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What Are the Different Types of DIY Tools?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

DIY tools may refer to tools a person makes for a certain application, or it may refer to tools used for DIY projects. In the latter case, many DIY tools are the same as tools used by professionals. A trip to the hardware store will offer countless tools for professional and home use, but some tools can be made cheaply and quickly at home with little material or money investment. Paint stirrers, for example, are simply strips of thin wood that are used to mix paint before it is used. You can buy such a tool at the hardware store, or you can simply strip the bark off a small tree branch, as long as the branch is dead and dry.

A rolling cart or dolly for the home workshop is perhaps one of the most useful DIY tools, and also one of the easiest to make. A few scraps of 2x4 lumber, some plywood, a small carpet sample, a few strong nuts and bolts, and some casters bought from the hardware store should be enough to make a decent dolly. The 2x4s can be cut to the length and width of the dolly, and then the plywood can be mounted on top of them. The casters can be mounted to the bottom of the 2x4s, and the carpet sample can be glued or stapled onto the top of the plywood to provide a soft surface for items that are being moved. Like most DIY tools, this dolly is inexpensive and extremely functional, not to mention easy to store when not in use.

Various nuts, bolts and screws.
Various nuts, bolts and screws.

Jigs are DIY tools that can also be made from scraps of lumber. The size, shape, and function of the jig often depends on the specific DIY project. Jigs are used to support or otherwise steady pieces of material being worked on, and they can hold two or more pieces of material together during gluing or other types of binding processes. Most jigs have some sort of mechanism that will hold the jaws of the jig in place to apply pressure to the materials being bound or otherwise worked on.

A man using a wrench.
A man using a wrench.

DIY tools that can be purchased from the store are commonly used tools for everyday applications. A socket set, for example, can be useful when changing the oil on the car, building or adjusting furniture, and working on other projects with bolts in need of tightening or loosening. Wrench sets are also commonly used, as are screwdrivers, hammers, drills, circular saws, and so on.

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Discussion Comments


Has anyone ever made their won DIY power tools? I would like to get some power tools but I don't have a lot of money to spend. If there was some way, any way, to make them myself that would be great.

I know that making a power drill is a lot trickier than making just a screwdriver. I am pretty handy though and I have a huge stockpile of scrap parts and electrical components. Maybe there are plans somewhere online? Thanks for any tips guys.


I saw this incredible documentary about a guy who walked in the Alaskan wilderness and built a cabin out of wood that he harvested. He proceeded to refine the cabin and he lived there for 34 years.

In order to save space in his pack he removed the handles from all his tools and only carried in the metal parts. Once he started working he crafted new handles out of trees he'd cut down. They seemed to work as well as any tools I've ever seen. It's a pretty clever idea.

The guy was incredible and so was the movie. It's called "Alone in the Wilderness." Anybody that is a fan of adventure stories or woodworking will love it.

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    • Various nuts, bolts and screws.
      Various nuts, bolts and screws.
    • A man using a wrench.
      A man using a wrench.
    • Hardware stores carry basic tools for DIY projects.
      By: michaeljung
      Hardware stores carry basic tools for DIY projects.