Gift Guides!

A Gift Guide of Non-Negotiable Essentials for the DIYer

November 30, 2015  —  Written by Chris 

We believe we should all love where we live.

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Happy Cyber Monday! This is our second gift guide of the day, see the first one–gift guide for kids! right here. 

The idea of being a “do it yourselfer” seems so great, but you can only do things yourself if you have the right tools. Jules and I started down the DIY path with a few basic tools, building up our collection as necessity dictated, and in the process I’ve learned very clearly the tools I use a lot vs. the tools I could do fine just renting. While it may differ for some of you, below are 10 things we’ve found we simply can’t do without. 

Also, I recognize that this looks like a DEWALT sponsored post. It’s not. Promise. In fact, none of the items below are sponsored – we just genuinely love them all.

1. DEWALT Miter Saw


This is the exact miter saw we have. It’s only a 10in blade, but being able to angle horizontally and vertically allows us to cut anything we need from baseboards to 2x4s. Any project we have that includes cutting stuff, this saw gets used. (you can also swap out the blades to cut metal, etc.)

 2. DEWALT Tool Pouch

dewalt-tool-pouchThere are a few things I’m constantly searching for when I work on projects: measuring tape, utility knife, pencil etc.. I bought this tool pouch when I was tiling our floors and I’ve used it for every project since. Keeps all the things I constantly lose right at my hip, and it’s not bulky and annoying the way a full tool belt is.

3. BOSTITCH Angle Finish Nailer


Baseboards, window trim, cabinetry etc. Our finish nailer has been used in every space in our house. The specific brand is less of a concern. I’ve used the pictured finish nailer and it’s a great product, for less money than our Senco. Whatever brand you go with, I don’t suggest dipping below $125 (our first one was a cheapie and it was a constant nightmare).

4. DEWALT 6 Gallon Air Compressor


A finish nailer needs an air compressor, but the DIYER doesn’t need anything giant. I suggest staying around the 5-7 gallon range, so you don’t run out of air after two nails, but aren’t waiting long amounts of time for the tank to fill. This 6 gallon DEWALT is more than satisfactory for the BOSTITCH nailer above, and will store easily as well.

5. DEWALT Utility Knife



Once again, the brand on this isn’t super important either. Whatever you get, get at least two of them. Even with the tool pouch, they have a way of getting lost. Choose a utility knife with the replaceable blades–not the kind with the snap-off, cheap blades.

6. DEWALT Impact Driver

dewalt-impact-driverThere are a lot of drivers out there. And they can be frustrating to use, due to poor battery life, lack of power or just uncomfortable design. None of those things are a problem with this driver. And the impact functionality of it is unstoppable – so much torque, so much power. You’ll never have to worry about your weak sauce driver not being able to get out those rusty, old, unnecessarily long screws the previous owners of your home loved to screw into everything.

7. Zircon Stud Finder


 It has one job, but it’s an important job and it does it well. Find studs in the wall so you know where to put the screws for that super heavy mirror you just bought.

8. DEWALT Impact-Ready Driving Set


Before becoming a DIYer, I always just assumed there was a Phillips head, and a flat head. Not even remotely close. Even within the Phillips and flat head arenas there are dozens of sizes, and having a comprehensive set of driver heads for your impact driver will save a lot of frustration.

9. STANLEY Socket Ratchet Set


This may seem like a boring gift, but any DIYer will love the crap out of it. You always run into that mirror or curtain rod that someone screwed into the wall with bolts instead of screws, and having a socket wrench set that can fit nearly any size bolt makes that a non-issue.

10. DREMEL Multi-Tool

dremel-multi-toolYou’ve likely heard the saying, “There’s a tool for every job.” Well, the multi-tool is a tool that works for just about every job. Whenever I missed a measurement by a fraction of an inch, or I need to trim a piece of baseboard I just nailed into the wall, the multi-tool makes it happen. The uses are endless, and Dremel is a solid brand. This is the exact one I have, and it’s a dream.

Some of the items above are big gifts, and it may take a few years to purchase them all. But a lot of them are small and simple things that just make your life easier as a DIYer. But as your loved one has the right tools for projects, the projects are easier to finish and a lot more enjoyable.


What do you think?

  1. whitney says:

    The miter saw that you have linked it a single miter saw.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah, my bad. I meant a miter saw that angles horizontally and vertically. I’ve grown up calling it a double miter and it just stuck. I’ll update the post. :)

  2. Jay says:

    Even though you said it wasn’t, this does really really look like a sponsored post. :)

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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