24 DIY Tools You Should Have at the Ready for Quick-Fix Home Repairs

Updated: May 13, 2024

Sometimes the key to making a fix is just knowing the right product to use. We asked our team of professional carpenters, plumbers, painters, electricians and fix-it gurus about their favorite DIY tools.

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24 Diy Tools You Should Have At The Ready For Quick Fix RepairsVIA MERCHANT

Family Handyman’s deputy editor, Brad Holden, knows DIY tools and offers this advice to new homeowners and veteran DIYers alike: “Nothing boosts your confidence as a DIY’er more than a successful fix. Even a simple repair done well gives a sense of satisfaction. To make it easy on yourself, always be equipped with the right tool or product for the job. Sometimes you’ll need a specialized tool or product, but oftentimes it’s very standard stuff that you’ll use again and again.”

With that said, we’ve pulled together the best DIY tools to keep in your arsenal for when those quick home repairs are needed. You’ll be tackling those small projects in no time!

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Self Sticking Wall Patch
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Self-Sticking Wall Patch

This self-adhesive stiff steel or mesh patches from Homax eliminate the time-consuming process of squaring a hole, putting in wood backer boards and buying, cutting and taping the drywall. It is available in a variety of sizes up to 8 inches, and is sure to come in handy to fix holes and big cracks in walls before painting.

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Thread Locking Compound
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Thread-Locking Compound

For mysterious, quantum-mechanical reasons, the screws that hold handles and doorknobs eventually work loose. A few drops of thread-locking compound permanently fixes the problem and allows you to remove the screw with ordinary tools if needed later. A heavier-duty variety is also available for large bolts and machinery.

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Versatile Screws
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Versatile Screws

No matter what you have to fasten, there’s almost always a drywall-style screw that can handle the job. With thin, hardened shanks, aggressive coarse threads and deep Phillips or square-drive heads, these screws are tough enough to drive into most woods without stripping or breaking (usually without pre-drilling). Most pros keep a selection of coated exterior deck screws on hand for dependable fastening, even in treated wood, and coarse-thread interior screws for everything indoors. We also recommend grabbing a few stainless steel and gold-colored screws for special repairs, like replacing stripped-out brass hinge screws.

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Cleaning Solvents
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Cleaning Solvents

Remove stickers, tar, gum, dried paint drops, grease and a host of other unwanted substances quickly by using a general-purpose cleaning solvent. It makes short work of nasty, gummy messes, like adhesive residue from price tags. Our favorite on the market is Goo Gone, which cleans up sticky messes in a flash.

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Fingertip And Knuckle Bandages
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Fingertip and Knuckle Bandages

Sometimes the fixer needs a fix, too. These specialized Curad Ironman bandages stay in place and protect hands better than standard, one-size-fits-everything bandages. They’re treated with an antibacterial and are tough enough to keep you on the job.

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Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk
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Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk

For a quick bead of caulk without having to work a caulking gun, get Flex Shot. It’s as simple as pressing the small trigger on the canister. The narrow tip at the end of the long nozzle releases an accurate application around sinks, tubs, toilets, window frames and more for your waterproof sealant or adhesive needs.

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Stick On Bumpers
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Stick-On Bumpers

Scotch felt bumpers do more than stop cabinet doors from banging. Stick them under ceramic pots to keep them from scratching tabletops, on a picture frame before hanging to protect walls or silence a rattling toilet tank lid by placing them at the corners of the tank. They’ll even work on a doorstop if your door rattles when loose. Note: Use felt bumpers on varnished wood surfaces. The plastic types can eventually leave marks.

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Screw Hole Repair Kit
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Screw Hole Repair Kit

A hole in wood or drywall from a loosened screw is a common problem. Fix the stripped screw hole with these Mr. Grip steel mesh strips that can be cut to your desired size and placed over the hole before putting the screw back in. They ensure proper traction and holding power.

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Two Part Filler
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Two-Part Filler

Two-part filler has to be mixed and doesn’t rinse off with water, so it’s not as user-friendly as other fillers. However, Minwax’s wood filler is much tougher and better for any hole bigger than a nail head, especially outdoors. Plus, it’s not just for wood—you can patch metal, fiberglass and even concrete.

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Window Screen Repair Kit
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Window Screen Repair Kit

Whether you’re worried about bugs or burglars, Screenmend allows you to mend rips and tears in window screens, screen doors, tent mesh, pool screens, RV screens and more. It offers a simple and easy application that only requires heat from a hair dryer!

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Epoxy Glue
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Epoxy Glue

Gorilla two-part epoxy glue is rock-hard, fills huge gaps, bonds to almost anything and dries very quickly. It’s ideal for gluing irregular shapes and dissimilar materials to each other. Use it on wood, glass, ceramic and metal, and it sets in just five minutes.

