Over the years of tackling our home remodel and DIY projects, we have built up a collection of tools. Tools are something that makes or breaks a project (definitely can make it easier…), so we have put together a list of our DIY tools. This is a list of actual tools that we own and use. We have had some tools for quite a while so some that we are sharing may be the current model or very similar.

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I have divided the tools into different categories – TOOLBOX, POWER TOOLS, DEMO, WOODWORKING, PAINTING, OTHER, & YARD. This is in hopes that it will make it easier for you to see when we use different tools (some tools will be listed more than once because of this.) Also if you click on the item/tool name, it will drop down more info about that tool.

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toolbox

What it does: A hammer is an all-around utility tool capable of dozens of tasks. The most well know the task of a hammer is driving nails into wood but it can also be used to remove nails, demo, dig a hole, and many more things.
Our recommendation: Our recommendation: We have two different hammers and I would suggest having at least two of these guys. We currently use the Stanley and Husky.

What it does: A manually powered way for inserting or removing a screw.
Our recommendation: We love our screwdriver set, it’s a ratchet-style. Sorry, I looked everywhere to find something similar and this is one that we would buy if we needed a new one, the Milwaukee Square Ratchet Driver. But sometimes it is nice to have a standard flat and Philips screwdriver.

What it does: It’s a portable measuring device used to find the size of an object or the distance between objects.
Our recommendation: I would again suggest having 2 because we measure with one and have one by the saw. Also, I would suggest having one that is 25 feet. I do also have a 12-foot​ tape measure that I keep in my car at all time, you never know when you will need it…

What it does: Cuts a variety of materials with precision and ease.
Our recommendation: Again we have two, we started with the classic but our favorite is the curved retractable knife. The current one that we use is similar to this folding Stanley knife. Another thing that we have liked is this nifty little storage box for extra blades.

What it does: Protects your eyes from particles, flying objects or dust.
Our recommendation: This is a must in a lot of cases with remodeling or building. We currently use 3M Safety Eyewear, we have a couple of pairs.

What it does: Worn to protect the wearer from dust and paint fumes. Sometimes it’s needed…
Our recommendation: We have two types of respirators, this is our

What it does: Worn to protect the wearer from ear damage.
Our recommendation: Ear plugs that wrap around your neck.

What it does: Used to find the studs in the wall so you know where to place pictures or other items.
Our recommendation: We currently have the Stanley version but I would recommend Zircon Stud Finder.

What it does: Easier way to sand wood by hand. This tool holds sandpaper to the block, giving it a flat sanding surface plus gives you a place to hold.
Our recommendation: We have two of these sanders but our favorite is the Warner Sanding Block.

What it does: This tools can be your best friend! It is used in many different applications but in almost everything, it is used to cover gaps or seal things together.
Our recommendation: This is one of our most used tools! Could not find our exact one but please get a good caulk gun because it will be used often!

What it does: This is helpful when changing lights, outlets, or doing any type of electrical, can save you from getting electrocuted.
Our recommendation: This tool is amazing! We currently have Klein Non-Contact Voltage Tester.

What it does: Are a small, hand-held tool that is used to strip electrical insulation from electric wires.
Our recommendation: These things are amazing if you need to do any electrical. We use the Klein Wire Stripper.

What it does: This hand saw is similar to a Sawzall (uses the same blades), can cut through metal and wood.
Our recommendation: We currently use the Milwaukee Folding Jab Saw. Don’t forget the blades.

What it does: This does exactly what it says, it increases your plug length.
Our recommendation: A 50-foot outdoor extension.

What it does: Pliers are made in various shapes and sizes and for many uses. There are some that are used for gripping, some are used for twisting wires, and others are used for a combination of tasks.
Our recommendation: We currently use these pliers a Long Nose Pliers.

What it does: This tool provides grip to turn objects or from keeping them from turning. Usually used for nuts and bolts. There are many different types of wrenches.
Our recommendation: We currently use a combination wrench set but our favorite at removing stuff is a socket wrench set (in our screwdriver set).

What it does: This tool provides grip to turn objects or from keeping them from turning. Usually used for those plumbing needs.
Our recommendation: We do have an adjustable wrench but a Tongue & Groove Plier is also one I would recommend. There are times when you need both.

