Must Have Essential Tools
A good workman takes pride in his tools. He/she takes care of them so they last for years. Since each job needs its own tool, over years it amounts to mind-blowing collection. They become treasured family heirlooms. Even in our disposable age, a well-stocked tool box is a source of great pride. But, when you are just starting out what are the essentials you should have on hand to sort out the usual household jobs? If you’ve tried to put up a picture hook with a lump hammer or think cable cutters are used to manicure nails, you’d best read on. Of course, the kind of tools you need depends on the types of projects you work on, but you will certainly benefit from keeping the following tools in your collection.
1. Utility Knives
Utility knives are all-purpose knives and are efficient enough to cut any kind of material from carpets or vinyl to dry lining or plastic boards. They are usually of a handy foldable design to be carried anywhere.
Utility knives come with both retractable and fixed blades. From a safety point of view, retractable blades knives are preferred to fixed. You can also find hooked and carbide knife blades that are used for various purposes. Hooked blades are less sharp and ideal for cutting upper surfaces without damaging the lower ones. On the other hand, carbide blades are longer and sharper and can cut through almost anything. They also keep their edge for a long time.
2. Screwdriver Set
When you like to do things all by yourself, you need to ensure you have the right tools with you, and that is when you need to invest in a good screwdriver set. In any tool bag, a screwdriver set with multiple drivers in assorted shapes and sizes has to be essential. You can opt for a screwdriver set with a single screwdriver with multiple changeable heads. They occupy less space and are pocket-friendly.
The good thing is that you can find a variety of screwdriver sets these days, including mini screwdriver sets that may contain more than eight high-quality tools. However, it is important to pay attention to the size of the kit, especially if you’d be carrying it around often. It should also come with a comfortable handle to allow for easy handling.
Another important thing to consider is the type of shaft your kit comes equipped with. Usually, they come with only one shaft and multiple blades, but these kits should have very high-quality shaft. Similarly, you need to pay attention to blades and tips, magnetization, storage, and insulation.
3. Cutters And Snips
There are different kinds of cutters and snips available and each one has its specific purpose.
Diagonal cutters are small sharp cutters that can easily reach into difficult areas and precisely cut wires leaving neat ends. They are ideal for use in electrical projects.
End cutters are flat head pincers. They are perfect for cutting wires and nails, especially near surface art.
Cable cutters are high leverage with two cutting blades for precise cutting. They have longer handles for easier handling.
Clamps are another essential tool to have handy in your toolbox. They are needed often in woodworking to hold items together temporarily for screwing them together or after gluing them.
There are various kinds of clamps to choose according to your need:
Ratchet and spring clamps are strong and used for holding together small, lightweight items. being versatile they are the most widely used.
G clamps are G shaped clamps used for sticking or fixing items to work surface. They range usually from 25 mm to 150 mm.
Bar clamps and spreaders are reversible clamps that can be used both as clamps or spreader. It’s a twin tool that can be utilized for many purposes.
Drills are an essential part of every toolset. They are multipurpose essential in a huge range of projects and are available both in corded and cordless versions and can be bought as per budget and requirement. Generally though, you pay more for more drilling power.
Cordless drills are preferred by people for DIY projects as well as for the odd drilling jobs that crop up. They are super convenient and handy to use without having to worry about the cord. They are also lightweight compared to the corded and can be controlled single handedly. An added benefit of cordless drills is that they are safer to use with no wires or cords to get tangled in or trip over. Choice carefully though. Some of the less inexpensive cordless drills lack kilowatt power and have no hammer action. They are best for lightweight jobs since they only carry a small charge.
A jigsaw is used for cutting all kinds of material including wood and metal sheeting. It is a super flexible tool with a very thin blade that allows it to cut complicated designs precisely. It comes with different blades and can cut up to 4 inches in depth. The finishing, however, is different for different thickness of the material. Ideally, a jigsaw is used for cutting wood up to 40 mm which it does perfectly. When work using the variable speed feature and the Jigsaw blade speed is controlled by trigger to conveniently switch speeds according to the project’s demands.
A multimeter is another handy tool for around the house and in the garage. It is used to measure the voltage, current, and resistance of any given circuit. Having and using one could save you from mishap if you intend to any work around anything electrical.
