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Safety Gear Every DIYer Should Own

As an avid DIYer, you have the necessary tools, but do you have the proper safety gear? Here are 12 pieces of safety gear every DIYer should own.

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woman sanding with safety glassesPressmaster/Shutterstock

Safety Glasses

Since safety glasses are inexpensive, there’s no reason every DIYer shouldn’t have a pair. There are a variety of styles, including bifocal safety glasses. Wraparound glasses offer maximum protection and both anti-glare and tinted glasses are available. Keep a few pair around so there’s always one within reach.

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ear plugsPhoto: PreechaB/Shutterstock

Hearing Protection

When it comes to hearing protection as part of your safety gear toolkit, earmuffs provide the most protection from loud power tools and outdoor equipment, while earplugs are less restrictive and can easily be stored in your pocket. Here are some tips to choose the best hearing protection for your needs.

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first aid kitAlena Brozova/Shutterstock

First Aid Kit

No matter how careful you are, there will likely come a time when you or someone you’re working with will need first aid during a project. Keep a kit stocked with bandages, adhesive tape, gauze and an antibiotic ointment. Make a second kit to keep in your car.

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safety gloveswelcomia/Shutterstock


Gloves are a must-have when it comes to safety gear, whether you’re working in the garden, on the gutters or in the garage. Disposable nitrile gloves are great for when you’re working with fluids and other caustic liquids. Leather, canvas and cloth gloves all offer plenty of protection, but should still be comfortable.

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masks and

Masks and Respirators

Dust and toxic airborne particulates are often thrown into the air when doing DIY work, so at the minimum, keep a dust mask handy. Dust masks should have the N95 certification which will ensure the dust will stay out of your lungs. A respirator mask is a must-have safety precaution when you’re doing your own demolition work.

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work bootsjazzmxx/Shutterstock

Work Boots

Work boots come in a variety of styles for just about every DIY project. Work boots will give you a sturdy, no-slip platform, but they should also be comfortable. If you need extra toe protection but don’t want the weight of steel-toed boots, look for boots with composite toe protection because they’re lighter.

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knee padsESB Professional/Shutterstock

Knee Pads

If you’ve done any flooring work, you know the importance of knee pads. Knee pads are a must for your basic homeowner safety gear tool kit because they’re inexpensive and provide plenty of protection and comfort when doing everything from installing hardwood to working in the garden.

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yellow hard hatgpointstudio/Shutterstock

Hard Hat

Wear a hard hat or helmet to protect your head any time you’re working with heavy objects that could fall from above. A hard hat should be worn any time you’re doing any tree maintenance such as trimming or cutting.

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fire extinguisherEmil I/Shutterstock

Fire Extinguisher

Every DIYer should have a fire extinguisher in the garage or workshop. A multi-purpose extinguisher is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, as it is large enough to put out a small fire but still light enough to easily handle.

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protective clothingindustryviews/Shutterstock

Protective Clothing

If you’re doing a project that requires the use of a chainsaw, wear protective clothing such as safety chaps. If you’re working with chemicals, wear a long-sleeved T-shirt and gloves to protect your skin. Coveralls are also an option, which will offer full-body protection from chemicals and dust.

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If you’re a DIYer that does a lot of work outside, keep sunscreen in your toolbox or tool belt. A spray or stick sunscreen is quicker and easier to apply than lotion-based versions.

Follow these 10 summer safety tips to stay safe and cool in the sun.

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back bracebuydeephoto/Shutterstock

Back Support

A back support belt will offer protection and give your lower back muscles a break. Look for a version that is adjustable and machine washable.

Check out these tips for how to move heavy furniture.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.