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Fender Washers
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Fender Washers

Keep a package of assorted fender washers in your DIY tool box and pretty soon, you’ll wonder how you got by without them.

“Fender washers are used to spread out the force of a screw or bolt, decreasing the likelihood that the fastener will dent your workpiece, such as bolting visible deck framing members together,” explains Holden. “Originally, I think they were used on thin sheet metal, such as car fenders (hence the name), so that the small-headed fasteners wouldn’t distort the sheet metal.”

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Magnogrip Wristband
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Wristband

DIYers working with multiple loose fasteners will love this product. Rather than spending precious time looking around for your spares, keep everything within arm’s reach (pun intended!) by holding onto small parts like fasteners, drill bits and small wrenches on the MagnoGrip wristband.

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Screw In Anchors
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Screw-In Anchors

These screw-in anchors drive in easily without pre-drilling and hold firmly, just as they’re supposed to. Plus, you only need a screwdriver to put them in. The light-duty type is best for hanging lighter shelving and artwork. Use the toggle bolt type for heavier shelving, towel bars and curtain rods.

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Spray Rubber Sealant Coating
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Spray Rubber Sealant Coating

Flex Seal’s liquid rubber coating transforms into a durable waterproof barrier. Once sprayed, it seeps into cracks and holes, eventually drying as a rubberized coating. It’s the ideal DIY tool for quick fixes when you need to keep out water, air and moisture while preventing rust and corrosion.

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Fast Setting Drywall Compound
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Fast-Setting Drywall Compound

ProForm’s quick-setting drywall compound lets you finish small repairs and fill deep holes in minutes instead of waiting days for the premixed joint compound to dry. The small boxes are easier to store and more likely to get used up than large bags or buckets. It’ll help you hang drywall and repair it like a pro.

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Leather And Vinyl Repair
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Leather and Vinyl Repair

What do you do when you get tiny tears or holes in your beautiful leather couch or car seats? Don’t panic! Extend the life of these and other leather and vinyl items with Performix VLP, a clear, glue-like substance that mends damage in no time.

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Lubricant
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WD-40 Lubricant

WD-40 silicone dries quickly and invisibly and doesn’t attract dirt, making it a solid lubricant for drawer rollers, window tracks, door locks, bike parts and other plastic, metal and rubber surfaces. It also helps protect metal against rust.

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Door Ease
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Lube Stick

Every time that screen door squeaks or that stubborn drawer sticks, you cringe a little, right? The noise! The extra effort! For a quick solution, try this lube stick. It’s a small and simple product that’s applied like a crayon to eliminate those squeaks and ease up those sticky drawers. This versatile product works on sliding door and window channels, curtain rod slides, latches, doors, drawers, zippers, sunroofs, seat tracks, screws and nails and saw blades.

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Stain Marker
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Stain Marker

Both natural and stained woodwork are beautiful, but scratches can really stand out, especially with darker stains. You can make those scratches disappear by touching them up with Minwax’s wood finish stain marker. It’s simple to use and much cheaper than buying a whole can of stain.

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Scratch Remover
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Scratch Remover

A simple scratch on your beautiful wooden furniture can stand out like a sore thumb. While you might consider sanding and refinishing the scratch, that takes a lot of time and effort and you may not be able to make the original stain color. Instead, repair it with this scratch remover. It’s a tightly rolled stick of cotton that has soaked in a formula the company calls a “family secret.” Watch the scratch disappear before your very eyes!

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Diy Tools For Spraying Texture
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Ceiling Texture

Sooner or later, every sprayed ceiling gets a water stain or a scrape. Spray texture in a can won’t perfectly match every ceiling texture, but it’s usually close and a lot easier than respraying a whole ceiling. Before spraying ceiling texture, seal the patch with a stain-blocking primer, cover the floor and furniture and practice your technique on scrap plywood or cardboard.

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Stain Blocking Primer
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Stain-Blocking Primer

Water-based sealers do a good job most of the time, but for really tough problems, like wood knots, yellowed water stains and heavy smoke damage, use pigmented solvent-based sealers like KILZ.

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The Drain King
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Drain Cleaner

It seems like a clog in the drain always happens at the most inopportune time. When this happens, many people grab a chemical drain cleaner and dump it down the drain, hoping it will dissolve the clog. But now, there are nasty chemicals that may not solve the problem down your drain. Those chemicals are hard on your pipes, too. A safer and more effective approach is Drain King, which attaches to a garden hose and inserts into the drain where it uses pulsating jets of water to loosen up clogs.