These are the 10 essential tools for DIY projects I think you should own. And today on the podcast, Will and I talk you through each one. What cordless drill should you buy? Find out now:
Essential Tools For DIY Projects
Here is our list based on a Washington Post article with links to purchase these tools
- Claw Hammer
- Six In One Screwdriver
- Cordless Drill
- Level Small Level 24″ Level
- Needle nose Pliers
- Channel Lock type pliers
- Allen Wrench Set
- 5 in 1 putty knife
- Staple Gun Cable Staple Gun
- Tape Measure
Eric: Hey, how are you doing? Thanks for downloading the show. This is GardenFork Radio. Its an eclectic DIY podcast. We talk about basically whatever comes into my head or my friends’ heads and they email me and go, let’s talk. So today we’re gonna talk about 10 essential tools for DIY projects every homeowner should own and three they shouldn’t. And the guy who sent me this list as well from the weekend homestead. Welcome sir. How are you doing Eric? I’m good. We had some microphone problems. So, we just fixed them. It’s super great now. So this is typical of how we’ll and I work well, has some great ideas. He emails to me, them to me and we talk about them and we talked about 15 things you could do when you’re stuck at home. And we got such a great response from that. We did a second show. those would be previous ones in your podcast player or on the website. And now we have 10 tools essential tools for DIY projects because you may be, are still stuck at home. And thinking about some projects,
Will: the Washington post had a great article. I know a bunch of people had said, you know, these lists of stuff to do is awesome but you know, I’ve just bought a house or I’m just moving into an apartment or moving out on my own and what kind of tools should I have in my house to do all this stuff that you guys are suggesting to do? So I thought the Washington post article was kind of a, a good summary of it and I figured we could debate out some of the pieces. Cause I know there’s some items like the cordless drill where everybody has an opinion of, but I know you and I might have different opinions and everybody else will, but it’s kinda nice to talk about them.
Eric: And believe it or not, people have different opinions on claw hammers, which is the first one.
Will: You know the claw hammer thing. I will say this, and this is something for all of the items on the list. When you’re going to buy them, you’re and you’re standing at the home improvement store or if you’re going to buy it online, there’s usually the really cheap one and the super expensive one and there’s usually one in the middle. I usually go with the one in the middle cause I’ve learned that if I buy the really cheap, whatever it is, I end up replacing it a year later or wherever and now I spent twice as much because I’ve had to buy two really cheap ones. If you go with the middle one or even the high end one, in some cases it’s always better than just buying the cheapest one you can find.
Eric: Yeah, you get what you pay for. we’re going to talk about that actually a little bit later in the show with a different item on different topic, but claw hammers. What I have discovered is people will buy the shiny big, I think it’s called a carpenters hammer. It has a very long neck or throat or handle and it’s made by S swing. A lot of times it’s shiny stainless and it has a blue rubbery grip. and Donna and you really need to have some strength and control to use a hammer like that.
Will: I’ve actually found,
Eric: you know there’s different types of handles. There’s the metal handle, the fiberglass and the wood ones, the mid price one at like the orange store or the blue store. Those guys, they usually have the rubber handle with the fiberglass neck and then it’s a mid size lightweight hammer, which if you’re going to use it a lot during the day having a heavy hammer versus a light hammer, you will notice the difference and in all reality, the price difference between the really expensive one in the mid price one, there’s a pretty significant difference between them and you. The middle price one is probably the one that would work for 90% of the folks out there. If you’re doing it for your job, you probably want the higher ed one. Yeah, I have the, it’s red has a red fiberglass handle on with a rubber pad around it and a decent size head and I’ve had it 15 years.
Will: I actually tell people when you’re going to buy a hammer, buy two of them because ultimately you’ll be using it for something and then you have one somewhere else or wherever. And it’s always nice to have maybe one in the drawer in the house and one out in the garage or the shop. So you’re not going back and forth. They’re not that expensive and they won’t break the bank.
Eric: Yeah. I actually, that’s where I get my steps and now as I’m in the garage, which is separate from my house, probably like 60 feet away and I have for every project I do in the garage, I have to run to the house about four times.
Also on the GardenFork Radio podcast: Will and Eric discuss whether to buy a new or used tractor.
Will: That happens a lot. you want to talk about number two on the list? Screwdrivers?
Eric: Yeah. I have strong opinions about this.
Will: Let’s hear it. What do you got?
Eric: I have a six and one and I’m very happy with it.
