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Your essential home project toolkit

Embarking on a home improvement project is a fun and rewarding way to spend spare time. With a myriad of ideas available in books and on the Internet, ideas abound for quick makeovers that yield dramatic results and useful solutions.

“With the right supplies and a few good tools, you can tackle small improvement projects with confidence and ease,” says Mark Wolle a broker-owner with Royal LePage Wolle Realty in Kitchener, Ontario. Here are his recommendations for the tools most commonly used for small projects around the home:

  • Claw hammer. Ensure you have this old standby for general assembly and demolition.
  • Nail sets. You’ll need these in a variety of sizes to sink nailheads below the worksurface, providing for a clean finish.
  • Coping saw. This saw has a very narrow blade stretched across a U-shaped frame. It’s the tool of choice for making curved cuts to wood.
  • Tape measure. You’ll find it useful to have both a 12-ft. and a 25-ft. tape measure on hand.
  • Cordless drill/driver. This portable power tool makes light work of drilling holes and driving screws.
  • Levels. A 4 foot bubble level is best used on large surfaces – the smaller torpedo level works nicely in confined spaces.
  • Combination square. This square is used to position hardware, such as hinges on doors, and to check right and 45-degree angles.
  • Carpenter’s pencil. The pencil’s flat design keeps it from rolling off surfaces and it is used for marking and laying out hardware.
  • Utility knife and putty knife. A utility knife will handle most cutting and trimming jobs. You’ll need a putty knife for filling holes and patching.
  • Miter box. This tool is used with a handsaw to cut accurate 45-degree and 90-degree angles. The miter box is most often used for cutting trim and molding to length.
  • Screwdrivers. Your toolkit should include different sizes in both Phillips and Robertson. Or, you can consider at four-in-one screwdriver that holds four bits—two standard and two Phillips, which should meet most jobs.
  • Safety gear: Eye and ear protection; dust mask or respirator; knee pads; work gloves; work boots; and, a good first aid kit.

For best results, look for quality in the tools you select and invest in a tool bag or carry-all to keep your essentials well organized and easily accessible.

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