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One thing people ask me is what tools do you just love?
Well, here they are – what I consider to be the best tools for DIYers.
Broken down into skill level and with a painting category, since we do a lot of that around here.
And no, not a single one of these brands are paying me to tell you that I love them. These are all tools that I personally use and love.
Best Tools for DIYers
Must Have Tools for Beginning DIYers
If you are just starting out in the DIY world, there are a few tools that I would consider must-haves for your arsenal:
My cordless drill is by far the one tool that I use more than any other tool. If you don’t know just what all a drill can do, then be sure to read my Power Tools 101 post on How to Use a Drill. We have two cordless drills, a Craftsman and the Ryobi one pictured above. Both work very well, however, I prefer the Ryobi one because it is much more lightweight. It can be purchased on Amazon and at Home Depot. Another reason I love the Ryobi drill, and really their whole line of battery powered tools, is because they all run on the same kind of battery. Yes, one battery works for all of them.
Right behind the drill, the other tool I probably use the most is our circular saw. Its great for smaller, quick cuts. Our circular saw is also a Ryobi, which uses the same kind of battery that the Ryobi drill uses. You can purchase it at Amazon and Home Depot. By the way, if you are looking to pick up some basic tools in one fell swoop, I would highly recommend the Ryobi Super Combo Kit, which includes the drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw (see below), flashlight, and two batteries. We bought this kit five or so years ago and its been awesome ever since.
Some people prefer a smaller sized circular saw. We also have two smaller, corded circular saws that we use. You can read more about them and find out more about circular saws in the Power Tools 101 post, How to Use a Circular Saw.
If you are working with any sort of wood (which you probably are), then you are going to need an electric sander at some point. Yes, you can always sand by hand, but really it takes so much more time and effort, that an electric sander is more than worth its price. We have a DeWalt Sheet Pad Sander. I actually purchased it about five years ago after having borrowed the same kind from a friend. I loved his so much, I knew that was the kind I wanted. All you do is tear a sheet of sandpaper into quarters and clip it in place onto the pad. It can be purchased on Amazon and at Home Depot.
Must Have Tools for Intermediate DIYers
I may not use this nail gun as often as I use my drill, but boy it sure is my favorite tool. This nail gun is a brad nailer, which basically means it shoots finish nails, which is what I usually need a nailer for. The sweet thing about this one is that it runs on a battery. No air tank required or hose tripping you up. We do have a larger nail gun for big projects, but this is my go-to for any basic nailing these days. You can buy it on Amazon and at Home Depot.
If you find that you really like doing DIY projects and continue doing them, there will be some point when you need to cut a curved line. This is when you will need a jigsaw. We have a Craftsman jigsaw, which is like the one above except ours doesn’t have the laser guide. When we bought ours, that wasn’t available. Let me tell you though, I wish it had the laser guide – makes things so much easier! You can purchase this one on Amazon and at Sears.
Reciprocating saws are great for tearing things apart and cutting pipe. For example, when we re-worked some built-in cabinets in Grunt Labor’s man cave, we had to use a reciprocating saw to cut through nails and screws holding the cabinets together. This Ryobi one also comes in their combo kit I was telling you about above. You can purchase it separately on Amazon and at Home Depot.
Some people may consider a miter saw an advanced tool, and it certainly does many things, but I use it way too much on intermediate things to leave it out of this category. A miter saw can do perfect angle and bevel cuts. This is especially awesome for trim work. Sometimes for me, its also much easier to just cut something on our miter saw, rather than haul out the circular saw. You can read my Power Tools 101 post on How to Use a Miter Saw for more info and how-to’s. We have a DeWalt Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw. It is much bigger than many people need and more expensive. We were able to get ours during a great sale and needed it for all the renovations on our beloved foreclosure. There are many smaller versions available. Our particular one, and smaller versions can be found on Amazon and Home Depot.
Must Have Tools for Advanced DIYers
Table Saws are my least favorite power tool and also the most dangerous. Use extreme caution when using these! Table saws are able to cut larger pieces of wood or longer pieces of wood while giving a straight line. We have a SkilSaw Table Saw and it has done well for us so far. It can be purchased on Amazon.
If you ever do a DIY tiling job, you will most likely need a tile saw. Ours is not the one pictured above – we actually bought a generic brand one at Freight Harbor Tools for about $40. Its nowhere to be found online, but I wanted to give you one that I thought would be a good one, so I found this Ryobi tile saw. As you can tell from this list, we have many Ryobi tools and they haven’t failed us yet. You can purchase it on Amazon and Home Depot.
Must Have Tools for the Painter
If you are a furniture painter or ever want to paint kitchen cabinets, trust me a good paint sprayer will save you precious time and sanity. I tried out about five different sprayers before I finally found one that I loved. The HomeRight Finish Max Pro is my go-to paint sprayer. It gives a fine professional finish and is SO easy to use – its idiot proof, y’all. You can buy it on Amazon and HomeRight.
Heat Guns are amazing for removing paints from surfaces – they can also do much more like weld plastic together (like I did here with this DIY Snake Bowl) and a plethora of other things. There’s a full tutorial here for how to use a heat gun and 15 things it can do. My favorite is the HomeRight Heat Gun. You can purchase it on Amazon and HomeRight.
Want more suggestions?
I’ve also got a list of My 10 Favorite Weapons of Choice for DIY Projects.
You know you don’t wanna miss any of this crazy.
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