10 Essential Tools For DIYers
Buy the best you can afford because cheap tools are often poorly designed, have a short lifespan and are sometimes unsafe to use.
Here are the ten essential tools for any job.
Purchase a claw hammer with a rubber handle to reduce slippage
Buy a tape with a blade that doesn’t flex easily
Always retract the blade on a utility knife when not in use
Use the correct size on screws, because if the tip is too small it can burr the edges of the recess, and if it’s too big it damages the tool. Handles should be non-slip with a shank made from quality steel. A combination screwdriver with many tips saves space by storing them in the handle.
Use a jeweller’s screwdriver for watch and sunglasses repair
TIP Using the wrong pliers for the job can blunt the cutting edge and the serrated jaws.
Needle nose pliers can hold small parts in tight spaces
Rip saws cut along the grain with large chisel-shaped teeth to guard against clogging and up to seven teeth every 25mm. The standard 700mm-long blades are only sharp on the leading edge.
Crosscut saws cut across the grain, with knife-like teeth bevelled towards the centre of the blades, which are usually 500mm long with up to 12 teeth every 25mm.
Combination saws are the most versatile, cutting across and with the grain. If you buy just one saw, make it this one.
Every DIY kit should contain a handsaw
The chisel blade is bevelled to a cutting edge that slices timber fibres when pressure is applied.
Start with a 19mm chisel and look for plastic split-proof handles. Firmer chisels have thick blades for hitting with a mallet to cut through timber.
An ideal set has bevel-edged chisels with blades six, 12, 19 and 25mm wide.
Chisels are used in a wide range of DIY projects
Choose one with a grab rail and platform for resting tools or paint.
Combination ladders are ideal in tight spaces and on awkward surfaces like stairwells.
Fibreglass ladders are essential rather than aluminium ones when working near electrical cables, to prevent accidental shock.
When using a ladder use slip-on trays and stand-offs to keep it away from the wall
Use this tool to check for level and plumb
Clamps and vices
Parallel jaw clamps exert even pressure across the surface of an object