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        posted
        Hello,

        I'm a new homeowner, closing on my house February 1. I have the basic tools that one acquires over some years in college and rental apartments - screwdriver, hammer, etc - and a couple of more useful tools - a Dewalt drill/driver, staple gun, 12" level. What are some other useful tools that everyone finds themselves gravitating towards when they start DIY projects at home?

        Thanks!
         
        Posts: 1 | Location: Everett, MA | Registered: Jan 22, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Congratulations on becoming a homeowner!

        One way to approach building a tool collection is to identify the tools you'll need for the specific types of projects you want to undertake (beyond general maintenance).

        I'm not a skilled DIYer like the others so I just have some basics:

        Range of flat bladed and Phillips screwdrivers. I especially like the big heavy duty ones for turning hard screws.

        Also have levels, squares, belt sander, small variety of hand saws, c-clamps and spring clamps, bar clamps, wrenches and sockets of varying sizes, lawn mower spark plug socket, hex screw drivers, yo-yos, cloth and heavier weight gloves, metal cutters, multipurpose tool, various sized drill bits amd probably some other tools buried away in storage.
         
        Posts: 1964 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Conrad
        posted Hide Post
        Like GardenSprite suggested, buy what you need when you need it? I have tended to buy (reward myself) with a necessary tool for every major diy project if it seemed appropriate. The money I saved by doing a job myself more than paid for the proper tool.

        I think the first power tool I bought was a Saber saw or hand held Jig saw. With a clamped straight edge, I could cut straight lines out of 1x material. And any curved lines of course. A hasp and sanding blocks could finish a lot of projects from pine.

        Over the years I graduated to other power tools, and realized that was how I could get the best results and finished projects. Sort of grew into them? I loved working with wood, even as a child. So a compound miter saw, skill saw, and table saw were soon in my garage.

        Many times local community colleges will have wood working and home repair classes offered to adults. These can be a way to get hands on experience with power tools as well as a great knowledge base for a new home owner. If these are available in your area, I would sure take advantage of them!
         
        Posts: 6894 | Location: Plains and Mountains | Registered: Sep 26, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        welcome to the board, and congratulations on the purchase of your home. The down side of all this is, you are now in the beginning stages of "tool addiction"
        This addiction gets worse as time goes by and there is no possible recovery. Fortunately it doesn't affect your health, unless you are careless. So enjoy your new tools as you get them, and don't get careless as you get more familiar with each
        As others have suggested, buy what you need as you need them, and buy the best you can afford
         
        Posts: 2584 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Every project deserves a new tool. For general tools I'd probably get the following:

        Circular Saw
        Corded Drill
        Cordless Drill
        Saber Saw
        Torpedo Level
        2' Level
        6' Level - before you attempt anything big
        Drill bit and driver set
        6 in 1 screw driver - this is a handy thing to have
        Channel Lock pliers
        Diagonal cutters
        Lineman's pliers
        Needle nose pliers
        Adjustable wrenches
        Mechanics tool kit with English and Metric wrenches and sockets
        Allen Wrenches - English and Metric
        Tape Measure 25'
        Framing Square
        Speed Square
        Assortment of clamps as mentioned by GS.

        I'd recommend not buying cheap tools. They just don't hold up. A good way to start building your tools is to buy one or two of them every time you hit the home center. Another great way to get some tools is Craig's list and believe it or not Pawn Shops.

        For mechanics tools buying a set is usually cheaper than going piece by piece. Craftsman hand tools from Sears used to be the gold standard for the home handyman. While Snap On was the professional's choice. Other tools have lifetime warranties now too, I've never had an issue taking a hand tool back to Sears for replacement. I'm not a fan of their power tools though.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 888 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Sears Craftsman (guaranteed for life) hand tools and tool chests are the gold standard. finally got a look at one of those $20 wrenches from Snap-On at Son #2's a couple years ago... I suspect the tool was forged at higher pressure, to permit finishing it smoother than Your Wife's Bottom heh heh heh, but I haven't broken a Sears wrench, either.

