F > I recently got married and would like to spend some of our wedding
F > gift money on a collection of good quality tools. I'm a novice
F > handyman and looking for suggestions on the essential tools in a
F > handyman's garage. Cordless drill, circular saw, router? What are
F > the must-have tools?
Mostly depends on your capabilities -- what you can do, what can be
done in your home (repairs in apartments are more restrictive than
homes!), what your wife will let you do! <g>
Good set of screwdrivers. Flat/straight blade of varying sizes;
Phillips (#1, #2, #3). The sets will usually come with a Torx or two
and some other tools.
Pliers. Needle-nosed for smaller things and grabbing, slip-joint for
bigger things. Plumbing (monkey wrench, etc.) if you want to get into
Saws. Hand saws work better in some situations. Pruning saws for use
to remove that low-hanging branch that comes down and smacks you in
the head when you are mowing! Also handy should a limb fall across
the driveway during a storm. Variable-speed jig/sabre saw for detail
work. A table saw might work better than a circular saw for some
applications. Since you mentioned a router a bench saw might be
better for the project you seem to have in mind.
Hack saws, coping saws, pipe-cutting saws might also be handy.
Drills. Variable speed and reversible. Both battery and corded.
Corded drills have a lot more torque and the battery won't get weak.
Battery-operated drills don't need to be plugged in or have that cord
follow you around. (They're also handy when the tree-trimming crew
drops a branch across the transmission line a few blocks away and
kills the power to the grid. That happened a few years ago when the
construction crew has building our addition. They used mine as well
as their own until power was restored.)
Dremmel-type tools can also be handy for small projects: buffing or
sanding, cutting bolts, drilling small holes into ceramic tile.
Storage. (!) A tool isn't any good if you can't find it. Some people
do the hang-the-tool-over-it's-silhouette-on-the-pegboard thing. If
you do do this be sure to mount the pegboard sturdily: al those tools
add up to somme weight and you don't want things to come crashing
down! I'm sort of sloppy; I have a workbench area in the basement
(two base kitchen cabinets, one with two doors and a shelf, the other
four drawers with a top bridging). The screwdrivers are in a sturdy
box cover so I can grab. The other side of that drawer has wire
strippers, a pair of pliers, needle-nosed pliers and some small tools
for my electronics work. Front part of the drawer has 'small tools':
wire cutters, small pliers (they're both about 3" long), small
straight and Phillips screwdrivers (for #2 and #4 hardware), box
cutter. Also rubber bands and paperclips and a magnifying card.
F > I'd also appreciate recommendations on brand names. I don't think
F > I'll ever buy another Black and Decker product, having been
F > disappointed with everything I've bought of theirs in the last few
F > years. But what brands are the quality but reasonably priced brands,
F > both in power tools and things like screwdrivers and wrenches?
If you go to Sears their Companion brand is not covered by the
lifetime warranty, the Craftsman hand tools are. The lifetime
warranty is only for hand tools, not motorized. I've got some Stanley
hand tools and they've held up.
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