30 Tool Hacks You Should Know By Now
Make your tools more versatile with these amazing hacks.
How to Magnetize a Screwdriver
Hands-Free Light Hack
Brush with a Drill
Got a big scrubbing job on your list? Chuck a brush into your drill and save the elbow grease. You’ll find drill-ready brushes for all kinds of scrubbing from Drillbrush.
A rubber chair leg cap instantly converts a hammer into a rubber mallet. And if you want to drive a nail without denting the surrounding wood, cut a hole in the rubber cap. Pound until the rubber strikes wood, then finish driving the nail with a nail set. A 1-1/8-in. rubber cap fits tightly over most hammers and costs about $1 at home centers and hardware stores.
Lighted Screwdriver Hack
Vise-Grips to Pull Nails
When you need to extend the reach of your cordless screwdriver, just pull the shaft out of a four-way screwdriver and clamp it in the chuck.
Socket Wrench Screwdriver
Need a hole in hard soil? Use a Drill!
Safer Trim Nailing
Here’s an oldie-but-goodie that’ll save your ﬁngertips when you’re driving small brads or nails into awkward spots. Push the nail into a thin strip of card-board to hold it in position while nailing and to shield the wood from an errant hammer blow.
Give Paint-Clogged Screw Heads a Tap
Quick and Easy Pilot Holes
From time to time you may find yourself working with temperamental material that is prone to splitting when you hammer into it. The best solution is to drill a pilot hole, but what do you do if you don’t have the proper size bit on hand? Sure, you could make a run to the hardware store, but why not use a nail to get your pilot hole started?
Simply lop of the head of the nail, insert the nail body into your drill chuck, and you’re ready to roll! This how-to breaks down all the steps needed to start implementing this great hack.
A Simpler Depth Stop
Chances are you’ve seen the trick of using electrical tape to mark a drill bit when you want to stop a hole at a specific target depth. That’s a great tip, but if you’re drilling multiple holes that tape can get ragged pretty quick, and once that happens, it’s no longer an accurate depth stop. Instead, use a permanent marker to indicate the target depth and you’ll get much more use out of it before it wears down. Once you’ve finished your project, simply wipe the drill bit with some paint remover or Goo Gone, and the marker ink should come right off.
To make this hack more effective, you’ll want to choose a marker color that stands out against the drill bit. Ideally, you’d have a few markers in your tool bag, depending on what kind of twist drill bit you prefer to use.
Make a Squeegee From a Rake
Use a Rubber Band to Grip Stripped Screws
Long Reach Shears
Plus: How to Trim a Tree
Drill Bit Girdle
Makeshift Trench Tool
Easy Apple Spear
When you spill screws, nails, brads or other small metal parts on a dusty shop floor, pick them up in seconds, minus the dust. Screw a 3-in. dia. pot magnet on the end of a wood dowel to create your ‘picker-upper.’ To use this tool, place an inside-out sandwich bag over the magnet and start sweeping the area. The hardware will leap up to the powerful magnet as you ‘sweep’ the floor. To unload and bag the metal pieces in one quick step, just pull the bag off the magnet. For another clever use for magnets, check out this bathroom storage project.
Makeshift Small Parts Clamp
Make a small-parts clamp by wrapping a rubber band around the jaws of a needle-nose pliers. The rubber band keeps the jaws of the pliers clamped together for holding small items. It works especially well for getting nuts into inaccessible spots or for starting small finish nails. — Marvin J. Dirks. Plus: 28 Secret Clamping Tricks from Woodworkers
Stamped-in tool markings can be tough to read. To solve this, buy some white fingernail polish, brush it on the tool and quickly wipe it with a clean cloth. The white polish stays in the grooves, and the numbers are easy to read at a glance. You can use lacquer thinner to wipe it if the polish dries too quickly.
Metal Shavings Collector
A simple way to keep metal fragments and shavings from flying all over when you’re drilling is to put a magnet next to the bit. This keeps metal pieces off the floor, your vise and your body. However, you still need to wear eye protection. When you’re done, just clean off the magnet over a trash can.
Backward Reciprocating Saw Blade
Recip saw blades don’t have to go in with the teeth pointing down. You can reverse the blade for flush cuts—like after wall framing, when you cut sill plates out of doorways.
How To Remove Rusted Bolts Without Heat
When you’re faced with a particularly stubborn bolt that just won’t budge, try locking together two and attacking that sucker again. The extra wrench will provide more leverage, hopefully enough to remove the bolt. Of course you could use a pipe, but the beauty of this tip is that if you have one wrench on hand, there’s usually another nearby. Try this little project for simple wrench storage.