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5 Best Tools for the DIY handyman

Don’t get caught out on your DIY projects.

These are the 5 best tools to have in your kit.

Guest Blog by The Can Do Handyman Keith Hutchings.

After spending just a short time with Keith you quickly realise this guy is no ordinary handyman. Exuberant smile, undeniable can do attitude and showing a level of care for a job well done Keith is my first choice for clients needing those annoying jobs fixed.

Impressed with his sharing and caring nature I invited Keith to share his 5 best tools for the DIY Handy-person (being equal opportunity and all). If doing it yourself is your thing you’re in for a great treat. Counting Down from 5 to 1

#5 A Shop Vacuum

These are a really important addition to your tool kit.  Because the job isn’t really done until the gear is packed away and the job cleaned up after.  And they’re not expensive.  But you ask “Why do I need one when I have a $1200 Nilflisk?”  There are three reasons.  The first is that both plaster and cement dust are really abrasive.  Your shop vacuum costs under a hundred dollars.  Fill its full motor full of nasty stuff and try and kill it with every use, rather than the really expensive unit that you use around your house.  The other thing is that most domestic vacuums are designed for ordinary levels of house dirt.  If you are sawing, sanding or plastering in preparation for painting, you are going to be producing a huge volume of dust.  The shop vac has the volume to collect that without filling the bag every two minutes. And the third reason is that it is a wet or dry vacuum. This means that if you accidentally cut a pipe or have some other form of wet mess to clean up, it can make your life a lot easier.

#4 Multi Function Tool

These are great because they are several tools in one.  Usually when someone is selling a “multi – tool”  it means that it disappoints in a number of different actions.  But as the exception that proves the rule, these things really work.  For the home renovator they can be great.  Repainting furniture? There is a triangle sanding head that allows you to get into tight corners to remove old varnish or clean up after the paint stripper has done the heavy lifting.  Renovating the bathroom? There is a diamond  head that will cut out old grout.  Replacing a broken floorboard? There is a plunge cutting blade that is made to do just that.  However, a cautionary tale.  Don’t skimp on the pricMulti-tool #4 in 5 best tools to have in your DIY kite with this one.  I bought a Ryobi multi-tool a few years back.  It died pretty quickly and didn’t have much movement.  When I replaced it with a Bosch commercial unit I was amazed at how much more effective it was.  The difference between them was only about $50 bucks and it is definitely worth the time and energy it saves.

Here is a small assortment of the various things you can attach to this enormously handy fellow. See image left.

From Carolyn – Choice consumer advocates agree with Keith rating Bosch as its top recommendation for Multi Tool functionality. SEE CHOICE REPORT

#3 Hammer drill

If you live in a house with brick walls this will change your life.  Drilling into plaster, brick or cement will become such a pleasure that you will start making excuses to hang things on the wall.  The question here really is “How often will you use it?”  If it isn’t going to be on a weekly basis, or you aren’t doing a big renovation job, I would suggest that you buy a standard drill with a chuck that has hammer function.  If you are going boldly on this or are going to use it a lot, spend more money, to get a drill with more “Hammer”. It will make you happier.  (see number two for the question of cordless or not)

#2 Cordless Drill

These things are a major game changer for the home handy person if you are doing regular work.  I can still remember the first time I had a good reliable cordless.  The screw was in the wall, the dust swept up and the tools packed away in less time than it would have taken me to find and untangle the extension cord previously.   They can also be a major impedance to success if you’re not using them often, Because the batteries will go flat just sitting in the cupboard.  So ask yourself, realistically, how often will I use it.  If it is less often than once a month, maybe not.  You will probably have to plan ahead before a DIY day to re-charge the batteries. If it is going to be more like once a year, Don’t bother with the extra expense. Because there is nothing worse than going to do a job,  pulling the trigger,  sounds great,  you are all go,  only to have the drill die after the first hole.  This is a tool you can probably get away with going domestic on.  And then if you find you have killed it, upgrade to a prosumer brand.

#1 Your Smile

The most important tool to have in your toolbox is your smile.  I often talk to clients who tell me “I’m useless at this stuff”  and I have to explain,  that in spite of what they believe about me,  I wasn’t born with a cordless drill in my hand.  Instead, everything I know how to do, I learned from experience.  Either by being taught by someone with more experience, or by learning along the way.  And it is important to note here that ownership of dangly bits in your shorts are not required for home repairs.  One of the best Carpenters I ever worked with was a woman named Silvia Pierce.  And sometimes I learned by stuffing up and having to fix it.  So I would encourage everyone to treat fixing things around the home as a great game, a puzzle. An adventure.  Do your homework.  These days there are tutorials for just about everything on YouTube.  Then give it a go.  If it doesn’t work, don’t give yourself a hard time, you have just conducted an experiment and successfully discovered another way how NOT to do it.

However, a caveat, consider the consequences of getting it wrong.  Experimenting with electricity or plumbing could go horribly horribly wrong.  So probably call a professional. First time hanging a picture on the wall?  Perhaps don’t start with the priceless old master in the antique frame. Does your plan involve the structural integrity of the building?   Maybe hire someone who knows what they are doing.

But those caveats still leave you with a lifetime of adventurous learning.  And there is no better feeling than “I did this myself” even if getting there required a handyman to come around and give you some training and advice.  Go forth and make stuff.

Thanks Keith for sharing the 5 best tools for your DIY tool kit and Handyman secrets to get the job done. I’m all geared up to DIY but I’m sure you’ll be visiting us soon to do some of the trickier jobs around the house.

Contact Keith Hutchings the Can Do Handyman for any of those jobs you want done around the home with a smile and confidence. Servicing Perth metro and surrounds.

M: 0424 922 515

W: www.can-do-handyman.com.au