Will: I will tell you this, there’s a store called Harbor freight, which a lot of people have around. And if you watch their flyers, they have a six and one that they do. If you buy a certain number of dollars worth of tools or stuff, you get a six in one for free or for 99 cents. I bought a handful of those and I threw one in the drawer in the kitchen and there’s one down by the furnace and there’s one in my car and, and I kind of just toss them around places and they seem to work really well in a pinch for almost anything before you have to go to the toolbox to actually get your good screwdrivers.
Eric: Let’s talk about what a six in one or a four and one is, it’s a, it’s a screwdriver with a handle and the shaft pops out and you can flip it one 80 and pop it back in again. And then each of those ends has a tip on a double double at a double pointed tips. So on one side it’s Phillips small, you pull that out and flip it, it’s a slotted small and then you take the whole shaft out and flip it and then change the tip out and it’s Phillips large and slotted large. And then each of those ends of the shaft that pops in and out has a hexagonal, a dye. It has a hexagonal space in it and those are nut drivers. So you can tighten up a nut with using just the shaft and on a foreign one, that shaft is the same size, a six and one. It’s two different sizes. So you’ve got Phillips large and small, slotted large and small and two different essentially wrenches box wrenches on one thing.
Will: Do you want to hear the interesting hack that you can do to six and one of course. so if you go to Harbor freight, they have a Star tool and it’s called a T like 25 and the other side is a square end. So you know the piece that you swap in and out with the screwdriver heads. What I found is the Harbor freight one fits right inside of the small end. So actually I have Phillips on one end, Flathead. Then I have Starbucks and square in one of my six and ones that I use for electrical work because sometimes you need that square head. Sometimes they have the star head and so on and it’s, you know, 50 cents or a dollar to get that piece and now all of a sudden you can deal with four different types of screws. And in two types of headsets.
Eric: I did a little job for my neighbor and there was no way I would take his money. No, her money, their money, sorry. and like a week later, they gave me a Harbor freight, gift card.
Will: I, I, I think Harbor freight has a little bit of everything and I think they’re, you know, it’s, it’s kinda middle of the road tools. Some of them are really cheap, but a lot of them, if you need a onetime tool type place, it’s kinda my go to place to get something like that.
Eric: Yeah. I mean we’re going off track cause that’s what we do in garden fork. But will and I both have the same Troy-Bilt log splitter and Troy bolt is a sponsor of garden fork. But what I don’t like about it is the, to level out the trailer hitch under the, of the log splitters. A little flip out, kind of like a little kick-out piece of a steel, like a U shaped piece of steel and it’s, it’s clunky. So we’ll went and bought a regular is called a trailer Jack. A trailer.
Will: It’s a trailer tire or trailer wheel or something like that. It’s a single wheel, like a plastic wheel on a metal bracket.
Eric: Right. And it has, it’s for when you take your trailer off your car, you flip that down, it has a little wheel and it rolls around and you can lift it up and down with a little crank. Well at Harbor freight they’re on sale for $18 you know, and I’m like okay this isn’t a daily driver, it’s for my log splitter. So I went and bought that the other day. So
Will: for me the biggest one is like I can set that thing in my, in my pole barn and I can push it around or if the wife needs to even move it around instead of having to lift the tongue and try to move it. Cause the log splitter is heavy, it’s tongue heavy. Having that wheel on there, my kid can push it around it so easy. So I mean it’s one of those things where if you need to move it out of the way, it makes a big difference on moving it on a smooth surface. Yeah.
Eric: All right. So back to reality number four, more of our essential tools for DIY projects.
Will: Well actually let’s do number three. Number three first.
Eric: Oh, I want to skip the controversy.
Will: Let’s do that one at the end. Let’s do number four levels. So you’re hanging pictures, you’re hanging shelves, you’re doing things that you know in the house and you need to put on the wall. Having a good level, especially one that has mag like a magnetic strip on it works really good. There’s small bullet ones, they come and you know there’s longer ones that are three foot and four foot. I think most people can get away with, you know, a three foot level, a plastic one and a nice bullet level. And you can do pretty much anything around your house.
Eric: The smaller levels I call a torpedo level. Yup. Yup. this is actually a non, not discrete plug for the garden fork. store on Amazon, but I have a whole tool section on the the garden fork store and Amazon and I have my favorite a torpedo level that has three magnets built into the one side and there is no magnets on the other and I love that level. And then I have a two or three foot one that’s plastic because you’re going to drop that one off a ladder and if it’s metal and you drop it, you can, it can become unlevel.
Will: Well the thing on the, the one with the magnet too, like we were hanging a television and trying to keep that on the metal Mount at the same time as you’re trying to level it with that magnetic, you just stick it right to it and you can move it around and let go with the level without trying to balance everything. And it made it super easy to do that.
