Do you love the idea of being able to do things yourself, but you don’t know where to start? Fear not! Here, I’ve rounded up 12 must have tools for beginner DIYers that are sure to get you started.
Getting started in the DIY world is often an intimidating prospect. But it doesn’t have to be! I certainly can’t claim to be a super seasoned DIYer myself, since most of the projects I have done are fairly elementary. I have, however, completed numerous simple DIYs over the past few years, and I am generally not afraid of just jumping in and trying something. Plus, I am fortunate to have an expert DIYer (my dad) at my disposal. He’s always willing to answer my questions and help out on more advanced projects.
If you are wanting to get your feet wet in the DIY world, you are going to need some tools. Knowing exactly what you should have can easily get overwhelming with so. many. tools. to choose from. So, I have taken some of the guesswork out of it and compiled a list of 12 items that I believe are must have tools for beginner DIYers.
These are the tools that I couldn’t live without, and while I have definitely left some very basic tools off of the list, I truly believe that this list will get you well on the road to becoming a confident DIYer.
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*The links I’ve provided are as close to an exact match to what I own personally that I could find.
One of the most basic tools you can own is also one of the most essential. I can’t imagine not having a hammer (or 3) around the house. It’s great for hanging decor on the walls or creating a large gallery wall. It’s also essential for pulling those nails out of the wall when you are finished with them. Don’t be afraid to drive a nail into the wall. Even if you need to move your wall hanging a bit, or change your mind about something down the road, nail holes are easy to fill and/or cover up.
2. Tape Measure
This is another one that I believe everyone should have on hand. It is useful for SO many things around the house. It will be a necessity if you are building anything. From a simple decor piece, to basic shelves, to more advanced furniture, the tape measure will be your best friend. It is useful when hanging groupings of items, such as a collection of wall prints or a pair of shelves. It can also be essential when buying, or even just rearranging, furniture. I have a small, 12-ft tape measure that I often throw in my purse when shopping for new furniture. I will measure my space at home, so I don’t buy something too large, and I will also measure the space in my SUV to determine whether it is something I will be able to haul home myself or not.
I also have a 25-ft tape on hand for larger projects.
The level does just what it says – helps keeps things level. I frequently reach for one when hanging decor or building shelves. You don’t want to build a great shelf and then install it crookedly. We have a small 12″ level that I use most often for hanging decor.
And a larger 24″ level that is used when building and hanging shelves.
Lots of DIYers will say that an orbital sander should definitely be on a list of must have tools for a beginner. I say, while an orbital sander would certainly be great to have on hand (and I imagine we will end up with one in our own personal collection at some point), we have managed to get away with not having one thus far. Sanding by hand is definitely more work, but unless you are working on a fairly large scale project, it is totally doable. I recommend having a variety of grits on hand.
5. Stud Finder
I absolutely love my stud finder. We have built numerous large shelves that we wanted to ensure could carry a fair amount of weight. In order for them to stay secure on the wall, they needed to be installed into a stud, and that’s where the stud finder comes in. I also generally like to hang heavier decor pieces into stud to make sure that they aren’t going to fall off the wall.
Everyone needs a few clamps in their life. They are handy for a variety of different things. We have a few different types of clamps in our collection, including some C-Clamps, spring loaded clamps, and a few corner clamps.
7. Paint brush and Roller Frame
If I had to pick a favorite DIY tool, it would probably be a paint brush. Paint is one of the easiest DIYs out there, yet it can also be one of the most transformative. When something needs a quick makeover on a limited budget, paint is always my go-to. We have a variety of different types and sizes of brushes (Purdy brand is our favorite), and we also have a couple of different size roller frames on hand.
8. Power Drill
Of course, no DIY tool list is complete without at least a few power tools. A cordless drill would be at the absolute top of my list of power tools, as well as an absolute must have tool for beginner DIYers. It is incredibly easy to use (really!) and can be used for so many different projects. I know that power tools can be a bit intimidating at first. The drill intimidated me the first few times I used it! It truly is very user friendly, though, and it doesn’t take much time to get the hang of it.
9. Drill Bit and Screw Head Set
Of course, if you are going to own a power drill, you will also need a drilling and screwdriving set. Not all screws have the same type head, nor are all anchors the same size. So, you will want to have a full set on hand to ensure that you always have what you need for whatever project you are working on.
10. Screwdriver set
Another item that somewhat goes along with the power drill is a set of screwdrivers. This is another basic tool that everyone should have on hand. We have a large variety of screwdrivers, including the popular Phillips and flat head. Screwdrivers can be used for everything from building furniture, to hanging wall decor, to removing/installing wall plates.
11. Nail Gun and Compressor
Here’s another potentially intimidating, but oh so fun, power tool. The nail gun makes building larger scale items so much easier and faster. And while it can definitely be intimidating in the beginning, like the power drill, it is user friendly and fairly simple once you learn how to use it. I have used it by myself, on numerous different DIY projects, with no outside help. If I can do it, you can, too!
12. Miter Saw
The only saw to make my short list is the miter saw. Many DIYers may disagree with me here and argue that more than one saw needs to be on this list. However, I think this is somewhat dependent on the type of projects you are wanting to do. With that in mind, I stand by my claim that as a beginner, this is a great saw to have on hand. As with the other power tools on this list, it is a simple machine and user friendly. We have used our miter saw to build things like shelves, frames, boxes, decor pieces, birdhouses, and so on. I would definitely suggest a dual bevel miter saw, which just means that you can angle the blade in both directions.
And there you have it. My short list of must have tools for beginner DIYers. Hopefully, this has given you some guidance on where to start, and some encouragement to just jump in feet first. I promise, you won’t regret it!
How about you? What are your favorite DIY tools?