Your Guide To The Essential DIY tools

Who doesn’t love a good DIY project! There’s something so satisfying about really sinking your teeth into a project that will help beautify or make your home that much better. From building a kids cubby, putting up a pergola, or just fixing some leaking drains, if you want to be able to handle it yourself then it’s important you have all the right tools to get the job done. Nothing is more annoying than having to ask your neighbor for this drill or that spanner set. So we’ve outlined a few of those tools that are must-haves to have in the shed for when those do it your self, projects come up. Take a look below and make sure you’re DIY equipped this year!

 

Hammers

A good hammer is one of the first things you should make sure you have in your DIY toolkit. There are actually a few kinds of hammers to take your pick from such as the Ball Pein Hammer, which has a rounded side to it that is best suited for closing rivets and shaping metal, and the Cross and Straight Pein, also used a lot for metal work. But the hammer we’ll focus on is the most regularly used claw hammer. This is the most useful for your every day around the house needs. It can come with a wood or metal handle that can feature a rubber grip. The claw on the hammer has an inside V shape to it that is created for drawing out nails from wood, and a slight curve so you can really get some leverage.

When you are looking at hammers make sure to give them a good firm hold first, see what weight feels best in your hand and what kind of grip you prefer. Here are a few of our favorites.

High End

Estwing 560g / 20oz Vinyl Grip Claw Hammer

The Eastwing’s Steele curved claw has second to none balance and temper. The head and handle are all forged as one piece and it features a shock reduction grip that is perfect for comfort if you’re using it on one of those long jobs. This hammer is used by professional tradespeople and is a great addition to the toolkit if you think you’ll be giving it a lot of use.

Mid Range

Stanley FatMax 20oz Antivibe Hammer Claw

Another one piece Steele hammer has a special 25% larger than average strike face to make it just that much easier to contact your target. It comes with a soft handgrip and an anti-vibe tuning fork to dampen vibrations.

Best Budget

Trojan 16oz Steel Claw Hammer

The Trojan is a great budget buy, it drives nails in with ease and has a useful extracting claw. Great for your everyday small project the Trojan has an induction hardened carbon steel head and a lightweight fiberglass handle with an anti-slip grip on it.

 

Spanner Set

Next up on the list is a spanner set. Spanners are those tricky little things that you never seem to have the size you need right when you need it! So buying a spanner set (and making sure you don’t misplace them) is key for your DIY toolbox. Have a think about how much you will find yourself using spanners when you think of purchasing one. No need to buy top of the range if they are only pulled out for small jobs once in a blue moon.

High End

Wera 11 Piece Joker Ratcheting Combination Wrench Set

This is a combination rachet/spanner set and it is for the serious DIY master as it comes with a pretty large price tag, but you certainly get your money’s worth as this combination kit allows you to do a whole lot more. With a special 30-degree return angle these are the spanners you’ll need for those tight spots. It’s unique holding function that cuts out the risk of dropping and nuts or bolts which can so often be the case. The metal plate in the jaw is responsible for this mechanism and can be replaced. It has a ratchet mechanism on the ring end which has 80 fine teeth which come in handy when working in tight spaces. Made from chrome molybdenum steel with a nickel chrome coating, this kit will not be corroding anytime soon and with care and maintenance will be a set to pass on to the grandkids.

Mid Range

Stanley 22 Piece Metric / AF Spanner Set

This set is a great medium range buy, not too expensive, the 22 pieces give you a spanner for every occasion. They come in Full Polish Chrome and have both Metric and AF. Stanley Spanners are heat treated to be strong enough for repeated use. What you need for those maintenance projects around the home.

Best Budget

Craftright 5 Piece Spanner Set

This five-piece set is perfect if you only use a spanner every so often. These sizes (8, 10, 14, 15, 17mm) will fit most average nuts and bolts and are drop forged. They are heat treated and chrome plated and won’t take up much space if you only have a small workshop.

