6 Must-have Tools to Start Most DIY Projects

A Leatherman on a workbench with a notebook

6 Must-have Tools to Start Most DIY Projects

If you’ve ever wanted to be the type to craft, build, fix or create, then this blog is for you. It can be intimidating to get started, but we’ve come up with a short list of things you need for DIY home projects, beginner woodworking projects, DIY crafts and more. 

If you’ve ever wanted to be the type to craft, build, fix or create, then this blog is for you. It can be intimidating to get started, but we’ve come up with a short list of things you need for DIY home projects, beginner woodworking projects, DIY crafts and more. 

Leatherman on a work bench with wood chips

DIY Tools List for Beginners


1. Circular Saw

We went ahead and started with the most serious piece of equipment. Most useful for woodworking and carpentry projects, a circular saw makes quick, clean cuts through wood. A circular saws’ main advantage is that you can adjust the depth and angle of the blade, so you can make precise cuts for different sizes of lumber. Pro tip: Add a vise grip to keep your wood from shifting while you cut. They’re not that expensive, but so valuable for making it safer. Plus, it turns any circular saw into a table saw. 


2. Carpenter’s Pencil

It may seem like a small item, but carpenter’s pencils are way better than whatever pencil you happen to have laying around (not to mention if it’s even sharp). They’re specially made to show up on not just wood but also stone and concrete, so you can reliably make marks to use as a cutting guide. Pro tip: Who needs a pencil sharpener when you can practice your whittling? Which leads us to…



3. Leatherman® Wave Plus

Time to bust out that wood file or knife to sharpen your carpenter’s pencil. Because why not? You’ve got it on the 18-tool Wave® Plus, one of our ongoing bestsellers. It comes complete with a saw for trimming edges and making adjustments, easy to use spring-action scissors for quick cuts, a built-in ruler so you can make exact measurements, and multiple drives to choose from so you have the one you need on hand. And many of them can be used with one hand, can be accessed without even opening the multi-tool and all the tools lock in place, so they won't fold up on you while you're working (safety is the key word here).

Leatherman adjusting a band saw

4. Speed Square

Like the carpenter’s pencil, speed squares are small but mighty DIY tools. They help you make exact corners, mark angles and scribe lines to guide your saw cuts. They’re super handy and just as useful as a measuring tape. 


5. Electric Sander

Yes, you could get pieces of sandpaper and use elbow grease to smooth out your finished project. But do you really want to? Invest in a small, portable palm sander (or go all-in with a full-size sander if you prefer) to transform a good-looking DIY project into a real stunner.

A Leatherman cutting a sand paper with scissors

6. Power Drill

Into every DIY project, a few screws must fall…and be driven in. You should definitely have a handheld power drill with extra drill bits, because no matter how long or complex a project is, you’re going to probably need a few different screws. Drill bits help you be prepared for whatever comes your way. Pro tip: Wave® Plus comes with a large and small bit driver, and is compatible with a few, handy accessories like a ratchet driver, bit driver extender and extra bits. For those quick screwdriver needs that don’t require a ton of force.  


DIY Ready

Now that your toolbox is ready to go, it’s time to start your very first project! And just in case you get into it and find that one multi-tool isn’t enough for the types of things you want to work on, check out our Top 5 Best Leatherman Multi-tools for DIY blog post. Good luck (though you won’t need it).

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