A DIY'ers Shopping Guide.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

grouping of tools used to DIY around the house
Yes, yes.  Yes we know, Amazon Prime Day is here, we know.  It's a shopping extravaganza, time to outfit the workshop, get some new tools, and set yourself up for DIY success here peeps.  Henceforth, I thought I'd pull together a lil' Flipping the Flip DIY'ers Shopping Guide.

Please note, all of the straightaway shopping links are Amazon affiliate links which, if you buy, you won't pay extra but I may earn a small amount of change.  Helping me helps you as change adds up to supplies which means more tips, tricks, projects, and DIY'er posts for you!  

Win win win, amirite?!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab above for details.

While I cannot foresee which toys will be on sale, I can offer you recommendations on types of items I use personally, that I find to be a tremendous help or items I know are super practical.

Whether you're starting your DIY journey (yessss, welcome, *applause*!!) or you've been around the block a few times, my goal is always to make your DIY life successfully spectacular.

Of course, and obviously, there's truly no end to the "what tools do I need" list and it can be overwhelming.  Here I'm going to cover a few basics, or basics I began with and continue to turn to every single day.  Literally.

Basically you need something to cut with, something to attach with, something to measure with, and tools to make magic happen.  I will forever encourage you to steer clear of single-use tools as their sole purpose is to take up valuable space after draining your wallet for that singular task.

All righty, a DIY'ers Shopping Guide, my first of a kind!  Let's get to it!

First and foremost, speaking of magic, paint.  Painting is an easy first foray into DIY Land, it's one of the lesser expensive things you can do, and of course, one that provides incredible results near instantaneously.  Plus, if you despise it, you can change it right up, no big whoop.

What you need here is a good angle sash brush with soft bristles, about 2" with a tapered end.  Use this brush to skip the painters tape and cut in.  Practice makes perfect so, go paint everything in the name of skill-building.  

paint brush with cleaner and paint key
I've had my cheapie but rockstar brush for-freakin'-ever so, take care of it and you're good.

On occasion, I'll wash the brush in oil soap to condition it and if paint has oops dried on it, I'll use a brush cleaner that gets it right out.  

Get that paint can open with a paint key.  Sure, you can use a screwdriver but a paint key you can hook to a lanyard and never lose it.  Not a single-use tool, nice try; you can open bottles with it too.

An extension paint pole is a nifty tool that keeps you firmly planted on the floor rather than falling off a ladder.

Mmm, a palm sander like mine, a DeWalt, makes lots of magic happen in the prep department, as does a various pile of easy-to-hold sanding blocks.  Aw, DeWalt got rid of the sad face.  Now it's like this:  😬

DeWalt palm sander and sanding blocks

Screwdrivers, a definite need.  You can get by mostly with two, a flathead and a Phillips head.  Of course you can expand from there, but two all-purpose ones and you're good.  A small set works too.

Power tools are not to be underestimated in their worthiness though.  My third hand, my teddy bear, my Precious is my DeWalt cordless drill and my third and half hand for higher torque gigs is a DeWalt corded one.  

DeWalt screw gun drill with bits
Please avoid cheaping out; they won't be durable.  Instead, save up that couch change and get a quality frustration-free one as it'll be years (decades in my case) before needing to replace it.

This obviously of course opens a can of worms rabbit hole of bits and gizmos and attachments but slow your roll.  To get started, really all you need is a set of driving bits, a small variety pack of drill bits in various sizes, and attachments?, that you can get to later.

While I have always been a diehard sliding sleeve magnetic drive guide girl, and I still am, my latest love is the flip drive bit.  No need to change out between drilling and driving; just flip it around!  Sweet.  Mine is the Montana.

Speaking of attaching, a caulk gun comes in quite handy for things like, well, caulk of course but spurting construction adhesives as well.  Like when I made the wood block headboard!

Glues.  Glues glues glues are freakin' endless, I know.  All specialized, each looking for a new and different angle to get you to buy....Wood glue covers most tasks but adding Gorilla Glue to the mix expands your horizons.  Don't forget, even things like regular white glue and a glue stick are convenient buggers too.

pile of different types of glues
A pencil sharpener.  Whether it's an old-school twisty manual type or like mine, electric, it keeps you and your points sharp.

To cut sh*t up with, I've got my three go-to's:  my Hitachi (now Metabo) miter saw is swoon, awesome (especially big time now as it has a Diablo blade on it, omg); my Bosch barrel grip jigsaw is a rockstar; and my Rockwell compact circular saw is the schnizz (it too with a Diablo blade).  Just see the laundry room counter.  Uh huh.
Bosch and Rockwell saws
Sure, you can branch out from there, bandsaw, table saw, circular saw....saws saws saws, but the three above will get you where you need to be every time.  

Last holiday season, I sprang for a Bora saw guide as a gift to myself and I cannot recommend it (or at least any type of guide that clamps onto your panel) enough.  Invaluable for straight cuts.

Before you can cut sh*t up though, you need to measure it.  I have, oh, goodness, a tape measure here on my desk.  One in the basement.  A wimpy one sitting near the master bathroom.  One in my car.  One on my wall organizer.  I have a tape measure problem apparently.  

A good solid twenty five footer is spot on.  My favorite is my basement Stanley that has a lever lock.  Get it and you'll see exactly why.
Stanley leverlock tape measure
When it comes to safety, just do it.  What DIY'ers Shopping Guide is complete without safety.  

You might feel silly.  You might think you're a tough guy.  But trust me, you will be silly, you're not a tough guy, none of us are, get over it.

A great pair of gloves is essential.  They protect your hands from dings, scrapes, and slivers.  This sliver is still in my hand.  Wear gloves.  Make sure they fit snugly; always an unjust challenge for us ladies.

Eye protection is critical, and so is hearing protection.  Last thing anyone needs is a hunk of crap flying into your eyeball or you abuse your eardrums so much you lose hearing later in life.  Solid nopes.

ear, eye, and hand safety protection
I recently got a pair of ear muff types and while I surely look like a buffoon, at least I'll be able to hear you laughing at me later.  And I definitely need these now too.  Sigh.

Don't forget clean up, my friends.  A wet/dry vac is makes clean-up a cinch; mine is Ridgid and whoo, it sucks!  Love it.  And, after you've washed up using whatever drying soap, Working Hands brings you back to being human.

By all means, this obviously does not cover everything, this is hardly a comprehensive list, but this DIY'ers Shopping Guide will get you going on your DIY adventures ASAP.

In the end, if your area has a lending tool library, be sure to join up and make use of it.  If it doesn't, ask your friends and neighbors if they're willing to lend, swap, or trade.  

Absolutely be sure to return everything you've borrowed in a timely manner though, dammit!  Cleaner than you found it too!  And repay them heartily for their kindness.

Happy DIY'ing, my friends.  I hope this DIY'er Shopping Guide has been helpful!  Let's go have some fun!  


  1. I have the same Dewalt palm sander and I still love it. 30 years later!

    1. 30 years!! Wow! Now that is a ringing endorsement, thank you! It is a terrific sander, you're very right!


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