Keen DIYers take great pride in their array of equipment and tools, often having them displayed in their garage or workshop like other people would lay out a collection of precious collectibles. For someone who is doing a lot of maintenance and construction projects around their home it makes sense to have a good range of high-quality tools, but if you only dabble or do the odd repair job, you might not believe it’s worth investing in expensive brands. After all, a hammer’s a hammer, right? Well no, as it happens, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Whenever you undertake a DIY or home maintenance job, safety needs to be your primary consideration. Buying a second-hand electric drill from a yard sale may be perfectly safe, but you won’t know for sure, and when it comes to your safety it’s not worth taking a chance. Find a reputable supplier of home and work power tools and get the best drill you can for your money. Ladders are frequently the cause of accidents – or rather their misuse is. Broken bones and even paralysis and death can occur from falling from a poorly sited ladder, or one that is not right for the job. A good ladder will last for many years and is a worthwhile investment, so rather than risk serious injury, use a sound, safely erected ladder for working at height.
Cheap tools aren’t made of the quality materials or with the precision that higher-end examples are, and this will soon show with rusting, excessive wear and discoloration, and the reduced lifespan of cheaper products. Paint brushes are an excellent example of this principle. You can buy a pack of paintbrushes for a few bucks at many stores, which sounds like a bargain until you start using them. You’ll find the hairs shed from the start, and with every few strokes. The coverage of the paint will not be as even and brushstroke free, and you will find it hard to get the tips of the brush to form a nice cutting-in edge. Decent brushes have beautiful, smooth, straight bristles that form a precise line when coated with paint, they rarely shed, and the coverage will be uniform and smooth. The money you saved on the cheap brushes will seem like a waste when you end up throwing them away because you’ve gotten frustrated with them.
Sometimes cheap is ok
Sure, there are times when a cheap paintbrush is fine – for slapping preservative on a fence for example. A cheap emergency screwdriver that you keep in the trunk of your car will probably get you out of a sticky situation, and being rarely used should last a while. But don’t use that cheap screwdriver for your DIY jobs; the head may slip, the handle might be uncomfortable and hard to grip, and the edge of the blade may not be even enough to slot correctly into screw heads.
Even if you only use DIY tools occasionally, you will do a much better job and have a far safer, more enjoyable time if you get the best quality you can afford – and they should last you for years.