Talk to me about your tool(s)

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  • Talk to me about your tool(s)
  • Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Or buy expensive and don’t use. You can have a full set of top quality screwdrivers but you’ll only use one of them 95% of the time. Buy cheap to have one of everything, the sizes and shapes you actually need to spend good money on will make themselves evident.

    Sure, I wasn’t suggesting running out and buying a full Snap-On set. Rather, paying a little extra for something that isn’t made of cheese is worth it rather than having hours of frustration, rounded-off bolts and screw heads and the like.

    Gary_M
    Member

    I’ve never needed a set square, saw blade & handle has always served me fine

    redmex
    Member

    15mm spanner what does it ever get used for other than pedals although thined down to fit. The occasional car brake caliper maybe.
    The circlip pliers you can’t go wrong with them maybe once every decade
    Favourite is my bahco socket set just wee bits maybe up to 13mm but has torx 25 brilliant
    £20

    I’ve never needed a set square

    Me either but i wouldn’t be without a combination square. It’s my go to tool for all sorts of marking out and measuring. If I’m called upon to do a job at my mum or sister place it’s the first tool that goes in the travelling tool box.

    DrP
    Member

    THere’s loads of ‘obvious tools’ above, whish I’d agree with (haven;t read all the replies..

    However, I’ve also found really useful are a plastic faced hammer, especially for bikes, and a huge torque wrench for BBs etc

    DrP

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    These folding work station/bench things are pretty handy and are solid.

    Yep – came here to recommend exactly that instead of a Workmate. It’s a useful portable work-table instead of just a clamping saw horse. Even use it sometimes when working on the bike in the yard as it gives me somewhere to put all the bits.

    Regarding essential tools: I don’t know if the OP has kids, but the most used tool in our house is a small screwdriver bit set like this:


    http://amzn.eu/g0uxXZ7 (£5)

    Lives under the sink, it’s fairly crap quality but invaluable for opening battery compartments on kids toys! A decent Stanley knife is also very useful (for cutting through the impenetrable plastic packaging that toys come in).

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    However I do also love all my other tools i.e. Reciprocating saw,

    And clearly it loves you too.

    If I was making a list a long as some of those up there I’d also add a set-square to them.

    I keep meaning to buy a Wrong Angle. I live in an 1890s terrace and there isn’t a right-angle in the place.

    DrP
    Member

    ^^^
    I’ve a free ‘toolstation’ one of them in my ‘man drawer’.. VERY sueful, I agree!

    DrP

    Premier Icon nach
    Subscriber

    As well as the obvious, these are the things I end up using most:

    Speed clamps
    Long spirit level
    A 1m metal straight edge
    Combination set of small impact driver and drill – a luxury, but not changing bits for an entire job is such a nice one.

    marcus7
    Member

    Most importantly…… Don’t get silverline…. Owners of the largest tool shaped cheese factory in China….

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Don’t spend too much on screwdrivers or screwdriver bits as you need to be prepared to replace them when they wear. Don’t buy the cheapest crap either though

    A workbench is a great thing as well if you are doing more than putting up shelves

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    If it were me I’d get a basic all in “beginner” tool kit from B&Q or somewhere similarly consumer friendly. By this I mean something that has a few different screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers (needle nose are handy as well as regular ones), an adjustable spanner or two, a chisel or two, a tenon saw and a bradawl.

    Something like this

    b and q

    I’d also add a small (20″) panel saw with a coarse blade (7 or 8 teeth per inch) and

    a cheap combi hammer drill/driver (12V+).

    like this

    As you use stuff you will find what you use most and what is poorest at its job. Then when those tools are knackered buy better ones.

    If you’re into tools for tools’ sake or they are the tools of your trade then it’s different you will appreciate and get the benefit of them daily but for the odd mortice joint or door handle change or putting some shelves up you don’t need the Porsche of screwdrivers or chisels a Kia will do.

    By way of example I have some b&q value chisels that are ten years old. I have some marginally better ones too. I use them all on and off on little things at home. The cheap ones need a regular sharpening as they don’t hold their edge but they will cut well enough for the odd bit of woodwork. The pricier ones ARE nicer but the other ones still work well enough.

    When the chisels are knackered another cheap set will follow.

