DIY Gotta Have It Tool List: A Girl’s Best Friend

Just the other day — my friend Danielle (are you sick of hearing about her yet?) and my friend Brian (equally mentioned on this blog) were doing a little home project — fastening a wine rack to Danielle’s wall. It did not turn out as planned – the wall was concrete. As any DIYers would guess — they didn’t have the right tools to finish the job — so instead of going to Home Depot they Facebook’ed my father (Mr. Fix It) for some answers and cracked open a bottle of Pinot Grigio while they waited for answers. Needless to say — no wine rack is on the wall today.

Although my dad is very handy — this trait did not get passed down to me. I have a set of pink tools that I use when I need to here and there. Otherwise I pass the task off to my hubby or we wait for my dad to visit 🙂 But it is useful to know what tools to have so you don’t have to rely on another soul to prominently display your Pinot Niors and Chardonnays. My guest blogger Lisa Pluth is all about doing it yourself and was kind enough to share her list:

Gotta Have it Tool List for DIY: A Girl’s Best Friend

by Lisa Pluth

Having just a few tools can make fixing things a breeze. Ever had a dinner party planned and the handyman cancel… twice? A useful small toolbox is as essential to life as a good hairdryer and a chocolate stash. Here is a list of small tools that are excellent for hanging pictures, touching up paint, moving furniture and replacing batteries in kid’s toys. Keep these tools in the closet and they will come in handy again and again!

  • Cordless rechargeable drill: This is a life and time saver, buy a decent one and you will have it for years. However, most cordless drills arent as powerful as corded drills. If you’d rather a more powerful drill, look at these Tools First reviews to find the best one in your budget.
  • Package of inter-changeable drill heads.
  • Package of drill bits in different sizes for drilling pilot holes.
  • Ratchet set and drill adapter (optional)
  • Manual Flat head and a Phillips head (looks like a star) screw drivers.
  • Micro flat head and Phillips head screw drivers for changing batteries in kid’s toys.
  • Hammer
  • Rubber headed mallet hammer (optional)
  • Used cedar block. Used as a buffer for hammering anything that you don’t want dented by the head of the hammer.
  • Level. Used for hanging pictures, shelving and a thousand other things.
  • Retractable 25-foot measuring tape
  • 6-inch putty knife
  • 3-inch putty knife
  • Adjustable pair of rubber handled pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Retractable utility knife with replacement blades
  • Small hacksaw
  • Two small adjustable clamps (optional)
  • Large metal corner square (optional)
  • Floor dolly covered in carpet. Friends are much more willing to help rearrange furniture once you have one of these. Floor dollies are also fabulous for moving potted plants. Get one with thick rubber wheels and a wheel stop. (Optional)
  • 2 paint brushes, one large and one small
  • Package of disposable sponge brushes
  • Small box of mixed nails
  • Small box of mixed screws
  • Small box of picture hanging hooks in various sizes
  • Rubber sponge sanding blocks, in fine, medium and course grit
  • Wood glue
  • Super glue
  • Small tube of clear calk for sealing cracks quickly
  • Small bucket of low-dust drywall compound (premixed)
  • Can of liquid wrench or WD40
  • Roll of green Frog tape
  • Roll of electrical tape
  • Box of disposable paint gloves
  • Protective plastic glasses
  • Disposable protective face masks
  • 4 oz canning jars for touch up paint and keeping nails and screws: Add small amounts of paint into these and label them according to the rooms they match. Paint cans are large, messy and awkward! Canning jars make quick paint touch ups clean and easy and they stack.
  • First “serious” tools to add when you fall off the DIY cliff:
  • Electric Miter saw: Great for cutting precise angles safely. This saw is easy to use and compact.
  • Small compressor with a finish nailer and stapler: Small compressors install window trim, build picture frames, inflate pool toys, run paint sprayers and do a thousand other things.
  • Small handheld jigsaw: Easy to use and lightweight the jig is my favorite saw. It can cut everything from tree branches to delicate lacy wooden Christmas tree ornaments depending on the blade. The saw action is smooth and easy to control. A jigsaw requires much less strength to use than a reciprocal saw.
  • SawStop table saw: Table saws are seriously dangerous. This is the only one that has a sensor installed to prevent injuries.

Does anyone have any other favorite tools out there? Add them to the list! My friend Maryanne suggested Frog tape and it’s the best paint tape ever!

About the Author: Lisa Pluth is a writer, DIY enthusiast and the brand manager for Tool HQ, a leading online source for tools.

10 replies
  1. Darcie Rowan
    Darcie Rowan says:

    When I moved to my own apt, my mom (a single gal) gave me this exact same tool set (though mine was purple) as a starter kit. Now, the contents in my tool kit aren’t anywhere near as many as what’s on this list. But, the next time I’m at Doodies (hardware store) I’ll bring my own list:

    carpenter nails
    Frog tape
    1 inch paint brush
    2 inch paint brush

    I’ve got a few jobs to finish around the house ! thanks for the reminder

    • List Producer
      List Producer says:

      Thanks for the comment Darcie! So funny that you had the same tool set! So great. Glad this was a good reminder for you — the weather is getting nicer so I feel like people will be doing more home renovations soon!

  2. Laura
    Laura says:

    That IS a long list! I need to add some items to my tool box / drawer, too! Lucky for me, I bought a wine rack that was already assembled! Thanks for the handy info.

    • List Producer
      List Producer says:

      hahaha– of course it’s not! Well — I don’t think all these things would fit in your apartment…but at least there are a few ideas for you. Thanks for serving as comic relief for this blog as per usual 🙂


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