Key Tools For Successful DIY

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Looking to complete some DIY at home? Got a project that you are ready to start but not sure where to begin? The most important thing to consider is whether you have the right tools for the job! Although you are always going to need specific tools for specific jobs, there are key tools that you are going to find yourself using more regularly than others. It is essential that these tools are good quality and reliable so that they will be long lasting. You need tools that are going to help you get the job done quicker – not make things more challenging!

Here are some of the essential tools that every DIY enthusiast needs. Whether you are putting up pictures or working on renovations – we have the tools for you!

Only Got 5 Minutes?

Whether you are in a rush to get started with your DIY project, or maybe you just need a recap on those key tools that are essential for your toolbox, then this part of the article is for you. Jam packed with all of those main tools that you may need to get the job done.


STANLEY STHT0-51310 20oz Fiberglass Curved Claw Hammer, 570g
  • Claw hammer is perfect for hammering and removal of nails
  • Strong fiberglass shaft provides additional strength and durability
  • Added protection and durability within key vulnerable area of shaft from when hammer is accidentally overstriked from target area
  • Bi-material grip with gripping ribs for improved comfort and anti slip grip
  • 20Oz Fibreglass hammer is ideal for driving larger nails up to 75mm and above for general heavy duty fixing

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

There are a million reasons why you are bound to need a hammer when completing any DIY around the home, from putting up picture frames, to installing cupboards or even something more complex such as plumbing or electric jobs. Your hammer is there to “hammer” nails into the surface that you are working with, and don’t forget you can use the other end to pull nuisance nails back out!

A 16-ounce hammer with a curved claw will be perfect for those small, easy jobs but also for bigger jobs like breaking up plaster walls!


Silverline General Purpose Screwdriver Set 6pce (546524), Blue & Grey
  • Chrome vanadium blades
  • Hardened, blackened tips
  • Bi-coloured soft-grip handles
  • Includes flared slotted 3 x 75mm, 5 x 100mm & 6 x 100mm
  • Pozidriv PZ0 x 75mm, PZ1 x 100mm & PZ2 x 100mm

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Screwdrivers are vital tools for so many jobs around the home, whether rewiring fuses or fitting cabinet doors and door fittings. They can also be used for building flat-pack furniture, or hanging curtain rails or light fittings. The wide range of jobs that they can help you complete means that this is a tool sure to save you money in the long run as there is so much more that you will be able to do for yourself around the home.

We would recommend buying at least two screwdrivers: a flat-head and a philips. But, they will also come in various different sizes allowing you to work with different sizes of screws, so really the more you have the better! Some clever screwdrivers will be “multi-bit” screwdrivers, which means they have one handle but then allows you to change the bits depending on the screw that you are working with. This can save a lot of space in your toolbag and a lot of faff finding the tool that you need to work with!

TOP TIP: Make sure to purchase screwdrivers with insulated handles incase you end up working on any electrical wiring jobs as they will help to prevent any nasty electric shocks!

Adjustable Spanner

Stanley 090947 6in MaxSteel Adjustable Wrench
  • Comfortable over molded ergonomic handle
  • 15° offset: parallel jaws placed at a 15° angle provide a firm grip, optimum reach and precise operation
  • Metric/imperial scales provide a high level of accuracy, maximising tightening applications
  • Integrated hanging hole allows the tool to be tethered or secured with a lanyard
  • Protective phosphate finish for extensive product life

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

For those jobs that your screwdriver can’t work with (i.e. nuts and bolts) you will need a spanner. This will be able to “lock” into position around whatever fastening it is that you need to change, so that you can then tighten or loosen it as is needed. Adjustable spanners can be stretched or shrunk depending on the fastening that you are working with so that they can make a secure grasp around it – this helps to avoid these nuts and bolts from becoming rounded off. It is well worth considering purchasing a locking wrench, as this will be able to be fixed in place so that your hands are free to work on other aspects of the DIY project.

We would recommend buying two different lengths of spanners, as bigger spanners will be able to help you stretch into those hard to reach places but they can be cumbersome and make some jobs more difficult, so in these cases, you would need a smaller spanner.

