Mrs. Fix-It: Tools for Every Handy Gal
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Tool Time1 of 13
By Martine Bury
Women may initiate 80 percent of home improvement projects, according to Forbes Magazine. But that doesn't mean we all know a Phillips from a flat-head. To bring out your inner handy gal, Ace Hardware's home improvement expert Lou Manfredini shares his list of must-have tools to help you tackle (almost) any DIY job.
Safety First2 of 13
1. Safety Goggles & Gloves
"There needs to be a solid respect for tools and how to use them," says Manfredini. One of the first steps in respecting tools is protecting yourself with safety gear for eye, ear and hand protection.
Nail It3 of 13
2. Claw Hammer
Whether you're hanging pictures or assembling furniture, a heavy-duty hammer is essential. This one has a magnetic end to make nailing even easier.
SHOP NOW: Stanley Fat Max Anti-Vibe Rip Hammer, $23
Go Long4 of 13
3. 25-Foot Tape Measure
Measure and lay out simple projects such as shelving or get the dimensions of a room. A 25-foot measure is more than enough for simple household tasks.
SHOP NOW: Stanley 25-Foot Max Tape Measure, $14
Twist & Shout5 of 13
Assemble just about any project and repair loose items around the home, even wobbly eyeglasses. This set comes complete with all the drivers you'll need for every screw in your home, and it includes a nifty rack for easy storage.
SHOP NOW: Stanley 10-Piece Screwdriver Set, $12
In a Pinch6 of 13
Great screw-loosening pliers are critical for furniture assembly and repairs. The three sizes make it easy to grip a variety of wires, screws and nails. Plus, the needle-nose ones are great for fixing jewelry clasps.
SHOP NOW: Ace Three-Piece Pliers Set, $24
Power Tool7 of 13
6. Cordless Drill
Looking for a quick way to put together that new dining table? Ditch the screwdriver and opt for something with a bit more power. This cordless number is perfect for drilling small holes into the wall to hang heavier objects such as mirrors.
SHOP NOW: Craftsman C3 3/8-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver, $80
Tight Squeeze8 of 13
7. Allen Wrenches
Take apart, assemble or quickly repair your faucet with this simple wrench set. It's guaranteed to tweak any sink or fix your various plumbing needs, as most bathroom and kitchen fixtures have hexagon-shaped sockets. These will also come in handy for assembling or disassembling any Ikea furniture.
SHOP NOW: Eklind 11-Piece Ball-Hex L Key Set, $16
A Cut Above9 of 13
8. Utility Knife
The jack of all trades is a general-purpose knife for projects around the home, such as cutting drywall or cardboard boxes.
SHOP NOW: Stanley Retractable Utility Knife, $12
What a Stud10 of 13
9. Electronic Stud Sensor
Find the wooden beams and framing studs within your walls to locate the ideal spot for hanging your new family portrait. Stud sensors are key to ensuring that you hammer into the sturdiest and strongest place of your walls to prevent drywall crumbling or any other DIY disaster.
SHOP NOW: Zircon Electronic Stud Sensor, $13
Balancing Act11 of 13
10. 2-Foot Level
Forget eyeballing and guessing while you're hanging a series of paintings. This tool ensures that wall decor is hung straight.
SHOP NOW: Stanley Fat Max Level, $36
See Saw12 of 13
11. Small Handsaw
Despite all the electric woodcutting tools, the handsaw is easy to use and, more importantly, easy to control during simple tasks like cutting wayward branches from the tree.
SHOP NOW: Stanley Fatmax Handsaw, $19
Emergency Kit13 of 13
12. Tool Storage
Store tools together rather than scattered throughout the garage to keep them easily accessible and in top-notch condition.
SHOP NOW: Alice Supply Co. Toolbox, $82
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