DIY Has Never Been Easier: 45 Useful Tool Hacks Every Handy Person Should KnowBy Ridwan S
Many of us like to do it ourselves, and admittedly, it is an exciting way to hone one’s craftiness and bring out one’s creativity. It allows us to create, improve, and push the boundaries of our talents, often with little to no cost or complicated resources. Many love the empowering feeling of creation when they get down and dirty with their tools and paint. Additionally, crafting things yourself won’t only help you save money, but it also eco-friendly through up-cycling and recycling. However, in creating your DIYs, you’ll need a few instruments to make the procedure convenient and easier for you. This article illustrates how to make the most of your workshop tools to achieve the best outcomes, regardless of your experience.
Make your own awl
An awl is a small but common tool builders use to make magnificent structures. It’s a valuable tool for creating holes in drywalls. They are selected because they emit less dust than other drywall hole-making tools. However, the awls sold in stores are frequently too tiny.
Thankfully, there is an alternative to the small awls sold in stores, and that is where this hack comes in. Bear in mind that you’ll need a disc sander or a bench grinder to file a screwdriver. You can make your awl any size you need.
Hang your roofing tools
The roof is one of the most challenging working stations because of its near-inaccessibility. It’s also inconvenient and unsafe to move around on the roof. Having your tools on the roof can be dangerous because they are always at risk of dropping.
Nevertheless, there is a tip you may use to keep your tools from falling off the roof while working. To keep tools from dropping, use something to suspend them close to the rooftops. Spring clamps can be used to hang your tools, as illustrated in the image above.
Mix concrete with a rake
Using a shovel or a hoe to combine concrete can be stressful. The water and powder must be properly mixed to achieve the appropriate concrete consistency. However, using a hoe could prove difficult. The good news is that there is a better option worth considering.
The image above represents an easier and alternative method of mixing concrete using a rake. The rake features a fork-like mouth that makes mixing water and powder into a suitable paste a breeze. We hope you’ll opt for this method the next time you need to mix concrete.
Use a level
You need a table saw to cut big, flat slabs of wood into a straight line. Making a straight line can be practically impossible to accomplish at times. This is because of the wood not being correctly placed on the table saw fence.
In the image above, you have a hack that will help you straighten your wood. Add a layer to your table saw fence to ensure you keep the wood in place. As an additional layer, you can use a 4 feet level, just as seen in the picture.
Make a blade for cutting foam
We’ve all found ourselves in a scenario when we needed to cut a piece of foam for a specific purpose. That event left foam and dust crumbs, which we had to tidy up. Fortunately, there is something we can do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
If you find yourself in our shoes, you can cut your foam using a jigsaw blade. You will, however, need to make some blade adjustments. The first is filling the teeth. After you’ve completed this, you can cut through the foam. You’ll be able to complete it without the filth and dust this time.
Hammer measuring stick
Taking measures is one of the many tasks you’ll be doing in the workshop regularly. Some of us can say that we can take measurements in our sleep because we do it daily. We all need the obvious tool: a measuring tape to take exact measurements.
Yet, we may not always have access to it. However, there are substitutes for the tool. Surprisingly, one of them is a hammer. Once you figure out the height of your hammer, you will know the height of the object in comparison to the hammer. Then, if you don’t have your measuring tape, you can use it as a marker.
Quickdraw hammer storage
In the workstation, tools have a habit of disappearing, which can be incredibly frustrating. Above all, it slows down your productivity. To us, the most aggravating tool to misplace in the workstation is a hammer. Consider what you’d do if your hammer goes missing. Nothing! You can’t progress with work.
If you use this trick, you’ll never have to deal with a missing hammer in your workstation again. The image above shows a better and safer way to store your hammers in your workspace. Take a large slab and tack nails to it to make a hammer rack.
Free finger saver
It’s impossible to deny that hammers are used frequently in the workshop. Hammers are used to secure nails into projects. And, as we all know, every work includes risks, and wielding a hammer is no exception. You’ll agree that hitting the hammers into fingers rather than nails causes unbearable pain.