Screwdriver Sets

Screwdrivers are another one of those things that are best to buy in sets. As screws come in all different kinds and shapes, it’s good to have the right one on hand when you need it. The main types of screwdrivers are Slot or Flathead, which have just the one flat edge and Phillips, which feature a cross design. Most screwdriver sets will have a mixture of these, but it’s always best to double-check they are the right ones for the job. From master sets to the basic starter kits here are our go-to buys.

 

High End

Kincrome 12 Piece Thru Tang Screwdriver Set

These screwdrivers are designed for hard use. The cellulose acetate handle gives it a strength and durability that is second to none. It features a continuous Thru-Tang shaft and a striking end cap which is made for hand hammer blows. These screwdrivers also feature magnetic tip for helping keep your screwdriver attached the screw and minimize drops. The Kincrome screwdrivers also come with a hexagon shaft that helps a spanner attach for those times you need some extra force it trying to get out a stubborn screw. This kit is what you need if you have a lot of DIY going on around the house and garden.

Mid Range

Trojan 26 Piece Screwdriver Set

A combination of slot and Phillips, the Trojan set offers not only regular screwdrivers but also a precision range which is great for driving screws that have special slots. The go-to kit for the around the house handyman they also offer a magnetic tip, to keep those screws in place, a nonslip handle and are made of Chrome Vanadium steel which offers durability and strength. With an easy carry case, they’ll stow away perfectly in your shed.

Best Budget

Stanley 6 Piece Screwdriver Set

To get you started into the world of home improvement is the Stanley six-piece screwdriver set. This comes with four Phillips and two slot/flathead drivers in the most common sizes. There is tip identification on each one so if you’re just starting out there’s no need to be confused! They have a good grip on them and the shafts are made of high alloy chrome so even for the small price tag they are still a sturdy product. Hanging holes are a little added bonus to make them easy to store, as they don’t come with a case. The perfect starting kit for the soon to be the DIY maverick!

Pliers

In any toolkit, Pliers are a must. Pliers are used for a range of things, gripping, twisting, cutting, straightening and bending wires and cables. There are a few different types also, the long nose, sidecut, diagonal and griplock. But our main focus is on the good old combination pliers, a great all-rounder.

High End

Crescent 200mm Insulated Universal Pliers

Coming with insulated grips, a crimper, and precise jaw gap, as well as being a good all-rounder, these pliers specialize in wire work. They feature insulation for 200mm 1000V High Voltage and a serrated pipe grip. These are for the handyman who knows what he’s doing.

Mid Range

NWS 205mm Combination Pliers

These German-made pliers feature an inductively hardened cutting edge ideal for cutting through the toughest wires. Asymmetric inside jaws help you get a better grip. They include an integrated ring spanner and multicomponent sleeves on the handle for a more comfortable use over long periods of time.

Best Budget

Craftright 200mm Combination Pliers

The pliers are made from vanadium steel and have a soft gripping handle. A simple product at a great price so there is really no excuse not to have a pair on in your toolbox.

 

Saws

A basic saw is a must-have. For trimming off wood and cutting things down to size, a good quality saw is something you’ll always use.

High End  Bahco 500mm Precision Hand Saw

A professional level handsaw, the Bahco Precision it great for getting through both fine and thicker materials with ease. A great feature of this saw is its adaptability to mitre guide sawing. Featuring 9/10 TPI hard point teeth, this saw stays sharper for longer. The Bahco Precision Hand Saw gives a great professional finish for those larger DIY projects

Mid Range

Spear & Jackson 500mm Predator Hand Saw

The Predator Hand Saw is perfectly suited to those trimming jobs with wood and plastic pipes. A .91mm blade keeps the saw ridged and cuts down on vibration and whip so you can get your cutting done fast without compromising on precision. A good and reliable blade for its price point with a nice soft handle will make using it easy.

Best Budget

Irwin Jack Plus 338mm 8PT Hand Saw

Featuring a nonslip comfortable grip handle and razor sharp tooth design, this saw will work perfectly well for you basic push and pull saw jobs. Made from .85mm premium cold rolled steel and surface treated for rust resistance this is a great beginning saw.

