The pipes have burst! There is a hole in the ceiling! A draft is coming in from under the front door and your energy bills are running sky high! What do you do? Well, as a seasoned handyman, you strap on your tool belt, pull out the power tools, and if you don't have what you need to take a drive to Home Depot or Lowes and stock up.
You've always grown up with the natural ability to fix nearly anything. You've even gone as far as fixing things that don't need fixing, or as you like to say, "I'm just tweaking it." If this all sounds way too familiar, then this quiz was designed specially for you!
You know what it means to use the right tools for the job, but how good are you at identifying those tools? Do you know the difference between a Phillips and a flat head screwdriver? How about a crescent wrench and a vise grip? Do you know why you would use a jig saw instead of a miter saw, or what the heck a stud finder is for?
You might use these tools, but what we want to know is, do you know their names? Take this quiz to see if you are the handyman you really think you are!
A hammer is a must-have for any handyman. Not only is it essential for basic tasks, like hanging a picture, it's also useful for things like demo or advanced carpentry work. Start with a simple 16-ounce hammer, and try a few at the store to find one that feels good in your hand before you buy.
A flathead screwdriver is an absolute must for any toolbelt. Not only can it be used to tighten or loosen screws, but it's also helpful for stuff you probably won't think of until you're on the job -- like prying the lid off a paint can or scraping away a bit of loose paint or caulk. Pick one with a magnetic tip to hold onto screws without dropping them.
Flathead screwdrivers are used for traditional screws, which have a single slot across the top. Phillips screwdrivers remove Phillips screws, which have a cross-shaped top, allowing you to apply greater force than you can with a regular screwdriver. Pick up Phillips screwdrivers in a variety of sizes so you'll always have the right one for the job.
After safety, proper measurement is the #1 most important thing to keep in mind when you're doing construction work. A good measuring tape will become your best friend on the job, whether you're trying to figure out if a piece of furniture can fit in a room, or laying out a new room addition.
A crescent wrench, also known as an adjustable wrench, is a handy tool for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts. It's strong and adjustable, thanks to a sliding jaw that can be locked into the other jaw to hold it in place.
A socket wrench makes working with nuts and bolts easy thanks to its ratcheting technology. That means you don't have to keep moving the wrench as you work the nut or bolt -- the ratchet mechanism does the work for you. A ratchet set means you can make this tool work with almost any size of hardware.
Vise grips are locking pliers that make it easy to keep a tight hold on an object. They are available in both one or two-handed locking operation.
The average handyman just doesn't have the delicate fingers needed to reach into tight spaces, or to perform intricate work like holding a tiny screw or twisting wire. Needle nose pliers make these jobs easy thanks to their slim tips.
Do you really want to keep searching for electrical outlets every time you arrive on a job site? Ditch the cords and invest in a cordless drill. Keep in mind that the more powerful the drill, the more energy it consumes, so invest in an extra battery for larger, heavier models.
When you use a standard handsaw, you're likely working with a crosscut saw. These rough-cutting tools are perfect for cutting wood against the grain -- like chopping off the end of a piece of lumber, or cutting down a small tree.
Rip saws look like crosscut saws, but are designed for cutting with the grain of a piece of wood, rather than against it. Their double-row of teeth produces a finer cut than a standard saw, resulting in a smoother finish.
It doesn't matter if everything you build is absolutely perfect -- if it looks out of level, people are going to think it's just no good. A level has a bubble in the middle that you can center to ensure surfaces are smooth and even, whether you're installing flooring, windows, doors, or anything else.
A utility knife is a jack-of-all-trades on a construction site. It can be used to score and snap drywall, cut away old caulk or even open tough packaging.
A circular saw is the perfect power tool for cuts where a hacksaw or handsaw just won't do. Circular saws are generally used for rough cuts, where little finesse or precision is required.
Reciprocating saws operate using a push and pull motion for the blade. They're often referred to as Sawzalls after a popular brand of the tool. These power tools are perfect for demo, or for cutting holes in drywall.
A planer shaves layers of wood to create flat, smooth surfaces. They can also be used to reduce the thickness of the wood overall, or simply to remove out-of-level areas and high spots.
A handyman who leaves the project site messy won't get many repeat customers. Take a simple shop vac along to clean up after yourself every time, removing sawdust, screws and any other waste you created as you worked.
Much of a handyman's work requires some form of ladder. Whether you're installing a drop ceiling, replacing trim or cleaning the gutters, you'll need a good quality ladder to allow you to reach the work area. Consider an extension ladder that can be used in a variety of jobs, or invest in several different sizes to meet the needs of different projects.
