Must-Have Tools of the Trade for Home Improvement DIYers

our favorite things

Whether you’re brand new to DIY home improvement or a seasoned veteran, there are a core group of tools of the trade that you absolutely need to buy.

Instead of just listing what you need, I went out of my way to share with you all my favorites. I wanted to put the time and effort into all of this so you wouldn’t have to. After doing the research, I can tell you that without a doubt all of these come with my highest recommendation.

Toolkit

Every DIYer needs a toolkit, and this 100 piece set should be your first port of call. It has literally everything you need to get started. I found it here on Amazon for a bargain.

Also, the level that you get in a standard toolkit is usually not as great as a laser level. Having a laser level changes everything. It allows you to level out things on an entire wall, which makes jobs like installing kitchen cabinets a breeze. I recommend buying this one on Amazon. It’s extremely precise and very well-respected.

Another item not found in a toolkit, but one that deserves a place in yours, is a stud finder. Be careful with these though. Some are absolute garbage while others are really reliable. I like this one a lot because it’s inexpensive but really accurate.

Hardware Kit

Along with having a great toolkit, you’re going to need to have a serious assortment of nails, bolts, screws, and washers.

One of the best hardware kits on the market today, in my opinion, is this one right here.

It comes with 1,300 pieces and a ton of variety. It even has special compartments to prevent all your hardware from getting mixed up, which is extremely helpful for me.

Drill

This is by far the best cordless drill combo kit I’ve found on the market. I love Dewalt, and they never fail to impress me. You can buy it on Amazon here for a hefty sum, but it’s completely worth it.

If the combo kit is way too pricey for you, go with the Dewalt 20v Max Cordless. This puppy gets the job done and really deserves to be in everyone’s garage. There’s a reason it’s a best seller on Amazon. Click here to see what it’s currently selling for on Amazon.

Ladder

You might be surprised to see this on my list, but there are so many times you’re going to need a ladder. Trust me, I’m over six feet tall and I still need a ladder for a lot of jobs.

When it comes to ladders, I’m torn between three of my favorites:

That said, if you’re looking for something less heavy duty and a lot less expensive, I recommend getting this Cosco folding step stool. Here’s the link to pick it up on Amazon.

Safety Gear

This should be obvious, but so many people try to do DIY without putting safety first. I didn’t think I’d need to include these three items, but unfortunately some people get so excited about the actual work they forget to buy safety gear.

Make sure to pick up a pair of safety goggles. Any pair will do, but you can check out the ones I like most right here.

Work gloves are also a must. Again, get whatever you feel most comfortable with, but if you’re looking for my two cents, I think these are a great buy.

You won’t always need a safety mask, but for any job where you’re going to cutting wood or potentially breathing in stuff that can be harmful to your health, you definitely want to have one around. Amazon sells a pack of 50 of these guys for super cheap. Here’s a link to them if you’re interested.

Flashlight

While you might not think about it too often, having a powerful flashlight around for your home improvement projects can be incredibly helpful.

Make sure to buy a Maglite. They’re first-rate. I found a really great one here for a really fair price.

Utility Knife

I honestly can’t imagine what a DIY job would be like without having my utility knife around. I think it’s probably one of the most used tools of the trade and also one of the cheapest out there. There’s a really great two-pack being sold for a steal on Amazon. You can buy it here.

Brad Nailer

If you’re just starting out, don’t buy a brad nailer yet. Full disclosure it’s expensive, so wait until you’ve done a few jobs and can really use it.

For the intermediate and advanced DIYer though, I highly recommend going with this one being sold on Amazon from Craftsman. If you plan on working on the trim of your house, doing molding work, or putting up cabinets, it’s a no-brainer and does a phenomenal job. You can thank me later for the recommendation.

Circular Saw

If you’re serious about DIY home improvement and remodeling, you’re going to need to pick up a circular saw. You’ll need it for cutting everything from wood to granite. My personal choice is this one here, which you can pick up on Amazon and have it in two days.

Powered Handsaw

Time for a confession: I hate using a regular handsaw. It takes me a lot longer than I’d care to admit, and I don’t think they make the best cuts. That’s why I’ve always opted for a powered handsaw. This one from Black and Decker is one of my favorites. It’s incredibly powerful, just the right price, and lasts a really long time if you take good care of it.

Miter Saw

If you need to make really accurate crosscuts and miter cuts at just the right angle, you’re going to need a miter saw. This type of saw is perfect for angled cuts. A quick word of caution for any newbies out there: remember that a miter saw is not meant for plywood, get a circular saw for that. Both kinds of saws might look similar, but they’re very different. That said, if you’re going to buy a miter saw, my favorite is the Dewalt 12-inch. It’s very precise, powerful, and durable.

Random Orbit Sander

When it comes to DIY work, not too many people like sanding. It takes a while and can be quite a pain. However, with a random orbit sander, things are a lot different. The amount of money you spend on it will save you countless hours of elbow grease and sandpaper. A random orbit sander works by spinning the sanding disk and moving it in an ellipse. The random sanding action prevents swirl marks. Buying the Dewalt 5-Inch, in my opinion, is your best bet. Some random orbit sanders are cheaper, but this one works a lot better and is still very reasonable priced. You can pick it up here on Amazon.

Table Saw

If you have the space in your garage and are looking to up your DIY game, invest in a high-quality table saw. A table saw is the workhorse of any garage workshop. They’re also great with lengthwise rip cuts. Back in the day, these used to be pretty bulky and annoying to move. However, nowadays, many of them are portable or even fold up so you can easily put it to the side when you want to pull the car in. There are a lot of good table saws on the market, but if I were you, I’d go with the Bosch 4100-10 table saw with 25 inch cutting capacity and portable folding table stand. For what you get, it’s an incredible deal.

Wrapping Up

I think this just about covers it. I’m constantly updating this list though, so be sure to check back from time to time. The more projects you do, the more of these items you’ll end up needing.

Also, let me know if I missed anything that you think is absolutely essential, and feel free to give me a link to where you bought it.

Wishing you tons of happiness and satisfaction with all of your DIY home improvement projects!