 

Tape Measures, levels, and Squares

These are really some of the first things you should have in your kit. It’s no good hammering in nails if you’re doing it at the wrong height or sawing your wood on the wrong angle! Pretty self-explanatory tools, we’ve put down some great quality ones with prices to match.

Stanley 5m Tape Measure

Your Stanley Measuring Tape is a great sturdy medium range tape. With belt clips for easy sliding on and off use and a polymer coated ¾ inch blade. This measure is a must have for your toolkit.

Empire 200mm Polysteel Try Square

At a reasonable price, the Empire Try Square has a mini level in its handle which gives it great dual use. It features a stainless steel blade, which has metric graduations on both sides.

 

Stabila 600mm Spirit Level

A spirit level is something worth investing in. Getting a correct level can be vital to some of your DIY and home improvement projects. That’s why you need a great reliable product like the Stabila Spirit Level. It has a 300-degree visibility horizontal vial and shock absorbing end caps to help protect it. Electrostatic stable vials mean high accuracy and you can’t beat that German precision!

Drills

Finally, we come down to drills. Those wonderful machines that make DIY work just that much easier. These days there is such a great range of drills to suit all purposes. Cordless drills for home improvement projects really are the way to go.

 

High End 

Bosch 18V Cordless Drill Driver

A powerful motor and a sleek design, The Bosch PSR 1800 is a great drill to have for those bigger DIY projects. Coming with 2 x 1.5 AH Bosch Smart Lithium-ion Batteries you’ll always be charged and ready to go. An LED power light makes it great when trying to get into corners and dimly lit areas. The Bosch has 20 torque settings plus optimum power drill settings. Its also features Electronic Cell Protection which protects it against overheating and tool overload. Even with 2 high-performance speed gears, the Bosch is still lightweight and easy to use.

Mid Range

Ryobi 12V 1.3Ah Drill Driver Kit

This is your perfect midrange drill for those at home fix-up jobs. Also featuring an LED light and configurable clutch settings this is a compactly designed drill that packs some punch. A 10mm keyless chuck makes switching drill bits easy and soft grip technology make sit a pleasure to hold. A great drill for its price bracket.

Best Budget

Ozito 710W Hammer Drill

If you don’t get much time to do big projects out in the garden or around the house but need a drill just for those occasional fix-up jobs then the Ozito Hammer Drill is the one for you. It has a great drill depth preset to make sure you don’t go deeper than you need to, and variable speed so you can adjust the drill to what materials you will be using it on. I can be used just as easily for right and left-handers with its special 360 side handle and comes with a startup kit of eighteen drill bits. Great for all that light DIY work around the home.

Get Going!

Now you’ve got your DIY essentials you can start up all those projects you’ve been dreaming of around the house or in the backyard. Get that back patio happening or the roof extension. Spend time designing clubhouses with your kids or just patch up some of those leaks!

Always be mindful when doing DIY jobs, of safety and that when it comes to electrical work its best to consult a professional.

5 Best Lawn Fertilizers for the Backyard

best 5 lawn fertilizers

Why are Fertilizers Needed for Grass or Lawn?

When an individual buys a home, there are many different things that they will be responsible for. Taking care of the lawn around the home properly is one of the very first orders of the day, and is an ongoing process. This is because the lawn can grow too high and cause several different hazards like snakes and other little annoying critters appearing in the wrong places. It is also important to maintain the lawn so that it looks pleasing to anyone who passes by. Either way, it is essential that the owner does not neglect this area of their investment if they want to display the best look possible and reap a bigger profit if they decide to sell.

That said, taking care of the backyard of a home comes with many different challenges. In some cases, the lawn may grow like wild fire or it may not grow at all. To resolve the problem that the owner is experiencing, it is essential that they do their homework in advance. For instance, if the lawn is not growing healthy as it really should, there are a diversity of ways to correct these problems. One of the most common and notable is ensuring the lawn has the nutrients that it needs. This is one of the primary reasons why most people use fertilizers to build up and grow a lawn in their backyard that is healthy, green and thick.

How often should you fertilize your lawn?

