My Top 10 Unusual but Handy Tools for Remodeling

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We all know that if you're going to tackle any DIY remodeling projects around your house you'll need at least a basic set of tools – hammer, screwdrivers, drill. You know that routine. But, after years of remodeling our house (yes, YEARS, shut up), I've discovered a few beyond-the-basics and even unusual tools for remodeling that are down right handy. Here are my top 10 unusual but handy tools for remodeling:

After years of remodeling our house, I've discovered a few beyond-the-basics and even unusual tools for remodeling that are down right handy. Here's my top 10 unusual but handy tools for remodeling! My Top 10 Unusual but Handy Tools for Remodeling

My Top 10 Unusual but Handy Tools for Remodeling

Pot Scrapers:

Great for scraping egg goo off your pans and also great for scraping ANYTHING off a remodeling project. Dried grout on your tiles? Use a pot scraper. Stickers on your cabinets? Use a pot scraper. Honestly, I have a set of these next to the sink AND a set in my tool kit.

Drywall Sanding Block:

Sure, we use these for smoothing things out after mudding and taping, but I actually use them constantly for all kinds of sanding. I like that I can hold the block securely in my hand (as opposed to the more traditional sandpaper that my hand always seems to slip off of). We've used these blocks to sand down soft wood (like pine), dried spackle, and trim pieces for our Ikea cabinets.

Painter's Tape:

Yes, we do use this for it's original purpose (taping off sections to protect them from the painting process) but also use it a lot of when we're cutting finish pieces. For example, when we were cutting the trim for our Ikea cabinets we taped off the area where we the cut line would go. That helped prevent the cabinet's finish from chipping while being cut.

A Piece of Scrap Wood:

I know this one is odd but we seriously have one in our tool kit. It's just a small leftover piece of 1×4 from a project but we use it all the time. Whenever we need to hammer something but don't want to damage it, we place this scrap on top of it and then hammer on the scrap. No damage!

Dremel 4000-3/34 120-Volt Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit:

Okay, so this isn't unusual per se but I'm telling you – pick one up for your basic tool kit NOW. We've used it to adjust trim and crown molding, cut tile, and about a thousand more small jobs. We prefer the corded one and bought this kit which comes with a bunch of attachments (but you can totally buy a basic model and purchase the attachments separately as you need them).

Olive Oil:

Another one that surprises people. Olive oil is awesome as an in-a-pinch lubricant and also to remove stickers or gunk. I rub a bit on the sticker and then use my pot scraper to remove them easily and toxin-free. Also, olive oil is THE SHIT for cleaning stainless steel to a killer shine.

Dish Sponges:

After I've retired these as regular sponges for the dishes, I toss them in my tool kit. Old sponges are great for staining wood (easier to control than rags or brushes) and wiping down grout after it's dried.

Pilot Hole Drill Bits:

My husband introduced me to these and I'm in love! Use this bit when you want to drill two pieces together but don't want your screw sticking out. Instead of it being flush with the piece (and impossible to spackle), using a pilot hole bit first will create a small “well” for the screw to sink into and leaving a spot for the spackle to go!

Hex Key Set:

It seems like everything these days requires a hex tool to assemble it. And those puny little ones that come with your piece suck (and seriously hurt your hand!). Invest in a set of metric and sae hex keys and assemble that shit in comfort.

Bubble Level App:

We do have levels – lots of them. We just never seem to be able find them (or they are too big for space we're trying to fit into) so I downloaded this app (free for Android). It works great and, since I always have my phone in my back pocket, is always readily available.

What unusual (but handy) tool is in your remodeling kit?

  • Ann Stone

    I have one of those little gadgets that is put into an electrical reciprocal to tell what electric problem I might have. It is cheep, small and tells me what I need to know without getting electrocuted. I also have a small lithium battery operated drill so I can handle jobs as they come up, like a loose cabinet handle or hinge, Wonderful addition to the tool box and I don’t have to put forth much effort.