Holiday Gift Guide For the DIYer

BlogHer Original Post

So you just bought a house and you are going to be doing some work on it. But you own no tools, save one of those tiny kits from IKEA, and have no idea where to begin. Here is a list to get started and pass on to your parents, friends, acquaintances, anyone who might buy you a present this holiday season.

In no particular order:

Cordless Drill. Everyone needs one of these, this 18 volt model by Skil is marked down to under $100, a 40% discount. First determine if you need a heavy duty drill or a lighter model and look at the models within that range. What features should you look for? Lightweight, you don't want to have to use two hands to hold it up. Dual fast charging batteries, so you always have a back-up. Reversible drive, so you can unscrew screws as well as drive them in, and variable speed, so you can control how fast you are screwing in.


Cordless drill



Portable Worktable Saw
, this one from Bosch is on sale right now for almost 50% off plus free shipping. A portable table saw is great for people who do not have the space for a dedicated workshop.

Miter Saw. This is a must have for anyone doing any sort of trim work in their house. You want crown molding? You need this type of saw. They range in price depending on the features that they offer, but we are working our way through our second complete home renovation and we have a lower end model. In fact we have this miter saw from Dewalt, currently marked down to $169.99, which is 59% of the original price.

Folding sawhorses. You will need these, for something. I like to lay doors on them for refinishing. Sturdy boards for making my own scaffolding when painting. Laying trim across to paint. Making a makeshift work table. I keep saying that I am going to buy another set of them because one is not enough.

Reciprocating Saw. This Dewalt model is selling for $99 and is perfectly adequate for a homeowner. When I asked my husband what he thought should be on a holiday list, this tool immediately came to mind. Great for cutting through things like walls, pipes, beams where circular saw can not go.

Air compressor and a nail gun
, because really what is one without the other? These are a must have for doing any sort of finish work. They come in handy for framing also, but if you are at all hammer impaired like I am a nail gun will save your precious trim work from having hammer dents all over it.

A Belt Sander. I own this one by Makita. It has served me well. There are lots of things that need to be sanded. You have no idea how many until you are renovating your house. A small palm sander is also a nice addition to any workshop for sanding when you don't need to remove 1/2 " layer of wood or paint.

OXO Quick Fix Tool Kit Included in the set are the 16' Tape Measure with Tape Brake, 6-in-1 Screwdriver with Trilobal Grip, 8-ounce Curved Claw Hammer with MarGuard, 6-inch Long Nose Pliers with Spring Activator and the Utility Knife with Quick Draw Blade Cartridge. The slim, durable case is small enough to fit in a kitchen or utility drawer and is equipped with elastic straps to hold tools firmly in place. Can you ever have too many tape measures or hammers? The answer is no, you can not because they run away in the middle of the night.

A level.These come in different lengths, get the one that appeals to you the most. Or get a couple of different sizes.To make sure the things you build are straight and plumb, even thought the rest of your house looks like a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. other uses include making sure your photos are hanging in a straight line on the wall. You will never be able to eyeball it straight no matter how many times you try to convince yourself that you can. Trust me, I have yet to learn this lesson.

What about a pink tool belt from Girlgear to hold all your things while you are embarking on your DIY projects?

I kind of want this just because I know my husband and sons would not walk off with them. And I wouldn't spend hours cursing and stomping every time I wanted to hang up a picture or assemble some furniture from IKEA.

When she isn't blogging about her life at Notes from the Trenches, Chris is working hard to rescue her house from a century of neglect and bad taste, using many of the tools mentioned above.

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