What tools do you find yourself reaching for time and time again? We put that question to some of our favourite DIY bloggers and some of their answers were quite a surprise. Not only were there some pretty unusual choices out there, but our bloggers’ replies even feature homemade implements, carpentry tools and some interesting ways to save wear and tear on your body. Here are a few of their favourite things.
“I love my planer”, says Crafty Gentleman, Mike Aspinell. “Every time I use it I feel like a pro! It's invaluable for smoothing out rough and uneven edges on wood, allowing me to really step up my game when it comes to DIY projects. It was invaluable in making this picture ledge – there's no chance I could have achieved such a straight finish with my jig saw alone.”
Looking for a fun DIY project? The Crafty Gentleman is a good place to start, and with posts ranging from making your own leather watch strap to building a DIY wooden bath mat, you’re bound to find something to get your teeth into.
DIYer, crafter, maker, and thrifty living expert, My Thrifty Life's Cassiefairy loves her electric palm sander. “The size is just right for my hand and the pointed tip gets into tight corners and crevices,” Cassie says. She’s used hers to help with all sorts of DIY projects including this stunning use of an old brick pallet to make a super-cute kiddie’s outdoor kitchen.
If you’re looking to save money on everyday expenses, Cassie’s blog offers plenty of inspiration to help you cut expenses without cutting back – like her DIY guide to reducing noise in the home – hint: Use a divider to section off your open space.
“It may be old fashioned,” says John of DadblogUK, “but my most used tool is probably a garden spade.” John tells us it’s versatility is what appeals – he uses his for digging, weeding, and clearing away rubbish.
John’s other favourite tool is his metre-long spirit level which he says is ”equally great for checking fencing is straight as well as pictures you are hanging on the wall.” Nice choice, John.
A hand-mate’s tale
When Workshop Shed’s Andy bought a telescopic lopper, he thought it would prove the ideal tool for pruning trees, but sadly the blade was unwieldy and dangerous, mounted, as it was, atop a 2m long pole.
Ever the enterprising fellow, Andy took a branch from a recently felled tree and fashioned a handle, afixed the sawblade and created this very nifty tool which, Andy says is “a great little saw for getting through larger branches and tree roots and has been helping in our garden for over 10 years now.”
The sure “rout” to friendship
Vikkie, aka the Carpenter’s Daughter loves all of her tools, but still has her favourites which include her trusty router. She says: “I find myself tidying up edges with a 45 degree router bit a LOT and I'm particularly proud of designing my file boxes that relied on a rebater. If you're relatively new like me, I'd advise also buying a set of router bits too to have at hand.”
Another top choice for Vikkie will surely be a favourite of many a DIYer out there – clamps. “I can't live without clamps. They give me safety when working with power tools and prevent wood from moving so I can get straighter cuts. It took me a while to buy them, but wouldn't dream of working without them now.”
The measure of a pal
What are the tools that save you the most time? Is it your circular saw, your jigsaw, or your nail gun? None of the above says Kerry Allen, whose blog is full of awesome DIY and home-renovation knowhow and advice. She says: “If I could only pick three tools from my collection, it would probably be my combi-drill, mitre saw and combination square.”
Why? A true advocate for the ‘measure twice, cut once’ philosophy. Kerry says: “The mitre saw makes quick work of cutting wood to precision, the combination square is great for marking up your cut (and also checking it!) especially if cutting by hand, and the drill to use for securing it all together.”
What are your favourite DIY tools and how do you get the most from them? We've enjoyed hearing about our bloggers' favourites, and we’d love to hear from you, too. If you’re a DIY blogger, or you have a favourite DIY blog you’d like us to feature, do get in touch.
Lead image: mihalec