9 Necessary Products for a Complete DIYer
Round out your DIY gear collection with these must-haves.
A Longer-Pin Pinner
DeWalt has introduced a micro pinner that can fire 2-in. pins recessed into oak. It’s affordable, too. Many other name-brand versions that can do this cost at least twice as much. Learn how to use a trim nailer here.
This 23-gauge pin nailer excels at pinning together delicate material, leaving barely visible nail holes, and holding edge banding while the glue sets. It features a simple jam release latch to make removing jammed pins a cinch. And because it stops firing when you run out of nails, you don’t have to worry that you’ve been shooting blanks. You can get this pin nailer for about $150 at home centers. Get is right here on Amazon.
Smart Plugs to Ease Your Mind
How often have you been at work worrying whether you left the iron or space heater on at home? Well, if it’s plugged into a Wemo Smart Plug, worry no more—you can turn the power off when you’re away. Controlled by an app on your phone and connected to your home WiFi, these units offer some great features:
- You can schedule anything that’s plugged into it.
- You can use Voice Control with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- The “Away Mode” will randomly turn a lamp on and off while you’re on vacation.
- One model, the Insight shown above, enables you to monitor your energy use.
- Wemo Mini Smart Plugs are stackable and don’t block the outlet when they’re plugged in.
Note: These plugs control the power to the device that’s plugged in but not the device itself. For example, a lamp or humidifier will turn on when supplied with power, but a coffee maker will still need to have a button pressed.
Single units are $35 to $45, and multipacks are $60 to $100 at belkin.com. Click here to find it on Amazon.
Light and Comfy Work Boots
Work boots are rarely perfect. Some are super tough and offer solid support but are really heavy. Others are comfortable to walk in but not durable longterm. These San Jose 6in. boots by Keen have an unlined leather upper that is comfortable right out of the box. The footbed provides support for a full day’s work, and the wedge sole makes you feel like you’re gliding over the ground. It comes in three attractive colors with an aluminum safety toe. A great boot for $150. Plus: Check out these brilliant entryway boot tray ideas.
Rechargeable Work Light
This ROVER Pivoting Flood Light by Milwaukee fits in the smallest of spaces and has three light output modes, allowing you to choose maximum brightness or maximum runtime. The light head pivots 210 degrees for the best task lighting, making it great for working in tight mechanical rooms, crawl spaces and under the hood.
The REDLithium battery included is rechargeable via the USB cable. You can use the light’s magnetic base to mount it to metal, or the carabiner to clip it to overhead pipes or cables. The ROVER Pivoting Flood Light costs about $70 at home centers and online. Click here to find it on Amazon.
FastCap’s Long Nosed Pattern Marker does a few things that a standard marker can’t, like mark through narrow holes with the needlelike tip, which is 1-1/8 in. long. The long, thin nose is great for tracing intricate patterns where a standard marker or pencil can’t get close enough to be accurate. The other end has a chisel tip for writing and general marking. The marker is available in black, silver and gold for about $7 online. These are the 20 marking hacks all DIYers should know.
My Go-To Leaf Blower
I have a powerful backpack blower that moves mountains of leaves in spring and fall. But the rest of the time, I rely on my Worx 56-volt battery-powered blower (about $180). I use it to blow out my car, the shop and garage (no gas fumes!) and to clean vacuum filters. I even climb up on the roof and blast debris off the shingles. I’ve used lots of handheld battery-powered blowers, but none with the balance and power of this one. The battery lasts about 15 minutes, generally long enough for most tasks. —Travis Larson
Bahco’s 2-1/2-in. ERGO Paint Scraper is in a class by itself. The cemented carbide blades last much longer than conventional steel. The textured rubber handle provides a comfortable grip, and along with the knob, lets you use both hands so you can scrape with less effort. And the reversible blade is easy to flip when one side gets dull. This ERGO scraper is available online for about $30. —Tamar Hannah
This scraper comes in a few different sizes. Check it out on Amazon right here.
Change Your Bit with One Quick Flip
The Montana Modular Drill and Drive set makes drilling pilot holes and driving screws a snap. Everything you need is in one multipurpose unit. Drill the pilot hole, pull on the quick release, flip it over and drive the screw—perfect! The kit comes with all the sizes of countersink bits you’ll need, along with Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Phillips-head driving tips. For about $20, you can really speed up your work! Find them at montanabrandtools.com. Next, check out the drill bit sharpener every DIYer needs.
The Ultimate Hang-Stuff-On-The-Wall Tool
This Kapro 313 Measure Mate 24-in. layout and marking tool wears a lot of hats: It’s a horizontal and vertical level, a measuring stick, a straightedge for cutting picture mats and a centering tool. It even has a pull-out clip on the end to help hold screws and tiny nails while you install them.
To hang a shelf or rack with hidden keyhole mounts (which must be spaced the exact distance apart), align the two sliding markers with the keyhole slots, then position the level at the appropriate height and transfer those measurements to the wall. Your mounting screws will be dead level and correctly spaced. It’s great for cutting cardboard; the triangular shape keeps your fingers up and out of the way of your blade.
The Measure Mate costs about $14 online. Check it out on Amazon right here.
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