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9 Necessary Products for a Complete DIYer

Round out your DIY gear collection with these must-haves.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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FH19MAR_592_18_01-1200 dewalt 23-gauge pinnerFamily Handyman

A Longer-Pin Pinner

DeWalt has introduced a micro pinner that can fire 2-in. pins recessed into oak. It’s affordable, too. Many other name-brand versions that can do this cost at least twice as much. Learn how to use a trim nailer here.

This 23-gauge pin nailer excels at pinning together delicate material, leaving barely visible nail holes, and holding edge banding while the glue sets. It features a simple jam release latch to make removing jammed pins a cinch. And because it stops firing when you run out of nails, you don’t have to worry that you’ve been shooting blanks. You can get this pin nailer for about $150 at home centers. Get is right here on Amazon.

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Smart PlugAmazon

Smart Plugs to Ease Your Mind

How often have you been at work worrying whether you left the iron or space heater on at home? Well, if it’s plugged into a Wemo Smart Plug, worry no more—you can turn the power off when you’re away. Controlled by an app on your phone and connected to your home WiFi, these units offer some great features:

  • You can schedule anything that’s plugged into it.
  • You can use Voice Control with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
  • The “Away Mode” will randomly turn a lamp on and off while you’re on vacation.
  • One model, the Insight shown above, enables you to monitor your energy use.
  • Wemo Mini Smart Plugs are stackable and don’t block the outlet when they’re plugged in.

Note: These plugs control the power to the device that’s plugged in but not the device itself. For example, a lamp or humidifier will turn on when supplied with power, but a coffee maker will still need to have a button pressed.

Single units vary by price. Click here to find it on Amazon.

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FH19MAR_592_18_02-1200 keen workbootFamily Handyman

Light and Comfy Work Boots

Work boots are rarely perfect. Some are super tough and offer solid support but are really heavy. Others are comfortable to walk in but not durable longterm. These San Jose 6in. boots by Keen have an unlined leather upper that is comfortable right out of the box. The footbed provides support for a full day’s work, and the wedge sole makes you feel like you’re gliding over the ground. It comes in three attractive colors with an aluminum safety toe. A great boot for $150. Plus: Check out these brilliant entryway boot tray ideas.

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FH19MAR_592_18_M02-1200 Milwaukee Flood LightFamily Handyman

Rechargeable Work Light

This ROVER Pivoting Flood Light by Milwaukee fits in the smallest of spaces and has three light output modes, allowing you to choose maximum brightness or maximum runtime. The light head pivots 210 degrees for the best task lighting, making it great for working in tight mechanical rooms, crawl spaces and under the hood.

The REDLithium battery included is rechargeable via the USB cable. You can use the light’s magnetic base to mount it to metal, or the carabiner to clip it to overhead pipes or cables. The ROVER Pivoting Flood Light costs about $70 at home centers and online. Click here to find it on Amazon.

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FH19MAR_592_18_03-1200 FastCap MarkerFamily Handyman

Deep-Reach Marker

FastCap’s Long Nosed Pattern Marker does a few things that a standard marker can’t, like mark through narrow holes with the needlelike tip, which is 1-1/8 in. long. The long, thin nose is great for tracing intricate patterns where a standard marker or pencil can’t get close enough to be accurate. The other end has a chisel tip for writing and general marking. The marker is available in black, silver and gold for about $7 online. These are the 20 marking hacks all DIYers should know.

Find your favorite marker on Amazon right here.

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Leaf BlowerAmazon

Leaf Blower

Whether in the shop, in the yard, or somewhere else, a leaf blower will keep your work areas clean and tidy. Amazon carries everything you need for this tool. Click here.

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FH19MAR_592_18_05-1200 ERGO Paint ScraperFamily Handyman

Heavy-Duty Scraper

Bahco’s 2-1/2-in. ERGO Paint Scraper is in a class by itself. The cemented carbide blades last much longer than conventional steel. The textured rubber handle provides a comfortable grip, and along with the knob, lets you use both hands so you can scrape with less effort. And the reversible blade is easy to flip when one side gets dull. This ERGO scraper is available online for about $30. —Tamar Hannah

This scraper comes in a few different sizes. Check it out on Amazon right here.

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FH19MAR_592_18_06-1200 Montana Drill SetFamily Handyman

Change Your Bit with One Quick Flip

The Montana Modular Drill and Drive set makes drilling pilot holes and driving screws a snap. Everything you need is in one multipurpose unit. Drill the pilot hole, pull on the quick release, flip it over and drive the screw—perfect! The kit comes with all the sizes of countersink bits you’ll need, along with Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Phillips-head driving tips. For about $20, you can really speed up your work! Find them at montanabrandtools.com. Next, check out the drill bit sharpener every DIYer needs.

Check out the 10-piece set right here!

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The Ultimate Hang-Stuff-On-The-Wall Tool

This Kapro 313 Measure Mate 24-in. layout and marking tool wears a lot of hats: It’s a horizontal and vertical level, a measuring stick, a straightedge for cutting picture mats and a centering tool. It even has a pull-out clip on the end to help hold screws and tiny nails while you install them.

To hang a shelf or rack with hidden keyhole mounts (which must be spaced the exact distance apart), align the two sliding markers with the keyhole slots, then position the level at the appropriate height and transfer those measurements to the wall. Your mounting screws will be dead level and correctly spaced. It’s great for cutting cardboard; the triangular shape keeps your fingers up and out of the way of your blade.

The Measure Mate costs about $17 online. Check it out on Amazon right here.