Top 5 Essential Hand Tools That Every DIYer Should Own
A Small Investment for Big Rewards!

If you are looking to try new DIY repairs and projects around your house, you might wonder the best place to start when it comes to collecting tools for your tool kit. Or perhaps you have a friend or family member that loves DIY and you are wondering what to buy them for their birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day or Father’s day. We’ll take you through five hand tools that every DIYer should own, and how they will make your life easier.

1. Hammers

This is such a versatile tool and so important for even the smallest projects around the house, from hanging pictures, nail pulling, assembling furniture, to larger projects like installing laminate flooring. Hammers are a must. There are a ton of different types of hammers, but we suggest sticking to an all-purpose hammer for around the home, which can be a traditional hammer or a more modern design.

Features to Consider

Whether you choose a more traditional hammer or a modern one, we recommend keeping four important design features in mind when evaluating which hammer you should go with.

  • Medium weight
  • 16-20 ounce head
  • Rip claw
  • Non-wooden handle

Modern Hammer Design Features:

  • Wide face
  • hatchet-style handle
  • Anti-vibration design
  • Non-wooden handle

Hammer - 5 Essential DIY Hand Tools

2. Tape Measure

This feels like an obvious one. There are not many projects that don't require a measuring tape, so you can add this to the essential list for all DIYers. Not to mention, tape measures have a bunch of hidden uses and features that you may not be aware of, such as using it to draw straight lines or magnetic tape measures that make it easy to pick up nails. There are so many different varieties of tape measures, even glow in the dark!

Features to Consider:

  • Accuracy - look at how the scale has been printed on the blade and if it is easily readable
  • Ergonomics - how it feels in your hand, comfort and ability to easily use features
  • Locking mechanism - it should be easy to lock the blade in position, and it should stay in position until it is released
  • Blade return - is smooth and easy to control

Tape Measure - 5 Essential DIY Hand Tools

3. Stud Finder

Stud finders are a no-brainer. A magnetic stud finder helps to find studs in the wall with the movement of magnets and its strong attraction. It is commonly used to place the framing studs behind the wall surface, particularly drywall. They are also used for non-professional home repairs and installations. Without it you would not be able to hang shelves, mirrors or pictures. There are several different types of stud finders on the market, so we will help you weed through some of the important things to consider.

Consider Electronic Stud Finders

Some people believe magnetic stud finders to be a thing of the past. Electronic stud finders are very easy to use and allow you to find studs with even more accuracy. Whole stud finders allow you to locate an entire stud, providing you with the location of the edges and middle, and are very popular with people in construction, but have a more expensive price tag. Many do-it-yourselfers like electronic edge finders because they are perfect for simple projects like hanging pictures and mounting objects.

Electronic Stud Finder Features:

  • Accuracy - able to find the center of a stud in a wall, removing the guess work when using a magnetic type
  • Digital display - more clear, easy to read, and can provide additional information
  • Scanning mode - measuring different depths, finding electrical wires, metal finders for pipes, or other hazards

There are so many extra features to consider, but most come with a price tag, so it depends what your priorities are and your budget!

Stud Finder - 5 Essential DIY Hand Tools

4. Clamp

Often times, DIYers are doing projects solo, and without the convenience of an extra hand, and this is where the clamp comes into play. They are a very versatile tool and serve to hold objects firmly in place as you work. There are a variety of clamps on the market, including C-clamps, pipe-clamps, and handscrew-clamps. For common jobs around the house, a C-clamp should be all you need. C-clamps have a jaw in the shape of the letter C, are bigger in size, and have a fixed jaw on one end and another on a tail slide that moves up and down length-wise.

Features to Consider:

  • Throat depth
  • Clamping mechanism
  • Weight of clamps
  • Clamping pressure

Clamp - 5 Essential DIY Hand Tools

5. Level

Last, but certainly not least, the level. They are used to determine if a surface is level or vertical. They are essential when hanging kitchen cabinets or trimming a door, or simple tasks like hanging mirrors, pictures or artwork. The most basic is the spirit level, which indicates you are level with a bubble inside a liquid-filled vessel. If you want to one up this, there are also laser tools, which are perfect for layout work, but they are not great if you need to physically check the positioning of an object. When looking for the perfect level, you will want to consider what you will be using it for.

Features to Consider:

  • Length - especially if you are working with lumber, doing paving projects or drywall; a long level will provide better measurement and can double as a straight-edge
  • Magnetic levels - allow for hands-free use on metal surfaces
  • Cross-check level - for measuring horizontally and vertically at the same time
  • Digital levels - easy to read and can provide additional information
  • Line levels - measuring strings
  • Post levels - for plumb posts

Level - 5 Essential DIY Hand Tools

These are the perfect hand tools to get you or your favorite DIYer started, but there are so many others to add to the list! We hope this helps to narrow down some of the handiest tools to add to your tool kit and makes your next job a little easier. PartSelect is all about DIY repairs, so if you are in need of any OEM replacement parts, we’ve got you covered. For more handy tips, check out our YouTube Channel.