        Allen used to make Craftsman tools, can't find fault with them, either.

        Stanley Works is not what it was when the tools were made in Bridgeport, not Taiwan.

        Husky (home depot) tools are similarly surprisingly good.

        I have had good luck with sockets from Northern Tool (good China) and Harbor Freight (unknown China.)

        when you need to reach for a gas torch, the class act is still Bernz-O-Matic, and get the self-igniting "yellow" unit so you can burn MAPP gas if you need more heat someplace. MAPP is a smoky mess compared to propane, but it's three times as hot in the blue cone.

        there is a reason I am favoring domestically produced tools, and that is the folks making them are much more likely to buy what I'm fixing.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5849 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        My only concern with Craftsman these days is will Sears/Kmart still be around in 5 years? They seem to be the gang that can't shoot straight these days along with the folks at JCPenney. I've been happy with the Kobalt from Lowe's that I've bought.

        I still have my Sears Craftsman mechanics tool set my parents bought me when I was in High School. I've swapped out the ratchets but other than that I'm probably on the original tools for everything else. When I worked in a gas station back when they did actual auto repairs my boss swore by Snap-on. They do feel nice in the hand and the smooth finish is easier to keep clean than Craftsman's rougher finish. Snap-on are significantly more expensive than Craftsman or at least they were. Mechanics typically got theirs from the sales guy that showed up at the station every month in his Snap-on truck.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 888 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        competitors to Snap-On (if you buy the company's tools at the auto parts store, the label is Proto, and the finish is not as nice) are Mac Tools and Matco. reason the pro mechanics like them is if they are working on a car and a tool is lost, missing, stolen, or breaks, they call the local guy and have another within the hour. sometimes paying $20+ for a two buck wrench is cost-effective.

        reason the trade schools boost Craftsman kits and not the truck guys is that your tool bill ends up about the same as your tuition bill, and for a kid just starting out at a corner garage, they can't afford to eat. Harbor Freight also gets recommended for starter tools because they are half the price, and when one breaks, replace it with something better. one of Son #3s friends just got out with a sheaf of certificates two years ago, right to a Ford service department, so this is current advice.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5849 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        For many a year Craftsman hand tools were proudly advertised "Made In America" but this is no longer the case. Anyone can tell why?
        Also have been told the guarantee for life went years ago. This was told to me by my local Ace Hardware store manager. As they carry Craftsman products for about two years now.
        Snap On trucks are called "Million Dollar" trucks in these parts by mechanics in the know. The value of its inventory carried any given day. Might just be true.
        I own two complete ratchet sets {SAE & metric} made by S-K Tools, Chicago, Il. Both about 30 years old and they will outlast me, for sure.

        One hand tool addendum, a folding knife with replaceable blade, don't leave home without it.
        God luck to the OP with home ownership. I always say its better to own than pay someone else's mortgage when renting.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1576 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of SturdyNail
        posted Hide Post
        In my town, there is a tool thrift shop. It is stocked with donated tools that are then resold as a fundraiser for various elder services. You never know what you'll find there, but, especially for the name brand hand tools, it is quite a bargain.
        If you're lucky enough to have something like that in your locale, it's a great way to start building up your arsenal of tools.
         
        Posts: 348 | Location: Western NewYork | Registered: Jan 26, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        This is a great list, Some of these I had never thought of Smile
         
        Posts: 5 | Registered: Jan 23, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by SturdyNail:
        In my town, there is a tool thrift shop. It is stocked with donated tools that are then resold as a fundraiser for various elder services. You never know what you'll find there, but, especially for the name brand hand tools, it is quite a bargain.
        If you're lucky enough to have something like that in your locale, it's a great way to start building up your arsenal of tools.


        Now that is one heck of a worthy idea. Thinking that it would be quite hard to walk out that door empty handed.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1576 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        And with all the unemployed construction people, keep your eyes open on Craigslist -- many tools are being sold for "lack of use"


        They make it look so easy on tv, don't they
         
        Posts: 993 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        SN, is this tool thrift shop associated with the more or less standard thrift shops of Salvation Army, Grace Centers of Hope, etc. or is it a stand alone shop sponsored by a charity of one of the construction trades? I'm going to search to see if I can find one in my area.

