When done right, DIY is fun way to save you some serious cash. But home renos and repairs rarely go without a hitch. They pop up at inconvenient times, always seem to require that one replacement part you don’t have, and can snowball into even bigger (read: more expensive) problems. The last thing you want is to be on a roll, fixing something yourself, only to find you’ve got to drop everything and duck to the hardware store to try and find a solution.
We’re in the business of being prepared, though. While we don’t always know what’s about to leak, break or require a quick-fix, we can cover our bases. We’ve compiled a list of 11 simple tools to build up a basic kit and give you the best chance at tackling any task that arises no matter your experience.
1. A headlamp
Picture this: you’re shoulder-deep under the sink trying to fix a leaky pipe but can’t see a single thing you’re doing. Whether it’s a dimly lit spot like under the sink, or need to fix something outside, you’ll be thanking yourself for having this handy tool in your kit.
Energizer® Lights offer a range of handsfree options, including the Energizer® Vision Ultra HD Rechargeable Headlamp which has seven light modes and reaches 400 lumens. The rechargeable light is also weatherproof and has a RED light mode to preserve your night vision so, day or night, your DIY will still get done.
2. Spirit level
If you’re putting up a floating shelf or hanging some artwork, chances are it’s not straight. We’ve all been there before, so confident we’ve eyeballed it correctly but then had to learn the hard way. Don’t put yourself through it again. Just get a spirit level to ensure whatever you’re hanging is perfectly straight the first time around (and keep your spirits high in the process too).
You need a spanner in the works for when you inevitably need to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts. They can be different sizes so an adjustable spanner where you can change jaw size is the way to go.
As far as simple tools go, this one takes the cake. But safety is critical when you’re playing handyman for the day. Gloves, particularly leather ones, will keep your precious hands shielded from any danger with your sharper tools and give a bit of extra comfort when doing hard work. Plus, they’re good for gardening!
5. Screwdriver set
For installing light switches or building cabinets, you need to at least have a flat head and phillips head screwdriver but better yet, a full set. If you’ve ever been on step 527 of a flatpack build and wanted to throw that that tiny allen key out the window because your hands are cramping, a flathead screwdriver can be subbed in (provided there’s space).
A cordless drill is easy-to-use and worthy of a place in your toolkit to save you time and elbow grease. Make sure you have a few different driver bits (flat head, hex head and phillips head) in your arsenal.
7. Utility knife
You never know when you’ll need to cut boxes, rope or wire when DIY-ing. Add a knife to the collection so you don’t break your scissors.
8. An area light
A versatile area light can help out when you’re in a bind. Need to flood the garage with light? Bring some extra brightness into the room your painting? Have a blackout? You’ll be sorted.
Try the battery-operated Energizer® Folding Lantern for its low, high and night modes. It also folds out so you can flip it from 180°, to a 360° area lighting. Plus, it’s got a cute little handle to carry it with you wherever you need.
9. Tape measure
A tape measure is always a must-have. Buy one now to take the doubt out of your measurements. You don’t want to be stuck stepping shaky metres out or roughly tallying how many times your ruler fits into a space.
10. Magnetic part tray
You know that feeling of panic when you knock all your screws over and scatter them onto the carpet? You can avoid that. No one wants to stop their home repairs to rush off for a tetanus shot. Never knock them over again. This nifty magnetic tray keeps them all in one place.
For hammering in nails, shelf supports or whacking something tough into place. If your DIY is more on the decorative side than the building side, a rubber mallet may be more your speed. The lighter weight and wider surface will do less damage if you’re knocking nice furniture into place.
With an endless tap of inspiring how-tos on TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest, there’s plenty to fuel the inner DIY-er in you these days. Just remember there are still areas to avoid – leave electrical, house foundations and plumbing that extends beyond leaky taps or clogged drains to the professionals. You don’t want your botched work to risk your safety or land you a bigger bill than you would have had in the first place.
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