8. Electric Chainsaw
A chainsaw was a mechanical tool in its initial days, but has progressed with technology to come in electric and now cordless versions. It is a professional tool but is used in households for various purposes.
An electric chainsaw cuts or carves objects proficiently. It consists of a chain attached to sharp teeth rotating rapidly around a bar and is powered by both batteries and electricity. For large projects such as cutting logs or tree trunks, a chainsaw can still be used, although a gas powered chainsaw is better.
Having the right types of saws in your collection can help you complete your projects in a more efficient way. There are various kinds of saws available and each has a specialist purpose. For instance:
Panel saws are used for cutting sheets of wood or other similar material. They are versatile, widely used and available with different features. The length of the saw and its number of teeth per inch determines its efficiency. Longer blades usually give more coverage than the shorter ones and are more energy efficient. Saws with fewer teeth per inch work faster than saws with more teeth but cuts with fewer teeth will have rougher edges.
Hacksaws are ideal for cutting metallic sheets but are also used on wood and plastic. If you need coarse rough cutting you can opt for hacksaws with 16 to 18 teeth per inch or go for hacksaws with 24 teeth per inch for fine smooth piercing.
Compared to regular hacksaws, junior hacksaws are smaller in size, about 6 inches in length, and can easily reach difficult areas. They are used in plumbing work for cutting pipes since they are ideal in narrow spaces.
Contrary to junior hacksaws, jab saws are saws with long yet thin blades. They are used in plumbing and electrical work especially for poking holes into distant surfaces.
Sawhorses, come in a range of styles and sizes and are used to securely position what you are cutting to keep the surface flat and level. A multi-functional tool, that acts as a second pair of hands.
Hammers are a must have in every toolbox personal or professional. They are available in different sizes and weights and as usual, each has its own function. Heavier hammers are used for hitting harder while lighter ones are good for tasks that require lesser force. The mallet can be used instead of the hammer on smooth or delicate surfaces since they have softer heads, often wooden.
There are various kinds of hammers.
The claw hammer is used for knocking things together and is also for pulling out bent and difficult nails by trapping them in its claw.
A pein hammer is lightweight and ideal for knocking down small tacks or pinnails. They are good for securing hardboard to a floor and for other wood to wood tasks.
The club hammer is a small sled hammer used for breaking rock, concrete or stone. They are very heavy and also known as lump hammers.
12. Wood Axes
Axes are another commonly used tool to complete your all-purpose toolbox. Like most other tools, wood axes are also available in different sizes, weights and designs and you can choose the one that best suits your task. A straight edge ax is ideal for wood as it facilitates a precise directing of the blade essential for any carving task. Axes with longer handles are more powerful and used on heavy tasks that require harder strokes.
Benefits Of Opting For Cordless Tools
Almost all tools that are powered by electric have battery-operated cordless counterparts.
- Cordless tools are much more convenient, easier and safer to use.
- Cordless tools are portable and perfect for tasks outdoors or away from sockets.
- Corded power tools often require greater caution to avoid tripping over the cords or going through it.
- Cordless versions of tools are free from any risks of electrocution.
- Cordless tools are often made lighter and are easier to handle and to control.
Buying Guide For Cordless Tools
Cordless tools are available in different voltages for a range of power and will have to choose the one that has the power and functions to best match your task.
- Always opt for a cordless tool that comes with a rechargeable battery and consider buying a spare so you can recharge one battery while using others so you don’t have to stop work.
- Look out for the AH power of your tool’s battery. It indicates the capacity and life of the battery of the tool.
- Lithium batteries are the best to go for. They are lighter and can hold a charge for longer.
The latest cordless tools are using brushless motors which means less friction. Brushless motors provide greater power output and prolonged usage with a lesser charge. But the tools with brushless motors are not yet cost effective. They are ideal for people who work on big projects requiring professional tools but for a general tool box, until the price of this new technology falls, brushless tools are not essential.
A good tool box is a magic box. It has every tool for every job. With each new repair, project or task your collection will grow. You’ll end up with some real odd tools in there but in an odd sort of way you’ll grow attached to them. Whether you need a g-clamp, hacksaw or phillips head screwdriver, when there’s a job to be done big or small, you’ll reach for your box every time. Like pretty maids in row, there all your tools will be, neatly lined up, sharp and ready to go. No sockets or power cords required.