    Screwdrivers I will buy a little nicer quality and panel saws too. They last better and get used a lot more.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Slight hijack: Someone mentioned a “cheap SDS drill”

    Any recommendations? I don’t need it every day, but I do occasionally need to drill into our walls to mount stuff and the old bricks and concrete of this house seem to shrug off a hammer-action + masonry bit.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Slight hijack: Someone mentioned a “cheap SDS drill”

    Any recommendations?

    Screwfix normally have something on offer e.g. my first SDS was a £99 Dewalt from SF. Since upgraded to one with a clutch for using core drills.

    redmex
    Member

    Spit drills but you need a yellow box, 522 get a second hand one it should last a diyer a lifetime

    sv
    Member

    Robertson screwdriver, for those square drive screws sparks use.

    gavinpearce
    Member

    Second the stud/wire detector… I saved some money but fitting the kitchen extract fan myself. Unfortunately I core drilled thro the cooker main (wondered what the flash was…). Then obviously had to pay sparks to sort it out…..

    jag61
    Member

    start with a few of the above basics, our first house new ish had interior walls made from some sort of compressed straw !!, maybe get the feel for the walls etc and tool up to suit specific jobs

    CountZero
    Member

    Suggsey – Member
    I’m surprised no one else has mentioned one yet but my most useful, most used house tool is my Leatherman. You can keep all your battery powered stuff that when you come to use it, the batteries flat! The only other tool you would need is a good quality adjustable spanner. Job done.
    However I do also love all my other tools i.e. Reciprocating saw, combo drill, angle grinder and all the car tools…….

    I had to fit a keysafe to the outside of the house a while back, my house is 1930’s, built from those weird blocks that have a sort of dimpled domed face, the only flat ones are grey blocks around the front door.
    I’ve got three cordless drills, a 12v, an 18v and a big 24v, and all three died on their respective asses, before I’d got a hole deep enough for one screw, let alone the three for full security.
    So I dug out my venerable old B&D mains hammer drill and it just went into the blocks like cheese.
    Maybe if I’d had a Leatherman to hand I could have just put the screws straight in…

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    One of the best ‘tools’ you can actually but isn’t a tool but a decent selection of screws – nothing fancy and spendy like Spax or Screwtite (although the latter are frikkin brilliant) but screwfix’s basic own brand ‘gold screws’ are absolutely fine. A selection box to give you all the key sizes. The reason for this is every screw you’ll get in the packet with of brackets, hinges, curtain rail or shelf will be unrelentingly shit, so you’re best being equipped to bin them and substitute in something better.

    stumpy01
    Member

    GrahamS – Member
    Slight hijack: Someone mentioned a “cheap SDS drill”

    Any recommendations? I don’t need it every day, but I do occasionally need to drill into our walls to mount stuff and the old bricks and concrete of this house seem to shrug off a hammer-action + masonry bit.

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bosch-gbh-2-24-d-corded-sds-plus-drill-240v/61945

    Mine is similar to this one. I initially bought a Makita one, that chucked all it’s gearbox oil up my arm. I did the job I needed it for (demolish pond) and then took it back & swapped it for the Bosch which has been great.

    When using it for ‘normal’ drilling duties, I tend to go a mm or so smaller on the hole I need using the SDS setting, then finish the hole with the correct size bit just using it as a normal drill. A couple of times I went straight in with the right sized bit using the SDS and the vibrations meant that the hole was a bit over-sized and the rawlplugs were too loose in the holes….

    CountZero
    Member

    I’m surprised nobody seems to have suggested one of these:

    The single answer to so many of life’s little problems…

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    I know others say to not buy a kit but if you have nothing to start with then something like this covers the essentials:

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/forge-steel-hand-tool-kit-55-piece-set/7045g

    Bought one when on offer, just to save going back and forth to the garage all the time for tools in drawers or on the wall. I keep rawlplugs, selection of screws, etc in there and the tools have been fine. They won’t last a lifetime, buy better as and when you wear them out.

    That, a decent combi drill and an Irwin Jack saw will cover a lot of stuff. More specialist tools just pick up as you go.

    Premier Icon 2unfit2ride
    Subscriber

    [/url]Snap-on box by Martin Robbo, on Flickr[/img]

    I’m often embarrassed by the amount of tools I have, they have cost me thousands but then they have saved me that amount tenfold, if you have the right mindset then you can reap rewards.

