My favorite tools and a gift guide for the DIYer

I get asked all the time what tools I use or recommend or what tools I would recommend starting with if you are wanting to get into basic DIY projects or building.  So I thought I would put together a gift guide for the DIYer!  Maybe you may want to order something for your husband for Christmas, buy something for yourself for Christmas or just save this for future reference for tools you may want to invest in. (Some links are affiliated but I am not affiliated with any of these companies, just happen to have them and love them!)

Favorite Tools and Gadgets - Gift Guide for the DIYer

I’ll start with tools that I started with, and then add the tools I’ve most recently bought, and some I want to buy!

1. Household repair and hanging kit

When we got married someone gave us a kit like this as wedding present and it has been used constantly over the years!  We have used up some of it, added things to it as we bought packs of screws or hanging hardware but had a few left – but I highly suggest having some kind of kit like this around!


2. Tool kit bag

One year for Christmas my husband gave me a Craftsman kit like this and another set of screwdrivers so I could have my own set of tools.  These have been used CONSTANTLY and I love that they are not just plain black.  If you don’t have basic tools a kit like this would be a great start – for a new homeowner, for a woman, for a newly married couple, etc. 

craftsman tool bag kit


3. Sander

I think the very first power tool I got was a sander.  I started with a corded random orbital sander and used it for about 10 years refinishing many pieces of furniture and much more.  I just recently replaced it with the same sander but in the cordless version and I love the flexibility that not having a cord gives BUT if you are doing a lot of sanding you will need multiple batteries. 


4. Drill

The next tool I got was a drill so I had my very own instead of always getting my husband’s drill.  This is used for so many things like basic household projects such as hanging pictures, curtain rods, installing cabinet hardware and then for other bigger projects like building, etc.  This kit would be a great kit to buy because it comes with an extra battery and charger especially if you were going to buy any of the other tools I link to in this post as a tool only with battery not included. 


I also saw this Homeowner’s starter kit when I was looking and this would be a perfect kit to get to combine a drill and small hand tools like the tool kit I linked above – it’s a great price too! 


You’ll also want a good drill bit kit.  They have such great deals on these during the holiday season and everyone can use a fresh new drill bit kit.


5. Circular saw

The next thing I bought was a larger kit that came with 4-5 different tools.  I can’t find the exact kit I got years ago but mine had a circular saw, flashlight, another light, and I think a jig saw?  You can browse all the different cordless kit options here.  If you are thinking of buying several tools off this gift guide it is definitely more cost effective to buy them in a kit option. 


But the next tool I would recommend is a circular saw.  You can start to do building projects and cut many different boards with a circular saw.  Even though we have a miter saw, I still use my circular saw for larger boards or different projects.

6. Jig saw

A jig saw is another fun addition to your tool collection.  Again they all serve different purposes so there are times I use my miter saw, times I use my cirucular saw, and then other projects that require a jig saw.  If you are going to cut shapes out of wood like this DIY wood snowman, you’ll have to have a jigsaw and it can be a fun tool to use! Smile  This one is on really good sale right now. 


7.  Miter saw

The next big tool purchase we made was a miter saw.  I don’t even know the brand of ours but if I was to buy again I would buy a corded sliding compound miter saw like this one.  Our is not a sliding compound saw and it limits us a bit on what size boards we can cut.   If you don’t have a tool bench to put your miter saw on than a kit like this is just a few dollars more and comes with a stand for the miter saw.  So many things you can do with this saw!  You’ll need it to do any kind of trim work like shiplap, crown molding, baseboards, and I also cut all my boards for any kind of building projects on it too.  I was a bit intimidated it at first but once I learned how to safely use it, I use it with ease now! 

ryobi-miter-saws-tss121-64_1000 (1)

8. Kreg Jig

This is a must have if you get into building furniture! I was intimidated by this for a while but once I used it for this first time, I wished I had started using it way sooner!  I won’t build even the simplest frame without using this anymore just because it makes it so much easier, stronger, and stable than doing it any other way.

I currently use the basic kit pictured called the Kreg Jig R3  – the kit I linked is a great deal because it comes with a clamp which you will need as well. 


I do plan on upgrading to the larger Kreg Jig R4 very soon though!  I’ll be able to mount it to my work bench and drill more holes at one time. 


9. Drill/Driver + Impact Driver kit

I just purchased this drill/impact driver kit on Black Friday and already love it!  My first drill is over 10 years old and I have been noticing it has been losing power while using it so much more using my Kreg Jig system.  I also really needed a second drill or impact driver so I didn’t have to switch the bits constantly and would have even more power to drive in screws while building.  And I needed to replace an old battery that has stopped charging so this kit was a no brainer!  I got 2 new batteries, and a new drill and an impact driver!  I have a lot of building projects ahead so these are going to get a LOT of use in the coming months!


10. Wood Glue Bot Bottle

When I started getting into building and using wood glue, I got frustrated with dried up messy glue bottles and kept seeing people using these little glue bot bottles.  I ordered one and I LOVE it.  You fill it using your choice of wood glue and it keeps the glue from drying up, is easier to use to apply the glue neatly along the boards, and it just easier overall to use!  I’ll never go back to using glue from a regular glue bottle again.  I just have the smaller version called the Babe-Bot but there is a larger 16 oz version as well. 

baby glue bot

11. Magnetic Stud finder

We had a regular laser type stud finder for several years and it was SOO frustrating to use!  I can’t tell you how many times I drilled holes and there was no stud there or we could never get it to even beep to find studs.  So several years ago I heard about a magnetic stud finder and ordered this one. It’s super inexpensive (less than $7.00!) and works like a charm!  No batteries to replace, no electronic anything to fail – just a super strong magnet!  It’s able to sense the screws/nails/steel studs used in the studs through the drywall as you rub it along the wall and you can easily find and mark where your studs are.  I absolutely love this little gadget – would make a great stocking stuffer for all the guys in your life or buy one for your own stocking too! Smile

Magnetic stud finder

12. A good paint brush

All these projects you are going to work on with the above tools will probably require some painting!  I highly recommend investing in some high quality paint brushes and taking care of them.  I have used both the Purdy and Wooster line and really like them both for quality paint brushes.  For stain, I always just use a rag I can throw away so I only use my paint brushes for latex or chalk paint that is easy to cleanup.  I would say for smaller furniture painting projects or for painting trim, I always grab my Wooster shortcut paint brush – it is an inexpensive, quality brush that is great for projects like that!  So if you are in need of a new, quality paintbrush I highly suggest starting with this one.

Wooster shortcut

I will keep adding to this list as I add tools to my workbench but I hope this has been a help to you! 

A few tools I really like and hope to add to my collection soon are:

What tool is your favorite or what tools are on your wishlist this year?

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