Aviation snips. Tin snips. Metal shears. Compound snips. Whatever you call them, a quality set of aviation snips are the single best way to cut thin and flexible materials like sheet metal, plastic, thick textiles, heavy-duty paper, and wire products like poultry netting (chicken wire), and the like. They're affordable, last for decades, and are an essential component in any DIYer's toolbox. ...
Photo: Rachel Jacks
Spring and summer is growing season, but that also means it's time to trim your yard. Trees, bushes, and shrubs need to be kept in shape, and to do that, it really helps to have sharp tools. It's faster and easier to cut with a sharp blade, plus it's better for the plant. In just a few minutes, you can actually sharpen garden tools yourself.
Yard work is hard enough without trying to do it with dull tools...
Scissors get dull. Fast. Getting them professionally sharpened can cost a pretty penny, too. Rather than shelling out for a sharpening session or for a brand new pair of shears, I decided to learn exactly how to sharpen scissors on my own. I did a little research, and here's what I learned:
I've been accumulating impact drivers since 2012, when we did our first home renovation. An impact driver is lighter, more compact, and more powerful than its older sibling, the power drill. It's better for 90% of the jobs that you would normally use a drill for, and I think everyone should own one, or even two! But at this point, I have four of them, and I need to thin out the herd, so to speak.
The most important factor in completing home improvement projects is having the right tool for the job. It's that simple. Home improvement isn't rocket science, and when you're unable to complete a task, it's usually not because you aren't smart or skilled enough. It's because you don't have that tool that does that thing you need in order to finish the job!
Everybody has their weakness. For some people, it's coffee; for others, it's clothing. For me, it's The Home Depot. I'll admit it. I want to buy EVERY. SINGLE. THING at The Home Depot. Am I alone on this? Seriously. If there are others like me lurking out there, let me know if the comments so I don't feel so freakish.
If you know (or are) someone like me, here's your guide to Home Depot gifting this year. We pulled together twenty-eight of our favorite power tools and home improvement accessories, and I think you're going to like every one of them (I know I do).
Here we go...
You know what they say: "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." But what about if you have a bunch of different kinds of hammers? The truth is, like any other tool, hammers are specialized for many different tasks, and having the right one can be the difference between doing a job correctly and not finishing it at all. Here's a little guide to hammers on the different types we think...
A healthy fear of power tools isn't a bad thing. They're powerful tools, after all - capable making big holes in solid objects and ripping whole boards in half with one swift motion. That being said, power tools are also extremely useful, and once you've learned how to safely and effectively operate them, they open up a world of DIY possibilities. The best way to combat any reservations you have about operating power tools is to do your research. Arm yourself with knowledge and you'll be a confident tool-user in no time. That's where we come in. We've done the legwork and used the tools, and we're here to share with you what we've learned. Today we'll be exploring a must-have in the world of power tools: the circular saw.
During my senior year of high school, I was given what I still count as one of the best gifts I've ever received. It was a tool set. Nothing fancy - just a hammer, some screwdrivers, and a cordless drill that died after 23 seconds of use. When I received it (it was given to me by my friend's brilliant and thoughtful dad), I thought it was cute and sweet, but not much more. It wasn't until after I moved into my first apartment that I realized just how awesome of a gift this was. You never stop to think about buying a hammer until you actually need a hammer.
Alright, so I'm going to level with you: this is a blog post about my love of a rolling toolbox. I know. Weird, right?
See, about two months ago, we kicked off a yearlong partnership of blog posts with The Home Depot, and I was lucky enough to get invited down to Atlanta to check out their headquarters, meet some of the staff, and get a first-hand look at their product testing lab. It was a great time...
When we closed on our house two years ago, I was excited to tackle all the home improvement projects that we had on our list... but what I didn't realize was how many tools we'd accumulate throughout the process of accomplishing those projects. And while we've only used some once or twice, there are plenty that we've used over and over again. So if you're in the market to invest in some tools for your arsenal, here's where your money will probably be best spent.
Looking for a gift for the dad in your life? We think tools are some of the best gifts you can give, because they're really like saying "here, can you please finally fix that thing you've been promising to fix for three weeks?" Wait. No. That's not what I meant to say.
Tools keep on giving! That's what I meant. 'Cause when you give a guy a tool he didn't know he wanted, you'll be amazed at the...
Sure, your glue gun melts glue sticks, but does it drip glue all over the place when sitting on its "kickstand"? Does it seem to spontaneously tip over when sitting on said kickstand? Does it take forever to reach maximum heat?
If your glue gun does any or all of these things, it might be time to break up with it and find a new model. After hours and hours of testing 6 models—4 corded and 2 cordless—of wildly varying prices, we've pinned down our favorites. Let's introduce our contenders (and our recommendations):
I thoroughly enjoy woodworking, and I know that I'm not alone. There are tons of women out there that enjoy the craft! Spoil your mother or the lady in your life with one (or all!) of these cool tools!
These tools and gadgets are not those of the too-good-to-be-true variety. They're totally legit and they just might make your next DIY project a snap. Because they might be flying under the radar for some, we decided to profile them here. In no order of spectacularness
Somehow I managed to score this gift guide assignment again this year (see my post from 2010), even though Chris is clearly the more qualified person to do it (I mean, c'mon, he makes stuff all the time, like donuts and romesco sauce).
Nevertheless, I am nothing if not a shameless amateur, and I like to think of myself as food-literate. So, fueled by this decidedly non-gourmet turkey sandwich I whipped up for lunch and a string of INXS that...
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
If you're like me, always trundling over to the neighbor's garage to borrow time on his table saw, then this is the giveaway you've been waiting for. This week, we've teamed up with the folks at Craftsman to give you guys a really solid, 10" Table Saw with Laser Trac (model 21807). This thing retails for almost 350 bucks, and the reviews on it are overwhelmingly good (seriously, look for yourself, it's one of Consumer Research's best buys)
And, over at ManMadeDIY, we're also giving away a really nice Craftsman Miter Saw, so you can double your chances to win (well, I'm not a statistician, not maybe not really, but come on).
Last weekend, our own Chris Gardner was on a fun online TV called the Craftsman Experience, showing off his mad tooling skills, so we're excited to let you have a chance to win one for yourself.
Read on to find out how to enter both giveaways!
I'm not gonna lie: I have a lot of tools. If you walk into my basement, you'll see a fully-equipped studio/shop that allows me to come up with original how-tos and teach folks to make unique things for their homes. But, scads of power tools, craft supplies, or fancy software are a luxury, not a necessity.
If I could only have five tools in my arsenal, I wouldn't choose a single power tool. Okay, well, maybe my table saw, but only because it's so versatile, and really fun to use. But there are inexpensive hand tools that work just as well.
With that in mind, here's Curbly's top five DIY best buys: five things we think every passionate homeowner should have. Not an essential home maintenance kit, but five things that'll help you create your own original pieces of furniture, home decor, and art. All under $20 USD.
UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
But before you do that, make sure to check out Chris's post on the top five essential DIY tools under $20; what are your essential DIY tools?
How To Enter to Win:
To win this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post:
If you're in the process of decorating your space, this may be the single most helpful tool you could own: a paint chip keychain custom-made from your own color palette! It's a simple DIY project that will make shopping for furniture, fabric, or accessories that much easier.