Utility Knife

Bosch Professional Two-Part Knife Set (with Universal Folding Knife and Professional Cutting Knife, incl. Replacement Blades, in Blister Packaging)
  • Two professional knives for any kind of cutting work
  • Easy and safe handling thanks to the secure knife, which can be released using a button, and a rubber handle
  • Blades can be replaced quickly with spare blades easily stored in the housing
  • Long knife lifetime due to robust die-cast aluminium housing
  • Items included: 1x folding knife, 3x blades for folding knife, 1x cutter, 1x blade for cutter, in blister packaging

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Commonly known as a Stanley knife (although this is actually only one particular brand), a utility knife is a tool that is not just used in DIY, but can be used in many jobs around the home. A utility knife is a sharp blade that can cut through various different materials (such as cardboard, carpet or wallpaper) or just scratch marks into really hard materials (such as wood). The main benefit of a utility knife is that the blade can be tucked back into the handle of the tool when it is not in use so that it cannot harm you, or other materials that you are working with!

Utility knives are even better value for money when you consider that the blade can be replaced when it becomes blunt, instead of you having to replace the whole tool!

Putty Knife

OX Pro Joint Knife - 152mm
  • HIGH QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL BLADE: The blade of the Pro Joint Knife is flexible and crafted using premium stainless steel which enables perfect feathering of the joints.
  • BUILT-IN HAMMER END: To deal with stubborn nail pops on the wall, the Pro Joint Knife has a built-in hammer end. It eliminates the need for a separate hammer for small pops on the wall and makes it an ideal wall putty knife.
  • PREMIUM RIVET SYSTEM: The stainless steel blade of the Pro Joint Knife is attached with the handle with a premium rivet system so that it won't detach easily.
  • ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED HANDLE: For optimum comfort and strong grip, handle of the Pro Joint Knife is designed ergonomically to reduce hand fatigue.
  • MULTIPURPOSE TOOL: The OX Joint Knife is a perfect multipurpose tool. It can be used for taping wall putty, a scraper tool, for filling the gaps and much more.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

A putty knife, or scraper, is perfect for all those more messy jobs that you might be completing, such as filling holes, repairing walls or even reglazing windows! It is essentially a narrow yet straight blade that can hold the putty or other material that you are working with and then smooth over the surface that you are trying to apply it to. They are also easy to clean meaning that they can be used again and again!

TOP TIP: Make sure to clean your putty knife sooner rather than later as putty and other building materials will often harden quickly and can then be difficult to remove from the knife blade. Over time this will stop it working to its full potential.

Junior hack saw

HAUTMEC 150mm Junior Hacksaw & mitre Block Set 6" Adjustable Angle Cutting Corner Cut Saw Blade HT0034-PL
  • Light alloy steel frame with comfortable grip
  • Frame includes a tension adjustment knob
  • Supplied with 6" (150mm) blade
  • Light aluminum mitre block with 45° and 90° angles
  • Size of mitre box 5.5"x1.5"x1.8" (13.5x3.2x4.8cm)

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

A junior hack saw is a simply toothed blade secured to a handle. As this is essentially a small saw, it can be whipped out to cut through smaller pieces of wood, making it a nice, handy tool to have around to save you time when working. Many junior hack saw also have replaceable blades, meaning that you are not having to replace the whole tool when the blade becomes blunter. Look out for junior hack saws that have as many teeth as possible as this will be able to work through most materials better.


Silverline Pliers Set 3pce 160mm (427610)
  • Hardened & tempered jaws
  • Induction-hardened cutting edges
  • Moulded handles with slip guards
  • Long nose, side cutters & combination pliers
  • Length 160mm

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Pliers are one of those tools that will last forever if looked after properly and you will be amazed by the amount of times that you will find yourself needing to use them. They are essentially a pair of pincers that will grip onto almost anything that you are trying to work with, whether this by nails, wires, plumbing fixtures or fastenings like nuts and bolts.

Pliers come in different sizes which is important as larger pliers will be able to work with larger pieces of materials but smaller pliers will be able to fit into tighter spaces that you might be working in. Therefore we would recommend purchasing a set of pliers so that you can be prepared for any DIY that you might be completing. Some pliers also come with locking jaws (similar to the locking wrenches) which means that they will be able to lock in place when gripping a material, so that your hands are free to keep working!