 

Power tools

What it does: This replaces a screwdriver and requires less effort to use. Also used for drilling holes in various materials. Helps fastening materials together with ease.
Our recommendation: This is one of our first power tools and we still used it all the time look into a 20-Volt Cordless Drill.

What it does: This tool opens so much more possibilities in projects! A lot of nail guns, staple guns, painting tools, and other things require the use of an air compressor. Saves so much time in nailing wood together or painting… If you plan on any trim work inside your home, this is a must!
Our recommendation: A portable one!

What it does: These sanders are the best, quickest, and easiest way to sand wood smooth will save you time on sanding.
Our recommendation: Circular sander!

What it does: This tool is used to make a quick, accurate cut with the option to cut wood at an angle. A must if you plan on any woodworking projects!
Our recommendation: 12″ sliding compound one!

What it does: This is a hand-held electric saw, mainly used to cut wood but can cut other material with different blades. Can also cut at an angle.
Our recommendation: Can cut at an angle.

What it does: This tool is very helpful for cutting large pieces of wood (plywood) or cutting strips off of wood. There are so many uses for this tool.
Our recommendation: This is one that we are saving for because we are always using the circular saw. When we do get one, we will be getting the 24″ rip Dewalt Compact Table Saw.

What it does: This tool is used to cut fancy edges on woodwork but it is also used to create a dado and patterns in wood.
Our recommendation: We currently have the Dewalt Compact Router, I was debating on getting this Compact Router Combo Kit that comes with a plunge base. You will probably want to purchase this Edge Guide to save you time!

What it does: This is a hand-held electric saw, that is helpful in cutting through wood or metal. It’s the ultimate demolition tool. Instead of trying to rip something out, you can just cut it free.
Our recommendation: We currently have the Milwaukee Sawzall. Don’t forget the blades.

 

Woodworking & building

What it does: This tool helps build projects faster, stronger, and better than before. This is very useful when creating a furniture piece, building cabinets, and any wood project. This tool will create a pocket in the wood for where the screw will be placed. This has changed how we do a lot of wood projects. PLUS it is very very easy to use!
Our recommendation: ** You will need a drill to use this tool** We previously used the Mini Kreg Jig and we have UPDATED to the Kreg Jig K5. I would recommend the K5 because it is so so easy to use plus you can see for yourself!

What it does: This replaces a screwdriver and requires less effort to use. Also used for drilling holes in various materials. Helps fastening materials together with ease.
Our recommendation: This is one of our first power tools and we still used it all the time. Dewalt 20-Volt Cordless Drill.

What it does: This tool is used to make a quick, accurate cut with the option to cut wood at an angle. A must if you plan on any woodworking projects!
Our recommendation: 12″ sliding compound saw!

What it does: This tool opens so many more possibilities in projects! A lot of nail guns, staple guns, painting tools, and other things require the use of an air compressor. Saves so much time in nailing wood together or painting… If you plan on any trim work inside your home, this is a must!
Our recommendation: Portable one!

What it does: This does exactly what it says, it helps to make sure things are level.
Our recommendation: We currently have 2 levels, one is a 24″ the Stanley FatMax Level and the other is a magnetic 9″ level. We use both often.

What it does: Used to hold materials together.
Our recommendation: Multiple different sizes!

What it does: This tool is used to cut fancy edges on woodwork but it is also used to create a dado and patterns in wood.
Our recommendation: We currently have the Dewalt Compact Router, I was debating on getting this Compact Router Combo Kit that comes with a plunge base. You will probably want to purchase this Edge Guide to save you time!

What it does: This tool is very helpful at cutting large pieces of wood (plywood) or cutting strips off of wood. There are so many uses for this tool.
Our recommendation: This is one that we are saving for because we are always using someones. When we do get one, we will be getting the Dewalt Compact Table Saw.

 

Demo

What it does: s used as a lever to force apart two objects or to remove nails.
Our recommendation: This is our favorite tool to use when demoing if you want to try to save the material. It is amazing to help demo any room, saves time! We currently have the Stanley Wonder Bar.

What it does: Sometimes you need more demo power! And this tool is used to break through the material. The size/weight of the hammerhead allows more power with every swing.
Our recommendation: We currently use the Husky 10 lb. Sledge Hammer.

