I. LOVE. TOOLS. Power tools, hand tools, crafting tools and dental tools (I was a dental assistant). It wasn’t easy narrowing down my top 10 must have tools. Only after purchasing our house I realized what a behemoth this house would be in terms of fixing things. It sure has taken me for a ride. Along the way I’ve found that without certain tools fixing this wonderful house just simply wouldn’t have been possible.
I have consulted my “dream team” of DIYers: Joseph is one of my husband and I’s best friend (he’s an engineer), Melanie is my older sister and fellow student of our parents, and my DIY Jedi Master aka my Mom.
Just so it is clear this list does not include the obvious “must haves” like a ratchet set, Allen wrenches, hammer, assorted pliers , flat-head and Phillips screw drivers measuring tape, circular saw, gloves, utility knife and assorted hand saws. There are some great tool kits out there. I own the one featured below by Stanley. The list below is for people who want to not just maintain their house but do some DIYing.
This post may contain affiliate links. I do not advertise or recommend anything I do not use myself. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
TOP 10 MUST HAVE TOOLS FOR DIYers
This is my #1 for a good reason. You will need it for practically every home improvement project. I have two and I LOVE them. The impact drill is amaze balls! I burnt out 2 motors trying to put up the hardy backer board to tile my bathroom. When my hubby brought me the impact drill it made screwing through the board like a hot knife through butter! The adjustable speed drill is good for all other drilling and screwing applications. I would buy these over and over if I had to! I love them.
I have three sizes of levels a 48 inch, 24 inch and 12 inch. I use them not only for DIY projects but also decorating and crafting. I am a fan of the good old-fashioned bubble levels but see the purpose and efficiency of the laser models. If budget allows I would invest in both.
I use these suckers for everything, even cleaning around the house. Since 2009 I have gone through 5 putty knifes until I found some that felt good in my hand. I recommend having a few different sizes and shapes to accommodate different projects. This is definitely an essential tool.
Okay this one you could live without…but why would you want to? I use my shop vac all the time inside and outside the house. It is especially great for sucking up spiders. I hate spiders! It seems like the little engine that could at the end of all my messy projects. There are so many great attachments that you can purchase which makes it hand to clean up the car. Also if you purchase one that is a wet/dry vac then those big spills are easily cleaned up as well.
Miter saw :
I have used this to make so many cool projects. I have cut hundreds of feet of baseboard trim, trim for the front door along with making a bad ass fireplace mantel. Once you have mastered the miter cut the DIY uses are endless. Aside from having a circular saw this is a non-negotiable saw to have. Make sure to purchase one with a laser marker to show you where to cut. This is not a cheap purchase!
At first I thought that these oscillating tools where kinda of a gimmick, really not worth their salt but boy was I wrong. After our kitchen flooded and I had to remove the glass tile back-splash with a short deadline of 10 hours to remove and replace the drywall I was panicked. My mom bought and brought over this oscillating tool and it saved the day. I was able to cut around the tile and remove it in sheets instead of trying to pry it off the wall. I also used it to sand all my kitchen cabinets prior to painting them. I love this little guy! It also has applications for crafting.
This is by far my favorite tool to play with. It makes putting up trim fun. That really says something for me because I have trimmed out my whole house. This can be a little intimidating to use because of the sound and also the fear of shooting yourself or someone else. Read the instructions and make sure to properly store the tank to prevent rusting. If you want to re-upholster some larger furniture using the staple gun is fast and easy.
Everyone knows what a stud finder is right? Then why do I see so many people using the “knocking” method to find where the studs are. This stud finder is great and the most accurate one that I have ever used. I was able to purchase it at our local Costco but also found it on Amazon. Of course it is important to know where the studs are but you also need to know where pipes and electrical lines are. This guy shows you it all. I highly recommend it!
This one seems like a no-brainer to me. Do you enjoy being electrocuted? Well neither do I. I was recommend this tool by my girlfriends husband, who just so happens to be a journeyman electrician. If it’s good enough for him then it’s good enough for me. I have changed out all my outlets, light switches and light fixtures using this little guy. Talk about a real life save…literally.
This one might be a little strange to have on a must have tools list but let me explain. When we purchased our house we used these pry bars to remove all the baseboard trim on the upper floor. Then the house flooded and we had to remove all the trim again. Using these pry bars always removed everything without damaging the wall or the trim. Life saver in my book.
These of course are all my must have tools in my opinion. I hope that they work just as well for all of you as they did for me. Happy DIYing!