I shared my giant, extensive gift guide on Friday (check it out here!), but as promised- I’ve got a few more speciality gifting items left to share. Black Friday deals are already underway, so I figured for the DIY enthusiasts and those who renovate, like ourselves, might enjoy having this one sooner rather than later. After all.. taking the DIY route saves you a ton of money in the long run, and expanding your tool collection is always a great investment. We love having the right tool for the job. It makes projects a hundred times easier! Click through for my favorite tools, Emmett’s favorites, and why we use them more often than others! Most of these are on super sale right now…
To shop the gift guides, some items within the collage are clickable- but not all of the items. If you’re not automatically redirected, please use the numbered source links at the bottom. I’m going to hand it over to Emmett for his section of the post…
Hi guys! Emmett here, I’m dropping my favorite DIY and renovating tools below:
- RETRACTABLE PEN HOLDER // Put either a pen, pencil, or marker in it. Clip it to your shirt. You will never have to search for your marking device ever again while working on projects!
- UTILITY EXTENSION CORD // If you are going to have just one extension cord, make sure it is a heavy-rated one with a single plug-in. Power tools require more power and a standard home extension cord will not suffice. Plus some tools will not plug into a cord with the 3-outlet-end on them. Get a 25 ft., 12-gauge, single-end cord and you will be all set!
- AIR NAIL GUN // Perfect for arts & crafts, or installing base, crown, and casing- an assortment of all gauges of air nailers is a must. Get a 16ga., 18ga., and a 23ga. nailer and you will be able to join small intricate wall mouldings or large bulky baseboard.
- BLUETOOTH HEARING PROTECTION // When working on projects around the house, Sarah wears her ear muffs because I make a lot of ruckus, but I wear these because I can play music through them to keep me entertained. Also great for mowing and snow blowing!
- IMPACT DRIVER // This is the one tool that I grab for every single project. It drives screws WAY easier than a standard drill with a driver bit. It has more torque in a smaller body. I could go on and on, but believe me- I use it every day to either build a workbench, install cabinets, and even installing my floor jig to install the herringbone flooring.
- MITER SAW // We have already went over impact drivers and nail guns, which will secure your cut board, and even a retractable pen holder to mark your cut, but if you don’t have a miter saw you will not be cutting any trim, picture frames, flooring, framing, or any other cross cut items. It is also to mention when precision counts, like when installing trim, you have to have a high-quality saw. I bought two other cheap saws and no matter how hard I tried, my trim turned out terrible. I upgraded to the best saw DeWALT offers and it has made a huge difference!
- AIR COMPRESSOR // I use this small air compressor for running my nail guns, including my framing nailer. However I also use it around the house putting air in our vehicle tires.
- OSCILIATING TOOL // This is the tool I never knew I needed until I purchased it on a whim. It even sat in it’s box for a month before I decided to give it a try. Now I feel like I purposefully find reasons to use it. The blades can be set at different angles for making cuts in awkward positions- perfect for the remodeler. The blade oscillates ever so slightly that you can nearly cut something flush without damaging any nearby materials. This thing had to be made with remodeling in mind, and I can never do another project without one.
- CRAFTSMAN TOOL CHEST // There is no worse of a feeling than being mid-project and needing that one specific tool…that you can’t find! After accumulating a lot of tools, I finally broke down and bought the Craftsman tool chest (actually Sarah bought it for me as a surprise because I’m not as organized as her). These things are built in the U.S.A. and are the classic tool organizer for any garage. I also like the way it looks.
- CORDLESS SCREWDRIVER // This isn’t an absolute “must” item, but it is the perfect gift for any homeowner. It actually takes a bit to get used to it as it is gyroscopic and it turns when you turn your wrist (not a forward/backward motion like most). I like to use it on installing light fixtures and outlets because the long, fine threaded screws take forever with a manual screwdriver. This one is fast.
- NAIL SET AND COUNTER PUNCH // You know that nail gun above? No matter how hard you try, occasionally one of those small nails will net get set all the way (nail head just below the surface). Instead of getting a hammer and a punch out, this spring nail set easily and precisely sets your proud nail damaging as little of the surrounding area as possible. It’s the little things that count, and whatever project you use a nail gun on, plan on bringing this along as well.
- DEWALT TOOL SET // This tool set includes an impact driver. Thats enough for me. But if you’re interested in more DIY projects- a drill, circular saw, and reciprocating saw would be the next items to acquire. A drill allows you to attach different drill bits, a circular saw can rip plywood and other sheet goods, and the reciprocating saw is my demo tool of choice.
- MITER CLAMP SET // Your new miter saw is making the perfect cuts because you marked them perfectly with your retractable pen holder. And you now have the nail gun to assemble it. Miter clamps allow you to put glue on the two pieces clamp them together and then finish with a nail or two. Your miters will be next level, but more importantly they will stay together until the end of time.
