Following up from my last two workshop posts, today’s post is all about DIY home renovation tools – which ones we have, love and want! Make sure to check out my previous two posts: The Essential Tools for Homeowners and Renters and The Best Tools for DIY Projects.
These are recommendations for tools that will make your life easier if you are taking on large, or more specialized projects around your home.
General Renovation Tools
My impact driver was a Christmas gift from Chris two years ago. I didn’t really understand what I would use it for when he first gave it to me, but it makes attaching anything directly to wall studs a breeze. I just wish I had it when we were building our deck…and then our second deck.
Full disclosure – we do not have a table saw. Instead, our neighbour stores his table saw in our garage because I keep borrowing it from him. If he ever moves away the first thing I will do will be to go out buy one for myself – and then maybe build a kick as extension table
Similar to the one we borrow: Genesis 10″ Table Saw
If you find yourself ripping down large sheets of plywood (and are not super steady with your circular saw) you might want to check out the Kreg Accucut. It attaches to your circular saw and gives you a guide for making straight cuts. I bought one when I built the storage unit in our bedroom and while I’m not sure how long it’s going to last – I don’t regret the purchase at all.
Ours: Kreg Accucut Saw Track
Cabinetry and Furniture Tools
Kreg shelf peg jig
If you’re building any sort of shelving unit, trust me, this is totally worth it. Sure, you could make your own, but the convenience is totally worth it in my opinion.
Ours: Kreg Shelf Pin Jig
Clamps are your best friends when it comes to furniture building. We use a combination of different lengths and styles, these are my go-tos:
Small Projects: Irwin Quick-Grip Clamps
Medium Projects: 24″ or 36″ Bar Clamps
Large Project: Use lengths of pipe and these to create custom large clamps
Router & router table
This year I really want to push myself to get more comfortable using our router. Chris has used it many times to give some of our projects a more professional finish – the edges of our butcher block countertop is a great example.
I love our drill press – while we don’t use it that often it does make repetitive drilling really easy. I use it most often for creating DIY blanket ladders .
New version of ours: Ryobi Drill Press
The angle grinder is still a bit of a tool of mystery to me (to be honest, I hate the sparks!) but Chris uses it often to cut metal and smooth out sharp edges. If you want to be crazy like us and adapt some granite countertops you will need one of these kits and a variable speed angle grinder (but you’ll probably just want to rent that).
When we were thinking of building our own dining table I immediately started researching planers. I’m not sure if we will add one to the workshop in one in the future, but if you’re planning on building anything with rough lumber they look like a really smart investment.
We’re Looking at: Dewalt Benchtop Thickness Planer
This was another tool Chris really wanted to get for a dining table build to create a smooth join between the tabletop planks. Again, not something currently in our workshop, but might be added depending on our upcoming projects.
We’re Looking at: Ryobi Biscuit Joiner Kit
How do I know which tools I really need?
I can’t answer this question for you – the tools that I feature in this post and my other toolbox posts are ones we own, use and love. We decide to buy a tool if it’s something that we will use multiple times (and fits with our budget). If you’re not sure if you really need to OWN a tool, rent it first! Many big box hardware stores have a tool rental program. Or ask a friend or neighbour who might be nice enough to lend you theirs 🙂