    Only today I have ordered the parts to fix a shower that is under warranty to save me taking time off work, the parts were a tenner including postage, a day off work is worth much more, having the tools to fix the problem makes it a no brainer.

    Cheers.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    In addition to what marcusiskeen said above proper Rawl plugs are worth it too as is a half decent set of masonry and high speed drill bits.

    I may be about to get a slapping from the pros who know better but I bought some Black and Decker Piranha masonry bits a year or two back, which have been the best DIY quality ones I’ve had for a while. The budget own brand ones are often a bit pants.

    demelitia
    Member

    I initially bought a Makita one, that chucked all it’s gearbox oil up my arm. I did the job I needed it for (demolish pond) and then took it back & swapped it for the Bosch…

    Just to add a bit of a counterpoint; Most of my tools are Bosch apart from a makita sds+ drill I bought about 3/4 years ago.
    It was very cheap due to a voucher code combined with a sale so I figured I’d have a punt. So far the amount of work(abuse) it’s stood up to is ridiculous:
    3 house renovations back from bare brick and further, breaking up concrete slab gardens, stripping out a full house worth of old pointing, 4″ core drilling in to solid concrete (took a while due to the clutch kicking in often but it got there) and a million other things. It’s probably been the best power tool purchase I’ve made purely on a value for money basis so don’t discount them if you can find one cheap. With the warranty on them they’re usually a fairly safe bet.

    If you get yourself a cordless 18v drill/impact driver set along the lines of the ones usually on some sort of offer at screwfix and want to stick to that for the time being, get some Bosch multiconstruction bits (blue spiral in the flutes, sharper tip than a normal masonry bit).
    They make drilling with a cordless combi less painful, the holes it makes are much neater and as the name suggests it’ll do for various Materials.
    There have been times where I’ve used them over an sds such as when drilling close to the edge of a brick I’m worried might blow out with the impact from one.

    A decent,small led worklight and a headtorch are handy to have. I bought a cheap one off Amazon that has a stand, a hook and a magnet on the back so it’s pretty versatile. It’s great having the right tool but no fun at all if you can’t see what you’re doing with them! Torches are ok but a bit of a faff when you’re working without a lovely assistant to hold it…

    batfink
    Member

    I’ve recently gone from being an owner-occupier with a “full” set of tools, to a tenant with a small “everyday” toolbox.

    As others have said, there are some basics I would buy up-front – but tools are usually accumulated over time, in-line with the jobs you need to do. If you want to build a shelving unit from scratch, you are going to want some slightly different tools to your everyday toolbox (eg, circular saw, clamps etc)

    The basics:
    Drill/driver combo. My advice is that 18v, lithium battery with a hammer setting is the sweet spot for most jobs. Turns assembling ikea furniture into a breeze, but you can also use it for drilling holes into blockwork.

    Full set of drill and screwdriver bits for the above.

    Set of screwdrivers. I wouldn’t go overboard on number – I tend to end up using my cordless for most things. Thinking back, the (hand) screwdriver I use the most is the small electrical one for replacing plugs.

    Decent set of regular pliers, and some needle-nose pliers.

    Stanley knife

    Adjustable spanner. Used infrequently – but don’t wait until something is leaking before you go out and by one!

    PTFE tape. As above

    Mole grips

    Cable ties

    Gaffer tape

    Small can WD40

    Claw hammer

    Measuring tape

    Small (the biggest you can fit in your toolbox) spirit level

    Junior hacksaw

    FIRST AID KIT

    spooky_b329
    Member

    Workmates are over-rated. I have massive 6×3′ workbench, an 8×4′ fold down workbench for working with large sheets of ply, and a workmate.

    The workmate hardly ever gets used and is rusting in the corner. The fold down bench is used loads but thats because I’m halfway through a camper conversion. The workbench gets used for smaller fiddly stuff but is mainly a storage/dumping area.

    The most used item, is a 2′ square pine coffee table that I got swiped from the local tip. With a couple of quick clamps its the perfect height to hammer/saw/chop/drill stuff on, I’ve screwed a couple of blocks onto it so I can chop and split kindling on it. Its also good for standing on, or holding stuff with your knee if you can’t be bothered to clamp it.

    Workmates…too light, fiddly, loadsa silly twirly handles and isn’t actually that good at clamping stuff, or having stuff clamped onto it.

    trail_rat
    Member

    There’s a special place in hell reserved for those that use an adjustable spanner in the home.

