Chisel. Clamp. Nail gun. Ladder. Sawhorse. Cat’s paw.
Yes, you read that right.
Here’s a look at six of the many tools that builders and contractors use on their job sites and you can use to make do-it-yourself (DIY) upgrades to your new home after you move in.
A chisel is a hand-held tool with a flat end that looks like a non-Phillips screwdriver but is much sharper. Chisels are primarily associated with woodworking, which makes them useful for repairing cabinets or wood floorboards. There are also special types of chisels designed to shape stone, brick or other materials used in flooring, tiles, fireplaces, driveways, walls, walkways and other hardscapes. Chisels are sold singly or in sets of various types and sizes with prices ranging from $10 to $40. A sharpening stone and bottle of honing oil are must-haves to keep your chisel ready to use.
Clamps also come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors. They all do basically the same thing: hold two parts together while an adhesive sets or you perform other tasks on the parts. A trigger clamp has a quick-release mechanism that makes removing the clamp when its work is done faster and easier. A C-clamp is shaped like the alphabetic letter of its name. A clamp attached to a workbench is known as a vice. A simple handheld C-shaped or corner clamp can be bought for less than $10.
3. Nail gun
A traditional claw-end hammer can be a great tool to have around your house. But if you want to pound in a lot nails, up to 200 per minute, you’ll need a nail gun. You can buy an entry-level nail gun for around $30 or up to $100 for better quality. A professional-grade, high-performance model costs $300-$800. If you’re doing a weekend project, you can rent a nail gun at a big-box hardware store.