A Guide for New Homeowners.
Last week I introduced this series to help guide new home owners (and apartment seekers) through the jungle of tools you’ll find in the local hardware store.
Each Friday during the month of July, I’m focusing on the few tools you really need to get started, what to look for, and when you need to have them at hand.
If you missed the first edition, which included three "Pre-move Tools" – check out 12 Tools You Need (Part 1).
This week in Part 2, I’m adding a couple of more tools to the list that you’ll need to have with you on moving day.
WHY YOU NEED IT
This is really the most basic of tools – and one that nearly everyone has used long before reading this. Even if you never intend to do "serious" home improvement, you need a hammer to drive nails and tacks, as well as remove nails, tacks, hinge pins, etc.
Hammers are also ideal for "persuading" things to move that are stuck. Sometimes a light tap with a hammer is what’s required to release them.
TIP:When using a hammer in persuasion mode, it’s always a good idea to use a wood block, thin cardboard, or something similar to protect the surface you’re striking with the hammer.
WHAT TO GET
Since this is a tool that should last you a lifetime, look for a good quality common nailing hammer with a curved claw. According to the Pros, Hickory (wood) or fibreglass handles minimize the vibration transfer to your hand.
A well-crowned striking face will drive nails flush without marring the surface. The crown helps to "auto-correct" off-center strikes, reducing the chances of bending nails.
For people with small hands or limited strength, these little "mini-hammers" can be a good option for light-duty use such as hanging pictures or removing small nails. (I intend to get one of these, because there are times when a regular handle is too long for a tight space.)
WHY YOU NEED THEM
Without going all Archimedes on you, simply put, pliers allow you to produce more pressure than you actually apply.
Pliers have multiple uses around your home which you can pare down to two basic functions, pinching and cutting.
In the first case, pliers help you grab, twist, pry, pull, or bend just about anything that fits between the jaws. Some types of pliers also have cutting edges, mostly used for cutting or stripping the insulation off wire. You can cut other stuff like metal coat hangars and small nails too. Trust me, you need them.
WHAT TO GET
There are many types of pliers out there, including some designed for specific uses. You’ll probably acquire several different types over time, but there are three types that will be most useful to you:
- Long-nose (or Needle-nose)
These can be purchased individually, but most retailers also sell pliers in a set that includes all three types.
Recently, tool companies have been promoting "flip handle" pliers that convert between two different types just by flipping the handle around. These work quite well and are worth considering.
Locking pliers such as “Vise-Grips(TM) should also go on a future wish list.
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