10 Must-Have Products for DIYers, From Quick-Setting Glue to a Reciprocating Saw
Keep your workshop up to date with these best tools and products for DIYers.
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Bosch’s 10-inch miter saw is a smart addition to the workshop when limited space and high performance are a factor. Useful for weekend DIY home projects, this 37-pound saw has many pro-grade features: tall sliding fences for easy crown molding setup, the ability to bevel both directions and a sliding feature for crosscuts up to 12 inches wide. Its bevel adjustment works smoothly, and it has a number of standard positive angle stops.
Cordless Hedge Trimmer
If you’re using a corded hedge trimmer, consider this your sign to leave the cord hassles behind. Many manufacturers make battery-powered hedge trimmers, but Worx has one with a unique feature—a handle that rotates up to 180 degrees, so you can reach into the tightest or most awkward spaces without contorting your body. It may be lightweight (8.38 pounds), but not when it comes to cutting power. The extra-long 24-inch trimmer slices cleanly through branches up to 0.75-inch thick, leaving your hedges and shrubs looking neat and trimmed.
If you’re nailing or screwing joist hangers, rafter hurricane clips or any other metal connectors to wood, consider investing in a metal connector nailer. One of these will save you hours of painstaking screw-driving or hand-nailing (and smashed fingers!). The Bostitch StrapShot 150 is compact and lets you fire 1.5-inch nails into spots most other connector nailers can’t. With this design, you insert the actual nail tip into the connector opening and pull the trigger—a surefire system.
The Tajima Chalk-Rite II is the best chalk reel out there for one reason: It makes a solid line every time. Some chalk reels leave lines with gaps, which can be a problem when you’re cutting along the line or using it as a reference for measurements. The combination of Tajima’s proprietary chalk and the ultra-thin line gives you consistent, accurate snapped lines every time.
Quick-Setting CA Glue
Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue, a one-part instant cure adhesive, deserves a permanent home in your workshop. Stick Fast’s CA glue offers medium-to-thick viscosity versions, which are suitable for household repairs (it’s dishwasher and microwave safe) and DIY projects, like filling hairline cracks, making instant wood dust filler and when clamping is impossible. Need a quick setup to finish a project? Speed things along with an accelerator for almost immediate adhesion.
Sometimes your work needs a whack, and your workshop would benefit from a claw hammer, specifically a 16-ounce claw hammer, which especially comes in handy if you drive a lot of nails. From installing and removing doors to working on a range of home utility purposes, it’s an essential tool for carpentry projects around the house. (Keep in mind that a smaller, lighter hammer, like a joiner’s hammer, is best for more delicate use.)
Clamps are one of those things that you don’t realize you need until you need them. Not only does the Jorgensen parallel jaw clamp, distribute clamping pressure evenly to prevent bowing or lifting, but it will help to square up the joint and make workpiece denting much less of an issue. It’s a must-have tool for a carpenter, hobbyist and woodworking professional.
An all-around useful tool to have in the home tool box is end cutting nippers, like this high-carbon steel pair from Bates Choice. The extra-sharp cutting edge allows you to tackle a wide range of home project tasks, like flush cutting soft wire, extracting nails, nipping off the edge of metal pieces and cutting nails close to the surface.
The Franklin Sensor 710 Pro stud finder is user-friendly and simple to use—just press the button and drag across the surface to locate studs. Because this model scans 13 points simultaneously, it makes accurate results compared to other electronic stud finders on the market. Plus, the LED screen is easy to read. It can detect metal and wood, though it’s unable to detect electric cords.
A favorite among DIYers, this reciprocating saw is a robust and powerful tool that cuts through lumber, metal, plywood, plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe—you name it—making it a general purpose saw you’ll reach for time and time again. With the right blade, it can be used for a host of home improvement projects, like plumbing, electrical, metal work, framing and yard work.