    For field repairs they are just about acceptable but in the home there’s no excuse.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Simply, good tools to have for the amateur DIY’r.

    Claw hammer, set of screwdrivers and a retired mechanic FIL

    batfink
    Member

    There’s a special place in hell reserved for those that use an adjustable spanner in the home.

    For field repairs they are just about acceptable but in the home there’s no excuse.

    Here’s my excuse: I’ve yet to encounter a general home maintenance task that I needed a full set of spanners to achieve, because an adjustable wasn’t up to the task. Can you name one?

    trail_rat
    Member

    Generally any nut the previous owner of my house has touched.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    There’s a special place in hell reserved for those that use an adjustable spanner in the home.
    For field repairs they are just about acceptable but in the home there’s no excuse.

    Non of the houses I’ve done work on were held together with nuts and bolts.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    There’s a special place in hell reserved for those that use an adjustable spanner in the home.

    For correct effect, you have to read that out in a James May voice. 🙂

    A set of the adjustable plier wrenches from page 1 takes care of most ‘nipping up’ issues round here.

    Electrical (current detecting) screwdriver gets a fair bit of use too. It’s an incompetence backstop.

    Ageing Bosch corded drill gets used and abused for drilling and driving screws.

    I think I’m the anti-trail rat. 🙂

    tinybits
    Member

    As others have said, spanners are going to get virtually no use in the home past plumbing and yours is a new build.

    For me, I’d go for a decent battery drill / driver, with a hammer action first. Virtually no job gets done without mine coming out.

    Get decent masonary bits (dewalt & bosch are good) and some decent pozi drive bits (go for dewalt or wera)

    Tape measure
    Level
    Hammer (claw and pin)
    Live wire finder

    With all tools, buy cheap, but twice…

    Then each time you need to do a ‘big’ job, think it through and go shopping. Do not use Homebase (for anything!!) but get used to looking in the screwfix / tool station catalog and making the list. If you need help, ask on here.

    trail_rat
    Member

    No taps or compression fittings in the houses you work on maccruisekeen?

    Pliers wrenches from knipex would be an acceptable solution as they hold tight . With the best will in the world and the best adjustable crescent wremch in the world it’s nearly always a sloppy fit.

    Gary_M
    Member

    I’ve used two sets of footprints on plumbing jobs for nearly 30 years and never felt the need for anything else. The only spanner I’ve ever seen a plumber use is a cranked tap spanner.

    squirrelking
    Member

    But occasionally you get a local brick thats very difficult to drill – my inlaws house being an example, weird local bricks that are black on the inside and an absolute devil to drill with anything other than an SDS. But I’d imagine a new build house you’d be lucky to find anything that is brick behind the plaster and blocks are easy enough to drill – concrete lintels can be a pain maybe.

    Ayrshire-ish 60’s build?

    Believe those hateful things originate from Dalry, my house is built with them, between that and the lime filled plaster that breaks apart if you just look at it funny it’s an ordeal getting anything attached to a wall, every radiator was redone with 100mm shield anchors.

    There’s a special place in hell reserved for those that use an adjustable spanner in the home.

    For field repairs they are just about acceptable but in the home there’s no excuse.

    Can’t beat an adjustable plumbing spanner when the alternative is to wait several days to buy a load of “proper” oversize ones I’ll probably never use again. The one I have is tight as a *ahem* nut.

    And whilst I would agree with Marcus that anything Silverline is generally best flung straight into the recycling the SDS drill my dad got had done an admirable job of demolishing various bits and bobs as well as cutting a few cores out (my flue needed a 160mm core, no bother) thanks to the fact it has a clutch.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    Various tools in the garage (full height cabinet, plus wall, plus filing cabinet, plus racking unit etc)

    But in the kitchen drawer lives a few useful bits that deal with quick jobs when I need to do something and CBA going to the garage. It’s amazing how much stuff this deals with
    – small ratchet screwdriver with flat, philips, torx and hex bits
    – 6 inch long flat screwdriver (great for gentle prying!)
    – tape measure
    – standard pair of combination pliers
    – knipex plier wrench
    – folding allen key set (i.e. bike multitool)

    Sounds like a lot but it’s really not, lives in one of the bits next to the sections next to the cutlery. My wife often uses something in there if she needs to do something, saves her trying to work out where to look in the garage

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