Recommended Home Improvement and Construction Tools
Every day readers ask me to recommend home improvement and construction tools. So I’ve decided to start a list of the tools that I use and recommend. Over time I’ll continue adding tools in different categories so you should be able to find a recommendation or two for most any tool you’re looking for advice on. I’m also going to provide a link for each of them to Amazon Tools. Believe it or not I’ve purchased a majority of my tools from Amazon as they typically have the best price and selection.
If you don’t find a tool that you have questions about then send me an email and I’ll gladly give you any advice I have. If you have suggestions for my list by all means pass them along and I’ll try to add tools to the list that I feel are worth including on the list.
- 20 oz Estwing Framing Hammer – I’ve owned an Estwing framing hammer forever. This good old standby has been used more than any tool I own.
- Stiletto Titanium Hammer – If you’re looking for the latest in hammer technology then you’ll want to try out the premiere titanium hammer.
- Stanley 20 Piece Screwdriver Set – Buy yourself a good quality screwdriver set. You’ll use them as often as your hammer, don’t skimp.
- Reversible Screwdriver – I love having a reversible screwdriver in my tool box. These are very versatile and a must have.
- Stanley 22 piece combination wrench set – Buy yourself a good set of wrenches, you’ll want SAE and MM.
- Stanley 99 piece socket set – Every homeowner, DIYer, contractor and carpenter will need a good set of sockets.
- Stanley Handsaw – You’ll probably want at least two handsaws but this one will get you started.
- Irwin 4 piece adjustable wrench set – Adjustable wrenches are a must have for any tool box.
- 30′ Stanley tape measure – This tape measure hasn’t changed much over the years and it’s still a winner.
- Stanley 3 piece plier set – Have a good set of pliers is essential, especially the needle nose pliers.
- Stanley Framing Square – framing squares are inexpensive but critical to have if you’re going to frame anything.
- Swanson Speed Square – Speed squares are also essential for anyone planning on doing framing work.
- Jorgensen Bar Clamp – I’ve told my wife and I’ll tell you, You Can Never Have Enough Clamps!
- Irwin 6 Piece Clamp Set – These pistol grip clamps are really great!
- Bessey Tradesman 30 Piece Bar Clamp Set – This is my dream set of bar clamps!
- Stabila Complete 5 Level Set with Case – Having a good set of levels is very important.
- Chaulk Lines are another inexpensive tool that will go a long way.
- Delta 10″ Contractor Table Saw – My favorite tool in the shop is my Delta table saw. This is a much have purchase. Just make sure you know and understand how dangerous these are!
- Bosch 10″ Worksite Table Saw – My crews at work use this table saw and it’s hard to beat this portable table saw. If you don’t have much room in your shop then get this one, you won’t be disappointed.
- Bosch 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw – No shop is complete without a really great sliding compound miter saw.
- Milwaukee 7 1/4″ Wormdrive Circular Saw – You can certainly buy some cheaper circular saws, even some great cheaper ones, however, if you want a work horse then this is the one to get.
- DeWalt 18 volt Cordless Drill – You want to spend the money on an 18 volt cordless drill.
- Bosch 1/2″ Power Drill – Get yourself a good 1/2″ power drill for the big jobs.
- Porter-Cable 2 1/4″ HP Router – No shop is complete without a really good router and Porter-Cable is great for routers in my opinion.
- DeWalt Orbital Sander – I use my orbital sander all the time.
- Porter-Cable Belt Sander – If you’re going to do any serious woodworking you need a good belt sander.
- Bosch Jig Saw – Bosch makes a really great jig saw.
- DeWalt Biscuit Joiner – If you plan on making cabinetry or doing much woodworking you need to buy one of these. I love mine.
- Bostitch Combo Compressor / Nailer Kit – One of the best purchases I ever made was one of these combination compressor nail guy kits. It comes with a finish nailer, brad nailer and crown stapler.
- Milwaukee Sawzall Reciprocating Saw – If you like demo then you need a Sawzall!
I’ll be adding more tools over time. Most likely I’ll add a section for electrical and plumbing tools along with additions to the current list. What tools do you like? What did I forget?
From the ‘forgot’ category:
– chalk line
– levels: torpedo, 2′ and if you’re doing any framing or installing windows or doors, a 4′.
And especially useful for plumbing (to make sure you’ve got solder all the way around a joint), but useful for all sorts of fixing projects: a small dental-style mirror. Something like this, though a smaller round one is easier to get into small spaces.
I’d suggest adding Purdy’s Cageless Roller Frame.
This frame allows you to swap out roller-cover frames on the fly, so that you can quickly and easily move from one painting project to the next.
I found out more about the frames on the Purdy website at http://www.purdycorp.com/catalog/frames/detail/16.
You can find out where to buy Purdy products there as well.
Believe it or not I do see a couple of items on that list that Hubby still needs. Though he has done framing and cabinets work for many years now. It takes time to acquire a good set of tools that you love. Thanks for the list.
Might I suggest the NailJack, available at Amazon. It’s a very unique tool designed for pulling nails out of wood and allowing re use of the wood. Go green and give the NailJack as gift, this father’s day.
I double the tip for the nailjacks. I got an order a month ago. It’s a new invention that changes the rules for pulling nails. nailjack.com has small videos.