Tools

Get tips and techniques to help you use and take care of your tools for all your DIY projects.

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  • Tool Tips

  • Solve tough home improvement problems with twenty of the best tool tips we've ever published. These tool tips are nuggets of wisdom from…

  • Pocket Tools

  • Keep a few pocket tools with you and you'll be prepared to make that instant fix or quickly solve a DIY problem. Our staff editors and field…

  • Organizing a Tool Belt

  • A well-organized tool belt allows you to work faster and better and climb and work from ladders more safely. Here's how to organize it…

  • Smartphones: Handy DIY Tools

  • Smart phones are the new essential tool for home repair and improvement. Learn about must-have apps for DIYers that save money and produce…

  • How to Prevent Rusty Tools

  • Reduce the tool rust problem by storing tools with vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) products—capsules, liners and bags.

  • DIY Home Inspection Tools

  • Use these tools and tips to discover major problems before buying a home, including problems in plumbing, electrical, walls, shingles and…

  • Top Trim Carpentry Tools

  • Pro-quality finish work is a lot easier with the right tools—and they don't have to be expensive. Check out a master carpenter's list of…

  • Top DIY Tools

  • Here at The Family Handyman magazine, we love tools! We own a lot of tools (and use them constantly) and we spend endless hours discussing the…

  • How to Sharpen Tools

  • There's no technical mystery to sharpening garden tools like your lawn mower blades, ax and shovel. In this article, we'll show you step-by-step…

  • How to Sharpen Garden Tools

  • Sharp tools make yard chores a lot faster and easier. This article shows how to sharpen your tools at home. You'll get the edge you need for…

  • How to Repair a Leather Tool Belt

  • When a good leather tool belt starts to fall apart, don't throw it away. With basic leatherworking tools you can easily fix holes and tears and…

  • How to Repair a Cut Power Tool Cord

  • Power tool cords that get accidentally cut or hacked can be permanently repaired in minutes with heat shrinkable tubing and a soldering gun.

  • How to Use Powder Actuated Tools

  • Powder actuated tools are the quickest, most efficient way to fire fasteners into concrete slabs and block walls. We'll show you how to use…

  • Caulking: Pro Tips

  • Whether you're caulking a siding, a bathtub or exterior doors, it's important to fill gaps completely and lay a neat caulk line. A pro shares…

  • How to Choose a Dust Mask

  • Drywall dust is hard on lungs, but a properly certified dust mask will protect you from most of it. Avoid bargain masks; look for the N95…

  • Install a Tarp Grommet

  • Repair an old tarp or make a new tarp more useful with extra lashing points by installing new grommets. Also install them in various sizes on…

  • Level Accuracy

  • A one-minute level accuracy test: Level or plumb in one direction. Then flip it around and test the level or plumb in the opposite direction.…

  • Extract a Broken Screw

  • If you have a stuck screw or bolt and have mangled the head, try removing it with a special screw extractor. It usually does the job quickly and…

  • Testing GFCI Outlets

  • All GFCI outlets have one little-known flaw: their circuitry eventually wears out, usually after about 10 years, at which point they no longer…

  • DIY for Kids

  • Getting tools into young hands early and often is the best way to develop DIY skills for kids. We asked pros who teach DIY to kids for their…

  • Fall Leaves

  • Learn different methods for dealing with the annual problem of fall leaves. Field Editors from around the country share their tips for fall…

  • How to Use a Speed Square

  • Speed squares aren’t just for marking 90- and 45-degree angles when you’re cutting 2x4s. You can use a speed square to find roof…

  • How to Use a Multimeter

  • We'll show you how to use this monster of a tool for troubleshooting almost any type of electrical wiring or appliance. Once you understand…

  • How to Use a Chalk Line

  • There’s something almost magical in the way a simple chalk box creates a crisp, perfectly straight line in the blink of an eye. No other…

  • How to Use a Pressure Washer

  • Gas or electric pressure washers will clean almost anything outdoors, and they work so quickly and dramatically that they're actually fun. Learn…

  • Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blade

  • There are several good ways to sharpen lawn mower blades, but one of the quickest and easiest methods is with an angle grinder, an inexpensive,…

  • The Letter 'd' in Nail Sizes

  • Carpenters always talk about 16d common nails or 8d finish nails or 10d sinkers, but nobody ever explains what the heck ‘d’ means.…

  • Test Batteries With a Multitester

  • Not sure about your smoke alarm battery? Wondering about the mystery batteries in your kitchen drawer? Check them with a multitester to find out…

  • Restore an Aluminum Snow Shovel

  • Make the worn edge of an aluminum shovel straight and square again in about 15 minutes. You only need a jigsaw and a file or belt sander.

  • Install a Simpler Weed Trimmer Head

  • Changing weed trimmer line can be a frustrating experience, but there's an easier way. Instead of struggling with big, tangled spools, just lock…

  • Buying a Car Jack and Jack Stands

  • Buy the semi-pro quality jack and jack stands for strength, safety and easy operation. They're well worth the small extra investment.

  • How to Dig a Hole: Pro Tips

  • Dig postholes faster and easier and position them more accurately using this step-by-step guide. It includes many labor-saving tips.

  • How To Remove Rust

  • Patio furniture, outdoor tools and lawn machines all eventually get rusty. Learn how to get rid of that rust and how to protect the metal so…

  • Vinyl Flooring: Removal Made Easy

  • Rent a power scraper to quickly and easily strip and remove vinyl flooring in bathrooms and kitchens. You'll avoid the sore hands, arms and back…

  • How to Test an Ignition Coil

  • Learn how testing the ignition coil can be quick and easy using a special ignition system tester. It's inexpensive and works for any small…

  • Duct Tape Uses

  • Read our duct tape round up to find duct tape designed to solve odd problems and for many special uses. Special use duct tapes include such…

  • 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

  • Our editors and Field Editors choose their favorite tools, the ones they’d most like to give and receive, for our 2012 Holiday Gift…

  • How to Use a Laser Level

  • Do you think that laser levels are a bit of a gimmick? Try one and we bet you will be reaching for one more and more often for all kinds of…

  • Choosing the Best Hammer

  • Can't decide on the best hammer for you? We compared balance, strength and features of classic and modern hammers. See which ones our Editors…

  • Ladder Stabilizers

  • Ladder stabilizers mount on extension ladders, and are essential for working around windows, eaves and high walls when painting, siding or doing…

  • Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening

  • Your lawn mower blade is dull. Sharpen the blade twice each season to help maintain a green, healthy lawn. A sharp blade not only cuts blades…

  • Structural Screws vs. Lag Screws

  • High-strength structural screws are beginning to displace traditional lag screws as the fastener of choice for structural applications.…

  • 2 Stroke Engines: Use Single-Mix Oil

  • Two-cycle engines like lawnmowers, string trimmers and boat motors often require different oil/gas mixtures, but single-mix oil will work for…

  • How to Oil an Electric Motor

  • When oiling an electric motor be sure to use special oil for lubricating electric motors. Other oils could cause excess wear and premature…

  • How to Scribe for a Perfect Fit

  • Scribing is one of the key techniques for installing cabinets, countertops and built-in woodwork. Learn how to perfectly transfer odd shapes…

  • How to Use Pocket Screws

  • Even a novice can build nice cabinets. Make tight, strong wood joints quickly and easily with pockets screws. No clamps, no dowels. We show you…

  • How to Work with Scaffolding Safely

  • Working from scaffolding is much easier and safer than working from a ladder. It's stable, forms a wide work platform and provides a wide…

  • Building Cabinets With Pocket Screws

  • Pocket screws let you assemble perfect, indestructible cabinet joints without expensive woodworking tools or complicated jigs—a huge leap…

  • Build a Table Saw Sled

  • Build these simple table saw sleds and make perfectly square cross cuts and flawless 45-degree miter cuts in both small and wide boards. You…

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