Home maintenance tools include more than a basic screwdriver and hammer you found in someone else's tool box. There's something to be said for having the right tool for the job. (Read: Essential Power Tools for Women) If you've ever wrestled to drive a screw or jarred your arm using the wrong hammer, you know just what that means.
Tools make home maintenance easier. You might not need a fancy saw or extra long tape measure in order to complete a job. But if you have one, you'll find the work really does take less time and you'll get better results.
Here are a few home maintenance tools you might not think about, but they could make homeowner chores less challenging.
Home Maintenance Tool #1: Miter Saw
Don't let the looks intimidate you. A miter saw makes a clean cut in seconds, as opposed to sawing back and forth with a hand saw. You can cut straight, or make mitered cuts for installing baseboards or building picture frames. It's not for large boards, but a 2 x 4 or smaller and trim molding are all suited for miter saw cuts.
Home Maintenance Tool #2: Multi-Bit Screwdriver
You can have a tool kit full of screwdrivers, or you can have one tool with interchangeable bits. A multi-bit screwdriver has a magnetic head and a selection of screwdriver bits for different screw heads. Pop off one and replace it with another, and you're ready to go. A ratcheting screwdriver is even easier to use. It combines the multi-bit convenience with a ratcheting action that takes less effort to drive a screw.
Home Maintenance Tool #3: Rechargable Power Tool Set
Rechargable power tool sets usually come with at least one power drill, a circular saw, and sometimes even a small rechargeable screwdriver. They're convenient because there's no cord to fuss with. It's important not to skimp on a rechargable set. If it's significantly cheaper than the others, there's a reason why. Cheap batteries stop holding a charge, and tools with weak motors can't perform like better tools can. So spend the extra money and get a better set. It's worth it.
Home Maintenance Tools Should Include a Well-Made Hammer
Cheap hammers are a dime a dozen and worth half as much. But a well-made hammer that's balanced, makes driving nails so much easier. There are lots of different kids of hammers, each for different jobs. Unless you plan to build a house, you don't need a large framing hammer. But a traditional or classic style “everyday” hammer is a must-have for any took kit.
Include a 35-Foot Tape Measure with Your Home Maintenance Tools
If it seems like overkill, wait until you try to measure a room with a shorter tape measure. A 35-foot tape coils up just like a classic 25-foot style. But the length means you won't have to estimate anything you measure.
Home Maintenance Tool #6: 4-Foot Level
You probably know why a level is so important. Bullet levels are great, but a longer level gives you more function from one tool. A 4-foot level shows you a level line as well as a plumb line. And because of its length, you don't need an additional straightedge for many projects. Just trace along the edge of the level. This Old House calls this a “must have” for jobs around the house.
Home Maintenance Tool #6: Handheld Orbital Sander
For every project that needs sanding, a handheld orbital sander makes the job easier. You can strip paint off a table or door, prep something you've built before applying wood stain and even take the rust off outdoor furniture before repainting. Corded sanders tend to perform better than rechargeable ones. They're sturdier plus they don't lose power halfway through a bigger job.
Home maintenance tools exist to make life easier, so it's worth it to invest in the right tools. You might be tempted to buy less expensive tools, especially if you don't use them often. But even for small jobs, well-made tools are worth the investment. They'll save your knuckles, your energy, and probably a lot of frustration, too. (Read: 5 Tools for Garage Organization)
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