Eric: Here’s the problem with levels is if you live in an old house and you hang something that’s level, it may not look right on the wall.
Will: That is a good point.
Eric: I, you know, my house is 120 years old and nothing is level or square and you put something up and you’re like that, that doesn’t quite look right. So I don’t tell anyone, I just move it a little bit on the wall and I suck it in.
Will: I will say one item on the, on the level and the older homes that I learned was when we’re using the chop saw and cutting trim that you cut trim and it’s nice and perfectly square. Then you go to put it in there and you realize, okay, now I got to hand cut it or kind of shape it a little bit to make it look right because the floor might not be lovable, but your board is perfect. And so then you end up having to kind of rig it a little bit to make it work. So that stuff is okay if you have to do that in your house. It’s, that’s what happens when you have older properties
Eric: yet. Also, I have never checked the accuracy of it, but a lot of smartphones have a level built in as an app.
Will: I’ve used that and actually they have something else now too. The iPhone has a tape measure built in, which we’ll get to later on the list. That’s one of the items on there. But the level app now also has a tape measure in it too.
Eric: Oh cool. All right. Let’s talk about number five.
Will: Needle nose pliers or players in general. I mean to be able to grab onto something and to you know, fix something or if you have to reach in somewhere to get something small that you dropped in there. I mean that stuff happens. Something with a good rubber handle on it. Usually they have a cutter built in the middle, so if you have to cut some wire or something like that, it’s kind of built in. What do you think I need on those players?
Eric: Yes. And don’t buy cheap ones. Buy ones with really nice thick rubber handles. Because I use needle nose for electric work. And you may, you you’re ideally everything is turned off but if there is something turned on and you’re in there with an Allen wrench, I mean not, I don’t want to say needle nose. If they’re the thickly insulated pliers it’s the less chance of you getting zapped.
Will: Absolutely. Which brings me to the next item on the list which I think is your favorite item, which is a pipe wrench channel locks. I see you using them all the time in the videos. Especially like when you did the the heater video. I know you had them there talking about pipe wrenches. Why do people need pipe wrenches?
Eric: Well you all need a three foot pipe wrench. I ha I own two of them. They’re amazing. They’re the technology is probably 200 years old and you get such a tremendous amount of leverage out of one. If you get a small one, like a 14 inch pipe wrench and then you have what you call a cheater pipe, but usually like an inch and a half piece of plumbing pipe that’s three foot long. You have a multi tool. You can get a nut. Like if you own an old tractor and need to get a nut off there, you can just Hern on that thing and get it off. And then on a PO, a channel locks channel locks is a, is a commercial, it’s a brand name. It’s kind of like Xerox. When you say photocopier, I don’t know what their generic name is, but I just call them channel locks and buy a high end brand. They’re the, the, the, even the mid range channel locks. I find they jump out of the channel when you’re trying to really, really grab onto something. But they’re great for piping a nut. You can’t get off. They’re super nice.
Will: Well the other nice thing too is they’re adjustable so they fit almost any size. So if you can’t find the right thing to grab, if it’s a 10 millimeter or a 12 meter or whatever it is, channel locks, it doesn’t matter. You just said it, grab it in and you know, give it a turn. The other thing it works well for is if you have, if you can’t get in somewhere where you can’t get a pipe wrench in a smaller channel, Aqua works good for tightening up a looser leaky pipe. If you have one or you know, if you’re doing something with your gas, if you’re a little bit more advanced, you can do something with your gas lines and things like that. If you have to tighten a nut for that or even working on your automobile, it works good. So, you know, it’s, it’s kind of an all around tool that I always have in my toolbox cause there’s always somewhere where I can’t reach or something’s too tight or I don’t have the right tool. A channel locks or a pipe wrench can probably get it.
Eric: Yeah. When you’re under your sink of the bathroom vanity or the kitchen, the channel lock is great because if you have one, they’re all friction connect connections under there, the drain connections and you can tighten one up because you’re not going to have the exact size, wrench to get onto all those nuts. And the channel that comes into play there and it works really well. If you still have a leak, you can take apart the plumbing underneath there and then get some Teflon pipe paste. It’s kind of white, it’s not cheap, but it solved a lot of problems when I’ve had to put or re put together drain pipe underneath the sink
Will: when we bought the resort, the a Teflon tape, a pace that you’re talking about in fixing all of the plumbing connections, I went through seven containers of that stuff. If that tells you how much plumbing he did. So that’s a, it’s a, it works great. I mean one container, keep the lid tight and possibly put it in a plastic bag and it’ll last for a long time. You just got to keep it so it doesn’t dry out.
