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Our Top 7 Favorite Famous Handymen/women

Every generation has their favorite handyman or handywoman and while it took us some serious deliberation, we've culled through the favorites of all ages to create this list of seven.

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TimBuena Vista Tv/Touchstone Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor

For eight years, Tim Taylor (and his not-to-be-forgotten assistant Al Borland) was our prime time handyman. Sure, you’d never wanted to have the accidents and antics Tim had in his workshop but you definitely (or maybe?) grunted about power tools once or twice. Tim Taylor’s balance of expertise, humor and relatability makes him forever a handyman favorite. *Grunts. If you’re prone to accidents, like our favorite handyman, follow these DIY safety tips.

You can purchase the whole series on DVD—in a tool box, of course—on Amazon (what a great gift!).

And don’t forget this essential safety gear.

Buy Home Improvement now on Amazon.

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RonPaul Drinkwater/Nbc-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Ron Swanson

Ronald Ulysses Swanson (shown here with his Parks and Recreation pal, Andy Dwyer) personifies the no-nonsense, resourceful woodworker and handyman who can fix and build anything while not breaking a sweat (and sipping his favorite whiskey). He’s the kind of guy that tells hardware store employees, “I know more than you.” He’s the handyman we’d all call to build or repair anything because we know that just like the name of his business “Very Good Building Company”, his work would be very good. Enjoy the outdoors as much as Ron with these 16 camping hacks.

Showcase your own woodworking skills with one of these 10 projects.

Ron’s wisdom made it onto our list of 13 old adages that still hold up for DIYers.

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Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak

This mother-daughter duo takes a unique approach to reality TV house-rehab because they are transparent about the ugly, dirty and costly aspects of upgrading a home’s Good Bones! Skilled and truthful handywomen who aim to rehab their neighborhood with their DIY skills? Yeah, they’re definitely a favorite.

We assume Karen and Mina would jump at the chance to rehab these 50 abandoned homes… would you take the challenge?

Many home rehab projects involve repairing old wood floors – learn how to do that here.

Be sure to protect the rest of your home during remodeling projects.

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Bob-the-Builder1: Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock 2: Ray Tang/Shutterstock

Handy Manny and Bob the Builder

For all the wee ones out there, we have to include our favorite animated handymen. Manny teaches kids not just about another language and culture but also cooperation. He and his talking tool friends exemplify the importance of problem solving and respecting others. Bob the Builder’s positive attitude always makes you believe you can fix anything, especially with the help of his friends. Animated or not, they’re perfect handyman role models. Gift your kiddo 13 things every ‘lil DIYer needs.

Build one of these 12 things with your aspiring handykid.

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MacgyverParamount Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock


He may not be the traditional handyman but his genius level approach to problem solving and reliance on his Swiss army knife, duct tape and tool box make him a sort of handyman super hero (even though he was sporting a mullet). He was the guy who led with his heart and showed actual emotion in the face of fear and tragedy—stripping the macho stereotype made him more relatable even though you never knew what brilliant strategies his brain would come up with. If you’re a DIYer, you know there’s been a time that you “MacGyvered” your resources to fix or make something awesome. Bored on a Saturday morning? Use some MacGyver tricks on one of these 101 projects.

Does your house have a mullet like MacGyver? They’re trending (the house, not the hair!)

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George Utley

Every week, audiences everywhere hopped off their couch to change the channel on their 1970s console TV to Newhart. Sure, they were entertained by Bob and his gaggle of neighbors, friends and family, but no one warmed your heart more than the Stratford Inn handyman, George Utley. Not only was he a hard worker, he was a creative inventor, too. His passion for being a handyman inspired him to make a board game: Handymania. Forever earnest and good-humored, George had to make the list. Here are seven outdoor games you can make with stuff you already have.

Eager to watch your favorite psychologist and handyman? Get the whole series on Amazon.

Buy Newhart now on Amazon.

Buy a photo of George Utley now on Amazon.

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Al-BorlandCraig Sjodin/Buena Vista Tv/Touchstone Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Al Borland

There’s an argument to be made that Al is everyone’s favorite prime time handyman—he is benevolent, smart and always keeps people out of trouble (or maybe just one person—ahem, Tim Taylor). When you have a conflicting opinion in the workshop, just borrow the intention and tone from good ol’ Al’s famous line: “I don’t think so, Tim.” He’s the best bookend to our list of favorite handymen! Be safe like Al by following these DIY safety tips.

Organize your tool belt with Al-like expertise.

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Hannah Louise
I help people tell stories, whether that's about themselves, their company, or their product. Every project I take on has one priority: make sure the audience connects with the content. I've fine-tuned this skill over the past decade by creating content for audiences from C-suites to new hires in organizations large and small. I launched my career as a generational keynote speaker (think dispelling myths about Millennials/Xers/Boomers) and worked my way to being a principal of a consulting firm and published author by writing, presenting, and editing books, blogs, white papers, and research analysis. I bring my values of collaboration, humility, and research-driven strategies to everything I do. I'm also a cat owner, coffee enthusiast, and new home owner (you know, your stereotypical Millennial traits.)