5 Household Tools You Can't Do Without

Great article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

No homeowner or renter should be without the following items because they make everyday tasks simple.

Don't get your dander up: Every household should have at least one lint brush. We think the double-sided Evercare Magik brush available at most drugstores (suggested retail price $4.21) is just fine.

Lend me a hand: Tight jar lids can be problematic for even the strongest hands. Gripper Pads, a set of four no-slip rubber disks for $3.25 at amazon.com, work great and are easy to store.

No plug needed: Every household needs at least one power tool. Your best bet is a cordless drill with multiple attachments. This can be used for everything from installing switch plate covers to stirring cans of paint. Last year Popular Mechanics tested 10 cordless drills; overall, the magazine liked the Makita 18V BHP454 ($329) best.

Getting it straight: From hanging pictures to shimming up furniture, a level can be your best friend. We suggest a 2-foot traditional bubble level for most common home-improvement jobs. Home Depot sells a 24-inch professional box level for $34.96. There are also laser levels, which illuminate a plumb line on the working surface with even more accuracy than bubble levels. These can typically be used for bigger jobs such as laying tile, installing countertops or hanging wallpaper; they tend to be a bit pricier than their bubble counterparts.

Size it up: Every home should have a couple of tape measures. They're more compact than a ruler or yardstick. Use one for everything from sewing projects to shopping for the perfect flea market find to fit in a tight corner. We suggest getting one 25 feet or longer and 1 inch wide for ease of use.

Stacy Finz,

San Francisco Chronicle

What do you think? Do you agree? Let us know your top 5 household tools.

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