trust me i should know

A Tool Guide for Those Who Have Never Touched a Tool

“I’m a DeWalt girl, mainly because I think it sounds and looks the toughest.”

Photo: Courtesy of the subject
Photo: Courtesy of the subject
Photo: Courtesy of the subject

I’m in no way a professional handyperson nor would I even claim to be “good at fixing things.” I’m just a frugal fellow who doesn’t like to rely on others to address the basic household bugaboo. [She’s also a TV writer, responsible for Love on Netflix, and host of “Filling The Void,” a podcast about hobbies.] Maybe it’s the punk DIY-er in me, or maybe I inherited my grandfather’s deep belief that everyone was trying to rip him off. Either way, I don’t really know how to use tools properly, and after perusing this guide, you won’t either. But at least you won’t be scared to try.

I used to think that power drills were for serious tool people, a.k.a. men.

Then I moved to L.A. My roommate at the time, a blonde wisp of a thing who brushed her teeth with Dr. Bronner’s and drank chicken broth before it was a thing, changed my opinion on this after witnessing my clumsy attempt to hang curtain rods (I was trying to do it with a screwdriver). She went to her room, got her drill, and quickly got the job done. That’s when I found out that you don’t have to be strong or own paint-spattered Carhartts to use a power tool. All you have to do is watch a friend use it first. And if you have no friends, watch a YouTube video. Some of my best friends are YouTubes. And some of them are drills. There are cheaper ones and pink-er ones, but I’m a DeWalt girl, mainly because I think it sounds and looks the toughest.

Here’s a cute little lightweight hammer.

I like to hang things on my walls. Ideally, I could always just use a thumbtack, but as we all know, thumbtacks aren’t as great as they think they are. Instead, tap some very thin nails into the wall with this really light hammer and — voilà — you have a sturdy spot to hang a necklace!

And here’s a heavier hammer.

With a more weighty hammer, you can go to town on tougher-to-penetrate surfaces like hardwood. Fun fact: Need more holes in that too-small leather belt? Use a hammer and a nail. You are now a certified cobbler.

What looks better: One random screwdriver lying on your desk or this delightful little kit placed on a bookshelf?

I find myself reaching for this collection more often than I do just one regular screwdriver because it’s easier to store and more pleasing to the eye. If you’re asking, “When will I need a screwdriver, much less one with eight different tips?” My answer is “I don’t know. I’m not you.” But even for the once-in-a-blue-moon, rarest of occasions in which you do need a screwdriver, no other tool will suffice. That’s what I love about tools in general but specifically the Phillips-head screwdriver. Some other tools you can sort of work your way around not having (No hammer? Use a hard shoe. No flat-head screwdriver? Use a coin!), but if a regular old cross-top screw is the problem, the Phillips-head is the solution. Plus, this kit is inexpensive. I got mine at Daiso, but you can also find it at most hardware stores.

Personally, I enjoy owning anything that involves the word hex.