Tips for how to start using tools and a round-up of the best power tools, manual tools, and paint tools for beginner DIYers.
7 years ago, I’d never touched a saw in my life. And to be honest, I’d barely even heard of a nail gun (except for that one time when I watched an episode of Home Improvement when I was 7 years-old and Tim the Tool Man Taylor turned his Bedford model into a projectile weapon on Tool Time… ahh the 90s).
Feeling intimidated by all things tools was an understatement.
I’m still not a total pro, and Robert is still mostly the more advanced DIYer in our dynamic duo. But…
I’ve come far enough to be able to handle lots of home improvement jobs of my own and conquer my fear. So while Robert and I have been working on the built-in cabinets at the Carney project this week, I realized it was the perfect time for this post.
If you’ve ever wanted to start handling tools but feel completely overwhelmed, here are some of my best tips and tools to start with.
How to Learn to Use Tools as a Beginner:
I’ve learned A TON about how to operate tools just by looking up video demonstrations on YouTube. Search simple phrases like “How to Use a Porter Cable Nail Gun” to get the exact information you need.
2. Ask a more experienced friend or family member to mentor you.
We’re very fortunate that Robert’s dad has decades of construction experience, so he has taught us many tricks along the way.
3. Make safety a priority.
Always wear protective gear, keep hands clear of nailers/blades, and get to know your tools’ safety features before using via manufacturer manuals.
4. Start small.
Choose a beginner-level, low-intensity DIY project you feel you can attempt and dive in.
These are some of my favorite beginner-level DIYs to practice with:
- Wood Candlestick Holder
- Bathtub Tray
- Shower Curtain “Canvas” Art
- DIY Cutting Boards from Scrap Wood
- DIY Art Ledge
- DIY Bench
These are my favorite tools that are perfect for a beginner DIYer.
The Best Tools for a Beginner DIYer
If you plan on refinishing furniture especially, a sander always comes in handy.
I use this a drill on 99% of our projects.
This set is the most versatile for all kinds of jobs.
This is the least intimidating of saws to me and the perfect first step into cutting. They’re great for smaller wood working jobs or when you need to make a curved cut.
This saw is by far the most versatile for lots of different straight cuts, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Use a saw horse and clamps to keep a piece of wood secure as you cut.
If you ever plan on installing shiplap, board and batten, or molding, a cordless brad nailer is your best friend!
I love this little guy for lots of odd jobs: trimming door casings, taking out moldings, removing old caulk, paint, and grout. It’s definitely called “multi” for a reason.
If you need a little inspiration to give you extra courage for conquering tools, I love following these Instagrammers for tool knowledge and DIY encouragement:
Got any others to add to the list? I cannot WAIT to finish these built-ins this week because they’re going to be SO GOOD! More on that soon.