Eric: And the key thing there is people think, ah, like friction fit or compression fit piping. It’s not about the threads, it’s about the mating surfaces. So underneath your sink, it’s all about the mating surface ceilings. So put the Teflon paste around those surfaces, not on the threads because you put it on the threads. It’s not going to do anything
Will: and less is more in that scenario. Don’t over cake it on, cause I’ve seen it before where people go crazy with the amount on there and that actually can cause more problems than good. I mean you have to put enough on there but don’t think that, Oh I have to make it so that you can’t even see the connection and more because there’s so much paste on it.
Will: I’m talking about Allen wrenches. That’s number seven on the list. if you have any toys or if you have any gadgets in the house or anything along those lines. A lot of things need Allen wrenches these days are the little hexagonal wrenches and you can easily get a small pack of them, a metric one and a standard one and it’ll cover 95% of all the things that you’d ever want to open up or get into
Eric: the Allen wrench sets that I really like. on your average everyday carry kind of thing. Are the kinds that fold out like a Swiss army knife?
Will: Yes, absolutely. The ones in the bags that are all loose, I can, I ended up dumping the whole thing out. Then spreading it on the table and then finding the one that I’m looking for versus the one you’re talking about. You just flip out the one and if you’re too big you just go one down. If you’re too small, you just go one up and it’s easy to know which ones are cause they’re always in the right order.
Eric: And also when you flip it out, the, the case that it is in that kind of Swiss army knife case serves as like a tea bar. I know, I don’t know really what it’s basically a handle to turn the Allen wrench giving you more torque.
Will: The one thing you do have to be careful on is if you put the wrong size Allen wrench in the hole and you give it a turn. If it’s too small, you can round out the whole on an Allen wrench. So you have to be really cautious to make sure you get the right one in the hole. Because if you’re like, ah, it’s just a little too small, if you start turning it that little bit too small can slip and it’ll round out the, the hole that you’re actually trying to tighten or loosen from.
Eric: And also you need to have them because there’s metric and SAE metric nuts and bolts out there. So I done that sounded stupid. Get metric Allen wrenches and SAE or what’s that called? Imperial or USA measure ones is what I mean, you know, it’ll, it’ll save you one day. You’re going to need to take something apart, especially like TV mounts on the wall. I think all that stuff has Allen keys and if you really want to up your game, you can buy sets of Allen wrench, Allen keys or wrenches that are a socket set. And so essentially you turn your socket wrench into a big Allen tool, which is nice. Allen wrench.
Will: Perfect. next one on the list. This one is another one for you, Eric. A putty knife. I, I, I saw this on the list and I’m like, I know a guy who knows a lot about putty. Nice.
Eric: Yeah. I would suggest everyone buy what’s called a five and one which is a putty knife that looks like it has a regular metal putty knife edge. And then all of a sudden there’s this moon carved out of the side of it. And then the of the putty knife has a little point on it and the other end of the putty knife has this blunt thick end, so you have a scraper, you have a little pointed Digger tool, you have a screwdriver or a paint can opener and then the half moon thing is used when you’re painting to strip paint or get paint off of a paint roller. When you want to save all the paint, you want to clean up the roller, you use your five Oh one to go along the paint roller back into the can.
Will: I never knew that. I always wondered what that little half moon cut out of that was. I never knew it was taking that off of there. I thought it was for maybe like scraping quarter round or something like that.
Eric: The things you learned from me.Will
Will: that right there is the price of admission on the show, right?
Eric: Yeah. It’s funny how people don’t know that. But I also have some putty knives that are plastic because their sacrifices will like if I know like if I’m working with rooftop tar, I use a plastic putty knife because there’s no way I’m getting all the roof tar off this thing and it doesn’t have to be perfect cause that’s roof tar and that gets to be this point where I’m like okay we’re just going to throw this roof tar putty knife out and it goes.
Will: Yeah it’s, it’s pretty amazing. Like the, the little plastic ones even. And we can just slide paint brushes in here cause paint brushes wasn’t on the list but getting a little pack of like this one inch to two inch chip brushes I think is what they’re called. And just having a couple of them laying around. You’d never know. Like the other day one of the boys was pushing one of their plastic containers at toys and they went up against the wall and basically gouged a little section in there where we have textured walls. So all I did was go downstairs, get a chip brush, dip it in the paint that I had, repaint the spot and it was good as new. But to even have a small pack of those, I mean they’re 50 cents or a dollar, you don’t have that with your putty knife. You can fix things and then if you need to touch up paint, it’s always good to have a couple of those around and you can just throw them away when you’re done.