This is a typical hazard, especially when working with little nails. As a solution, use a little plastic cover as a nail holder to avoid the pain often associated with this hazard. Cut the plastic off once you’re done. In this way, the hammer will not hit your fingers when you’re working with it.
Two sizes of brad nails in one gun
We’ve been talking about various hacks that will help you get the most out of your workstation’s tools. This time, though, we’re bringing a hack that will assist you to increase productivity and leave you with more time for other endeavors. It will also cut down on waste and compensate for any missing tools.
Get nail guns to avoid using a hammer to drive nails into your job. You will save time by not using a hammer to push the nail into the wood. Simply place two different types of nails in the magazine and switch them out as needed.
The importance of hammers cannot be overstated. For decades, they’ve been recognized for their distinctive function of pushing nails into projects. We mentioned utilizing a nail gun instead of a hammer. However, we are aware that there will be times when you will need to use a hammer exclusively.
Using a hammer has drawbacks, as it can deface surfaces by leaving markings on them. This typically occurs when you miss the nail that you aim for. Use a rubber from your chair leg to cushion the hammer’s head to avoid this.
How to fix a square
Without discussing the relevance of squares, we won’t be able to have a thorough discussion on measurement tools. The square is a necessary shape for accurate measuring. This instrument is shaped like an unfinished square with two sides meeting at a 90-degree angle. However, the square is not always perfect.
There is a solution if you have an imperfect square. You’ll need a hammer, an anvil, and a center punch. If the sides are wider than usual, punch the outside corner. If the sides are closer than you planned, you’ll hit the inner corner.
Heavy lifting is required on some workshop days, which can be stressful. Consider how difficult it is to transport a compressor and the negative consequences it can have on your back. It is critical to find an alternative to carrying such hefty tools about to prevent all of the tension.
Here’s a great way to solve this problem for little or no money. Thankfully, it doesn’t even require you to buy a trolley. Instead, move heavy items around the workshop with your mechanic’s creeper. Compressors and other large power tools can be moved using such a method.
Bobby pin nail holder
We’ve already discussed how painful it is to hit your finger with a hammer instead of a nail. It’s one of the most well-known dangers of using a hammer in a workshop. Although we have discussed one method of avoiding this danger, there is another option.
With the help of a bobby pin, you can protect your fingers from being injured by the hammer. Instead of gripping the nail with your fingers, use a bobby pin to keep it in place. This hack will keep the hammer from getting too close to your hand.
Vise-grips to pull nails
Hammers are designed so that they are effective at driving and pulling nails. We consider the hammer a workshop blessing because of its many purposes. However, what do you do if you don’t have a hammer and need to get a nail out?
You won’t have to concern yourself the following time you’re without a hammer and need to pull a nail out. Use a vise-grip plier instead of a hammer. Trust us; it’ll work just fine. The vise-grip has a shape that ensures it grabs the nail firmly.
Customized chuck key
Chuck keys are necessary for tightening and loosening gear systems. You can use these keys for anything else they are shaped for. The key’s only flaw is the grip and length of its handle, which make spinning it difficult.
Measure the length and diameter of the handle to create a one-of-a-kind chuck key. Then, at the end of the handle, make a similar hole. This tip will assist you in saving time. This is because you won’t have to scratch your fingers on the equipment, which will prevent you from getting wounded.
Last-ditch nail pulling
Working in a workshop exposes you to a variety of experiences. One example is attempting to remove a nail and having the nail head snap off. Let’s assume you couldn’t do anything about it and opted to leave things as they are. However, there is a hack that can save the day.
We have a remedy that can assist in removing the broken-headed nail. A locking plier and crowbar are required. The locking plier will be used to replace the broken nail head and secure it to the shaft of the nail. The crowbar will then be used to remove the nail.
Long-lasting utility blade
Blades are widely utilized and have a wide range of uses and applications. They have a variety of functions in the workshop, including cutting bits of measurement, making marks, and much more. The only problem with blades is that they wear out and become dull over time.
When this occurs, you consider replacing the dull blades. However, you shouldn’t have to replace your blades every time, especially if they’re utility blades that are meant to last longer. The blades come with cartridges, and all you have to do is break any blunt parts of the blade and replace them.
