Our Favorite Tools
I always love when different DIYer’s and bloggers share their favorite tools. I have found so many great new-to-us tools that way. So here is a peek into the tools we use on a daily basis as we work through the renovation of the Cobblestone. These have all served us very well over the past two years and are passed on with the highest of recommendations from us! Many of these are definitely oriented towards demo/rough framing, so if that’s the phase you are in I hope you find this helpful!
Measuring Tape - This tape is very sturdy and has held up very well over the last two years. It doesn’t easily twist as you extend it compared to some of our other tapes.
DEWALT Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch - This saw was a lifesaver when Doug was laying the new attic floor last winter. Without any outlets in the attic and a job that required many cuts we did not want to be dealing with numerous extension cords to get power up there. This saw was amazing in the tight space and worked so well for Doug. We will say to plan ahead with this and always have extra blades on hand as we have yet been able to find them locally and have had to order the blades.
Ryobi Mitre Saw - So far this saw has been amazing. We have been using it for a solid 6 months at this point and it does not disappoint. As with any saw the dust collection could be better, but since our house is in a constant state of dust anyways it doesn’t matter much. My dad built a table for Doug to keep this saw on while working and between that and the saw, Doug speeds through his framing cuts.
Bosch Laser Measure - This little thing is incredible. Doug brought this with us on our first walkthrough of the Cobblestone and managed to take measurements of every single room and drafted a quick floor plan before the walkthrough was finished. Probably the handiest little tool we have!
Dewalt 20V Max Drill - I gave this to Doug a while ago for a birthday gift and it has served us so well. Our house was built with old growth hardwood - some studs look to be oak! And this drill has been great at drilling pilot holes, screwing in brackets, etc into the hardwood. We have two batteries for this and always make sure the 2nd is fully charged and ready to go when we are doing a lot of work with it.
Speed Square - Whenever Clark is at the house with us “working” he uses the square as a saw and pretends to cut the scrap 2x4’s with it, it might be the cutest thing ever! We had to list this as it is a must in any tool arsenal when straight cuts are needed.
Oscillating Saw - The multi-tool saw has been invaluable during all the demo work we’ve done. We basically cut out an entire wall with it and moved it in one piece to save on the plaster dust mess. It is amazing for making cuts in plaster walls for new wall switches, etc. It’s also great for cutting through various metal/plastic bits, old plumbing and whatnot.
Bosch Laser Level - Our newest toy! The green light on this laser level is second to none. It is seriously so much brighter than the standard red laser level and is so crisp. We will be using this so much in the next few months as we move on to finish work and so badly wish we had gotten this sooner.
Rigid Shop Vacuum - My personal favorite “tool”. Reno dust is no joke and I try to keep on top of it just so the house isn’t covered in an inch of debris all the time for us and because Clark is there with us so often. The power on this vacuum and the diameter of the hose is amazing when it comes to vacuuming up chunks of old plaster/mortar. I have actually used it to vacuum so much plaster/mortar pieces that the bag was so heavy Doug had to pull it out of the vacuum for me! This has also been great at vacuuming up all of our resident chipmunks walnuts and acorns that I really don’t want to touch… Also note when vacuuming dust is inevitably going to be thrown in the air/blown around from the outlet of the vacuum so wear a mask even though you're cleaning to be extra safe.
Wire strippers - Even though the electrician is doing the bulk of the work for us there are some areas we will be installing fixtures after he is done. So these will come in perfect for that. Doug used these when he installed our 4 way switches and ceiling lights for the upstairs hall and they worked great for him. They are perfect for switching out outlets or changing out light switches.
Pry Bar - We have used this in almost every application possible. It has pulled down old lathe, delicately helped us remove trim we are saving, and pulls all the misc nails left behind from old projects before our time. It’s one of the first tools we grab when we are working and has been very versatile.
Knee Pads - Wow, these have been used 95% of the time we are at the house working. I got them for Doug for Christmas 2020 and they have been put through the wringer! Doug used them non stop when he was laying the plywood in the attic and has continued to use them anytime he’s put down new subflooring. They have held up great and are still going strong. I’ll have my shot at using them when we soon refinish the floors!
I hope you found this helpful! - Amy