Today’s Friday Five comes from a reader question:
If you were going to buy tools for a teenage girl who is into DIY projects, what would you recommend?
What a great question! And, as I talked to the reader about it more, the girl for whom she is buying the tools likes to paint furniture she finds for free. How awesome is that?!?
So, I thought I’d share what I told her because it’d be a great list for any beginner DIYer. At the end of the post, I’ve included photos with links to the tools I mention (Amazon affiliate links) so you can buy these tools for yourself or for the beginner DIYer in your life.
Five tools for the beginner’s toolbox:
1. Ratcheting Screwdriver
My favorite tool in my toolbox, hands down. I have the Kobalt ratcheting screwdriver set and it’s awesome. It comes with a bunch of different interchangeable bits: phillips- and flat-head and others. It even has a bit that helps you with IKEA furniture (instead of using that pesky small allen wrench!)! My brother gave me one for Christmas several years ago and it’s still one of my favorite presents, ever.
2. A Good Set of Pliers
Pliers are useful for so many things, including being a stand-in for a wrench in tight spots. I’d include both needle-nose pliers (the long, skinny tip ones) and standard pliers in a beginner’s toolbox. But I love my channel-lock pliers:
The benefit of the channel-lock pliers is the adjustable head and the additional power you get from the angled head. I’ve used these for everything from tightening bolts to removing staples from stair treads.
3. Random Orbit Sander
Since the person about whom the reader was asking likes to refinish furniture, I suggested a random orbit sander. This is the best tool for removing stubborn layers of paint or sanding down uneven wood. I have this one:
It isn’t expensive (less than $30) and mine has lasted more than 10 years! You’ll need to buy sanding discs for it – they aren’t expensive and you can buy them in whatever grit-level you need.
I think my RYOBI drill is my favorite power tool. This is the one I have:
I use it not only for drilling, but also as a power screwdriver. It has a rechargeable battery that has a long life; you can do a lot of projects on one charge. This is the perfect beginner power tool – I’ve even let my daughter use it (she was 6 at the time):
This might seem like one of those “duh” choices, but a good hammer is essential. How do you pick a good hammer? You have to hold it. It needs to have a comfortable grip, and feel solid but not too heavy. (If it’s too heavy, it’ll be hard for you to use.)
I’ve had the same hammer since my first toolbox was given to me in 1989. I’m serious.
So, there are five tools for the beginner’s toolbox. Could I have added others to the list? Absolutely! For someone who likes to refinish furniture, I also could have included sandpaper, tack cloths, and good painting supplies (see THIS POST for my favorite painting supplies). Also, a good tape measure and level are necessary. But this is a good, basic list that could get any DIYer started!
Would you add anything to the list?What was in your first toolbox? Share in the comments!