Eric: And Harbor freight sells, those brushes in bulk.
Will: Yeah. I think you can get like a pack of like 24 of them for what, 10 or $15? Yup. Something like that.
Eric: I get the three inch wide ones cause there is a lot of times I need to slap a lot of paint on like primer really quick and they’re perfect for that.
Will: Sure. Moving on to number nine of the essential tools for DIY projects, the staple gun, lots of different types of staplers out there, but I think the T series is what it’s called is probably one of the best ones. Kind of all around the big, it’s usually silver and in color and it can fit all sorts of different styles. It’s not like a stapler that you’d use at your house to staple paper together. This is, Hey, I need to put some screen on somewhere or I need to put some paper or plastic up on the wall or something like that. A little bit more heavy duty stapler is always good to have.
Eric: Yeah. I, these are actually in the, the garden fork store on Amazon, so I’ll, I’ll link to the store and you can go through. Don’t cheap out on them. I’ve, I’ve inherited some cheap staplers and I just threw them the recycle. I have two different staple guns. I have the traditional one that does a regular rectilinear staple and then I have a cable staple gun that puts out a looped staple for running wire or a, I use that for my garden. Trellises. I have a couple of videos about making my DIY garden trellises and the the cable stapler is great for looping twine on a raised bed or, well you have to have taught, you’ll have to watch the video won’t you? Oh so yeah, two different staple guns.
Will: There is a one other staple gun you will see in the stores. You don’t use it very often, but it looks kind of like a handle of a hammer and then there’s a straight stapler on it and it’s used for hanging plastic. We’re actually using that right now to put the insulation in the plastic vapor barrier up in the office that we’re building at the resort and you just hit the wall and it puts the staple in kind of like you’re swinging a hammer but it leaves a staple behind when you’re done hitting, you probably don’t need that one unless you’re going to be doing construction then that one is worth its weight in gold
Eric: or if you’re roofing, that thing is handy for laying down tarpaper.
Will: Absolutely. Oh actually you can use it for anything on the tarpaper for that matter. I mean, if you’re building something or lining the inside of a box or a planter or something like that, you know, that works really good for that. It’s just if you’re going to be doing those types of projects, that’s what that one is used for. VCA, if you’re having to be in the home improvement store online. Yeah. All right. Let’s talk about tape measures. I don’t think you can have enough tape measures. I think I own at least a dozen of them.
Eric: Yes. Buy more. There you go. Thank you.
Will: Did there go? All right. Next thing on the list, but I’ll tell you this on the tape measures, I usually get the standard ones. I know that Harbor freight always at the same time, they’re doing the six and one free giveaway. Occasionally they have the tape measure. I throw it in the car. I’ve got one in the tool box. I’ve got one in the drawer in the kitchen there. They’re just handy to have around because you never know like, I gotta measure this or I’m running to the store, or whatever it is. They work for anything and they’re usually fairly inexpensive.
Eric: So I have a story about tape measures. My plumber and friend car mine who I would love to have on the show. I don’t know if he would come on and, and he goes, Oh, I just, I just started watching YouTube. I’m like, okay, car mine. He’s a real Brooklyn EIT. He’s great. But in mine, I mean I pay him and he, you know, fixes my boiler and on my hot water heater. But if he’s in the neighborhood, he’s a one man band. He doesn’t like to work with anyone. But if he’s in my neighborhood and he needs help with a water heater, I’ll go over and help him and I won’t take his money because, you know, I’m just, I’m like, you know, okay. It’s, I get to see someone, my friend, we get to give each other a hard time. But the last time I helped him, he swung by the house later on and put in my mailbox because I had made a comment, he used a tape measure and it had a really rigid tape and it had a metal tip on a magnetic tip on the end. And I was like, wow, really nice. So he went to Lowe’s and bought me this tape measure and I will try and link to it in the show notes, but it’s my favorite tape measure now has a really, it’s a wide tape, easy to read numbers cause I am older now with a magnetic tip. So you can, you can take the tip and hit up a pipe and then walk, you know, 15 feet away and see how far away you are and that magnet sticks. And I really like that.
Will: Can we talk a little bit about technology?
Eric: I thought we’d talk more about water heaters, but sure.