- SAW HORSES // Use these for a temporary work bench, painting stands, and pretty much anything else to keep you from crawling around on the ground. These save my back.
- TABLE SAW // Table saws make rip cuts. Miter saws make cross cuts. You need both if you plan to tackle any project that comes to mind. However, if you plan carefully- sometimes you can get your plywood cut to size at home improvement stores (aka- our favorite… Lowe’s).
That’s it for my list! I’m going to hand the laptop back to Sarah to share her favorites now. Let me know if you have questions in the comment section below. Thanks guys! -Emmett
Sarah here. How confused are you guys with this Emmett / Sarah computer handoff? This is a new one for sure. Haha! Thanks for hanging with us, friends. Now it’s my turn to share DIY and renovation favorites!
My list is a bit more practical and focuses more on “light” DIY for all skillsets, if that’s your jam. These would also make great gifts for new homeowners who are just getting started. These are the tools I use alllllll the time…
- LASER LEVEL // I hate math. I love the convenience of setting up a laser level and knowing exactly where to lay tile, hang art, install trim, etc. It doesn’t get easier. With a single click (and zero measuring) you have a perfectly accurate line to start your project with confidence.
- EASY HOOKS // No more hammer, nails, or screws. Basically everything you see hanging on the walls in our home is hung with these nifty little guys. They used to be called “hercules hooks” but have since rebranded. I believe they also started as an “As Seen on TV” thing. Haha! Emmett and I both swear by these hooks. They hold a lot of weight, are easy to install, and you don’t have to worry about your art or mirrors crashing to the ground (or finding studs).
- HANDY PAINT PAIL // I would be totally lost without my paint pail. It has been with me for almost a decade and there is no turning back!
- HANDY PAIL LINERS // The liners make cleanup a breeze and I love having the ability to switch out paint colors easily.
- SHORT PAINTBRUSH // This is my preferred paint brush. I like the short handle because it’s easy to maneuver and lightweight.
- WORK GLOVES // Emmett bought these work gloves for me and I wear them all the time- for demo, moving heavy items or raw lumber, yard work, all sorts of things. They’re the best and fit my small hands (they come in lots of sizes).
- WET SAW // Much like our miter saw, we bought a cheap wet saw when we first began renovating. That was a big mistake that cost us time and money. We sold it and decided to splurge on this DeWALT version and the difference is incredible! I do most of our tile work and this baby is precise, can even miter tile, and gets it right every single time. It’s worth every penny!
- 5 GALLON BUCKET // This is probably the most underrated “tool” in our collection. I use a big bucket for everything- demo, moving trash, tile & grout, carrying materials or tools from one zone to another. We have a stack of buckets in the garage that are constantly being used for something! It also makes a great gift basket / vessel to corral smaller gifts… fill it up with things the DIY lover in your life will appreciate. Best gift ever!!
- HANDY PAINT TRAY // This paint tray fits an entire gallon of paint… that means no more messy refills! Much like their paint pail, the engineers of this company thought of everything in terms of painting tools. This roller tray also has a stopper for the handle, so it doesn’t plunge into the paint.
- AMAZON SHOW // This might seem like an unlikely item to add to my list, but this thing sits on our kitchen countertop and I use it alllllll the time. It’s on sale right now, and we use it to listen to music while we work, and when Emmett is away- it’s kind of my DIY instructor. I ask Alexa to pull up YouTube tutorials and all sorts of things I want to learn more about.
- LASER MEASURE // I said it earlier and I’ll say it again- I hate math. Emmett bought me this laser measuring device as a birthday gift this year and no more lugging my heavy tape measure in my purse. It’s a thing of the past and my measurements have never been more precise!
- STEP LADDER // I’m 5’6″… not the tallest. Our step stool is too short for me to reach the ceiling or trim. That’s a problem because I do all of the painting around here. Rather than lugging out the big, heavy ladder, this step ladder has an extra step that allows me to finally reach higher. It’s lightweight, foldable, and compact. I have yet to fall off of it (knocking on wood), so that’s a win! Would recommend.
- SHOP VAC // You guys know me… I clean. I clean a lot. I can’t stand living amongst the chaos of a construction zone (ugh drywall dust). I’m always following Emmett around with the shop vac (which annoys him), but our house is cleaner because of it. Can’t stop, won’t stop!
- LEAF BLOWER // Back to the cleaning topic again- I want our outdoor areas to be clean, which is tough. I officially tossed my broom and will never sweep the front porch, patio, or garage again. Using this backpack leaf blower takes 1/4th of the time and it’s so easy and fun. I know- I said FUN. It’s true- instant gratification.
Hopefully this post was helpful! Whether you’re buying items for your own tool collection or you’re shopping for the DIY people in your life… I hope our combined experience made it a little easier for you. Feel free to leave us questions in the comment section below! Singing off. Have a great day! -Sarah