As previously mentioned, the lawn needs nutrients to grow properly. However, before the owner begins to provide the lawn with the nutrients that it needs, there are some things that they should know. In specific, the timing for fertilizing the lawn can be vastly different based on the location in which the owner of the home lives and the growing season. For instance, if the person lives in the South, the requirements for fertilizing the grass is usually in the spring and the summer months. On the other hand, if the individual lives in the North, the fertilizer should be used in the fall and spring seasons. Of course, it is also important to feed the grass as often as possible without over feeding it. As a general rule of thumb, however, it is important to note that the more the owner feeds the grass, the more that it will grow. Additionally, the owner will also need to be familiar with other factors about this topic including knowing when the growth cycle is. For it is in these times, that the fertilizer is not only a requirement for that specific time, but a necessity if they want their lawns to flourish.

Safety First – Precautions when using Fertilizing Chemicals

fertilizer safety

Fertilizing the lawn is a chore that owners have to do every year in order to make sure the grass on the lawn grows as healthy as it possible. Fortunately, there are many different ways to do it since the industry provides a wide variety of different tools and equipment to make these jobs much easier. Before starting the process, people should always make sure that the family is following the appropriate safety precautions. Specifically, as it relates to handling these types of hazardous chemicals on a fairly regular basis. That said, here are some tips and recommendations that can be used to keep the family and their pets safe.

Store the Fertilizer in Cool Dry Places

To keep the family and pets safe from harm, it is important that the homeowner keeps the fertilizer stored in the right place so that no one is accidentally injured or harmed. Fortunately, there are guidelines that professionals in the industry have used and shared over the years, and they should be followed as closely as possible if the owner does not want to experience any negative results in or around their homes. So, one of the most basic guidelines is to store the fertilizer in a cool dry place that is far away from the reach of children and the family’s pets. For instance, some people prefer to keep it in their garage area, which means it is outside of the home at all times. To keep it out of reach of children who enter the garage area, it is very important to place it up high on shelves so that they cannot reach even when they are trying (too far up for them to reach it from a chair). For extra precautions, the garage door should also be locked after each use from anyone who should not have any access to it.

Use Gloves When Handling

Because of all of the hazardous chemicals normally contained inside the fertilizer, it should also be handled safely by putting on gloves before the person begins to start handling it. For instance, because fertilizer contains nitrogen, which can cause mild to severe burns if it is not handled right, especially since the nitrogen is a chemical that should not be touched with the bare hands. However, in the situations or circumstances where someone inadvertently touches these chemicals, they should wash that part of the body with running water immediately. In case the fertilizer affects them anyway, (i.e. burning, redness of the skin) the homeowner should contact their physician right away.

After Application Guidelines

Once the fertilizer has been applied to the lawn, it is important for the homeowner to follow through carefully with certain precautionary measures. Meaning until the lawn has been watered or it rains on the lawn, children and pets should be kept off the grass. To keep the neighbors near these areas safe, it is also best to notify them too to avoid any unnecessary problems.

Read the Instructions Closely

Because each manufacturer knows their products and the risks associated with them, there may be some special guidelines that must be observed for use. So, before the owner of the home begins to use a specific type of lawn care product, it is essential that they read the instructions on the package first. Because some products are organic and others are not, knowing the difference between the two is critical.

Reviews for the 5 Best Fertilizers for the Backyard

#1 – Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer

Milorganite-Organic-Nitrogen-Fertilizer

Milorganite 62036-MW Organic Fertilizer is on the list as being one of the most trusted names in the lawn care industry. In fact, it is not uncommon for this fertilizer to not only be used in the back yard of a home, but also in professional setting like golf courses and zoological foundations. This is because this lawn care product has earned its trust in the industry. Even though this product is made specifically for lawn grass, it is still versatile enough to be used in other areas of the lawn including in the trees, flowers, and the shrubbery.