Any handyman knows that you need to fasten items like heavy pictures, shelves and cabinets to studs, not just to the drywall in front of the stud. A stud finder is a simple electronic device that helps you find the hidden studs with ease, with no damage to the drywall.
A miter saw has a large round blade mounted to a swinging arm. It's used to make refined or angled cuts, making it useful for crown molding, door and window casings and furniture construction.
Before the nail gun, every single nail was hammered in by hand. Today, nail guns make quick work of installing nails in roofs, decks or flooring.
Plunge routers can be set on top of or below a piece of wood. They have a blade that plunges down into the wood to create cuts, mortises, trim or detail work.
A good handyman can handle work both inside and outside the home. A post hole digger comes in handy when you have to create holes for fence posts, deck supports or any other structure.
An angle grinder is a power tool that uses a variety of attachments for cutting, polishing and grinding materials like metal and stone. These tools are particularly useful for demo, and for cutting off old bolts and fasteners that can't be removed otherwise.
Diagonal pliers, or wire cutters, feature a pair of blades angled to form a "V." Many also offer built-in wire strippers to remove insulation when working with wire.
Allen wrenches, or hex keys, are small tools used to remove hexagonal sockets. They come in sets that include a variety of sizes to fit different sizes of bolts.
Traditionally, a putty knife was used to apply putty when glazing windows. Today, the term applies to any flexible knife, including those used to apply plaster, glue and drywall compound.
Chisels were once used to make fine furniture, and can still be used for that purpose. They are also used for more mundane tasks, such as recessing hinge pockets when installing a new door, or chiseling out space for a latch or strike plate.
A combination square is useful for checking angles as you build. Use this tool to ensure corners are square, or check joints cut with a miter saw.
A crowbar is a useful multi-purpose tool for any handyman. It features a groove at either end for prying nails, and its design makes it useful for prying up old countertops or removing big rocks while digging.
A rubber mallet is a type of hammer with a short handle and a soft head. It can be used to drive or apply force without damaging the item you are striking -- such as forcing sections of wooden floor to lock together without damaging the wood.
A staple gun can be used to rapidly install staples in insulation, building wrap or flooring. These tools come in manual, electric and pneumatic versions to meet the needs of different users.
A plumb bob is an old-school carpentry tool which consists of a metal weight attached to a string. The weight allows you to transcribe movements vertically -- like from a point on the wall to the floor -- while working off the same plane so the measurements will be exact.
A sledgehammer is a hammer with a large head, allowing you to apply force over a large area with a single swing. These tools are perfect for demo, or for tasks like driving fence posts into the ground.
Ever wonder why everyone is always warning you to wear your safety glasses? Google "safety glasses accident" or some version thereof. But be warned... some of these pictures are seriously disturbing.
A pipe wrench is a heavy duty wrench designed to turn anything with a rounded surface. It won't work on nuts and bolts because of their square heads, but is perfect for things like pipe and related fittings.
A metal file looks like an oversized nail file. It can be used to smooth rough edges or remove burrs and metal splinters.
There are all kinds of things you may encounter while working that you really want to keep out of your lungs. A basic dust mask will keep out particulates, but you'll need a respirator for gases and vapors.
Need an extra hand while working alone? A bench vise attaches to a table or other solid object to hold an item in place while you work. It's also perfect for holding glued-together objects while the glue sets and hardens.
A chalk line is just what it sounds like -- a roll of string coated in chalk so that it leaves a removable line behind when snapped against a surface. This tool is a must-have for roofers and flooring installers, who use it to ensure that rows of tiles or shingles are installed in a straight line over a long distance.
A multimeter is a tool that measure electric current, voltage and resistance. It's a must have for any type of electrical work, from new installations to minor repairs.
A good handyman can handle yard work as well as indoor tasks. Round shovels are used for digging, while square ones are used to scoop or move dirt. You should have one of each in your bag of tricks so you'll always be ready for any job.
Plenty of jobs require power tools, but electrical outlets can be tough to find. Always keep an extension cord in your tool box for when you need power where you're working. A cord labeled with a "W" is designed for outdoor use, and that third prong on the plug is a grounding plug, and should never be removed.
Sanders comes in two basic varieties, including orbital and belt. Orbital versions are easy for novices to use, and offer a slightly lighter touch than the more rugged belt sander.
Duct tape is a perfect stop-gap to ensure a temporary fix as you work out a more permanent solution to a problem. If something is supposed to be stationary and it's moving for some reason, use duct tape to keep things stable.
A jig saw has a blade similar to that used on a reciprocating saw. It's designed to be used on a wide variety of materials, and to create curves, bevels and finer cuts than many other types of saws.