These Are the Tools Everyone Needs

Tool Education


Usually, a tool chest begins with a modest investment from a new homeowner, who doesn’t have much experience with DIY projects. However, it expands and inflates over time, because each task and objective gives a boost to skill and proficiency.


In light of this learning journey, TOH has built a series of tool chests for amateurs, people with some skill, and really experienced DIY nuts. Don’t forget that you can’t really call yourself a DIY pro unless your chest has a good range of tools from all levels of skill.


You can’t only have the top level devices, because then you’re missing out on some fundamental bits and pieces.


Skill Set: Amateur


If you’re an amateur, start with the following hand tools. These are the tools everyone needs, so it makes sense to begin here and build up your skills.



Screwdrivers have a surprising elegance to them considering their toughness and brawn. They are used to carry out all sorts of tasks, from securing cabinet components to fitting light switches, and lifting the lids off paint tins.


This screwdriver kit includes ten pieces. They cover all of the most common screw heads, such as slotted and Phillips. There are some wider, squatter tools for levering and leveraging too, if you need it.


Tape Measure


The tape measure is one of the most important pieces of kit you can own. You’ll need it to measure shelves, pick out lumber, and hang new doors.


This (12 foot) tape measure is housed in a sturdy green case, so you’ll always be able to spot it quickly, even in the shed.



If you want your screwdrivers, screws, and bolts to stay safe, you’ll need a secure toolbox for storage. Pick one with lift out or lift up compartments, so you can keep little pieces in separate drawers.


This toolbox is made out of strong plastic and it’s big enough to fit pretty much anything that you might need inside. There is a single metal fastener on the front, so that you can ensure the safety of your tools at all times.




The handsaw is a saw that I recommend over a traditional power saw. It is easier to use and it won’t be as fiddly as a full size device. They are also really great at chipping and trimming wood. Not only that but they can mold stock too, as they slice on the pull and push strokes.



For power and a reasonable amount of precision, you want a 16-ounce claw hammer, with a smooth front. It provides just the right balance of strength and good handling. Use it to hang nails for picture frames, put flat pack furniture together, and construct tree houses for the kids.


This Plumb hammer has a fibreglass handle, which is almost indestructible. We don’t advise you to go throwing it around the room, but you don’t have to worry about dropping it.


Duct Tape


There’s nothing like duct tape when it comes to emergency repairs. It won’t last forever, but it will do the job until you can find a more permanent solution.


Make sure that your duct tape has a thick, fibrous backing. This is what makes it so strong and ensures that broken bits stay together.


Rechargeable Torch

The beauty of a rechargeable torch is that you won’t ever get stuck in a sticky situation, after a power cut. All you have to do is dig it out of the drawer and charge it in a wall socket, if it doesn’t already have power. No more fumbling around for old batteries.


Your torch is an essential item, so keep it safe and well maintained. You never know when you’re going to need it to venture into the basement and fix a breaker.




Pliers are normally used to pull at tough, rigid materials. For instance, you might use a pair of pliers to straighten out a bent prong on a plug. Or, you could use them to pull a stubborn nail out of a piece of timber.


This pair of ChannelLock pliers is one of the best on the market. It is actually an interchangeable device, which can be used with a needle nose, tongue and groove, slip joint, or side cutting attachment.


Multi Knife

You’ll never be caught in an awkward or frustrating situation again if you keep a trusty multi knife around the house. They can prise open boxes, sharpen blunt pencils, chip wood, and pop the tops of beer bottles (if you’re deft enough).


It is worth splashing out on a knife with a rubber handle and a compartment for spare blades. That way, you can swap the existing one out when it gets dull. Trying to cut with a dull blade can be really dangerous, so keep an eye on its condition – and swap for a new one when needed.


Adaptable Wrench

If you want to put together things like swing sets and kitchen appliances, you’ll need a tough and adaptable wrench. They are particularly useful when it comes to installing and repairing plumbing.
These Crescent wrenches are six and ten inches in length (including the handles). It is a good idea to pick a wrench with a bigger handle, because it will give you more power when you’re putting force behind something stubborn such as a jammed bolt.

My Opinions on the Best Saws

In all my years working as a home depot sales associate, I have gotten very familiar with power tools of all kinds. I’m proud to be a specialist in the power tools department, which means I help people find their new saws and drills and so forth. I know quite a bit about all the different companies and models that are out there, from Dewalt to Bosch, and all the other ones.