This product has been Formulated with heat-treated microbes and contains both nitrogen (5%) and phosphorus (2%), along with.3 percent potassium. It’s also made with other essential ingredients that provide a wide range of nutrients like manganese, copper, sulfur, and zinc. This fertilizer is also safe to be used around kids and pets and can be applied to the lawn anytime its growing season, in any climate.

see price here…

#2 – Miracle-Gro 1001832 Lawn Food

Miracle-Gro 1001832 Lawn Food

Miracle-Gro Lawn Food can be described in a number of different ways. First of all, it is a fertilizer that is easy to use, and its affordable so homeowners do not have to pay a high price to purchase it. Also, because the ingredients are so concentrated, the homeowner may only need to feed their lawn no more than once or twice each season. In fact, all the owner need is at least 1 – 5 pound box that will cover an area of 4000 square feet. This fertilizer is made specifically for those who do not like all of the unnecessary hassles of fertilizing the lawn, but they still want an exceptionally great looking backyard to entertain their family and friends in.

see price here…

#3 – Scotts Turf Builder All Season Lawn Fertilizer

Scotts 26007B Turf Builder Southern Lawn Fertilizer

Another industry favorite is Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food. In fact, many professionals in the lawn care field may deem this product as one of the best known lawn fertilizers in the world. This is because most homeowners will find that their grass will simply thrive on all of the ingredients in this formula. Made with nitrogen and potassium, the owner can purchase about 12 pounds to feed a lawn that covers about 5000 square feet. The recommended feeding time frame with this product is about 6 to 8 weeks during that areas growing season.

In comparison to other well-known brands, this fertilizer has a high priority position on the top of the list of the least expensive fertilizers in the industry. Additionally, most professionals and homeowners prefer this type of fertilizer as their number one choice because it helps to holds water inside the soil. Meaning this fertilizer has been designed to keep the grass hydrated for much longer periods of time. Due to its popularity as one of the best fertilizers, this product can be found virtually anywhere. Even though Scotts Turf Builder Lawn food is not organic or made of all natural fertilizer products, it is still made with kid and pet friendly ingredients. Many homeowners prefer this fertilizer because it protects the lawn against various kinds of future problems, helps with building strong and deep roots, improves the lawn’s capability to absorb the nutrients and water that is needed. It can be used on any type of grass and in any season. Another great benefit that many homeowners love is everyone is able to re-enter the lawn again without having to wait for a rain storm or the lawn to be watered after its application.

see price here…

#4 – Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn Fertilizer

Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn Fertilizer

Here’s another great fertilizer that people may or may not know about and that is the fertilizer called Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn fertilizer. This fertilizer gives the owner of the home the biggest value for their bucks. The ingredients contained in this product comes from a diversity of sources including nitrogen from feather meal, while it also uses bone meal in order to release the nutrients slowly in the soil. Soybean is used to keep the concentration even because it used as a filler. With this slow release formula, owners will enjoy thick grass growth as it also chokes out all of the weeds naturally. The amount supplied in a 25-pound bag is enough to cover the space of 5000 square feet. Because it is based on an organic formula, it is safe for both kids and pets. One of the best features about this product is it works well when other fertilizers don’t.

see price here…

#5 – Espoma ELF20 20-Pound Organic All Season Lawn Food

Espoma-ELF20-20-Pound-Organic-Season

The maker of this fertilizer has been in business for approximately 90 years, and has a solid reputation for manufacturing the highest quality products. Second to none, Espoma ELF20 20-Pound Organic All Season Lawn Food, is on the list of the top favored fertilizers in the industry. Even though this brand is a little more expensive, it is considered to be well worth the investment, especially since it has been made to rival with any of the top rated products on the market today. Buyers who want organic formulas to feed their grass will be happy to know that it is safe for kids, pets and anyone who enters the property after it has been applied to the back yard. The amount needed to feed a 1000 square foot lawn is about 3.3 pounds. It is also recommended that the lawn be fed at least 4 times a year during the geographical location’s growing season.

see price here…

Summing Up

Taking care of the backyard of a home can be a challenging experience. However if the owner of the home does their research well in advance, they can identify the top fertilizers that many in the lawn care industry are recommending today. Fortunately, there are a products online that people can review to see which ones will provide the best treatment for the grass and yield the best results.