Will: Hot water heaters. no. So I just found this out and I’ve tested it and it actually works pretty good. So Apple and they’ll in the last upgrade or last couple upgrades, they have the level app, but then that also has a measuring app where you take your phone and you turn on the measure and it makes you move your phone certain directions so it can get the orientation and then you push a dot on the screen and you move your phone along like you’re measuring and it’ll measure on the, on the screen and then you hit the button and stop and it’ll take a picture with the measurement on it. So if you needed to measure something from your house or you need to grab a quick measurement because Hey, a four foot shelf will fit in there and you take a shot of it. Then when you go to the home improvements where you can look at the picture and go, Oh yeah, that was 48 inches or 40 inches and it keeps the information on there. It’s free on your iPhone. I don’t know if Android has it, but I’ve used that a dozen times and I’ve tested it. You can’t do like find carpentry work with it, but if you need to get a rough measurement of Hey is that 20 feet or is that 28 feet, it’ll be easily able to grab that information for you.
Eric: Wow. I have to play with that.
Will: See you learn something while I’m on the show. Yeah. Should we talk about the last topic, the caustic one? Cordless drills. Yes. That’s the last item on the list. I will say there’s a lot of brands. There’s a lot of opinions. There’s a lot of styles of cordless drills. I’ll let you go first. Eric, what do you think of cordless drills?
Eric: Smaller is better.
Will: I actually have a black and Decker one. I’m just going to use the brand cause it’s the only one I know. But it was a really, it was inexpensive. It was, you know, $20 or something like that. And it has the tip where it has a Phillips and a and a, Flathead on it. And I throw it in the same drawer with the six and one and the tape measure. Because if you have to do something really quick, like take something apart or put something together, it’s very easy. It holds a charge. There’s no batteries to it. The batteries built into it and it works really good for a little odd projects. Once you get past the, I need to do something really quick, I’d project to something better. I would suggest buying a better drill. But I agree with you Eric. Smaller is better and lighter is better if you can get it right,
Eric: right. It’s, it’s, it’s like the guys that drive Hummers they have like the biggest cordless drill you can buy and it’s like a 24 volt and it’s got a huge battery on the end and when you gotta you gotta put that on your belt or a throat, try and throw it in your pocket. Going up a ladder. It’s a pain. And I have a BOSH 12 volt impact driver and drill driver. It was a set, of course it’s on the garden fork Amazon store. It’s like $120 for the two of them. But I think the key thing is for any kind of cordless one except for that little one in your toolbox is the batteries are separate because the batteries will crap out before the tool does. and I, mine are 12 volt and they work amazing. I’ve dropped them off of ladders, I beat them up all the time. And I think if you buy cheap here, like we’ve talked before, the batteries or the drive mechanism in the tool’s going to crap out. So this is something where I think spending $100 or more is a good thing.
Will: Yup. The utility drill that I was talking about, the inexpensive one is kind of the, I need a quick something or other, but if you’re actually going to do a project, I agree 100% with you. Lee, I, had a drill kit that we had bought a number of years ago. It was one of those, you know, you get six of them and they’re with a circular saw and all this, all the batteries are interchangeable from the yellow brand. And I was using that and I thought it was great. It had an impact driver and then I had some problems with the battery so I ended up getting and buying a new set of drills because it was just a similar kit to what you had. I could not believe the weight difference between the drill that I use today that lasts just as long as the one that I had four years ago to today. Like we put a deck together at the resort and use those really heavy drills and I’m thinking, Oh man, you would not believe how tired you get by lugging that thing around. And now that I know what the weight of the new one is, the one that you’re talking about, amazingly different. So I can’t stress it enough that you get what you pay for when you buy a cordless drill.
Eric: Yeah. I mean Harbor freight has them for really cheap and it’s, and I’m like, Nope, Nope.
Will: Like I said, having the one simple one in a drawer that has the battery built into it for the quick things is nice. But if you’re really going to do real home improvement stuff or real DIY projects, step up to a least a hundred dollars category, you know, and you can watch your sales because they happen to go on sale very often. It’s a, it’s a category that the home improvement stores like to use as a, what I call a price point leader where they use that as a way to kind of get people into the hobby cause they know if you buy a cordless drill you’re probably going to have to buy some supplies at some point to, you know, screw together and do things. So they use them as a, a loss leader a lot of times.
Eric: Perfect. Hey, would you like more of garden fork or more of Eric, would you like to get it in your email inbox? I send out just about every week I send out a little email about Eric’s world and new stuff I posted. I even talk about podcasts I’ve listened to or just interesting stuff and usually almost always at one picture of the Labradors and Regan Charlie, you can get that by signing up for Eric’s garden fork email newsletter thing. There should be a link in the notes to the show. Just scroll down to the description of the podcast in your app and I’m hope it’s a clickable link. It should be or go to garden fork.tv and on almost every page at the top of the page should be a sign up. If you’re on a mobile device, you might have to tap on the little, there’s a little menu bar and then hopefully there will be a signup or scroll the bottom of a post and you can sign up. There should be a link in the app here. More of Eric. It would be fun to have you along for the ride. It’s kind of more brain dump Eric. Cool stuff. All right.
