Tool wishlist

Last year, I finally bought myself an official carpenter’s square (also known as a speed square). Now to most people, I’m sure this doesn’t seem like a big deal. Once I had it in my toolbox, though, I felt so much more official. Marking right angles and 45 degree angles is a piece of cake. I can even do more official carpenter-y things if I am so inclined.

Swanson speed square

I’ve had an informal tool wishlist bumping around in my head for awhile. It was time to finally write it down (especially since September is my birthday month–ahem, family). I thought the blog would be a good place to share it–and get input from all of you.

In fact, I’ve also reached out to a few other bloggers and asked them to share their favourite tools. So over the next few weeks, you’re going to get to hear from some other people, see some inspiring projects and maybe even find some tools to add to your own wishlist.

Some of the items on my list are like the carpenter’s square–relatively minor and decently attainable. Other things are a little more–shall we say–involved (as in I’ll need to save up for a little while).

I’d really love to hear your suggestions and feedback. What are your favourite tools? Any can’t live without gadgets? What should I add to my list?

Simple tools

  • Heavy duty extension cord
  • Heavy duty, long handle clippers (for trimming trees and shrubs)
  • Dremil (is this useful?)
  • Small, basic electric weedeater (our big gas powered version is overkill for me, and it rarely works well)

Power tools

  • Router
  • Upgraded compound mitre saw (I have one thanks to my Dad, but it only does so many angles)
  • Soldering iron (since my hand-me-down iron from my Grandpa popped–literally–and died)
  • Paint sprayer
  • Sawzall (since our hand-me-down saw from my Dad recently also died)

Heavy duty tools (and tractor attachments)

  • Air compressor
  • Bush hog
  • Auger

Matt and I are fortunate that most times that we need a tool, we’re usually able to borrow it from one of our Dads (wood splitter, air compressor, nailer, hammer drill, tile saw, sturdy extension ladder).

Over the years, our Dads have also passed along a lot of their tools to us (skillsaw, table saw, socket set, drywall tools). Of course, we’ve also bought some of our own equipment too (sander, Kreg jig, quality drill, favourite hammer, chainsaw, tractor–and all of its attachment$). It would just be a bit handier to have some of our own tools on hand.

What’s on your tool wishlist? Any tools that you’ve bought, but wish you hadn’t? For those tractor owners out there, I’m really interested to hear what’s your favourite attachment?

And be sure to tune in for more inspiration from other bloggers coming up.

6 thoughts on “Tool wishlist

  1. I can’t wait to see everyone’s favorites! Your list reminded me of more items to put on my list! Steve picked out a new 4 foot level last week and while we were looking at them, I wanted to put everything in our cart! 😉

    In reference to the paint sprayer, I bought a big one a few years ago when I was painting my house exterior often. I LOVE mine! There are a few issues to fight with like keeping it primed so it doesn’t lose suction, but when I have it smoothed out, it works GREAT! I can’t wait to use it on the addition, and I really need to paint one of our barns! When you are ready to shop, I would be happy to share my suggestion!

  2. The speed square is one of my most favourite tools! It’s never in my toolbox because it’s always in my toolbelt – close at hand. Not only is it ultra quick at marking squared cuts and 45° cuts, but it’s handy for so much more. Framing wise, its great for marking rafters which need to be cut to common angles such as 4/12, 6/12, 8/12 etc. at the tops and bottoms and even has the markings for cutting hip rafters (which I don’t have much need for any more since I got out of renovations, but is still handy to know). Get used to the pivot point – as an angle finder to figure out what angle to cut something at in the mitre saw. It’s also great as a straight edge – hold it by the 90° corner and press the long straight side against the material and draw freehand straight lines between two points. I also use that trick for flushing two pieces of something together. You can use it to scribe parallel lines, (I see yours even has a dedicated slot at 3½” for marking a 2×4 width, nice), and I’ve even used it as an impromptu prybar (not recommended). Mine also has handy conversion tables for quick translation.
    Honesltly, it’s one of those tools where the more you use it, the more creative ways you come up with on how to use it.
    I’d also recommend getting a poly version of the tool as well, for more delicate situations where marring, denting, chipping could be an issue (ie. ceramic, trimwork).
    Amusingly, when I ask my kids to pass me the square, they like to correct me and tell me that it’s a triangle, not a square!

    • I’m definitely not taking full advantage of the speed square yet. I saw a video from This Old House where Tom Silva does a lot of what you mention. I couldn’t find it online to include in the post.
      Thanks for the suggestion of the poly version. I also love that the kids are working with you. That was a such a huge part of my childhood, and has made me confident to tackle the projects we do today.

  3. Cool idea! I would love to have a paint sprayer too, although where I would keep it is the challenge, as it is for most tools. Things I own that I use and really appreciate: a tile saw, an electric stapler, and a drill. I have a little electric sander but I’d like a belt sander too. We have one of those long-handled clippers as well as a hedge trimmer and those are really useful. I’d like to get one of those small sized circular saws. We have a table saw too, and a chop saw but it has gotten lopsided somehow so you can’t be very accurate with it. Another useful thing we have is a power washer. I would like to have one of those big ladders that fold up really small. I did ask for one for Christmas, but it turns out they’re $300! For a ladder?? O_O

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