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What are the tools that every DIY'er should have? This is a community wiki as there is no one right answer.

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    [ITEM NAME]
    [Reason why item is essential/useful/good]
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77 Answers 77

A laser level (a cheap one will do just fine).

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I've used mine a handful of times. They're really handy if you want to keep multiple items in a straight line, especially over a long distance. I found it really handy to do the line of wall anchors for a whiteboard, for example. –  msemack Aug 4 '10 at 15:16

Chalk Line

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Snapping, setting out straight lines.

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(A high quality) Combination Square

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Transferring measurements, marking out 90° & 45° angles, scribing parallel lines...

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Sledge Hammer

When a normal hammer just won't do.

Sledge Hammer

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Toolbucket. Love mine. It's amazing what all you can get into one of these.

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(Sharp) Pencils

You need something to layout, set-out, all those cool DIY projects you are going to do.

Don't forget a pencil sharper, if you can't get a good sharp point via a knife.

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Shrinking tube and hot glue - use them all the time.

The combination of shrinking tube and hot glue makes smooth, sealed and water-proof solids of any basic shape. Ideal to create custom-shaped plugs or jacks.

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Cordless (circular) trim saw. Fits into tighter quarters, better for making short cuts than the full-size circular saw.

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I've wondered about power issues for the cordless versions. Anyone know about this? –  Doresoom Aug 5 '10 at 18:00
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A battery-driven saw with a smaller blade just won't have the torque and cutting power of a full-sized saw with a full-powered motor -- that's physics for you. That's why I have both saws. But the smaller one gets used 10 times more often than the larger saw... –  Craig Trader Aug 30 '10 at 19:10

Cordless 18v lithium ion impact driver. Drives screws and bolts so smoothly, quickly, and without torquing your wrist. Also relatively light, small, hangs on a belt, and battery lasts a long time.

Makita BTD144 is one good example.

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A good Do-it-yourself book.

Reader's Digest "New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual"

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(A good quality) Handsaw

Don't underestimate the usefulness of this old school hand-tool.

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Stud finder.

In case you need to hang something that requires more support than a drywall has.

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Duplicate. Adam already beat you to this one. –  Doresoom Jul 28 '10 at 14:41

Toolbox

You need somewhere to store, organise and keep safe all those essential DIY tools.

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Plumb-bob

Sure you can use a Spirit Level to check if something is plumb, but there are occasions when a Plumb-Bob just makes more sense...

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Palm Router

Cheap enough for most DIYers, you can pick up a good quality one for around $100.

Has enough power (normally about 1HP) for most DIY jobs.

Can be used to make a variety of DIY projects around the home that much easier.

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A Diamond Sharpening Stone

For honing and keeping those plane blades, wood chisels, knives, etc good n' sharp.

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Nail Pincers & Nail Bars

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Makes pulling out nails a breeze.

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