Eric: All right, so that’s our 10 things. Snap. Now we have some things not to buy.
Will: I will say this, I wasn’t in too much favor of the, not to buy. I think the not to buy lists from the Washington post article was more about safety than anything else. Yeah. I mean the three items they have on there are a table saw, a circular saw, had a Hacksaw, which I could see people, if you were doing woodworking, buy yourself a nice table saw. If you’re doing some outside projects, you know, buy yourself a circular saw and if you’re doing some inside stuff, a Hacksaw, it makes sense. But don’t buy them and not respect them because those types of tools will definitely be dangerous very, very quickly and you can hurt yourself pretty badly on them. So you kind of need to know what you’re doing. So the first 10 items were kind of the, everybody should have something like that to do work if you’re really going to get into it. I think these products are products you should look at. But if you’re a first timer, I don’t think that it’s a wise choice. I guess. What are your thoughts?
Eric: Yeah, I actually have a serious craftsman table saw and I actually use it as a work service rather than a saw
Will: pretty expensive table.
Eric: I have two layers of cardboard on it. And then it’s my work surface. Actually a lot of videos you’ve seen where I got junk Lingle over something that the saw is underneath that too. I think a circular saw is a good thing to buy with a little bit of practice and a awareness that it can, you know, cut your finger off. I, you can build a lot with a circular saw.
Will: Let me ask you this question. And this is a hot debated question. cordless or corded?
Eric: I have a corded one. I, I’m not familiar with the cordless ones.
Will: So I, I will say I have a cordless one and if you need to do a lot of cutting, let’s say you’re building a deck, get the corded one because you’re going to go through batteries. But if you’re building a shelf in the garage, having a cordless one is nice. And if you’re looking at the drill kits and the drill sets like we just talked about, a lot of them will have it where you can get a circular saw, a jigsaw, and let’s say two drills for $199 or something like that. Along those lines, those kits are really good if you’re going to really take the next step up from just fixing a couple of things, your home to actually building things. But if you’re going to do some big projects, I’m going to frame a building or I’m going to do a deck or something like that, having a corded circular saw, just the torque on it, not having to go constantly replace batteries, those types of things. But if you’re doing a couple of little cuts, the circular saw probably can get most people buy.
Eric: Neat. Well that, that’s, I think that was pretty good. We, yeah, we have a couple more things to think about. And then I actually wanted to talk about a subject I felt very strongly about, but we’re gonna save that for the after show for our garden fork supporters, our garden fork patrons. And that’s my experience with buying a solar charge controller. But, we have a couple of reviews and some viewer mail. Would you like to hear that? Yeah, let’s go through that quick. I’m not quite sure if I read this one already, but it’s by, it’s a iTunes review from Sven hard and it says done is better than perfect. FiveStars Hey, Eric and friends, I’ve been waiting for a good time to sit down and write a proper review about garden fork and what it means to others and myself and I figured out and I figured done is better than perfect. So just start right spin. I seem to always listen to your podcasts when I’m on route to do something that might be stressful in your podcast. Offers me some relief when I’m that kind of moment. Wow. We’re like, what’s that kind of thing on YouTube that that kind of a SMR? Yeah.
Will: Okay. Everyone close your eyes, take a deep breath. Think of the wilderness,
Eric: listening to his shows, like hanging out with friends and solving the world’s problems over a cup of coffee, which is son, which sometimes gets a little mad sciencey, but I love it. Yay. Keep up the good work. Oh, that’s from Steve, not spin. And then this is a new one. I know. one of my favorites. Five stars from D S U dancer. Huh. I love Eric and friends, eclectic, DIY cooking, fixing, doing gardening, et cetera. I’m always learning something and getting a new perspective when I listen to podcast or watch the YouTube videos. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge. There you go. Awesome. I also got a, a couple of emails. I have a email list which you can sign up for. you can go to the website, garden fork.tv. There’ll be a sign up right at the top of the website page or there’s links in the show notes here, but Peter sent something.
Eric: The a garden fork sweatshirts and tee shirts were on sale for a couple of days last week. And I put out an email about that. And Peter said, Eric, you need to put a prominent link on your website for these. I told my cousin about it and she wants one. I had to search all, Oh, I had to go into my email trash to find this newsletter I sent. So he, he deleted my email. But when you go to the site, I, there’s a couple of links across the top and the menu bar and it says merge. And I thought everyone knows what merge means, but they don’t. So I’m going to change it to w do I change it to clothing or sweaters or what? What would be a good word will,
Will: t-shirts. Sweatshirts. Okay. That was easy. I mean, are you going to get coffee cups?