I really like advising people on power tools because it is something big that they will use often, and really have a personal relationship with. So it is on me to help them find something that actually suits their needs and their preferences. I have also had a lot of experience as someone who works in retail of people who are unhappy with tools they buy and come back in to return them, so I feel like I know better than most people which ones are actually good tools to buy and are more than just a nice package on the shelf.


Today, I want to talk about saws, specifically table saws, which you use to make rip cuts and big sheet cuts as a contractor, or anytime you’re working with bigger lumber at your home workshop.


If you’re starting to learn how to make your own furniture, a table saw is probably the most important tool in your shop. You need accurate edges when you’re cutting boards down to size, otherwise they’re not going to line up right when you go to put your cabinet or your shelf together. They’re basically the only saw you can use for big long rip cuts and trimming sheet material down to size with any kind of precision


The best table saws are cabinet style ones, which are those big iron beasts you probably used in shop class. But most people can’t afford something like that, which is why we mostly sell less expensive ones at Home Depot, like contractor table saws  and portable ones that are the cheapest. Most people who come through my department end up going with a portable table saw, whether or not they’re professional woodworkers.


Now, when you’re looking at table saws, the key things you want to look at are the table itself, the fence, and the motor. The table’s going to determine just about everything on the woodworking you do with the saw. If it’s close to perfect, so will your projects. If it’s  warped or tilted slightly, so will every board you cut with it. It’s that simple. With your fence, you’re basically looking for straightness again, so a fence that stays in place well once you’ve got it fastened down, and as wide a rip capacity as you can get in your saw. The motor’s simple, just look for the most power you can find. I’d also suggest taking a look at how you’re going to move your saw around, since you need to figure out some sort of cart or wheelbase for any table saw that’s not tiny.


In my experience Dewalt have the best ones in the portable category, and the people who go home with those don’t tend to come back in as much (because they’re happy with their saws). They have molded tops that are generally pretty close to perfect, with the occasional wonky one, but I always check the ones I sell before they leave the store to make sure they’re up to scratch. Dewalt also make a lot of their table saws (or at least put them together) here in the States, now, so their quality control has actually gotten better even though most brands are on the downhill slope.

Anyway, if you’re going the portable route, I’d go for a Dewalt. But if you need a bit more power and stability, and don’t care so much about being super portable, there’s a cool new category out there, which is the hybrid table saw. They have a closed-up cabinet like a cabinet saw, but they’re scaled down a bit and they’re meant to be moved around on a cart. They’re definitely worth investigating, and some of my clients have told me some great things about theirs. As far as I know, SawStop makes the best hybrid table saw, but I’m also biased because I’ve seen someone use a finger and now I’m super concerned about safety whenever I buy a cutting tool. You can check out the SawStop I’m talking about over on, which also has a more in-depth review for the Dewalt table saw I’ve recommended. It’s my favorite place to read about saws and tool reviews, since they have really nice reviews that sound like they’re from people who actually know what they’re doing with a saw. I also send shoppers there if they need to know about a tool I haven’t personally seen.

Well, that’s my two cents worth, I hope you find it helpful! I’ll be back soon with some more insider hardware tips. Thanks for reading!

All About Traditional Mexican Food

Mexican cuisine has a lot more to offer than beefy enchiladas, spicy tacos and saucy guacamole. Take a deeper look across the country and you’ll discover many hidden gems in the form of mouth-watering lesser-known regional dishes like sopa de habas.

Besides tangy sauces and tasty dips, which are an integral part of the Mexican cuisine, like rich moles and pico de gallo, tortillas reign supreme everywhere.

But we cannot forget bread as Mexicans love to gorge on soft, fluffy bread. Get introduced to scrumptious Mexican sandwiches like the cemita poblana with fried cutlet, griddled pamboza and many more.

Try the super smooth peanut salsa as an accompaniment with chicken and shrimp and you’ll lick off every last morsel. When it comes to salsas, typical veggie ones like deep tomatillo salsa with chipotle and roasted garlic is worth a taste, or you could always go for a classic tomato salsa.

For a more tropical salsa, try different yummy versions made with pineapple, paired with some crispy tacos.

Taco fillings are as varied as you can imagine – from cumin-spiced potatoes to crispy fried fish – you can have any kind of filling here.

With all this spicy food, you need a thirst quencher, and Horchata is a refreshing almond and rice drink, perfect with a fish taco or spicy salsa.

Dessert is drool-worthy with Paletas, Mexico’s own ice pops, made with either tart tamarind or lush coconut.

A traditional Mexican Christmas dinner means friends, family, lots of food and tons of celebration. If you’re in Mexico for Christmas, don’t miss the authentic fare laid out everywhere on Christmas Eve as the food is simply unforgettable.