The 9 Super Useful Tools Every DIYer Needs
By: Amy Preiser
That tape measure you have? It’s probably all wrong.
Those spare Allen wrenches and $1 tape measure from Ikea aren’t going to cut it if you’re making real home improvements.
Here are the nine essential tools you need to start hammering out great projects:
#1 Two Hammers
You know you need a hammer. Duh.
But Beth Allen, a licensed contractor and DIY instructor, is about to blow your mind: You don’t need a hammer. You need two.
A lightweight hammer is important for more delicate projects, like adding trim to a bookcase (without the fear of splitting said trim) or putting a nail into drywall.
“Heck, I’ve used a shoe for that kind of hammering,” says Allen, which gives you an idea of how lightweight we’re talking. “You can even use the floral hammer that comes in those ‘lady’ toolsets.”
But don’t let that be your only one: You’ll need a heavy-duty hammer for nailing into studs or putting a big anchor in the wall.
She recommends fiberglass over wood for avoiding intense vibrations in your hand while crushing your first project (figuratively, we hope).
#2 A Long, Sturdy Tape Measure
What’s wrong with your trusty Ikea measuring tape? “It must be at least 25 feet!” Allen says.
“That move where you measure partway, run out of tape, and have to use your toe as a placeholder? Nope, nope, nope.”
Take it from a pro: That measurement-fudging dance causes miscalculations that can run you big bucks in mistakes — we’re talking, like, realizing those freshly delivered kitchen appliances don’t actually fit in their designated spots. Whoops.
A grown-up measuring tape that’s long, wide, sturdy, and equipped with a solid locking mechanism.
You want one made of steel, which conveniently is the most widely available option. And make sure to invest in one with red rectangles every 16 inches, which is the standard width between wall studs.
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