Will: it gives the garage gift store, maybe the garden fork gift shop. I want an airport. Pick up your key chains on your way out.
Eric: Yeah. And then I got a one from Carl. Hello. Eric. Although done is better than perfect in some situations. I’m sure you will agree that some things must be done to the best of our ability. Well, listen to this, recently I found myself in a trauma center with a subdural hematoma, which had to be drained by a neurosurgeon after a 12 foot fall. Wow. I’m glad he did not follow your advice but performed the procedure perfectly.
Will: Yeah. Sorry.
Eric: Yeah. Oh, I completely agree with that.
Will: Oh wow. That’s a, that’s definitely a definitely got to do that one. Perfect.
Eric: Yeah. Oh, and Oh, you wanted to do a couple of followups when we were talking about projects. Yes, go ahead. Will you, it’s your list. So,
Will: Oh, I’m lost now. I closed the list. I thought we were done a chalkboard paint. Oh yeah. So the chalkboard paint piece, you guys did a video on that. can you do that with any color or do you have to use black or is black just kind of like, because it’s always a black truck report or
Eric: any color you want. Yeah.
Will: How does that hold up? Did that, you know, hold up pretty well writing on it and then erasing it. Does it ever flake off or anything like that?
Eric: It hasn’t flaked off. It’s on a couple of walls around the house and we have written on it and then you, you can just wipe it off with your shirt sleeve basically. it’s not, I’m, I don’t really have a complaint about it. It just works really well and it’s kind of fun to, in some places you wouldn’t expect to find a chalkboard on the wall with something nice written on it, you know?
Will: Yeah. The nice thing too is you could paint an area on your wall and then if you have some trim board or some extra boards laying around, you could make a framer on the outside of it to make it look like a picture. So it’s actually the wall, but then it’s got the framer on the outside where you can store the chalk and all that kind of stuff. I’ve seen people do that and that’s pretty neat.
Eric: You’ve been on Pinterest too long.
Will: Actually. My wife watched your video and then she sent me something on Pinterest. So that’s a, I’m guessing I’m going to be doing this very soon with the boys here at the house.
Eric: Well speaking of the boys, you actually had a project to add to our previous podcast about the fish tank.
Will: Yeah. So a lot of people were talking about, you know, if they have their kids at home because of school and, and, and that, stuff. And one of the things that we did was we went on YouTube and we went on the internet and we looked up things about fish tanks and you know, my son kinda got into learning about what type of fish and you know, about the science of the water and what goes well together and doesn’t, and we did a bunch of research and then, actually Amazon has a number of, tanks cause a lot of the stores aren’t open right now. We actually got a fish tank delivered to us with some of the stuff and we put it together and like he’s been testing the water every day and learning about the science of how the water works.
Will: And if you want a fun, easy project, I think we maybe have 40 or $50 total into the tank to get started. But you know, it’s going to take a couple of days to get going and it kind of gives them something to do over and over again. So if you’re stuck at home with the kids are looking for an easy weekend project. I hadn’t had one since I was a kid, but it was one of those things where we spent a little bit of money, but there was so much research and so much learning, they kind of went along with it and it’s fun. It was something to keep the kids occupied with. So that’s the only reason why I had it on as a suggestion point.
Eric: Cool. Fish tanks. Yay. And you know, you’ve posted some pictures of that on the weekend. Homestead, Instagram feed. I know.
Will: Yup. Yup. We’ve, I’ve got some up there and we’ll probably, we’re at this point right now where the plants are in and we have to let them sit for two weeks and we’re learning about how plants work underwater. And then, you know, when things start to go back to normal, we’ll get a fish, you know, and put them in there and we’ll move on to the next part of it.
Eric: Yay. All right, there you go. I think that’ll keep you guys busy. You can go shopping on the garden fork Amazon page and buy your stapler, your level, your cordless drills,
Will: and then post your projects online. I’d love to see what you guys are doing. It was so cool when people took the 15 list and posted on the garden fork discussion group, Hey, here’s what I did in my kitchen, or here’s what I did in my garage. If you guys are using these tools, post some of your projects would be interesting to see what happens.
Eric: You can see the cleanest, most organized refrigerator ever.
Will: Absolutely. I still, that’s like the gold standard for refrigerators on the garden fork discussion group.
So there you go, let me know your thoughts on what are the essential tools for DIY projects you think people should have? Thanks!