Tools for Home Maintenance

 
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If you are a do it yourself person and maintain your own house, you will require good tools to do the job. This page describes from of the tools I have found useful for maintaining my home.

Power Tools

I prefer using corded tools whenver possible, rather than the battery operated cordless ones. While cordless tools re more convenient (I have several), I often find the battery is not charged when I need them. The batteries also wear out and need replacement over time.
  • Multi-function Tools - One of the most versatile light-duty tools for cutting, griding, scraping, and sanding, is the ocillating multi-finction cutting tool. You can find many adequate version of this tool, many versions for under $40. I got one of the low end of the scale, but having it around for light duty work has allowed me to make cuts and other tasks that would have been difficult with any other tool. The main trick of using the less expensive versions of such a tool is to use a light touch - i.e. don't force the cut using pressure, let the tool do the cutting.

  • Cordless screwdriver - While I typically prefere corded appliances, a cordless power screwdriver is the one tool that really needs to be cordless. Fortunately the load factor on this device is such that it does not need a large battery, and the battery will last a long time. When looking for a cordless power scredriver, one of the most important features you need is a clutch - in particular, this will allow you to set the desired torque, the screwdriver will stop driving the screw when the torque exceeds the selected value. This is important so that you do not strip your screws, and one of the reasons that using a low end drill to drive screws is not a good idea. The particular model of cordless scredrivers that I prefer is the Black and Decker Pivot Driver 9078, which has a clutch. This model may have been discontinued, however.

Vacuum Cleaners

There are many vacuum cleaners on the market, and I have had bad luck with many of them. This is in part due to the large amount of pet hair in our house, and perhaps in part also due to poor maintenance of the vacuum itself. But I am extremely happy with my current vacuum claner, which I selected with an understanding of the environment within which it would be used. I have been completely amazed, both at the amount of pet hair it collects, as well as other dirt, especially when I first used it after having already vacumed with my aold vacuum cleaner. My recomendation for vacuum cleaners is the Eureka Capture Plus Pet Lover Bagless. There are several versions of this - I believe I have an older yellow version, and that is the one I am quite happy with. I do not have experience with their newer, purple version, but would hope that it will perform similarly (or perhaps even better, given its higher price tag).

Tools for Landscaping

I prefer electric outdoor power tools over gas models. This is in part because I have solar power, making my electricity free. In any event, Electric tools cost less to operate, though it means you need to be within reach of an electical outlet (using long extension cords) and you need to be careful not to cut the cord. Among my outdoor electrical appliances are a corded electric lawnmower, a chain saw, a weeder, and a leaf blower.
      • Lawn mower
      • Chipper
      • Chain Saw
      • Weed trimmer
      • Leaf Blower

Ladders

To reach high points in your house you will want a good ladder. There are many to choose from, but if you are looking for a ladder that can be used in many situations, I recommend a Little Giant ladder. I purchased one several years ago and am quite happy with it. While somewhat expensive, it is extremely solid and can be reconfigured as many different kinds of ladders. I can reach the top of my two story house in one configuration, or use it for smaller jobs, with it folder into an A frame.