Sunday, 21 December 2014

Tools, Glorious Tools

Tools, Glorious Tools

There are certain tools which every household should have. Whether you're a professional tradesman, a weekend DIYer or have no interest apart from stopping a domestic disaster; basic tools are so useful around a house & in the garden. 
Some tools can be totally cheap & cheerful, but some are worth spending a bit more on. Seen as it's spending season you may be struggling for a present for a loved one. Here are a few tools I use daily/weekly that might be a good present for yourself or someone who has everything:

An ''Estwing'' hammer
When we moved into our house, I found an ''Estwing'' hammer in our loft! I've now had it 5 years and love it so much. It's been borrowed, lost, attemptedly stolen & left in the rain, but it still does its job & as far as hammers go, these are the best!
They are around £35, but are a real treat. 

Sharp hand woodsaw
A good saw doesn't have to be expensive, but you really can tell the difference between a sharp one & a blunt one. B&Q are selling Spear & Jackson ''Predator'' saws at 2 for £10, so you can get a rough & fine for quick or fine cuts. Bargain!

Good set of screwdrivers
I need good screwdrivers for my electrical work, So I have ''Bahco'' ones. These are great as they have a lovely feel in the hand & are insulated to 1000v. You can get uninsulated ones for cheaper. But if you're getting a set, try to get either Bahco, Stanley or a decent brand. If you're on a budget though, Silverline do some good sets.

A small adjustable spanner
You can buy cheap here if you're not going to use it very often, but they're so useful for when you don't have the right size spanner.

A ''Stanley'' knife
I use mine everyday, even to open packaging around the house.

A sealant gun
These are useful for doing any siliconing, caulking (filling), gluing, etc. as all of these products come in tubes. Get yourself a good metal one as the plastic ones break. For some things: Buy cheap, buy twice!

You can get these in quite cheap sets of waterpump pliars, long nose pliars, ordinary pliars & mole grips. If you're buying them separately though, cheap Pliars & molegrips are fine but spend a bit more on waterpump pliars. Again, insulated ones are a little bit more. 

Tape measure
You can get cheap ones, which are fine, but they don't last as long. However, these are like scissors; they go missing. Raph always plays with these so I try to keep at least a few in the house to allow for ones in his toy box!

Wood chisels are great if you want to hang a door or just want to get behind something. Cheap is fine so long as they're sharp.

An Axe
Axes are great for in the garden. I have a large one for chopping big stuff. For my last birthday Rick (my brother) & Case (my friend) bought me a lovely handmade wooden handled hatchet. It is super sharp & is great for small chopping, especially for kindling for starting bbqs, bonfires or pizza ovens.

More DIY/specialist trade tools

Spirit level set
These are always on offer & if you're undertaking any building work or picture/sign hanging these save time. I got a set from screwfix for £35 for 5 levels & a tape measure.

A good battery drill
You need to spend a bit here. I have an AEG 18v Li-ion drill. They are around £150-200. The thing to watch out for here is the battery life. You want one with at least 3Ah for the batteries to last a good length of time. This makes a great present for a keen DIYer.

A compound mitre saw
I bought one of these from ebay for £51 & it owes me nothing. I used it for laying our oak hardwood floor, skirting, the cladding on our extension & loads of other jobs. If you work with wood; get one of these. 

1000v ''fluke'' pen stick
These are 15 quid, but I never leave home without it. People from all trades should use them. It gives you confidence to work around cables. Obviously you should be trained/competent to undertake electrical work, but this is a great tool because you never know if the person before you was a cowboy. I've turned sockets off before, assumed the power's off & realised the owner has wired 2 circuits into one socket, so get one of these. It'll save your life!

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