No-dent nail finishing
We’ve already discussed the risks associated with using a hammer. Because it may be impossible to regulate the direction of your hammer’s stroke, it may drop anywhere. It can dent the surface you’re trying to drive the nail into when it lands on it.
To prevent these dents, we recommend that you use a wood shim. Make a laceration from the edge of the shim to the point of the nail. You will be able to work more efficiently as a result of this.
Custom pads for mechanic’s vise
The mechanic vise holds projects together well while you work on them. At times, the thing you’re working on might be too small for the vise. No matter how hard you try, the project will not stay in place in times like this.
Luckily, there are some options to do with the vise to keep these small items in place. Introduce personalized pads, which you can construct using wood blocks and glue. To secure the wood blocks, apply glue. This way, you will keep small projects in place.
Always know where to find your paint can opener
Most time is wasted in the workshop when people look for tools without knowing what they’re looking for or where to find it. The time spent looking for these tools could be better spent on a more productive activity. When you meddle with your paint can opener, the same thing happens.
As a little item, the paint can opener is easily misplaced among other tools. However, we’ve devised a strategy for keeping your paint can opener within easy reach. You can hook the opener on the paint bucket handle by bending the loop of the opener to make a tiny opening.
How to magnetize a screwdriver
Occasionally, we operate with small screwdrivers that are difficult to locate during a project. It could be hard for you to grasp hold of it while working. It may also be challenging to hold it in position when screwing it in. Here’s an answer to it.
Magnetize the screwdriver: it will be much easier to pick up the screwdriver. You only need to place a magnet over your screwdriver for a short period of time. After that, the magnetized screwdriver will start to attract small screws to its surface.
Brush with a drill
We’ve talked about workshop hacks that help you get the most out of your workstation’s tools. However, we can’t forget about tips that can help you enjoy your household gadgets to another extreme. Here’s a clever way to enjoy a workshop-made domestic tool.
Another activity we despise is cleaning, especially when we have to use our hands and a brush. Luckily, we came up with a less stressful solution. Attach a brush to the end of your drill, and you’ve got yourself a handy cleaning tool.
PVC sanding files
One of the most prevalent problems DIYers confront is a lack of tools and equipment. We can all agree that wanting to produce something but lacking the resources could be frustrating. You must either wait for the appropriate tool or devise an alternative method in such circumstances.
This PVC sanding paper is an excellent choice for an easily accessible alternative method. This is because it ensures that you sand out curves and edges that are tough to sand out regularly. Using a pipe and sandpaper; glue the sandpaper to the pipe after wrapping it.
Wrench for rounded bolts
We’ve already discussed how inconvenient it is to work without the proper tools. In this scenario, the problem is a lack of a suitable spanner. What do you do if you lose your spanner? When this happens, removing bolts becomes more complex, and your work speed may be disrupted.
You can use various other tools instead of your spanner to remove bolts if you don’t have one. As a replacement, use a pipe wrench. A pipe wrench is a tool that can grasp anything tightly, making it easy to remove tough bolts.
Clamp with a tie-down strap
When using clamping boxes, it is difficult to get exact measurements. While coupling the edges, you must align the box edges together and hold the boxes in place. Knowing that the purpose of this article is to make your workshop experience easier, we’ve provided an alternative solution.
An easy alternate approach for holding your boxes in place is shown in the image above. Using a ratchet tie-down strap will help keep the boxes together. This will make the procedure of clamping your box together less stressful. Do this to make the entire operation a breeze for you.
Make mini roller covers
Painting is enjoyable until you run into the issue of not having enough rollers. We occasionally require a range of rollers for our painting project, so we demand rollers of various sizes. We also need multiples of the rollers. However, purchasing additional rollers can be costly.
An alternative found is to purchase many rollers in bulk at a considerable cost. Simply buy a larger roller (about 9 inches) and cut it into smaller ones (approximately 3 inches each). The good news is that all rollers have the same diameter and fit into the same frame.
Use a drill to dig through hard soil
Winter weather can be awful at times, making it a challenging time of year. Everywhere you look there is snow and ice during the winter, and digging is difficult due to the freezing weather. This should not discourage you from working on projects during the winter.
