Essential Tools for DIY Projects

tools hanging on board in garage - essential tools for DIY projects

Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are on the rise, especially with increased time at home. The urge to take on new projects can be overwhelming and, ultimately, become a necessity in your life. You can scour the internet for every type of DIY project known to humankind, but you won’t get very far without the essential tools. Having the right implements at your disposal can make a world of difference between good work and not-so-good work. 

But what essential tools do you need for DIY projects? For starters, there’s the craft knife, utility knife, scissors, ceramic scalpel and scraper. All of the aforementioned are vital and will make excellent additions to your toolbox. You’ll find that these tools are just as versatile as they are essential. Let’s dig deeper and find out why these five made the cut.

Craft Knife

The craft knife for DIY work is a crucial part of the hobbyist’s toolkit. A craft knife is a tool that’s utilized for creating paper crafts, stenciling, leatherwork, model cutting, making customized jewelry, creating decorations, sculpting foam, baking, cutting vinyl and much more. 

It boasts a thin, pen-like handle and a sharp blade that’s perfect for intricate precision cutting. If you want to make delicate patterns or cut equally delicate shapes on thin material, a craft knife is the way to go. 

When adding a craft knife to your DIY arsenal, consider purchasing one with a blade made of zirconium oxide. Zirconium oxide is an advanced ceramic that’s built to last and inherently tougher than metal. For instance, this craft knife for DIY projects is resistant to wear and tear. 

Ideally, find a craft knife blade that’s safe to the touch. You want your knife to cut paper, not you! As a crafter, this is one tool you should never go without. 

Utility Knife 

The utility knife is another wonderful tool that deserves a spot in your toolbox. It’s a multi-use knife that can cut a myriad of materials such as cardboard, wood, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, drywall, fiberglass insulation, veneer, foam board and more. You’ll find that this tool can do it all. 

In terms of other home-related tasks, utility knives are fantastic for cutting up drywall, removing old carpet, marking notches on boards, slicing vinyl flooring, exposing popped nail heads and splitting shims. 

An auto-retractable utility knife is an especially great feature to look out for. It’s crucial for your own safety. No one wants a nasty cut from leaving a blade exposed with increased risks of an accident. With an auto-retractable blade, it can withdraw the moment it’s no longer in contact with the cutting material. 


pairs of scissors hanging up - essential tools for diy projects

This may seem like a no-brainer, but scissors are a staple of any DIYer’s arsenal. Finding a pair that can cut through anything and everything is key. Again, choosing scissors that boast ceramic blades may be of help to you. You want to be able to cut anything from felt and plastics to double-walled-corrugated cardboard and cardstock. 

Consider looking for scissors with a glass-filled nylon handle. Glass-filled nylon is a lightweight, durable material that gives you a comfortable fit and isn’t conducive to muscle strain. It feels good in your hand. 


As you can probably guess, scalpels are excellent for scraping and precision cutting. Its narrow blade helps get into those tough-to-reach places. Besides being an industrial tool (and kin to its surgical sister), the scalpel is also a favorite among crafters. You can create meticulous details with a scalpel. 

Like the other tools on this list, think about buying a scalpel with a ceramic blade for durability and safety. You’ll also want a scalpel that doesn’t require a tool to change the blade. This not only prevents lacerations, but it also helps you maintain an uninterrupted workflow. Cutting out those extra steps is great for productivity. 

The scalpel’s lightweight, slender handle gives you more control over your tool and helps you maneuver it with ease. 


A scraper, also known as a putty knife, can be an important tool for any home renovator. It’s fantastic for applying and smoothing down spackle or putty, for starters.

It can scrape off paint and peeling wallpaper, as well as remove caulk. If you need something scraped or removed, the scraper is your friend. Having this tool on hand can save you money that you’d normally shell out for a contractor.

Consider a scraper that can house multiple compatible blades. Whether it’s a pointed-tip blade or a rounded-tip blade, different tasks require specific edges with a particular grind. Be ready for anything. 

It’s critical that you have these essential tools in your arsenal for all of your DIY endeavors. You can’t go wrong with these five to get you started. Even if you add more supplies later, these versatile tools are your go-to staples. Go forth and DIY with confidence!

Feature image: Andrea Piacquadio; Image 1: Nick Demou

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