Ultimate Tool Kit

Ultimate Tool Kit

Well-known Building and Design Consultant, David Norman, compiles his Ultimate Tool Kit…

Hand Tools

Tape measure

Mandatory before beginning any project (8m / 26ft is ideal) 1m Builders rule

Terrific for smaller projects and more accurate being a stiff rule. Pencil (grey lead)

Also mandatory in a tool kit. Writes on most surfaces well and could be supplemented by a permanent marking texta for tricky surfaces like PVC plastics etc. Stanley Knife

Useful for sharpening pencil, cutting or scribing various building and hobby materials, cutting control lines before chiselling timber when installing hinges etc. Hammer

Goes without saying! Nails, tacks, clouts, removing nails, chiselling, persuading things to do what you want! Punch

Marvellous for marking a substrate prior to drilling or nailing. Driving home a nail or tack without marking or bruising the material. Pliers (preferably pointy nose vice grips)

Very useful if you don’t have another pair of hands when undoing a nut and bolt etc. Great for tying off or cutting wire around the home and Garden Chisels x 3 sizes

Great for installing hinges locks or any other door and window hardware. Good for finessing timber furniture or sculptural work 2 x hand saws (large, small)

Can be used for a wide range of tasks, but I use mine for making small picture and photo frames in conjunction with a small mitre box. Good for cutting small amounts of timber up to 200 x 50 in size. Useful for getting close to materials where a power saw in too cumbersome or dangerous to use (ie on a roof)

Range of screw drivers (3 x Phillips head and 3 x flat head) Just about everything these days is put together with a Phillips head screw, don’t know how you could live without a few screw drivers in the house or tool box. (Cars, boats, toys etc)

Small Allen key set

Good for maintenance on tools (power tools particularly) and errecting and dismantling Swedish furniture!! Builders square (with 45degree angle)

Important if you want the finished product to look professional, straight and square. Cheap wooden or plastic mitre box

Great with a tenon saw for making picture frames etc. Sheers (strong cutting tools like scissors or tin snips)

Excellent for cutting duct tape, plastic and rubber tubing, trimming sheet metal, fibreglass, card board etc, (a must in the tool kit) File and Rasp (File is finer and rasp is coarser)

Great if you’re a bit handier then the norm, for finessing fine metal and timber work. Sharpening small tools, cleaning swarf or splinters from freshly drilled or cut material. Staple gun and staples

Handy for framing with canvas and card or furniture making. Used by carpenters for fixing sisilation, and bulk insulation, window flashings etc. Small socket set

Excellent for erecting and dismantling kids toys and play equipment such as bikes, swings, trampolines etc, or working on cars, boats, motor bikes etc.


180 grit and 240 grit white sand paper with a cork backing block Great for any painting or refinishing work around the home. Good for restoring old furniture etc.

Packet of 250mm long plastic cable ties

Handy item to have for tying back plants in the garden, tidying up electrical cables etc around the home and office. Great for automotive and marine hobbies. Terrific to take on a camping holiday for tying thinks away neatly and while in transit. Grey Duct tape

Good for temporarily patching damaged plumbing, tarpaulins, surf boards etc. Can be used as a masking material but masking tape would be better. Great for tying materials to roof racks etc. Teflon tape (for plumbing connections)

Marvellous if you’re handy with tools such as air tools, spray guns and the like. Excellent for sealing junctions on metal and PVC screw type plumbing fittings. Range of galvanised screws

Terrific for fixing timber and metal products together, fixing sheet cladding to walls, decks to joists etc. Range of Picture hooks and fixing devices ie: wall mates and raw plugs Excellent if you do your own home decorating and picture hanging.

3 x different sized Paint brushes

A must if you’re proposing to refinish any painted surfaces around the home or at work. Power Tools:

Cordless power drill with a percussion setting (with a set of different sized drill bits for steel, timber and masonry) Good for drilling into masonry, timber metal plastics etc. Excellent when used as a driver with a Phillips head driving bit for rapid and multi screw installations or for un doing multiple screws during a dismantling of something.

150mm diameter Random Orbital Sander with Velcro backed sanding disks (180, 240 & 400 grit) My favourite tool, for refinishing and restoration of furniture, surf boards, boats, cars, and any other home maintenance. Gives a very professional flat finish compared to sanding by hand. (A very good investment!)

Small 180mm power saw Handy if you’re a carpenter or serious DIYer

4″(100mm) angle grinder with metal and stone cutting discs Great for all sorts of hobby or restoration projects, such as paving, tiling, welding, sculpting timber etc.