        OP, don't forget a few tool boxes for all the new tools you'll acquire.

        Sparky617, there was a good article in Fortune last year on the problems faced by Kmart, Sears and Penney's. If I can find it I'll post it for you. As I recall, one of them was given a pretty dismal chance because a high-flying Wall Street type with no retail experience became CEO.

        K-mart is I think just a shell of itself after it emerged from Ch. 11. K-mart stores in our area are still periodically closing. There was just so much overexpansion before it filed for protection in bankrupty.
         
        Posts: 1964 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Kmart and Sears are the same corporation now, after the hedge weasel who bought Kmart to loot it also bought Sears. both are being looted badly by one Eddie S. Lampert, to the point that his ownership is down to 50%. but he won't put a marketing type in charge and get his hands out of the till.

        Penney's is still trying, and the stores are clean, good merch, nicely new. sales are back.

        Sears, clutterville with the same 1990s display material. look past it and get tools.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5849 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        You have the basics...whenever you start your projects, then make a list of all the tools you will require, then get them...if you buy them all at once, it could be a yr plus before you use something...also, do not go cheap...post your tool questions here and get real feedback, not big-box rhetoric

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: tstex,
         
        Posts: 368 | Registered: Jun 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Also, certain tools don't make sense to own if you're not in the trades. Rental stores can be a great resource for some projects. If you're going to use it frequently by all means buy it. But unless you're in the drywall business buying a drywall jack wouldn't be worth the money.

        Tools I've rented over the years.

        a Dingo - to auger some footings in for a deck
        Lawn Aeration Machine - go in with the neighbors for a full day rental.
        Floor roller - for gluing down vinyl flooring
        Drywall Jack for lifting panels to the ceiling
        Drywall sander - Porter Cable makes a really nice one, great if your drywall mudding skills aren't up to professional standards.
        Pressure washer - though I'm getting close to buying one.
        Roto-tiller
        Power rake - for dethatching your lawn
        Slit seeder - great for reseeding a yard

        Also, make friends with your neighbors and don't be afraid to ask to borrow things. Though if you have to borrow it more than a few times you'll want to buy one. Always pay them in Beer or some other appreciated thank you.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 888 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by swschrad:
        Kmart and Sears are the same corporation now, after the hedge weasel who bought Kmart to loot it also bought Sears. both are being looted badly by one Eddie S. Lampert, to the point that his ownership is down to 50%. but he won't put a marketing type in charge and get his hands out of the till.

        Penney's is still trying, and the stores are clean, good merch, nicely new. sales are back.

        Sears, clutterville with the same 1990s display material. look past it and get tools.


        Kmart and Sears were both basket cases before the hedge fund bought them. Sears should probably downsize from being a general department store and stick to what they do best: tools, paint, appliances, exercise equipment, tires and batteries. They're spinning off Lands End which means their clothing lines will be up to Walmart standards once again.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 888 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        still basket cases.

        they're trying to sell the real estate and spin off or sell the auto centers, too. already got rid of the Sears Outlet Centers.

        at this point, depends on where the sales fall, but they might be well served spinning off the soft goods and sticking to the hard goods.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5849 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        Sadly sometimes the only option is to butcher up the remaining profitable parts of the puzzle. Was not somebody in the news chastised for doing exactly that? Can't add anymore because the board will bleep that dreaded word...No Biggie.
        But by chopping up the pieces a certain amount of jobs survive. Not much of a help if your head is on the block, for sure.
        I had a favorite uncle who managed a Sears store in Delaware years ago. As a kid I marveled at the concept of a mall, as they were lightyears away from my little world. {Not so much now, as I still think small owner operated stores on Main St are cool}.
        But to the day my 82 year old aunt receives the Sears employee discount. Speaks volumes of middle management still there. Big Grin


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1576 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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