22 Useful Tools That Are Perfect For Beginners
Handy devices for the least handy among us.
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1. The Safety Nailer, a game-changer for anyone who lives in constant fear of whacking their hands when they hammer. It's also great for anyone with dexterity issues, beginner or not!
It was invented by a former Navy safety officer!
Promising review: "I am teaching my daughters how to wield a hammer and this is the piece of equipment that is saving their fingers. Yes, we learn by experience, but this will keep them interested in helping me. Pain/smashed fingers tend to keep you off of learning a new skill. They seem to be strong; I grabbed one the day I got them and purposefully missed a few times and it saved my fingers. They are still in one piece and work fine. A bit time consuming to stop and drop a nail in every time, but worth it for small projects or for those that constantly smash their fingers." —Amazon Customer
2. Or a mini hammer that meets all the major requirements for basic jobs — and then some. It's got a genius magnetic slot on the top to hold the nail while you get it started in the hole, instead of trying to hold it steady and praying you don't smash your phalanges.
3. A 33-piece beginner tool box lots of reviewers bought for kids, but turns out it's great for adults who just want a set for handling household emergencies, too!
It comes with five different screwdrivers (including a two-piece precision version), a bit driver and bits, two types of pliers, a utility tool, a wrench, a hacksaw with five replacement sets of teeth, a hammer, measuring tape, a level, safety glasses with a carrying case, and a tool box.
Promising review: "Best starter tool set you'll find. I ordered this item thinking it was going to be cheap tools. I was okay with this because it was a starter tool set for my 6-year-old. Come to find out this was one of the best quality tool sets I've ever bought! My husband and I both use it for regular household repairs so we don't have to go to the garage to get tools." —Alyssa Blanchard
Get it from Amazon for $49.99.
4. Or a more heavy-duty-looking 39-piece tool set so you can fully stock a new home (or hey, an old one that never had tools to begin with) with the essentials for under 25 bucks.
It includes a hammer, a bit driver, 20 screwdriver bits, a bit holder, four precision screwdrivers, eight hex keys, pliers, scissors, a tape measure, and a utility knife.
Promising review: "My daughter just moved into her first apartment. She had no tools, so I purchased this as her starter set. It has everything she needs to hang pictures and assemble products with her screwdrivers of various sizes. It even has a tape measure and scissors, Allen keys, and a wrench. It has a beautiful hard carry case with a handle too. Great deal and price, and great starter set." —Natalie
Get it from Amazon for $22.99 (available in two colors).
5. A classic Black + Decker drill ideal for lighter-duty tasks, because you really don't want to have to splurge on a huge, heavy drill just to make a few repairs and put together a few pieces of furniture.
6. A replacement grip you can pop on a tool handle to ensure it doesn't slip through your clumsy fingers or leave your not-yet-callused hands with blisters.
Promising review: "Incredibly easy to put onto your tool handles. The concept for getting these placed exactly where you want them on a handle is absolutely genius. We use it as a soft grip partway down the handle for hoes and rakes. It’s comfortable on our hands and has eliminated blisters. We’re going to purchase more and put them on all our garden tools." —J J.
Get it from Amazon for $8.49.
7. A digital tape measure so you can get a super precise measurement every time and feel like a pro. Its cool features take some of the math (and struggle of trying to remember your most recent measurement) out of it, too!
It can display results in inches or centimeters and can save up to three measurements.
Promising review: "Very very cool. Converts fraction to decimal and it's easy to read the display from several inches away. Very convenient. Bought primarily to measure and calculate snap-locking tile plank floor that is sold in mm lengths. Bought one for my son as well. Great for around the house, light duty." —Floyd T. Turbo
Get it from Amazon for $39.85.
8. And a handy-dandy tool that'll allow you to easily measure corners and curves instead of struggling, dropping the tape, cursing, and starting all over like you usually do.
9. A super convenient magnetic wristband strong enough to hold up to one pound (!!!) of tools you want to have close at hand, so it'll be like you have a helper right there with you. Sure, you can't make your DIY projects look as effortless as your dad always has, but this will give you a major boost in the right direction.
Read BuzzFeed's full MagnoGrip write-up.
Promising review: "I am definitely an amateur picture frame hanger. In fact, I kinda suck at it. Holding nails in my mouth? I'm too clumsy for that. This magnetic wristband is perfect! Especially since it takes 15 minutes for me to hang one frame. I don't lose nails this way. The magnet is also strong enough to hold a screwdriver." —Amazonian
Get it from Amazon for $12.83+ (available in two colors).
10. A truly kickback-free staple gun so easy, you can even operate it with only one hand. In other words, it's nowhere near as unwieldy or scary as other models.
11. A magnetic stud finder with a built-in, two-way level to make hanging things on your walls a bit less stressful. They're not only less intimidating, but reviewers say they work as well or better than electronic stud finders. When in doubt, keep it simple!
It works on both drywall and plaster. Check out BuzzFeed's full guide to hanging anything on your walls.
Promising review: "This is a GAME-CHANGER! Every once in a while, a new device renders all the old ones utterly obsolete. So it is with these stud finders. Oh, yes, I’ve used the old battery powered devices — I own several. You know, the ones with little LEDs that supposedly light-up when you’re over a stud — except that they keep lighting up in different places so that you ultimately give up and just drive in a nail into the wall and hope you’ll be over a stud. No more! Gently rub these little gadgets over your wall, and when there’s a nail underneath the sheetrock, its powerful magnets will be drawn to it, and IT WILL STICK TO THE WALL! There is NO guessing with this little fellow." —Moi Aussie
Get a set of two from Amazon for $19.
12. Or a super affordable (and actually kind of FUN!?) version that's got a cute little indicator knob that'll click and pop up once it's over a stud. Now, if only finding studs on dating apps was this easy, amirite folks???
