Move over DIY Dad because DIY Momma is in town. When it comes to home maintenance, sisters are most certainly doing it for themselves. Mommas are refusing to wait three months for a tradesman, or for the man of the house, to put up the shelves or wash down the yard. They are getting the kit and tackling the job for themselves. Around one-third of DIYers in the US are female and they need the tools to get the job done.
You need the best kitchen appliances to prepare family meals and, for the same reasons, you need the right tools to get the home maintenance tasks done. So if you want to join the growing band of female DIY enthusiasts here are the gadgets that you simply must have. Pop them on your birthday gift list!
1. A multi-purpose hammer
This may not strictly be a gadget but you cannot attempt any DIY job without one. Even if you want to do something as simple as hanging a picture you will need one. The problem is that there are so many different types of hammer and it can be hard to know where to begin. The best advice is to start off with a curve claw hammer. You can use this for driving in and removing nails but remember to check for cables!
2. An electric cable detector
Do not try to hammer anything into a wall without checking for electrical cables. You run the risk of electrocution if you hit a live wire. You can get an idea of where the cables may be running by looking at the location of the sockets but this is not foolproof. The only way to be sure is to use a detector. It will indicate the location of live electrical wires with a series of bleeps. Most models are compact and light weight and many will detect reinforcing steel rod and gas and water pipes as well so all types of DIY disasters can be avoided!
3. A staple gun
You will be amazed at what you can achieve with a stapler. You can use them for light weight DIY projects where you are fixing wood together or fixing fabric to wood. You can get creative and start constructing your own headboards to personalize your home. Always follow the instructions and keep your fingers out of the way because having a staple in your finger is no joke!
4. A measuring tape
You cannot attempt a DIY job without a measuring tape. Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to choosing a product that will suit you. If you are working on small DIY projects in a cramped area, a big and cumbersome measuring tape is more of a hindrance than a help. For most simple DIY tasks it is best to choose a tape with a smaller case. Most blades (which is the bit with the measurements on) are made from steel which is strong, robust and good value for money.
5. A jigsaw
If you do not already know, a jigsaw is a small electrical saw which is light weight and easy to use. It will cut through both wood and metal but the feature that makes it stand out is that it can cut around corners accurately. This makes it invaluable for anyone who wants to construct items for the home and garden such as shelves, tables, headboards or even a sandpit for the kids. You can get cordless models which remove the need for messy extension leads when you are working out in the garden. Your teen children can safely use jigsaws if you explain carefully how to use them and supervise them at all times. You may inspire the next generation of DIYers!
6. An airless paint sprayer
When you are taking on a big painting job such as a fence, the shed or a garden wall, it can take days to complete the task. During that time you will have rollers, brushes and paint trays cluttering up the yard and your garage. If you invest in a graco airless paint sprayer you can get the job done in a fraction of the time and with much less mess! The paint sprays out of a ‘gun’ at the tip and covers the surface that you are aiming at. You obtain a professional finish in the fraction of the time, particularly on textured surfaces.
7. An orbital sander
If you have developed a taste for woodwork, or furniture restoration, and you want your finished item to be a thing of beauty it is time to get yourself an orbital sander. They are perfect for removing paint and stain from timber. It eliminates hours of back-breaking hand sanding with one of those tiny sanding blocks that never seem to give you a neat finish. It makes those ugly sanding marks a thing of the past. Buy a powerful model that has the capacity to strip large areas quickly to avoid being disappointed by the results.
8. A light weight drill
A light weight drill is really easy to handle and an essential gadget for any budding DIYer. A cordless drill is easier to use because you don’t have to be near an electric socket so you can use it anywhere. It is powered by a rechargeable battery pack so there are no trailing cables to get in your way which makes them safer as well. The only downside is that the battery could run out after prolonged use and, of course, you have to remember to charge it up before you use it. As with all power tools, they have the capacity to cause nasty injuries so always read the instructions carefully before you begin.
9. A spirit level
There are some things that just have to be straight. We have all seen the cartoons about a wonky shelf that books keep sliding off but it is not quite so funny when it is in your own home. Spirit levels come in all shapes and sizes and can be as high tech or as simple as you want them to be. If you are short on storage space and do not have a huge tool box you should opt for a small version. Sizes vary from a tiny torpedo model which measures a mere 25cm to monsters which are around 2m long. They are not going to fit into your average toolbox! Professional builders are increasingly opting for laser spirit levels which are more expensive and are not regarded as essential kit for the average DIY Momma.
10. A toolbox
You simply must have somewhere to keep all your tools. By storing them all in one handy box you will be able to get hold of them quickly when you need them and it will stop the kids from getting hold of them! Don’t make the mistake of buying a massive toolbox that you can’t lift. Opt for a lightweight, plastic version. The other option is to get a toolbox on wheels but remember this is not much use for jobs that are upstairs!
When you are hunting for DIY gadgets, try to select models that will carry out multiple tasks to save on cost and to prevent you filling up the shed, garage or spare room with kit. As always, there are bargains to be had if you shop around and apply a bit of common sense.