Acquiring and understanding basic DIY tools is often the biggest hurdle when you’re first becoming a DIYer. There are so many different kinds of nails, drills, drivers, levels—not to mention different brands that make each. How do you choose the right ones, and what's the right way to use them?
We're big on making you feel confident as a DIYer no matter what your experience level, which is why we’ve put a lot of time and effort into creating a series of tutorials and how-to articles to make choosing and using basic DIY tools easier.
Below, you’ll find a curated guide to our must-have DIY tools. Each article linked below will take you to a detailed tutorial (most of them include video) that will help you understand and use your tools better. Think of this as your go-to tool guide—you’ll want to bookmark it for later!
How To Use a Square
This triangular tool isn’t named for its shape, but for its function: It allows you to find square (90º) angles. There are several different kinds of squares out there for different uses; in this post, we look at speed squares, combination squares, and framing squares.
How To Use a Level
Levels are simple tools that are invaluable. There are several different types of levels, each designed to fit different applications. Learn about the anatomy of level and best practices for using different kinds in this post.
How To Use Twist Bits
Drill bits are simple tools, but with so many variations in size and style, it can be confusing to pick the right kind for the job. In this post, we talk about all things twist bits—our go-to drill bit here at Dunn DIY.
How To Use Spade and Paddle Bits
A spade or paddle bit is a different kind of drill bit that can be used for wood, plywood, and some plastics. Rather than drilling through the material in a spiral, this bit cuts through the material as it spins around. Learn the basics of using spade or paddle bits in this post.
How To Use a Kreg Jig
Kreg jigs are especially handy tools to use when you need to join two pieces of wood together. A Kreg jig creates something called a pocket hole, which guides your screw from one piece of wood into the other at an angle, creating a stronger joint with a cleaner look. These tools are surprisingly simple to use, which we’ll show you how to do in this post.
How To Use Sandpaper
Sanding may be simple, but it’s an incredibly important step in any woodworking project. There are different kinds of sandpaper to choose from and different methods of application—both of which we’ll cover in this post.
How To Use a Power Drill
A critical DIY tool, the power drill allows you to pre-drill screw holes and drive screws into place to create sturdy pieces. This post breaks down the anatomy of a drill, best practices and safety tips, and a complete how-to guide for driving screws.
How To Use a Circular Saw
A circular saw can be a great substitute for a miter saw and is able to make straight cuts, angle cuts, and bevel cuts. It’s smaller, hand-held, less expensive, and more versatile than most other saws. This post includes how-to instructions and safety best practices for using a circular saw.
How To Use a Jigsaw
A jigsaw is a reciprocating saw, meaning that it has a blade that moves back and forth. It’s a versatile and fairly inexpensive tool to have in your DIY tool belt. Perfect for curve cuts and cut-outs, jigsaws can also be used for straight cuts, angle cuts, and even bevel cuts. Learn the basics of safely using a jigsaw in this post.
How To Use a Chop Saw
On Dunn DIY you’ll hear us talk a lot about miter saws and chop saws. Often they seem interchangeable, and you may wonder if there’s a difference and what it is. A chop saw and a miter saw are very similar. Learn about the key differences between the two, and how to safely use a chop saw, in this post.
DIY Safety Basics
We suggest you consult a professional before you begin any home improvement DIY project, but here we’ve compiled a list of 10 non-negotiable safety tips for any Dunn DIYer.
We hope this guide helps you gain a little more confidence in your DIY endeavors. Don't forget to check out our library of DIY project plans to put your new tools and skills to use!