Promising review: "I can't believe it. We live in a 1919 old house with plaster and lathe walls. It has always been a struggle to find the studs. None of the electronic stud finders work. Or none that I bought anyway. Saw this on Amazon and thought I would take a chance at that price. This thing is SOOOOO simple and easy to use. As soon as I got it out of the package I was finding studs all over my home. It's awesome, buy it." —Bicyclist
Get it from Amazon for $9.97.
13. An incredible instant drain opener kit you can use on toilet, sink, and tub drains alike. It works so quickly and easily, you'll go from clueless to the go-to, plumber-replacing person all your roommates rely on in the blink of an eye (or the pull of a handle).
It's from a family-owned small business! The kit comes with two cans that can each be used up to 12 times, a handle, and adapters for floor and sink drains.
Promising review: "After I received this, I immediately tried it on a bathroom sink that has drained slowly for years. Running water would fill the sink halfway as it drained slowly. This worked! I used it with the blue cap then filled up the sink with the stopper down. I pulled up the stopper, and the water flowed down quickly, no slowdowns. I am glad it got it, as I did not want to spend money on a plumber just for a slow-moving drain. I am sold!" —Roberta
Get it from The Grommet for $39.95.
14. A starter set of gardening tools featuring a hand rake, pruning shears, a trowel, a transplanter, and gloves so you can start exploring your green thumb without spending a ton of cash or trying to figure out all the other gardening gadgets on the market. Just add some water, seeds, and sunshine and you'll have everything you need.
15. A 4-in-1 hole repair product that is a squeeze bottle of spackle with a built-in primer, plus has a built-in putty knife on the top and a sanding pad on the cap, so even the least handy people ever (same) can easily get their security deposit back.
16. A multifunction pocket tool to keep on hand, because Scar may have been evil and all, but he had a point — you should always BE PREPARED. Even if you are someone (like me) who can't tell different types of wrenches apart, you'll be glad to have several at your disposal so you can be a hero next time you're at a party and something breaks (or, ya know, someone needs a bottle opener).
Promising review: "This is just what I needed! There's a screwdriver, four-position wrench, butterfly wrench, direction ancillary tool, two-position wrench, can opener, knife edge, ruler, bottle opener, and saw blade. I find it very useful for any random emergency. It also comes with a carrying case so I can store it in my bag." —Johann Christine Alcaraz
Get it from Amazon for $4.99.
17. Or an 11-in-1 tool complete with (*takes big breath*) standard and needle nose pliers, a knife, a saw, a wire cutter, slotted and Phillips screwdrivers, a bottle opener, a can opener, a file, and a rope cutter. If you only rarely find yourself reaching for tools but don't want to be caught unprepared, this is a great option to keep in your junk drawer or car.
It also comes with a carrying case with a belt loop on the back!
Promising review: "This multi-tool is a must-have tool for everyone. I will be keeping this in my car for daily or emergency use. This tool is perfect. I really like the functionality of the pliers, and it is spring loaded so it auto opens for easy use. There are a couple of knives (one is serrated), a bottle opener, a can opener, screw drivers, a nail file, and more. The handle is comfortable in hand. My only complaint is the carrying case, the Velcro is not very good and it keeps opening. I still recommend this if you are looking for a budget multitool." —Big Dawgs Fam
Get it from Amazon for $14.64.
18. A nifty tool that's a ruler, a level, and a marker all in one, for anyone who didn't think they could handle putting up a shelf or other large wall-mounted item by themselves. This baby will render your roommate or S.O.'s help obsolete.
It measures and marks the distance between hooks and has built-in pins to mark where you'll make your holes on the wall.
Promising review: "BEST TOOL EVER! I have no idea why someone would give this less than 5 stars! I have a very basic knowledge of tool usage but was able to hang four different frames PERFECTLY (in only about five minutes each) on the first try. Two of the things I hung were shelves that my son puts cars on, so obviously they have to be level or it will be more like a hill for the cars to ride down on! The cars sit without the slightest roll. I highly recommend this if you ever find yourself hanging things with two hooks!" —Lisa C.
Get it from Amazon for $22.98.
19. Helpful and versatile scrapers perfect for touch-ups and cleaning up messes (even if they were of your own creation).
They come with four types of replacement blades!
Promising review: "My wife asked me to caulk the underside of our sink since the old caulk was flaking and small amount of water could seep into the cabinet counter. It is a tedious task, especially for a non-handyman like me. I used clear caulk and created a lot of mess. With these tools, I ably tried my best to clean it up and created a better sight. These tools are perfect for this job. Now I have it in my non-handyman tool bag." —Felix
Get a set of two from Amazon for $12.98.
20. An amazing and super versatile weed-pulling tool that can get into hard-to-reach places and that several reviewers say is the best weed-removing tool they've ever used. Why hire a gardener when this'll help you easily take care of your landscaping needs yourself?
It's from a Utah-based small business!
Promising review: "Finally ordered and I’m so glad I did! This tool is amazing…so much so that my husband (who really doesn’t garden) wanted one for himself, so I just ordered another for him. Weeds are gone in no time with very little effort. Don’t hesitate, you’ll love it." —Valarie
Get it from The Grommet for $39.95.
21. A compact 8-in-1 screwdriver with interchangeable heads, because just because different jobs require different types of screwdriver tips, doesn't mean you need to spend precious money and drawer space on several tools you'll only use once in a while.
22. A temporary water leak-stopping tool for affixing to your pipe in emergencies. No, you may not know how to fix the issue itself, but you can at least prevent flooding until a plumber (or a more capable family member) arrives.
It's from a small business!
Get a two-pack from The Grommet for $34.95.