As you may have noticed, digging up the earth with a digger or shovel in the winter can be tiring. Have you considered using a hand drill instead? Drilling holes in the ground with a hand drill is essentially the same as drilling holes in walls or wood.
Lift doors with a flat pry bar
You may need to remove or elevate doors in the house for whatever reasons. Doors, contrary to popular belief, are cumbersome. Once they’ve been attached to the door frame, they might be much more challenging to lift. Here is a remedy if you need to remove your door.
A door may be removed in a practical and straightforward method, no matter how heavy it appears. Only a pry bar is required. You have enough space to apply pressure since the curvature forms a fulcrum on the ground. To further enhance the fulcrum, put something underneath the pry bar.
PVC hammer holder
It is possible that you are not able to carry all of your tools with you when you are working on a big project. However, there are some critical items that you will need regularly. Therefore you must have them with you. A hammer is one of these devices.
Unfortunately, most work belts come with insufficient pockets for carrying all of the tools you’ll need. However, we discovered a solution to make room on your belt for extra tools. You will only need a PVC pipe. Make a space on the pipe, as shown in the illustration above.
More leverage for pulling nails
It’s sometimes easier to join stools together than it is to get to some nails. There could be a plethora of reasons for this, including the placement of the nails or the hammer’s angle. But, in the end, the problem is always the hammer’s lack of leverage.
You shouldn’t be concerned about these situations because the image above has already provided a solution. As seen in the illustration, you have to give the hammer more leverage. Simply place a support beneath the hammer, in this case, a screwdriver. You can use any other support of your choice.
Kitty litter pouch for tool protection
Finding out that your metal tools are ruined is one of the most bothersome things. It’s frustrating when you open your toolbox and discover that your tool has been destroyed by rust and environmental causes. Fortunately, there are precautions you may follow to prevent this from happening.
The image above shows how to keep your tools secure in the toolbox while preventing rust and moisture damage. Put silica crystal kitty litter in a pouch and have it in your toolkit as a quick fix. After that, you can calm down with the thought that your tools are secure.
Caulk gun clamp
It can be tough to keep small tasks together or in place when working on them. Things may not go as planned and may become chaotic, causing you to underperform and do an inferior job. We can bypass this if we use the hack listed below.
When working on little projects, caulk guns come in handy. These projects can be challenging to hold sufficiently with clamps due to their small sizes, but don’t panic. Instead, use a caulk gun to hold them together. It will work perfectly in this situation.
Check if your square is square
It’s simple to draw shapes until you have to cut them out precisely. Then you’ll understand how difficult it is to achieve a precise form. Even a third-grader will name a square as one of the standard shapes that they are familiar with. However, drawing a perfect one can be difficult.
You can tell if a square you have drawn is indeed a square just by looking at it. Use the edge of factory-processed plywood to construct the square’s short side. Draw a line down the square’s long side, then flip it. If the lines don’t match, the square isn’t perfect.
Light Screwdriver Hack
Have you ever dealt with small nuts and screws and found it difficult to see them? We understand since we’ve been there. Therefore, we can certainly state that threading a needle can be easier than putting screwdrivers into screws. This is due to our inability to see the screws.
Here’s an idea: add more light to the project you’re working on. You don’t have to throw away your old screwdrivers to obtain a new one with light, though. You’ll need to use tape to attach a small LED light to the screwdriver’s shaft. And then, boom, everything is lit.
Saddles for sawhorses
Our sawhorses may occasionally leave abrasions and chips on our current project. This can be depressing, especially after sweating and laboring off our butts for several hours. Thankfully, you can use this technique to prevent this from happening. Check out the image below for some ideas.
The image above is an excellent example of how to protect your projects from abrasions and chipping perfectly. To use as a saddle, you’ll need a cover. Materials such as rugs and carpets are ideal for this. Secure the saddle with staples to keep it in place.
Hooks for drill storage
After you’ve carefully prepared your workshop schedule, a lost drill is one of the elements that can create delays. It can be destabilizing to discover your drill is lost halfway through a project or right at the start. Nobody, certainly not us, wants to go through this.