Power Tools

There are a wide variety of power tools that are bound to make your life easier when completing successful DIY standards. They will save you time, energy and can often lead to a more professional finish – but they do come at a cost. How frequently you plan on doing DIY will determine whether they are worth the purchase but some include;

  • Drills – Used for screwing in different types of hardware but also removing them (providing the drill has a reverse function, which most do!). This can be used for almost any job around the home but can particularly save you time if just moving into a house or completing a room/home renovation.
  • Impact Driver – Similar to a drill in function but designed to pack more of a punch so ideal for larger projects.
  • Circular saw – used for cutting many different materials, but usually various types of wood.

Added Extras

Now that we have considered the main tools that should be found in your toolbox for successful DIY, there are some other additional items that are bound to be needed when completing DIY to a good standard…

  • Tape measure – You are always going to need to measure the area that you are working with, this might be to find the middle of a window for hanging curtain rails, or finding a spot on a wall for fitting pictures. You may even need it for bigger jobs such as building furniture. It’s rare there will be a DIY job that doesn’t need a tape measure!
  • Torch – There will be countless occasions when you are going to be working in cupboards, under stairs or in other darker spaces! You are going to need a torch to be able to see what you are doing!
  • Hardware – You aren’t going to be able to complete many DIY jobs without the hardware and fastenings there to get the job done. We would recommend having a range of screws, nails, nuts and bolts ready to go in a plastic organiser so that they are always to hand when you need them.

Smart Tools

As with almost all modern technology nowadays, tools are slowly going “smart”, this means that many power tools can be connected to your phones or tablets so that you can complete diagnostics, check battery life and even disable the batteries on your tools if they are stolen. This clever technology works via bluetooth, so providing the tools are in range, you will be able to find lost batteries and control certain aspects of your tools! Admittedly, not all manufacturers have introduced smart tools yet, but some that have include DeWalt, Milwaukee and Black and Decker.

We found smart features used on battery packs, drills and some other power tools.

Top Tips for Successful DIY

So now you know the key tools that you need to complete successful DIY, we thought it would be remiss to not give you some of our top tips for actually getting that DIY done!

  • Research – Make sure to research the project that you are planning on completing so that you can be sure you have all the tools that you are going to need and also all of the information and knowledge you could need to be successful in completing the job.
  • Equipment – Be sure to check that you have all the right tools that you may need before completing the job. In theory, you should have all of these (if you have listened to our article anyway!), but it is still worth checking that you have everything you need! There is nothing worse than getting partway through a job and finding that you are short of a tool that is needed to tick the job off the long list.
  • Budget – Look at the budget that you have available and whether this is realistic for the job that you are wanting to complete. It may be better waiting for a couple of months until you can afford to do the job properly, as using lower quality materials will stop the job lasting as long.
  • Keep safe – Working with power tools and completing most DIY jobs will come with a certain element of risk. Often this risk can be reduced by making sure to wear safety protection and by following the safety advice that comes with individual tools.
  • Last but definitely not least …. Remember to ask for help from a friend or professional if you are struggling with a job! It is much  better to ask for help and get the job done properly, than have to start all over again a couple of months later when it falls apart.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I keep my tools in good working order?
It always makes sense to keep your tools in good working order, otherwise, you will find yourself having to replace them rather quickly! Make sure to always dry your tools if they become wet and remove any dust or debris from the tools to avoid them rusting over time. We would also recommend oiling any moving parts regularly to keep them in good working order.

Why should I keep my tools in a tool bag?
There are many reasons why DIY tools should be kept in a tool bag. Firstly, this makes them easy to transport between jobs but it also keeps them all in one place so they are ready for when you need them and don’t go wandering off! Also, a good quality tool bag will protect your tools from any water, debris or other damage when not in use.

What tools should every homeowner have?

If you are moving into your own home then there are certain tools you should make sure to have! These include; a claw hammer, pliers, a screwdriver, spirit level, cordless drill, tape measure and a collection of nails and screws. Sometimes it is cheaper to purchase these as a set rather than individually so this is worth considering.

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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