Tools for the Handyman

Handyman Naperville IL often handle a variety of tasks. However, there are limitations on what a jack-of-all-trades can legally perform. For example, many states require a licensed contractor for jobs that involve major construction projects or specialized fields like plumbing or electrical work.Handyman

Some handymen also offer services such as mounting smart devices like thermostats and doorbells. To ensure you can complete these types of tasks, handymen need certain tools in their toolkits.

A hammer is a tool used by a handyman to knock metal or other materials into shape or to drive nails, screws, and other fasteners. Hammers come in many shapes, sizes, and weights. They can be made of various types of metal or wood, like hickory or beech, and may have one or more faces. Some hammers have claws for loosening or removing nails. They are usually shaped to allow the head to strike hard surfaces such as metal or concrete.

Hammers are used in a variety of tasks, from light jobs such as driving tacks and small nails into a board to heavy-duty work such as fixing floorboards or garden decking. There are also specialist hammers, such as the brick hammer for splitting or shaping metal; the woodcarving mallet for pressing and tapping soft materials into place; the upholstery hammer for fitting tacks and small nails in confined spaces; and the spirig hammer for use with picture frames.

The hammer head, which includes the face, claws, and eye (where the handle fits into), is made of metal, typically either steel or graphite fiber-reinforced cast metal. The head is generally heat-treated to harden it. Alternatively, the head can be made of wood such as hickory or beech and bonded to the handle using epoxy resin. Handles are often designed with ergonomic features, such as built-in shock absorbers, to reduce the impact force on the user.


Handyman services often require the use of a level to determine whether the surface they are working on is flat, straight, or plumb. Levels help ensure that tiles are aligned correctly, cabinetry is even, and landscapes are level. They are an essential tool for home renovations and a common requirement for construction jobs. Levels have come a long way from fully optical instruments to rotary laser levels with digital readouts and controls.

A traditional two-foot level works well for small projects like installing a small section of wall tile or building closet walls, but for larger tasks, you will want to invest in a revolving laser level that can automatically set elevations over long distances. These advanced tools also provide digital displays and audible signals.

If you need to take a reading while working in tight spaces, consider a specialty torpedo level. These levels are square on three sides with a single rounded end that allows you to place the level in smaller spaces and at angles. Most of these levels have 45-degree focus vials for more precise readings.

Other specialty levels include a screed level that can be used to check the alignment of concrete floors and pavers. You can also purchase a line level that hooks directly onto a string and lets you see the elevation of objects at a distance without the need for a tripod or laser pointer.


A screwdriver is a key tool for any handyman, and there are a variety of types to choose from. The basic components of a screwdriver include the head, shaft, and handle. A handle can be made of wood, metal, or plastic, and it’s usually hexagonal, square, or oval in cross-section to improve grip and prevent the tool from rolling when it’s set down. The shaft is the long section that connects the head and handle and can vary in length from stubby to very long. The tip, also known as a bit, determines which fasteners the screwdriver can engage to tighten or loosen. Common bits include slotted, Phillips, Pozidriv, Torx, square, star, and security or tamper-proof bits.

A ratchet screwdriver features a shaft that has teeth on its face that allow it to turn screws in a particular direction with a ratcheting motion. This speeds up production and reduces hand strain.

A magnetic screwdriver has a shaft that supports interchangeable bits, which can be magnetized to hold screws in place. This can save time because it eliminates the need to search for and replace lost tips. Another handyman tool that’s worth considering is a stud finder, which locates hidden studs or joists in walls and ceilings without using invasive techniques. A staple gun can also make short work of tasks that require stapling, such as hanging curtains or installing insulation.

Tape Measure

Often the most used tool on a handyman’s belt, a tape measure is the go-to for many tasks. The most common types use slightly curved metal blades that are coiled up inside a case and retracted with an innerspring. Tape measures are available in a variety of lengths, from 8 feet to 40 feet or more.

Most tape measures have markings on their sides that indicate inches and feet in either imperial or metric measurements. They also typically have a number of other features that can come in handy.

Some tapes have a scribing tool that is located at the bottom of the end hook. This is to help mark the surface if a marking tool is not available. Some tapes also have a lock button that keeps the blade from retracting during a measurement. This allows the user to control how much of a measurement they want to take and protects the blade for a longer life.

When reading a tape measure, keep in mind that the longest increments are whole inches and are indicated by large numbers. Between these are smaller lines that indicate half-inch increments. Usually, these are labeled as 1-inch, 1/2-inch, 1/4-inch, 1/16-inch, and 1/32-inch increments. The smallest increments may not be labeled and will need to be read by counting the corresponding small marks on the blade. This will require a bit of practice to interpret correctly.

Utility Knife

While some might consider a utility knife a symbol of modern industrial redundancy and overkill when compared to other efficient knives, having one is still a wise choice for those who lead a minimalistic and space-saving lifestyle. Besides the fact that it helps reduce the number of knives in your kitchen, a utility knife is ideal for handling foods of medium size that are too large for paring and too small for chef’s knives.

The utility knife is also great for cutting up vegetables, chopping fruits, and other foods of medium size. Its sharp and precise blade makes quick work of preparing a vegetable or fruit salad, chopping up celery or scallions, and slicing fresh and cooked meats. It is even a suitable knife to use for slicing cheese, as it is small enough and strong enough to handle both soft and hard types of cheese.

Lastly, the utility knife is an effective tool for removing paint-coated screws, as it is able to slice through the screw’s coating without damaging or scrubbing off any of its components. All you have to do is set the width of the blade slightly wider than the screw’s diameter, position it against one end, and slowly apply pressure while rotating it.

Some utility knives come with interchangeable blades, making them ideal for specialized projects that require precision cutting. Others, like the ones profiled here, feature a slimmer handle profile and are made of extremely hard, advanced ceramics for added strength and durability.

Framing Nailer

Framing nailers are heavy-duty tools designed to connect large dimensional lumber pieces like 2x4s. These power tools fire nails up to 3 1/2 inches long into wood, eliminating the need for hammering and leaving less of a mess on job sites. They are often used to frame homes, build decks, and do other construction projects. The framing nailer can use either plastic or paper collated nails and can be configured to work with different angles of straight nail clips. There are also various trigger options, including bump-firing or single-shot.

The choice of angle and type of nails will have a significant impact on the efficiency and accuracy of the tool. Each option comes with pros and cons. For example, a 21-degree framing nailer is best for high-impact framing tasks that require large nails to provide maximum strength and durability. This type of nail gun can also accommodate ring or screw-shanked nails, which are essential for building certain types of furniture.

A 30- and 34-degree nailer, on the other hand, has a steeper angle than a 21-degree nailer and requires fewer nails to fully penetrate a piece of wood. These are ideal for smaller applications, such as finishing a staircase or installing moldings and trim pieces, but they may not meet building codes in some areas. In addition, they are much more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces and have a tendency to overheat quickly.