tool is out of Bluetooth range, it can be hard to find since there is no GPS
The DeWalt connect app is available on both Google PlayStore and Apple Appstore.
Modern drills on the market right now have both speed and torque settings. The Milwaukee drill can be controlled via the One Key App.
Unlike the DeWalt Connect app, the Milwaukee One Key app connects to the drill, not the battery. Because of this, owners of the DeWalt tools can control the speed and torque from their phones.
It may sound inconvenient to reach for your phone when the settings are right by your thumb. But a good reason to use the app is that it has preloaded settings for common fasteners. For example, if you don’t know the speed and torque to set for a wooden screw the app will set it for the drill automatically.
(It is fun to experience the technology of a smart tool!)
- The app saves you time spent figuring out the torque settings for unfamiliar materials
- It is compatible with other inventory management tools; you can therefore easily track all your Milwaukee tools
- Effortless inventory management since your team can also access the catalog by themselves
- Once you enable One Key for your tools, you can track them even without a battery attached to it
- The Bluetooth technology works only if the tool is in range
Using One Key has tremendous benefits that are not limited to quality control and reducing damage to the material.
Best Drywall Tools
The difference between an easy, fulfilling drywall project and a frustrating failed project is the tools. Knowing the right tools to add to your collection and using them properly is the only way to become better at DIY wallwork.
The Jab Saw
The jab saw is highly specialized for cutting through drywall. The jab saw cuts 6 to 8 inches at a time.
The Stanley Jab saw comes with the SharpTooth technology, which makes it cut faster than other saws. The saw’s teeth are hardened via an induction process so they do not dull easily. The tip is sharpened to pierce through the drywall.
This saw’s handle is ergonomically designed, with a non-slip handle.
The saw weighs only 4.8 oz with a 6-inch blade. However, the performance is impressive for a tool measuring only 3” x 3” x 1”.
- SharpTooth technology makes it efficient
- Induction hardens the teeth to stay sharp for long
- High-quality design and construction
- The jab saw is light which enhances precision and prolonged use
- Sharpened tip effortless punctures drywall
- Slip-resistant grip
- There is no sheath to contain the blade when not in use
The cutting blade is made out of high-carbon steel. The chiseled tip is sharp and strong enough to pierce through wallboards.
This jab saw has a soft handle to enable you to comfortably grip it and work for long hours.
Wallboard saw measures 13.2” x 3.8” x 1” and weighs 0.38 pounds.
It cuts through plywood, masonite, and electrical boxes.
- High-carbon steel blade can withstand drywall puncturing with ease
- Sharp and strong chisel tip for puncturing
- Pocket-friendly tool
- Aggressive tooth placement for quick cutting
- Lightweight and comfortable padded grip
- There have been complaints of the tip breaking (possibly due to user error)
At this point, you can see how a jab saw is a special tool that deserves a place in your tool box and budget.
Top Woodworking Tools
Woodworking is one of the most versatile DIY projects. It can involve constructing something from scratch or mending and making a few modifications to an item.
Consider having specialized tools with niche roles as opposed to getting one tool for every job. These tools are more reliable than the latter option.
The induction motor uses ball bearings, which gives it a longer lifespan.
The worktable attached to the tool frame bevels up to 45 degrees for precision drilling. There are other settings to get the exact drilling angle that you need.
This speed drill press is more reliable than a handheld drill.
- Adjustable beveling worktop
- 5 preset speeds save time
- Inbuilt storage clip
- Depth adjustment knob
- Only intended for light tasks
The table drill press will create a precise hole of the dimensions that you need. It eliminates the problems caused by inaccurate drilling.
It is powered by an 1850-watt, 15-amp motor that provides a lot of cutting power despite the compact size.
The blade can work up to 3850 RPM which is sufficient for most woodwork projects.
This table saw stays upright on uneven terrain because of its adjustable stands.
The worktop bevels 45 degrees so you are not limited to straight cuts.
During transportation, you can fold this unit into compact luggage for easy transportation. This feature also saves on storage space.
- The foldable body makes it easy to store and carry
- Beveling worktop allows for precise cuts
- The motor powering this table saw is strong to take it through several projects
- The carbide blade is long-lasting
- Makes precise cuts on a variety of wood types
- Dust builds up despite having an exhaust port
This tool is perfect for home DIY projects involving wood because it is capable of powering through them. It is also easy to transport to a different work location because it is foldable.
Best Plumbing Tools
A general rule when shopping for plumbing tools is to look for the ones specifically designed for plumbers. Durability and ease of use are factors that should not be overlooked either.
In plumbing, there are no shortcuts when it comes to safety and the quality of your work.
The LED site light offers an output of 2,200 lumens in area mode that lights up a large work area. When the light is focused, the output is 1,000 lumens.
The total runtime for this Milwaukee sight light is 18 hours, which is more than enough time for site work.
The light itself is constructed with a high impact polycarbonate. This material can handle plenty of rough treatment before it breaks down.
- It provides lots of light
- The battery lasts for hours
- Has different light modes depending on the amount of light you need
- The multipurpose light is ideal for other outdoor activities as well
- Purchase the lamp battery separately
- Doesn’t come with a storage case
The Milwaukee site light is unmatched in its dependability and capacity to provide sufficient lighting. It remains a popular option among plumbers (and really anyone needing a good work light).
Best DIY Tools
DIY tools are a must-have for your home tool kit. They are great assets for when you are exploring new hobbies and skills.
This is a powerful DIY tool to have around the home. It is a popular tool with budding hobbyists. This tool will aid you when you are learning how to cut curves, circles, and notches into a variety of materials.
The Bosch top handle model provides a D-shape handle with a comfortable elastomer material grip. The handle design enhances the control of the tool.
The motor capacity is 6.5 amps and features electronic speed control for easy and controlled cuts. The motor powers through wood, stainless steel sheeting, copper, aluminum, and vinyl.
The jigsaw has a 3 ½ inch cutting capacity as well as accurate bevelling capabilities.
The blade-change system is tool-less. All you have to do is to flip the lever that pops out the blade. Then put in a new unused blade.
With all these excellent product features, you can be assured that your money was well-spent.
- The tool is versatile- it supports for orbital settings and variable speed operation
- Adjustable dust blower for dust control
- A tool-less blade change system is the safest
- Secure jigsaw clamping system
- The tool is light to provide greater control
- it‘s lower speeds are still not slow enough for some users
An investment into the Bosch jigsaw is worth the price tag it comes with.
Best Lathe Tools
Lathe tools are woodturning instruments specialized for woodwork. You will need lathe tools if you want to sharpen and smooth out your workpieces.
The chisels have elegantly curved handles and high-speed steel cutting blades. The blade dimensions are 5, ¼, 1 inch.
- Suitable for users of all skill levels
- Steel blades are long-lasting
- The tools come enclosed in a durable case
- You may need to touch up the tools before use
When buying your tools, it is advised not to cut corners when it comes to quality and safety.
If you liked this guide feel free to check out some of our other general guides too!