I'm a DIY pro- these are the cheap tools we swear by which make jobs SO much easier

DIY chores can be a nightmare at the best of times, and it can be even harder if you don't know what tools to use.

Thankfully, there are certain tools that can make those tricky jobs a lot quicker and easier.

Here, two experts – Michael Reading, DIY expert at Housetastic and Kelly Friel, Digital Product Manager at Zoro – reveal the lifesaver tools they couldn't live without…

Laser Level

When it comes to all DIY jobs, accuracy is everything.

Michael says: "Even a minor levelling difference can throw an entire project off-kilter, so precision is essential.

"Self-levelling lasers guarantee that you always work with a perfectly straight line, helping you save time and frustration in the long run.


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"They're easy to set up, and unlike manual levels, which require you to blot up your wall with messy pencil marks all day, the laser is projected wherever you want it.

"They're useful for both small projects like hanging picture frames or mounting a hanging shelf and larger projects like lining up patio pavers or installing kitchen cupboards."

A carpenter's pencil

It's the cheapest bit of kit ever, but very important if you're in the middle of a job and want to avoid a frantic search for your pencil, which has undoubtedly rolled off when you weren't looking.

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A carpenter's pencil is a cheap and incredibly helpful toolCredit: Getty

Kelly says: "Legend says that the carpenter's pencil was invented because these craftspeople needed a pencil that wouldn't roll off a roof as they worked.

"It has a rectangular cross-section and corners, so won't roll off while you're concentrating on something else, and is easier to grip than a normal pencil.

"This is a surprisingly useful tool to have close by and is a very cheap addition to your tool collection."

A soft mallet

Hammering isn't the most delicate of jobs, but if you need to be careful, the soft mallet is the tool for you.

Kelly says: "A hammer is great for when you need to drive nails into a surface, but some jobs require a bit more delicacy.

"This might include fitting wooden slats or working with a wall that has some antique wallpaper you want to be more careful with.

"Enter the soft mallet, which still provides striking power, but has a softer surface that won’t leave dents."

A 360 spirit level

Again, when it comes to measuring, a spirit level is a lifesaver.

Kelly says: "Using a spirit level is an essential tool to make sure that your work is straight.

"But you might not know that it's possible to get spirit levels that contain both horizontal and vertical levels, allowing you to measure up 90° angles and mixtures of vertical and horizontal lines.

"This can be really handy when measuring up doorframes or corners."


The same also applies to calipers.

Kelly says: "You've probably heard the saying 'measure twice, cut once', and having a pair of calipers will make this a lot easier.

"So, make sure to have this tool handy if you need to do small, detailed measuring.

"They can be more exact than using a tape measure or ruler for small objects, and can therefore save you time further down the road."

A nail-pulling tool

Most of us would use the end of the hammer to pull out nails, but actually there's a quicker way.

Kelly says: "Using a nail puller instead of lifting out nails with the end of your hammer will make working a lot easier and quicker.

"It will also make the process neater.

"This tool is not only cheap but is also small and easy to carry around in your toolbox, so is a brilliant addition to improve your workflow."

Cordless Drill

A portable power drill is another one of those tools that you don't think you'll ever need — until you do, and it becomes indispensable.

Michael says: "This tool is great for everything from minor home repairs to hanging heavy wall decor, which can all be completed without a nearby power outlet.

"The higher the voltage, the greater the power of your cordless drill.

"However, higher voltage can also imply a heavier drill.

"Therefore, along with the grip and voltage, double-check the
speed-range switch."

Multi-Bit Screwdriver

A screwdriver might sound like an obvious choice, but a multi-bit version is really helpful to have.

Michael says: "With the broad range of screw shapes and sizes used today, you'll need to have more than one or two screwdrivers to be prepared.

"A complete set of individual screwdrivers is ideal, but a multi-bit model is ideal for minor tasks.

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"Unlike a standard screwdriver, a multi-bit has an interchangeable head that allows detachable bits to be swapped in and out.

"Because the bits are all contained within the handle, you can tailor it to fit any type of screw."

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