Working on home DIY projects can be incredibly rewarding – there’s nothing like admiring your own handiwork after finishing a complex or challenging piece of DIY. If you’re someone who’s been itching to get started on your own DIY once you have the time or finally own a property, you’re not the only one. DIY is a massive industry in the UK, with the popularity of DIY home renovations reaching a fever pitch in recent years, thanks in part to the pandemic.
So, as a first-time DIYer, what kind of must have tools, equipment and PPE should you invest in? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this – it will largely depend on what type of DIY projects you plan to try your hand at.
There are some specialist tools that the average construction worker would have in his or her tool belt like, locking pliers, putty knife, utility knife, spare blades, adjustable wrench, wire cutters, adjustable spanner, hex keys and other tools that are needed for the everyday life of a builder but you do not need all of those to carry out most DIY projects.
Some things are relatively universal for most diy jobs; a tool belt, hammers, drills, a knife, tape measures, screwdrivers, a pencil, small hand tools and spirit levels should be found in most, if not all, DIY toolboxes.
A lot of home DIY projects can get noisy, and if our ears are subject to loud noises consistently over time, it can result in hearing damage or even loss. It is crucial that you avoid possible issues with your hearing in the future by investing in suitable ear defenders.
You’ll need to look at the single number rating (SNR) for different ear defenders to understand the best ear defenders to invest in. The SNR shows how many decibels ear defenders will reduce sound by – for instance, a 20 SNR will reduce 100 dB to 80 dB.
DIY work often requires you to work with rough or jagged materials, lift heavy or shaped edge objects, or pull up thorny weeds and plants – all of these should be done with proper hand protection. Work gloves are a versatile tool that can be invaluable for keeping your hands safe and preventing some of the most serious DIY issues and accidents while working.
Many types and styles of work gloves are available, so you should choose the level of protection that best suits the type of work you’ll be doing most often. Some key features you could look for include:
- Waterproof and insulated for outdoor winter work
- Cut resistance rating
- Heat resistance
A battery powered cordless electric drill can be an excellent investment for home DIYers. They’re a brilliant way to make hanging a picture frame, shelves or anchoring furniture quick work, easy and safe. You could use a corded drill if you’re limited in funds, but cordless power drill or an impact driver can offer much more in terms of flexibility and reach, making it ideal for home repair jobs all around the house. You can even use your drill for other tasks, provided it is suitable for them, including:
- Mixing paint or concrete
- Sanding smaller or curved surfaces
A toolbox is only complete with the simple but ever-useful claw hammer. You’ll need a hammer with a good grip to prevent it from slipping or falling out of your hands while you work. Most standard hammers come with a claw back to make removing nails from walls and furniture a freeze.
Hammers are usable in most jobs and can also be great to remove nails, deconstructing furniture or other large objects, but you should ensure they are sturdy enough for significant work, with grips that absorb shock to protect your hands and wrists.
Your eye health is too important to leave to chance – many types of DIY projects could create debris that can pose a serious risk to your eyes. If you have a glasses prescription, looking for safety eyewear with the correct prescription is best to ensure you can properly see what you’re doing.
Online Opticians UK has a wide range of high-quality prescription safety glasses that are ideal for home DIYers of any eye concern and project type. You must use a quality brand of safety glasses to ensure the greatest protection.
Tape measures should be in any savvy DIYer’s toolkit – taking precise measurements of components and spaces is crucial to ensure you get your DIY work done well. They’re also one of the cheapest things to invest in unless you want to get fancy with laser measuring. You should get a rigid retractable tape measure for larger spaces and make use of a ruler for smaller and more intricate measuring.
Many DIY projects require straight lines and a perfectly level finish; you wouldn’t want a wonky surface or a sloping TV stand in your home. Spirit levels are a great way to ensure the things you’re working on are perfectly level – remember to use them regularly throughout construction. You can buy a basic spirit level for home use from almost any DIY shop.
A saw can be invaluable in helping you cut down materials to the size you need them to be. For many small home projects, a simple hand saw will be perfect for DIY, but if you have a more sizeable project, consider investing in a circular saw which is battery or mains powered. Circular saws can be dangerous if used by someone without proper training and experience, so you should only invest if you feel comfortable and safe to do so.
Sealants or a joint compound can come in handy throughout the home – patching cracks or crevices, holes or gaps in walls, and much more. You should ensure that any sealant you use at home is suitable for the task. For instance, the sealant used as a joint compound in the bathroom should be strong and highly waterproof. The sealant for outer walls should be able to withstand the elements and provide a secure seal for your home.
A hand sander can be essentially useful in many different ways; it is far quicker and a lot easier than sanding manually and can result in a smoother, more even finish. Sanding is most often used on wooden materials and metal to create an even base for polish or stain as a finish. Depending on the type of hand sander device you invest in, you might still need to do some light, manual fine sanding on tricky corners or edges, but it can make the bulk of the work much faster and simpler to complete.
Last but certainly not least – many of the tools above will need a secure place to call home. Your toolbox or tool bag can be invaluable for keeping your tools safe, particularly if you have children in the home, and for carrying your home tool kit with you wherever you go. You might need to invest in more than one toolbox, so you can have certain kits ready to go depending on the DIY task at hand. Keeping your tools organised and neat in a tool bag or tool box is also crucial to ensure you can find them when you need them and keep them from becoming worn or damaged.
What you decide to buy for your home DIY projects will vary from project to project; what should remain consistent is that you invest in high-quality, well made and properly designed tools and versatile equipment. You should also know how to use any tool you invest in safely and correctly, especially with power tools that could be a major risk to health and safety in inexperienced hands.
You should also purchase all the features of suitable PPE to keep you safe while you work – gloves to protect your hands, a good set of safety glasses for your eyes, and ear defenders if you’ll be working on something that will generate a lot of noise.