Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Essential Home Improvement Tools

The necessary home improvement tools depend on the job that you are doing, but there are some basic tools that you will need to do just about any job. Here’s a look at what they are and the purposes they serve.


For most jobs, the “claw hammer” is suitable. Designed primarily for hammering nails into wood and for removing them, the claw hammer differs slightly from the framing hammer, which usually has a milled head. The milled head will leave a mark on dry wall. So, for any finishing work, the claw hammer is used. They may also be referred to as finishing hammers.

In addition to the claw hammer, you may also need an upholstery hammer, if your DIY jobs extend to furniture refinishing or upholstering. The upholstery hammer does not have the claw on the back to remove nails. It is smaller and lighter weight than most hammers, because it is primarily designed for hammering in upholstery tacks or nails.


For most jobs, the handsaw is suitable. But, for large jobs that require a lot of cutting, a power saw, usually referred to as a circular saw may be desirable. Anyone interested in home improvement tools would enjoy a power saw, especially if they were given a special table for cutting. It just makes every job a little easier.


Hand planes are composed of a cutting edge and a safety handle. They are used to smooth out rough pieces of wood and for “rough” sanding. Sandpaper of different grades is used to complete the smoothing process. A hand plane is often used to repair a door that sticks.


Levels, as the name suggests, are used to ensure that structures are of even height; that they are “level”. The bubble level has been used most commonly in the past, but the laser line levels are gaining favor. The laser line levels can be used for everything from hanging a chair rail to hanging a group of pictures at exactly the same height. A bubble level would be used, for example, to check that a deck rail was straight.

Miter Box

Although some people might not think so, miter boxes are essential home improvement tools, especially for installing trim. Baseboards, chair rails and crown moldings, for example, need to be cut at special angles, or they will not meet properly at the corners.

You may need other home improvement tools, as you attempt to do other jobs. But, the basics here will get you started.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Was reading your blog. I agree a good set of basic tools is always handy. The old fashion manual tools will never fade from use.