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DIY - The Top 5 Must Have Tools For Do-It-Yourselfers

Updated on June 18, 2012

Besides the obvious must-have tools—a selection of screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches—there are a number of odd little items that I have found extremely useful to have on hand when starting any do-it-yourself project. Here are the top five:

You just can't have too many cable ties!


1. Cable Ties – These things are exceptionally handy. I’ve used them for everything from repairing the insulation around a condensation line to my air conditioner to attaching a bird feeder pole to a fence. They can be strung together to create the length you need, last indefinitely and even come in lots of colors.

The Putty Knife: Possibly the most versitle tool ever invented!


And you also can't have too many putty knives

2. Putty Knife – Spreader, scraper, pry tool and all around great little gadget, I’m never without several. They come in different widths and degrees of flexibility and can be sharpened if you need a scraper with an edge.

Don't try this at home!


3. Duct Tape – I know it’s become a cultural cliché, but Duct Tape remains so useful that it deserves a place on any Must Have tool list. Look for the doublewide roll for heavy-duty projects requiring extra strength, and be sure to have a roll of black around as well as classic silver if you want to make your repair less visible.

A Wealth of Q Tips


4. Q–Tips – Perhaps the most unexpected item on this list, I find a zillion uses for the humble Q-Tip. They make terrific mini paint brushes to apply just a drop of touch up paint to a nick or scrape, and are equally good at getting a drop of glue or lubricant right where you need it. Add their usefulness at polishing the small crevasses and turnings of brass and silver to their list of virtues and you’ll understand why I keep a pack in my toolbox.

So useful!


5. Long Tweezers – I’m don’t recall where or when I acquired a few of these, but I’m so glad to have them! I can’t count the number of times I’ve fished tiny screws out of the tight spot into which they inevitably dropped or retrieved other bits and pieces with them. If fact, having them handy seems to work as a sort of insurance policy, preventing little parts from falling into impossible to reach places.

Well, time to go back to my project; please let me know what is on your must-have list!

Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.

(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at

What is your favorite small tool?

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    • DIYmyOmy profile image

      DIYmyOmy 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Thanks for the kind words! I'm at the point where I have a set of must-have tools on all 3 floors of my house--nice not to have to run up or down stairs when you need them. I'm working on lots of new DIY articles, writing about them here is fun!

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

      Yay! I have all of these and I feel so proud! I cannot imagine ever living without duct tape which I reach for all the time!

      I supposed I should keep them together somewhere because right now I don't know where the q-tips are or more than 1 of the tweezers. Hmmmm.

      Thanks for the tips and great to meet you too - I'll follow! I love DIY!