What it does: This drill delivers a much more powerful hammering blow, making it possible to drill bigger holes much faster or chisel quicker. The drill bit will move in and out while it’s spinning (settings can be changed to just spin or move in/out). If you are planning on drilling through concrete or demo tile, this tool will be your saving grace!
Our recommendation: This is a tank at removing flooring, removing concrete, or drilling through concrete. We currently have the Bosch Rotary Hammer Drill.

What it does: This is a hand-held electric saw, that is helpful in cutting through wood or metal. It’s the ultimate demolition tool. Instead of trying to rip something out, you can just cut it free.
Our recommendation: Great saw at removing/cutting wood and pipe. We currently have the Milwaukee Sawzall. Don’t forget the blades.

 

Painting

What it does: This tools applies paint to any surface.
Our recommendation: We currently use the Wooster Angle Brush, this is my favorite paint brush.

What it does: This is used to hold the paint while rolling.
Our recommendation: This is not the one we use but the biggest thing that I would suggest in buying a painting tray is to purchase one that is plastic because then it will not rust. This Wooster Painting Tray.

What it does: This is used to paint walls faster.
Our recommendation: By a more expensive one that will hold up!

What it does: Used to store paint for a paintbrush.
Our recommendation: This is similar to the one we use, Handy Paint Pail.

What it does: Helps extend the paint rolling to high places.
Our recommendation: Get an adjustable extension pole.

What it does: Sometimes it’s needed while painting.
Our recommendation: We currently use FrogTape, it is our favorite right now.

What it does: This will save time when painting and helps create a better finish if used correctly.
Our recommendation: I LOVE this tool! We have two types a larger hole room Graco Magnum sprayer and a Critter Paint Sprayer (you need an air compressor) for smaller projects.

What it does: Saves time in cutting in around things.
Our recommendation: We currently use the Shur-Line Paint Edger.

What it does: This is nice for painting trim and cabinets faster but to give you a better finish.
Our recommendation: We currently use this Foam Roller.

What it does: Used to patch holes on a wall and scrape off old paint.
Our recommendation: We have a couple of these guys but the one we use the most is the Husky 14-in-1 Painter’s Tool.

What it does: Helps to create a straight line while painting. Can be used while painting baseboard that way you do not paint the floor.
Our recommendation: This is used to tape drywall but we use it for painting all the time. The one we currently have is an 8″ taping knife.

What it does: TEXT
Our recommendation: TEXT

 

Other

What it does: For getting a little bit higher (on the roof).
Our recommendation: We currently have a Little Giant 22-ft Ladder but we have also used the base model.

What it does: For getting a little bit higher.
Our recommendation: Get one that is foldable and has three steps.

What it does: Cleans up debris or water.
Our recommendation: We currently use a Shop-Vac.

What it does: Cleans up your work area.
Our recommendation: We have the Quickie Push Broom

 

Yard

What it does: This is used to cut grass.
Our recommendation: We currently use the Honda Self-Propelled Lawn Mower and don’t forget a gas can.

What it does: Used to trim grass around items (flowerbeds, sidewalks, etc..).
Our recommendation: We currently use the Stihl FS 40 Trimmer.

What it does: There are different types of rakes but some are used to collect leaves & grass. Then in landscaping, they are used for loosening the soil, light weeding and leveling soil, and removing dead grass from lawns.
Our recommendation: If you have trees and plan on landscaping, we would recommend 2 types of rakes. We currently use a Leaf Rake for our leaves (not sure what ours is called but the one linked to has good reviews) and a Bow Rake for landscaping.

What it does: Tool used for digging, lifting, and moving materials.
Our recommendation: We have a couple of shovels but our first shovel is still our favorite. We have a Fiskar Steel Shovel.

What it does: This is used to apply grass seed or fertilizer to a yard.
Our recommendation: We currently use the Scotts Mini Broadcast Spreader.

 

Please keep in mind that this collection of tools did not happen overnight. We have been building this collection over the years.

Having the right tools for the job will definitely make things easier and will help you achieve results that you will be happy with.

Because you are DIYing to save money, make sure to plan in the tools needed for each project because it can make that project more expensive! And, that is normally when we buy new tools…

Tools We Use to Remodel and DIY our home