Hammers, cordless drills, reciprocating saws, and the like are all essentials for serious home renovation projects, but there are plenty of lesser-known tools that can be invaluable for a broad range of renovations, including replacing a kitchen faucet, stripping off old wallpaper, and hanging a new light fixture in the bathroom. While these unsung heroes may not have the notoriety of sexier power tools they can be invaluable for DIYers. Ahead, learn about some of the ingenious products that will help you renovate your home.
1. The Bucket Boss Bucketeer Tool Organizer
With its many pockets of various sizes, this combination bucket and tool belt is great for organizing and transporting the necessary tools and supplies for the job. Plus, you can throw larger items, such as a cordless drill or boxes of fasteners, inside for easy transport. Just load it up with all the required tools then pick it up by the handle and carry everything you need to the project location.
Get the Bucketeer at Amazon for $17.18
2. Crescent Flat Pry Bar
With a versatile design that makes it capable of fitting into all kinds of cracks and crevices, one would be hard-pressed to find a better tool for tearing out old drywall or plaster from framing, or removing baseboards and molding. Equipped with both a curved end and hooked end, this bar is two different types of pry bars in one, making it versatile enough to handle a variety of demolition jobs. And, the nail pullers on both ends and the body are invaluable for removing those stubborn nails that remain after you’ve pried everything else away.
Get the Crescent Flat Pry Bar at Amazon for $8.30
3. Shur-Line Paint Edger Pro
One of the most time-consuming parts of painting a room is the tedious and often frustrating process of edging around the ceiling and baseboards. This simple device, which consists of a pad attached to a plastic frame with two wheels on one side speeds that process up. There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but once you figure out how much paint to put on its pad to get perfect coverage while keeping its wheels clean, it’s a huge time saver and leaves a straight line that makes for a professional-looking edging job.
Get the Shur-Line Paint Edger Pro at Amazon for $8.66
4. Touch Up Cup
Keeping small amounts of paint in space-hogging, 1-gallon paint cans in an already crowded basement or garage just so you have the right color paint on hand for touch-ups isn’t very efficient. This set of touch-up cups is a better option. Simply pour the paint into one of these 13-ounce cups, seal it, label it, and store it for those future repairs. It’s significantly smaller than a gallon container, creates a better seal than a metal paint can, and even includes a mixing ball, so all you have to do is shake it when it’s time for touch-ups.
Get the Touch Up Cup at Amazon for $14.98
5. Irwin Vise-Grip Wire Stripper
Whether you’re installing a ceiling fan, trading out an old light switch for a new dimmer switch, or changing light fixtures, you’re likely going to have to strip a few wires. While you can do it with a utility knife or even a pair of wire cutters, this tool, which can handle gauges ranging from 10 to 24 is a better option. It makes wire stripping much much easier while ensuring you won’t take any threads of precious copper off along with the insulation.
Get the Irwin Vise-Grip Wire Stripper at Amazon for $21.98
6. NoCry Professional Knee Pads
Installing wood flooring and tile require one to spend a lot of time on his or her knees. You can grin and bear it then hobble around long after the mortar and grout have cured, or you can protect your knees with this set of knee pads. Their soft gel core and EVA foam padding provide ample cushioning for your knees during long hours spreading mortar and grout, while a thick poly shell prevents scratches and cuts.
Get the NoCry Professional Knee Pads at Amazon for $24.99
7. Mayhew Select Handguard Cold Chisel
This chisel tool may seem innocuous on its own, but combine it with a hammer and you have a cheap yet effective means for knocking out old tile or separating baseboards from the wall. This model features a handguard and rubberized grip, so you can swing that hammer with the confidence of knowing you won’t miss and injure your hand.
Get the Mayhew Select Handguard Cold Chisel at Amazon for $22.47
8. General Tools 140XL Telescoping Basin Wrench
Unless you plan to remove the entire sink to replace that dated faucet in the bathroom or kitchen, you’ll need one of these to reach up into the tight space behind the sink basin to loosen the faucet’s mounting nuts. This basin wrench is telescoping, allowing you to set it to just the right length to get to those hard-to-reach places, and has a spring-loaded ratcheting end that makes it easy to get a tight grip on the nut.
Get the General Tools 140XL Telescoping Basin Wrench at Amazon for $16.64
9. Klein Tools Voltage Tester
This simple tool, which indicates whether an electrical wire is live or not, is an absolute must for any DIYer who plans to change a light fixture, upgrade that standard light switch in the dining room to a dimmer switch, or install a ceiling fan. You really shouldn’t attempt any electrical work without one of these. This model from Klein uses visual and audible indicators to let you know whether a wire is carrying electricity.
Get the Klein Tools Voltage Tester at Amazon for $28.97
10. Edward Tools Paint and Mud Mixer
Sure, you can mix grout or cement by hand for that bathroom or kitchen tiling project, but why would you when you can use this affordable device to turn any standard drill into a powerful cement mixer. The end fits into the chuck of a corded or cordless drill to create what amounts to an electric mixer for concrete. Unless you’re looking to get an upper-body workout while tiling the bathroom floor, this is a must-have tool for any job that involves mixing mortar.
Get the Edward Tools Paint and Mud Mixer at Amazon for $11.95
11. WC Chomp Wallpaper Scorer
There are few things as tedious and laborious in the world of home renovation than removing layer upon layer of old wallpaper. Resist the temptation to paint or wallpaper over existing wallpaper—instead, use this scorer to get rid of that ugly floral design once and for all. Its steel cutting wheels are capable of slicing through multiple layers of wallpaper, creating an opening for the wallpaper stripper to penetrate and work its magic.
Get the WC Chomp Wallpaper Scorer at Amazon for $11.97
12. Handy Paint Cup
This simple and cheap yet smartly designed paint cup is an ideal companion when painting with a brush. The handle provides a comfortable sure-grip hold while painting with a paintbrush, but that’s not its best feature. The magnet on the inside of the cup gives you a convenient place to stick your wet brush when it’s time for a break.
Get the Bercom Handy Paint Cup at Amazon for $2.97
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on October 29, 2021.