What Tools Every Fixer (DIYer) Needs In Their Toolbox
Are you a fixer or want to become a fixer? If so, then you need to have a set of quality tools. Now, you don’t need to have every tool, as you can accumulate them as the job requires. But, I will say that there are probably a dozen or so tools that you should start with as money permits. I’m going to lay them out here. (Some of these links may be affiliate links and I might earn a small commission if you purchase through any of these links. It will not affect your price).
- A quality set of screwdrivers. Now, I will further say that you should have a standalone phillips head screwdriver and a flathead screwdriver. Possibly 1 larger and 1 smaller size of each. You may want one of the combo screwdrivers, but it should be in addition to regular drivers, and it better be of good quality.
- A nice cordless hammer drill. Don’t get suckered into a cheap $50 drill from Walmart. If you want to be a serious fixer, you need to have a quality drill. The brand doesn’t really matter so long as it’s quality. Something like a Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, etc. Also, make sure it is a hammer drill. They’re more expensive, I know, but you may need to drill into concrete one day, and it’s better to spend the extra $50 now than have to buy a hammer drill later.
- Quality Tape Measure. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to help someone fix something and asked for a tape measure. They bring out some cheap tape measure that is thin, and has no rigidity at all. Buy a quality tape measure. It will save you a lot of time and aggravation
- Hammer. When you’re a fixer, it’s important to know how to sling a hammer. My preference is an Estwing 16oz or 20oz rip hammer. It feels great in the hand and is easy to swing.
- Multimeter. I can’t tell you how often I use my voltmeter/multimeter. If you’re a fixer, there will no doubt be a time when you or someone you know needs to figure out why some electrical piece isn’t working. It could be a boat, or power outlet, light, or who knows what. A good quality multimeter will save you so much time and hassle.
- Wire Cutters. When it comes time to work on anything electrical, you’ll be happy you purchased a good quality pair of wire cutters. Not only does it speed up cutting and stripping wire, it help keep you from cutting yourself, and your hands from cramping.
- Channel Locks & Crescent Wrench. Technically, you could probably get away with channel locks or a crescent wrench, but they’re not that much money, so get one of each. It makes working on plumbing, or other random projects so much easier. You don’t have to try and find the right wrench, you can just adjust it to your needs
- Circular Saw. Ok, so this one isn’t a necessity to get started, but it sure is a nice to have. You will no doubt run into a situation where you need to cut wood. A circular saw is one of the most versatile saws there are. Like a drill though, make sure you buy a quality saw. 12-15hp is ideal. I would steer clear of battery powered saws. I hate getting halfway through a project and running out of battery power.
- Wrench/Socket Set. If you think you will do any type of mechanical work, you will definitely want to get yourself a quality socket set and wrench set. Everything on a car/truck/lawn equipment will have nuts and bolts. They are using too tight to use a crescent wrench or channel locks. Having the right equipment makes things so much easier.
- Utility Knife. Ok, this may sound silly, but you can use a utility knife for a lot of things. From simple things like cutting open packaging, to cutting laminate flooring, cutting sheetrock, to setting hinges, a quality utility knife is a must have.
- Speed Square. There almost isn’t a tool that I would like to have more than a quality speed square. When you’re handing cabinets, building walls, or just trying to mark a straight line, a speed square is a must have. Buy a good one… I prefer a metal one.
- Oscillating tool. This is probably one of those nice to haves and not need to haves, but what an amazing invention. An oscillating tool allows you to put any number of blades into it so you can remove grout, cut wood, cut drywall, and moore. The really cool thing about it is that you can make cuts directly into wood. Use it to remove door molding so you can slide new flooring under it. Use it to cut out a hole for an electrical box. I seem to find new uses for this tool every day. Figure out an excuse to buy one… you won’t be disappointed.
Ok, so this is my list of favorites. There are several others I would have liked to put on the list like a table saw, tile saw, and others, but they are more like to wants, not need to haves. The one thing I will say is that you should not let this list discourage your from getting started. Start with the basics, and add more as the fixes come. Just try and make sure you purchase quality tools. If you take care of them, they will last you a very long time.