This feeling can be highly infuriating. Nevertheless, we have a solution to help us cope on days like these. Get strong hooks to hang your drills on, and they will remain there indefinitely. This way, you won’t have to worry about it disappearing in the middle of the job.
Circle gets the square
Working on projects can seem like an opportunity to put your drawing skills to the test. You’ll need to sketch specific shapes, no matter how small, especially when you have to cut things out. Straight lines make it easy to design shapes like rectangles, shapes, triangles, and other similar shapes.
Meanwhile, circles and curves may be challenging to deal with. You can draw precise curves and circles with squares and nails. You’ll need to measure the diameter you want and place two nails along the edges. Then, putting a pencil in the square’s corner, rotate the square around the nails.
It can be challenging to get rid of the flush trims on furniture. This is because you don’t want to damage the surface by trimming too close to it. Thus, the next concern is how to remove the flush without causing damage to the surface.
Here is a clever response to that question in the image. Sawing flushes shouldn’t scare you. Simply wrap your hacksaw in tape at two spots, leaving adequate space between the two points as illustrated in the image. The tape will keep your saw from scratching the wood’s surface.
We occasionally notice that our drill is too short for the task and cannot each the desired location. We wish to complete easily without having to purchase yet another tool. For such a problem, we have a solution for you.
Using a multi-bit screwdriver is one of the most straightforward ways to go about this. Simply remove the drill from your cordless drill and replace it with the shaft of a multi-bit screwdriver. After you’ve done that, your drill is ready to go to any length you wish.
Mini drywall saw
There are some areas of drywall that are difficult to reach or reach at all. When working on drywalls, getting to these locations will necessitate the use of smaller tools. You can use alternative gadgets if we can’t find these tools. All you need is to be imaginative.
Take a look at this small drywall saw, for example. It’s a simple, handcrafted instrument that costs little or nothing to make. You’ll need a jigsaw blade, which you should place into a suitable piece of wood. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a small drywall blade.
Quick woodworking file
If we don’t include sandpaper in our list of blessings, it will be unjust. It’s a godsend, especially for smoothing off rough surfaces. Undoubtedly, it is the most widely utilized material for this purpose. However, there are times when sandpaper isn’t ideal because it won’t fit into narrow spaces.
Instead, use a woodworking file to access tight corners and other gaps that are difficult to reach with sandpapers. Use glue to adhere a sheet of sandpaper to a paint stick, and your new instrument is ready to use.
More planning, less exercise
We can construct a lengthy list of many demanding activities in the workshop, and longboard planning is one of them. It’s critical to ensure the board is adequately planned and that all surfaces are smoothed out evenly. This necessitates regular monitoring of both the infeed and outfeed sides.
This can be a difficult task, so connect your portable planer to the board to make it easier. After that, attach the panel to the miter saw stand. Following that, the stand board will be used for both outfeed and infeed planning.
Use a sneaker to clean sandpaper
You should have a good idea of how crucial sandpaper is in the workshop. The sandpaper will become dusty and worn after multiple uses. This situation is due to all of the scraping and abrasion work we do with it during our assignments.
Do not throw away the stained sandpapers just yet. Here’s a easy and effective way to keep your old sandpaper. All you need is an old pair of sneakers. The kind of magic the rubber section of the sole will perform on the sandpaper will amaze you.
Hands-free light hack
When working on a project, you’ll need a lot of light. You’d have to keep the light close to what you’re doing, which could be tricky, particularly when we only have two hands. Keeping the light in a specific place might be pretty difficult. Fortunately, we have a workaround for this.
There is a way to free your hands from the burden of holding the light in the proper position. Take out your pliers, flashlight, and rubber band. Attach the plier’s mouth to the flashlight and use a rubber band to secure the handles. Voila, issue solved!
Hammer lumber splitter
Splitting wood is not a process that can be accomplished with just any instrument other than an axe. However, what do we do if our axe goes missing and we desperately need wood? Let’s find a new and innovative solution to the problem at hand.
You’ll be surprised to learn about different tools that can help you split wood. The most surprising aspect is that these tools sit idle on your workbench. You may not have considered one technique: using your hammer’s claws to split wood effectively.