Our Favorite Tools

One of the most popular requests is a post all about TOOLS.  What is our favorite?  What would we recommend?  What is a starting tool kit?  What will we actually use?  What can I buy for my husband/my dad/myself/my sister that will be actually useful?  Well, your wish is my command because today we are answering everything-tool-related.  Obviously…we have loads of tools so I am not recommending that you go broke going out and buying everything all at once. I also have not used every tool on the planet so don’t expect this to be like Consumer Reports….listed are just tools that we actually own and have actually used and that we like….there might be a better brand, better model, better fit for you…heck, down the road we will probably find a better fit for us on some of these…we are tool junkies so don’t be surprised!  Don’t come crying to me if you cut off your hand…I will have zero pity for you.  (well, maybe a little pity but dude, read your manuals and use safety equipment.  These aren’t for kids…make sure you keep them out of their little Curious Georgie reach.)  Are we done with the disclaimers yet?

Good.  Well, put on your safety goggles….here are our favorite POWER TOOLS!

We decided to limit ourselves to the top 6 for this category and the ones that we just absolutely would have to own are the circular saw, a drill/driver, a miter saw, a sander, a brad nailer and a sawzall.  You can literally tackle 98% of the building projects that you see on Pinterest with five of these tools….the sawzall is more for demo.   Jeremy and I went back and forth about the circular saw vs. the table saw and we ended up saying that if you had to own one…it should be the circular saw BUT only after you own a miter saw.  A circular saw (link here) is great because it is portable, you can tackle plywood projects, decking projects and more with this tool.  A miter saw is probably our most used saw.  We first started with a DEWALT 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw and since have graduated to a Ridgid 12-Inch Compound Sliding Miter .  I say buy the best you can afford…you will use this tool to death.  After your building project boards are all cut, you will need assembly tools…like the drill/driver (link here) or brad nailer (link here).  We are big fans of the Ryobi tools because batteries are EXPENSIVE…so if you have a set of batteries that die, it can cost you as much as the tool itself to replace them.  So the Ryobi tools all run off the same batteries and so we have two chargers that we use to alternate batteries in and out of.  It cuts down on time and storing a bunch of chargers for each tool and also…battery operated tools are great for most household projects.  My next must-have power tool is the sheet sander….I own this exact one (DEWALT Sheet Sander)and love it…but I have heard great things about mouse sanders and orbital sanders (we own one but it’s ancient) and other types of sanders….it’s a time-saver when it comes to refinishing furniture, completing furniture builds and for saving your skin on your hands.  Don’t expect that dust bag to do much…you will still have dust no matter what sander you own.  And then comes the sawzall (link here).  Like I said…it is great for demo and I use ours a lot for outdoor stuff…like trimming off big low lying tree branches or cutting down stray pine saplings.

Those six power tools will get your house hold projects off and running…but remember, we gotta learn to walk before we learn to run.  So what are those primary, general must haves that every tool box needs?  Well, this is for you my learning to walk friends….these are our favorite and most used tool box items that we recommend.  We use something in this collection EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  These tools can help you do those basic quick fixes from hanging pictures to recovering chairs to changing out electrical covers.  These are great inexpensive stocking stuffers and we have already said that when our kids turn six that each one will get a ‘grown-up tool box’ that is packed with the majority of these items (all but the knife and drill bits).  Will already does have a few of these items in kid-sizes and we are excited to equip them with the knowledge and the grown-up tools to enable them to be little DIYers.  Here are the Amazon links to each one so that if you want to throw them in your carts, you can….hammer, needle nose pliers, knife, drill bits, electrical tester, prybar, level, staple gun, clamps, tape measure, and screwdrivers.

Since we are rounding up tools, we thought it was relevant to share what our favorite outdoor tools are as well.  We do get help in the yard in terms of weed prevention and weatherizing from a company called All Turf.  If you are in GA, let them know we sent ya and we can get $25 off (every penny counts!  thanks if you do!)…but other than that, we do everything else in our yard.  Jeremy takes great pride in it and even though it is a HUGE job (especially in the summer) we are happy to tackle it ourselves.  These are the tools that help us keep it green and clean!  Obviously when you have over a couple of acres, a riding mower is REALLY important.  Otherwise it is a huge time suck.  It’s also really helpful to have the bucket attachment.  We use our rake and shovel and pick axe for more landscaping and gardening projects.  A blower (preferably a back pack blower if you have lots of leaves) is really helpful not just in autumn but also for keeping your driveway, garage and outdoor living spaces clean.  Lastly we have an edger/weed eater.  If you are a first time home owner, this tool will help that lawn look professionally manicured.

We have done a lot of painting over the years and we definitely have preferences when it comes to the right paint tools.  Some things we are super flexible on – paint rollers, what?!  And other paint equipment we are more particular.  Here are some of those things that help us feel like the Picasso of painted walls.  First up…my favorite paint tray is super easy to clean because it is coated with teflon.  I let the paint dry in there instead of cleaning it with water and then just peel it out.  I love the little HANDy Paint Cup because the price is super cheap and it has the perfect hook of a handle to hold comfortably while you cut in.  Also…the magnet…it holds the brush so you can get your Yeti suit on and when you get done roaming the streets, your brush will still be wet with paint.  As far as brushes go, I have two go-to choices….a Purdy 2 inch brush and then a short handled brush for cutting in or tight spots (hello wall behind toilets).  One thing we have used a lot in our current house is an extending pole …it’s great for painting ceilings.  And we still use and love our paint sprayer.  We usually save this bad boy for bigger projects and it was well worth the investment because of the uniform finish and the massive jobs we need to tackle.

Finishing up this tool-talk, we also had a couple tools that we kept bringing up.  They are our Wild-Card picks.  They are the Bruce Jenners of the tool world…you just can’t put them into a single category.  My pick was a pressure washer.  We borrow our neighbors and I am obsessed with it. Like if I didn’t live next door, I would totally risk stealing it (I’m openly admitting that online because it is that awesome).  It’s instantaneously gratifying.  The sludge from years past, the paint drips, the caked on dirt and residue all just blasts off so quickly and you are left with a perfectly clean surface.  I love pressure washing our deck, patio, driveway, kids….not really but if I could, I would :)   It is an amazing outdoor tool that all your friends will want to borrow.  And Jeremy decided to pick the battery operated screwdriver.  The one that we have (pictured above) is no longer made but you can find similar ones that get the job done (something similar).  We use ours for toys, doorknobs, tightening up drawer handles…you name it…we constantly have this tool on hand.  (pun joke intended!)

So I hope this helps anyone out there looking to expand their tool arsenal.  And if you have any that you absolutely must recommend…leave it there in the comments…I’d love to hear your suggestions and try them out in the future!  Happy DIYing!