Fixing things yourself is great for the mind, great for the body, and great for the wallet. And as Kevin and Andrew prove, you don’t have to be an expert to tinker and fix things around the cottage. Whether you’re fixing a squeaky door, building a set of stairs, or making a waterski chair, you just need a few tools to get off the ground. Here are 10 tools for your DIY starter kit.
1. Multi-tool. This jack of all trades is the Swiss Army knife of the tool kit. It’s perfect for those little annoyances like loose screws, but you can get into some beefier work without needing to shell out a ton on pliers, wire cutters, and more.
2. Hammer. A hammer is the average joe of tools, and the tentpole of any DIY starter kit. You only need one, and it will last you forever.
3. Adjustable wrench. You probably don’t want a whole wrench kit just for the cottage, so an adjustable wrench is a good stand in. Make sure to get something sturdy with a good grip, and it will be a lifesaver.
4. Screwdrivers. A screwdriver kit is money well spent, especially when you get that sinking feeling as you strip a screw because you didn’t have that right size screwdriver. You can always get a multi-tip screwdriver to cover your bases, but it’s unlikely that a full set will leave you hanging.
5. Measuring tape. There’s a saying, “measure twice, cut once.” Measuring is planning, which is absolutely essential for any creation. You don’t want to have to redo much of your effort because you started the project with some lazy calculations.
6. Duct tape. Anything can be fixed with duct tape. Canadian comedians have been making a joke of duct tape for decades. But no DIY starter kit is complete without it. Don’t go nuts, of course, but duct tape is the king of the quick fix. (Photo by Russ Hendricks)
7. WD-40. Okay, it’s also not a tool, but like duct tape this lubricant is a jack of all trades. One of the smallest and most annoying problems you’ll face is hinges, brackets, and joints that are stiff or squeaky. Try this first before you start taking things apart and you might save yourself a headache.
8. Ratchet set. This is where you start to get into the territory of tool with many little pieces. A ratchet is required equipment whether you’re fixing a bike, an engine, or heavier metal projects. Don’t let any kids play around with this, or the few sizes you use most will surely go missing under a couch or down a vent.
9. Drill. A drill is mandatory if you’re building with wood, and for those long neglected screws and bolts that won’t budge. A cordless drill is great for those hard reach areas of your property. Just remember to keep it charged and don’t leave it out in the cold. A frozen battery is a dead battery.
10. Reciprocating saw. Some cutting around the cottage will no doubt be heavy duty. It’s time consuming for the right hand saw to get the job done, but this bad boy will cut through almost anything, anywhere. It’s a perfect blend of strength and mobility, which is perfect whether you’re starting out or don’t have a stocked tool shed.