Gift Guide for Do it Yourselfers: 10 Must-Have Tools for Any DIYer

The holidays are here and it can often be tricky to find the right gift for those near & dear.  I recently shared a few posts on Holiday Gift Guides and received some requests from readers for a guide / suggestions on favorite tools for the workshop.  Since I adore getting down & dirty with DIY projects, it’s natural that I would be a go-to person to show + share what I have in my workshop corner of the garage.

Whether for yourself or for a gift, here’s my TOP TEN favorite TOOLS for the DIYer…

Gift Guide for Do it Yourselfers: 10 Must-Have Tools for Any DIYer

1. Orbital Sander
My favorite and most used tool is the orbital sander.  I talk about it all the time and use it on almost every DIY project (like my recent china cabinet makeover)!  The sander I have has a pressure control sensor which shows /warns how much pressure is being applied – this is very helpful feature.  Using an orbital sander will save any DIYer countless hours & is a must in the workshop!  A good orbital sander is about $40-50.

> I recommend the Black & Decker Orbit Sander & Skil Orbital Sander (<- this is the model I have)

2. Circular Saw
Great for cutting wood, steel, and even tile.  Using a circular saw you can make quick, straight cuts across a board (crosscuts) or along the board’s length (rip cuts), as well as bevel cuts.

> I recommend the DEWALT Cordless Saw & Bosch Corded Saw

3. Cordless Drill / Screwdriver
This tool was the first big tool that the Mister and I ever bought (and actually we have a corded model, not cordless) years ago and it is a MUST HAVE in the workshop because when drilling or screwing, a DIYer really needs the power and pressure to tackle projects.

> I recommend the DEWALT Drill/Drive Kit & PORTER-CABLE Cordless Drill

> Along with the Cordless Drill, I also highly recommend a Screwdriving set (less than $20) and a Drill Bit Set (less than $30)

Screwdriving set and a Drill Bit Set

4. Level + Speed Square
Both are inexpensive, but a must for a DIYer.  I don’t think there is much need for explaining why, but from hanging shelves to ensuring pictures are hung straight on a gallery wall, a level + a Speed Square are important tools for the tool box.

> I recommend the Stanley FatMax Level ($15) & Speed Square ($10)

5. Kreg Jig
This isn’t a have-to-have tool, but it is a tool that I highly recommend because the creation and ease of projects is limitless with a Kreg Jig.  From making a simple picture frame to a bookcase or desk, a Kreg Jig is a great tool to create pocket holes to join/connect pieces of wood.  I used my Kreg Jig to make my snazzy spice racks & jewelry holder.

> I recommend the Kreg Jig 3 Pocket Hole System ($85) or the Mini Kreg Jig for beginners (less than $20)

6. Jigsaw
I will be honest, we don’t often use the jig saw and we have a cheap inexpensive version, which doesn’t work well, but it really is a tool that a DIYer needs and will use.  It’s my go-to tool for all my pallet projects (like the pallet bookcase) because it’s what I use to dismantle them.  A good jigsaw is about $70-$100.

> I recommend PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw or Bosch Corded Jigsaw

7. Powered Miter Saw
This is a tool I couldn’t live without.  A miter saw is expensive and it took us years to make the purchase, but it’ really been worth the money.  We use it SO much because of how easy, effortlessly, and precisely they can cut (like this recent Christmas creation).  There are a range of styles and pricepoints, but I believe a middle-of-the-road model about $300-$400 is good for a DIYer.  Important features to look for are that the miter saw has a laser and can at least cut boards up to 12 inches.

> I recommend the DEWALT Compound Miter Saw & Kobalt Miter Saw

8. Wet Saw
I wasn’t going to add this to the list, but then realized we have used our wet saw so many times over the years.  It was a purchase we were originally reluctant about (would we really use it that much to offset the cost?), but it was definitely worth the expensive and our recent bathroom makeover wouldn’t have been possible without.  There are a range of styles and pricepoints for wet saws (from $80 to $800), but a middle of the road version that is good will cost about $100.  Also important to mention, a new, sharp blade for each cutting job is key!

> I recommend the QEP Tile Saw & Skil Wet Tile Saw

9. Multipurpose Tool Kit
A cordless rotary tool kit is perfect for a variety of hobby, craft, and light-duty home improvement projects.  With accessories + attachments for cutting, grinding, sanding, polishing, routing, drilling, and carving, any project can be tackled!  Dremel is really the best company for multipurpose tools and a good one is about $100.

> I recommend the Dremel 4000 series ($99) or the starter version, Dremel 7700 ($30)

10. Cats Claw/Nail Puller + Utility Knife
I lumped these 2 tools into one because they often go hand-in-hand and are both incredibly important for DIYing and/or everyday use.  Again, 2 tools that you may not think you need, but REALLY do.  The cats paw / nail puller we use a lot for removing nails, removing moulding, etc.  The utility knife is a no-brainer for it’s uses.  From cutting boxes to scoring sheetrock, it’s a tool that doesn’t even make it in to my tool box because we use it so often – it actually stays in the kitchen (away from the kids of course) since we use it daily.

> I recommend the Stanley Retractable Utility Knife ($7) and Stanley Nail Puller ($10)

There you have it… 10 must-have tools for your workshop to make, create, DIY almost anything!

Oh and I have one more something-special to share with you.  It’s not really a tool, but it’s something very handy + useful for everyone & anyone in your life.  It’s called InstaBoost and even though it’s technically a car battery jump starter, it’s so much more!  The small device is easy to take anywhere, has a built-in LED light, and has multiple ports to charge many electronic devices like a phone, tablet, camera, and more.  Once it’s fully charged, it can discharge over 500 times and the jump starter holds a charge for up to 6 months.

Instaboost: A handy device to jump start your car + charge your phone & tablet.

When Lowe’s sent us the Instaboost last week, my husband took it on the road with him for a 6 hour trip for work after fully charging it the night before.  He thought it worked great and was able to keep his phone fully charged throughout the entire trip.  2 Thumbs up!  The best part of all it fits in the glove box and comes with it’s own carry case.

Is there a tool you love / can’t live without?  What is your must-have tool for the workshop?




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