Get tooled up - DIY Tool guide

Essential DIY Tools

When it comes to showing off your DIY skills at work there’s usually only a very fine line between you resembling a real life Bob the Builder or looking more like Frank Spencer.

Even with basic jobs, such as hanging pictures or putting up shelving, you’ll save time, money and a lot of hassle if you’re properly equipped for the job. So rather than reaching for a hammer and a round ended knife every time something needs your attention, here’s a basic guide to buying the right tools to avoid a DIY disaster:

Drills - When it comes to buying a drill the main things to consider include its power rating, which is measured in watts on corded models or volts on cordless versions, as well as its maximum speed and the number or type of speed variances you require. You may also need to think about the chuck size which determines the size of the shaft that can be driven by the drill. In addition there are lots of features to choose from including hammer actions, screwdriver functions and depth stops to mention just a few.

Hammers - There’s a wide range available varying in shape, size and weight. Using the right hammer for the job will be easier and prevent possible damage to the hammer or workpiece. Claw hammers are the most popular type and the claw can usually be used either as a lever or to draw nails from timber.

Saws - Although there are lots of different types, the main ones are handsaws for cutting timber, hacksaws for cutting metal and tenon saws that have rigid blades for fine finishing and accuracy. The teeth on saws are classified by a number which represents the number of teeth points along one inch of the cutting edge, including those at each end.

Screwdrivers - It’s important that the screwdriver’s tip fits the screw head to avoid damaging it. There are also lots of options to choose from including magnetised heads to help with screw handling, bolster or hexagonal shafts for improved torque and insulated handles to protect against electrical currents.

Spanners - Available in all shapes and sizes and many have been developed for a specific job. Most importantly the spanner must fit the nut perfectly because if it’s too loose it will round the corners of the nut and slip. The best spanners are generally forged from carbon steel or chrome vanadium and will usually last a lifetime.