Tools and Equipment

Basic DIY Tools

Not everyone will have the  space, money or indeed the need for a toolkit to match your local builder, but there are some tools that will be needed again and again around your home. Every home should have most, if not all, of the tools listed below.

Adjustable Spanner – Try to get one that opens to at least 24mm, as this will handle most plumbing tasks.

Bradawl – Used for making starter holes in wood for screws.

Chisels – It is good to have a fine bladed chisel for working with wood (12mm and 25mm are most useful) and a cold chisel for working with stone or bricks.

Craft Knife – General-purpose knife with disposable blades.

Cross-cut Saw – Large saw used for cutting large timber sections.

Electricians Screwdriver – Specifically designed with an insulated handle in case of accidental connection to live wires.

File – You can buy round, flat and half-round files. If you only get one, the round file will probably be the most useful.

Floorboard Saw – Designed for cutting floorboards. The upwardly curved blade makes it easier to cut boards without damaging adjacent boards.

General Purpose Saw – Can cut both wood and metal.

G-Clamp – More than one if possible. G-Clamps are very useful for holding work in position. Common sizes are 100mm and 200mm.

Glue Gun – Not essential, but very useful for quick repairs. Glue guns use stick which heat up and produce a strong bond.

Hammers – A lump hammer for working with stone or bricks, a claw hammer for working with wood and a pin hammer for tapping in pins and tacks.

Metre Rule – Plastic or wooden rule. Very light and easy to use in most situations.

Mini Hacksaw – The changeable blades make this an all-purpose saw, cutting wood, metal and tiles.

Mole Grips – Pressure clamp onto objects to leave your hands free.

Pincers – Used for pulling nails and tacks out of wood, etc.

Pliers – Get a standard and needle-nosed set. Both are used for extra grip on small objects, but needle-nose pliers will let you get into the smallest places.

Portable Workbench – Essential if you plan to do a lot of Diy around your home. The ability to clamp objects to hold them steady is invaluable.

Screwdrivers – It is best to get a range of screwdrivers (both flat-head and cross-cut) in different sizes. Screwdrivers are one of the most used Diy tools, so go for a quality set if possible.

Soft-face Mallet – Ideal for jobs where it is possible to ruin the finish (of wood or metal, etc), the rubber head will not leave a mark.

Spirit Level – Essential for checking horizontal and vertical surfaces before fixing them in place. Get both a long and short one if possible.

Steel Measuring Tape – Go for a good quality 5 metre tape. This should cover most measuring jobs around the house.

Steel Rule – A very accurate rule and a perfect straight edge for marking.

Tenon Saw – For making fine cuts in wood. Tenon saws are available in a variety of points (the number of teeth per 25mm), the more teeth, the finer the cut will be.

Try-Square – Used for marking at right angles.

Power Tools

Unless you do a lot of DIY, it is probably not worth buying every power tool on this list. It is, however, a good idea to have at least a decent drill in your toolkit, along with a jig saw if you do any carpentry.

Electric Drill – A good electric drill should be in every serious diy fan’s tool kit. As with all tools, try to buy a good quality drill, as this will prove a sound long-term investment. Make sure your drill has variable speeds, variable torque, hammer-action and reverse gear.

battery drillBattery Drill – Battery drills are perfect for working in areas where it is difficult to get power to, but bear in mind that cordless drills are rarely as powerful as electric drills. As with electric drills, make sure your battery drill has variable speed, reverse gear and if possible, hammer-action.

Jig Saw – Essential if you are cutting large sheets of timber. Better quality Jig Saws will have reciprocal blades (cuts on both the up and down stroke), a blower to clear the dust from the blade and the ability to turn the blade (for making curved cuts).

Circular Saw – Not essential, but very useful for making straight cuts in sheets of timber. A range of blades may also allow you to cut other materials (concrete, etc).

Rotary Sander – The simplest and cheapest type of sander is a rotary sander. This is simply an attachment for a drill with changeable discs.

Orbital Sander – An orbital sander is much more suited to bigger sanding jobs or where the finish needs to be better. Orbital sanders use a flat, rectangular pad onto which different abrasive sheets can be attached.

Hot Air Gun – Very useful for lifting oil-based paint from various surfaces. Hot air guns usually come with attachments to shape the flow of air (i.e. for stripping paint near glass).

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