Buy for Comfort and Balance
If you’re working with sheetrock, make sure you get a good taping knife. You want something with a padded handle, a comfortable grip, and a wonderful edge. Yes, it may cost more.
However, by day three of spreading the mud, a cheap knife will be rusty and hard to handle. Your wrist and forearm will also be quite unhappy.
Once you find a line of tools that works for you, stick with it. For example, there are many cordless drills on the market for very little money. However, manufacturers such as Ryobi offer
- large grips for bigger hands
- terrific balance
- batteries that fit in multiple tools
Guard your tools well and clean or charge them each night so you’re ready to go in the morning.
Repurpose or Buy Used
A small pair of vise-grips or a pair of needle-nose pliers can be very useful on a DIY project. They can also help you get the lid off a stubborn container or pull a quilting needle through a thick bit of fabric.
This works in reverse; if you need tiny pliers for a particularly fiddly job, check out the jewelry-making aisle at the craft store for just the right tiny grip.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose tools, especially if you know an industry particularly well. The heavy-duty clamping pliers you can buy from an oilfield equipment supplier may be just what you need for your workbench.
Take care when repurposing or buying used. A vise clamp specific to a particular industry may work well in a new setting, but you want to avoid climbing or leaning in anything used.
Repurposing multiple ladders to change out the light fixture on your landing could result in a nasty fall. Be smart and be ready to keep looking if a repurposed item doesn’t work.
Invest in Great Eye Protection
Speaking of your bench, get great goggles. If you wear glasses, get a face shield that fits your head. Keep it clean, free of dust and easily available before you fire up the saw, pick up a hammer or turn on the tile saw.
some DIY tools to consider
It can be really tempting to skip goggles if you already wear glasses. However, glasses are generally not shaped to protect the skin around your eyes and prevent debris from getting too close to your eyeball.
For example, when you’re halfway through cutting a piece of floor tile is the wrong time to get a chip in the eye while your glasses are covered in tile water spatter. Wear your face shield.
Get Two Tape Measures
You’re going to set your tape measure down somewhere and be unable to find it. Get a small one to keep in the bottom of your tool belt.
If you’re renovating with children, offer the first child to locate your tape measure a dollar or two so they help you keep an eye on it. This same enterprising child can also help you keep track of your pencils.
If you invest in a laser measure, you may also find that it has a tape measure feature. Use this as your backup.
Use a Tool Belt or Pouch
It can be really tempting to put tools in your pockets. However, as many DIY projects include multiple trips to the hardware store, you want your pockets to be free of debris when you run out to study the plumbing aisle one more time.
Sitting down with a utility knife or a screwdriver in your back pocket can tear up your upholstery, and these items in your front pocket can be downright hazardous. Keep your pockets clear.
other related articles of interest:
At the end of your DIY project, you need all your fingers and toes. You also want your living situation to be better than it was before you started your project.
Start small and work on projects that take only a few hours. You may find that you hate DIY or that you can’t wait for the next project.
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Image credit: tools for your DIY projects by twenty20.com
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