A DIYers’ Five Best Friends

One of my fellow morning bus-riders, a widow nearing retirement, recently told me that said she wouldn’t begin to know what she should have in the house when it came to tools. I told her there were five things I would never be without.
Here are those five picks:
1. Tape Measure – One of the keys to any job well done is an accurate measurement. Unfortunately, not all tape measures are created equal. Don’t settle for the $1 version – buy a name brand. It could cost you in the long run. Some cheaper models are accurate, yet many are fractions of an inch off – hardly a good measurement!
2. Hammer – A hammer is one of the most versatile tools you can own, combining the manual force to drive nails with needed leverage at the claw end to remove them . You can also use it to beat things apart or smash them into tiny pieces, too.
3. Drill – Many tool manufacturers are selling off their nickel cadmium tools on the cheap, replacing them with newer lithium ion-charged lines. Many of these drills either come with or offer accessory sets that include screw heads and socket tips, transforming this tool into a variety of others.

4. Saw – It’s inevitable. You will have to cut something, sometime, so you’re going to need a saw. If you’re just getting started, a jigsaw (corded or cordless) should pack most of the punch you need. If there are several jobs or a big job on your plate though, you might want to consider investing in a compound mitre saw. In between these two options is the cordless 7-inch circular saw. You can often buy one in a kit with other battery-powered tools, usually making for a great bargain! Just be sure to wear eye protection no matter which one you use.
5. Pliers – A standard set of pliers is indispensable. But to really be prepared for any job, you also need its siblings: needle-nose pliers and snips. (You can usually buy this trio in a set.) It will be some of the best money you ever spend.
So there you have it: the five tools that no household should be without. Add a pencil, a level and a good, solid putty knife to this mix and you’d be amazed by just how many jobs you’re ready to tackle.

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