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Assembling your dream DIY tool kit

  • Battery powered drills allow you to zoom around the job without being tethered to an extension cord. Most battery-operated drills have powerful, 18-volt batteries, and astounding torque. TOM WILMER

The old adage, “the right tool for the right job,” is a proven truism.

Even small construction jobs require an amazing number of tools to accomplish in an expeditious and professional manner.

You can get by with a minimal inventory of hand tools for most DIY projects, but without the proper hand and power tools the results will often be rough and ragged around the edges.

The beauty of power tools is their ability to cut cleaner, drill faster, sand quicker and nail smarter than most any pro can do with hand tools. The list of recommended power and hand tools below is based on the ones I use most often.

Recommended tools

Battery Operated Drill — This is one of the most versatile and indispensible tools because it allows you to zoom around the job without being tethered to an extension cord. Most battery-operated drills have powerful, 18-volt batteries, and astounding torque. Some are quite bulky, so when shopping for a battery-operated drill, hold each candidate in your hand (with battery attached) before making your selection.

Electric drill — Many electric drills deliver a higher RPM that a battery drill, which comes in handy when making multiple holes, especially in old wood. Hacksaw with metal cutting blade.

Reciprocating saw — With one of these you will never need a hacksaw again. I recommend Milwaukee brand Sawzall.

Pry Bar— My favorite is the Stanley Wonder Bar.

Level — A 2-foot level allows for use in tighter spaces, such as closets. But a 4-foot level also comes in handy for many projects, and serves as a great straight edge when cutting plywood sheets with a circular saw.


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