Author Topic: Recommend me some tools for apartment use  (Read 1576 times)

lefty

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Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« on: February 26, 2018, 06:03:20 AM »
Looking for a corded drill and a stud finder mainly to be used in an apartment.
Living a small apartment and primary usage is likely  to put up shelving (floating shelves perhaps, not sure yet) which would require drilling, TV on wall (don't think I'll need a hammer drill since it isn't concrete), and god knows what else.

Thanks.

Sibley

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 10:12:45 AM »
Get a basic hammer and screwdriver (cover the major types). Go to the hardware store and pick out a smaller, basic drill within your budget. Same with a stud finder. You may need a measuring tape and level, get a shorter one. If you have a friend/family member you can borrow this stuff from, even better.

Also, you're presumably renting. Be aware that they may not appreciate you putting a bunch of holes in the wall.

GuitarStv

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 10:28:13 AM »
I purchased a Bosch DDS181-02 six years ago, and renovated an entire basement with it (along with doing regular jobs around the house).  I see very little benefit getting a corded over a cordless drill.  Get a set of bits to go with it, and you'll use that tool for ages.

You can usually get away without having a stud finder by knocking on the wall and listening.  Actually, I would avoid buying tools until you need them for a job.  Then research and buy the best one for your price point as you need it.

Daley

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 10:39:17 AM »
Rare earth magnets make great cheap stud finders by finding the screws in the walls, that with knocking should cover you on that front. If you still need a pretty package for it, get this. Cheapest one available, and takes no batteries.

Having a corded drill is always handy to have in the house. For what you're wanting to do, anything around the $30-40 mark will probably be plenty with a 3/8" chuck. Ryobi and Black & Decker are entry-level brands and are unlikely to burn out on you unless you're trying to drill solid blocks of steel and concrete. That said, read reviews anyway before buying.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 10:41:28 AM by Daley »

pdxvandal

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 10:48:48 AM »
I moved into an apartment for the first time in 20 years. I have a stud finder and was attempting to hang the flat-screen above the fireplace. The stud finder indicated there were some studs behind the wall, but there actually weren't -- just drywall. I was a little surprised, but maybe that's typical to not have 2x4 framing in the wall above a fireplace? Something to keep in mind.

ketchup

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 11:41:43 AM »
A small soldering iron can be handy in an apartment as long as you have somewhere with enough ventilation.  I've used the bathroom of a hotel.

As for a drill, I have a basic cordless Ryobi that's been pretty great.  Battery packs have lasted about seven years so far with fairly infrequent use.

terran

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 12:24:03 PM »
Rare earth magnets make great cheap stud finders by finding the screws in the walls, that with knocking should cover you on that front. If you still need a pretty package for it, get this. Cheapest one available, and takes no batteries.

Agreed. You might want want to cover them in some kind of tape (I used blue painters tape) as I found dragging the magnets I bought from amazon across the wall left marks.

Start looking on each side of an electrical outlet as outlets are usually attached to studs. Once you find one measure in multiples of 16" and 24" and start your next search there as those are the most common spacing for studs (in the US -- probably a little different in metric countries).

JLee

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 12:50:54 PM »
I have a hard time buying corded tools unless it's something that's abhorrently expensive in the cordless variety (or if it's something I'm almost never going to use).  Lithium battery powered tools are incredible.

nereo

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2018, 12:58:16 PM »
If I had a friend who was moving into an apartment and wanted a basic set of tools, I might give him/her the following as a apartment-warming gift:

  • Drill - corded is cheaper but cordless a bit more convenient
  • Drill bits.  To use with the drill
  • Screwdriver set.  Buy this as a set, never individually (save$$)
  • Good paint brush. Some would argue this isn't a tool - I disagree
  • Rare-earth magnet/stud finder. For finding studs
  • Drywall compound - for fixing small holes in the wall
  • Drywall patch - for fixing larger holes in walls
  • Spackling knife - for applying drywall compound/spackle
  • Plastic wall anchors - for hanging smaller objects
  • Vice grips - useful for un/tightening all sorts of things
  • Adjustable End Wrench (aka "monkey wrench") - often used w/ vice grips
  • Painter's tape - for more than just painting (temporary marking, limiting tear-out etc.)
  • Bubble-Level - for hanging shelves & finding 'level'
  • Small hammer - some things can only solved by hitting them
  • Needle-nosed pliers - for getting things out of small recesses.
  • Utility Knife - For cutting just about everything
  • headlamp  - Because the light doesn't always shine where you are working
  • Two clamps.  Clamps have a near-infinite number of uses
  • 12' measuring tape
 
All of those will fit into a 12-15" tool bag which you can store easily in a closet somewhere. Or, alternatively, a tool bucket like this.
Excluding the drill, nothing on here needs to cost more than $20, and many items are under $10.

I'd also want a saw of some kind (e.g. to cut wood for shelves) but here's where you have to decide what works for you - a power circular saw or miter saw might be overkill; jigsaws are cheap and small, but you could do the same with a small $8 handsaw and some patience.

ETA: measuring tape... reminded of that one by Prairie Stash
Re: drywall compound - yup, once you open it, it will last at best a few months, but I typically keep some on hand for when I move a picture, a chair dents a wall or... ::business idea:: Someone ought to sell consumer drywall spackle in small foil packets - just enough to repair 2 or 3 holes (maybe 0.5oz each). Could be similar to those single-use shampoo packets.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 10:35:13 AM by nereo »

Sibley

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 02:55:13 PM »
If I had a friend who was moving into an apartment and wanted a basic set of tools, I might give him/her the following as a apartment-warming gift:

  • Drill - corded is cheaper but cordless a bit more convenient
  • Drill bits.  To use with the drill
  • Screwdriver set.  Buy this as a set, never individually (save$$)
  • Good paint brush. Some would argue this isn't a tool - I disagree
  • Rare-earth magnet/stud finder. For finding studs
  • Drywall compound - for fixing small holes in the wall
  • Drywall patch - for fixing larger holes in walls
[/s]
  • Spackling knife - for applying drywall compound/spackle
  • Plastic wall anchors - for hanging smaller objects
  • Vice grips - useful for un/tightening all sorts of things
  • Adjustable End Wrench (aka "monkey wrench") - often used w/ vice grips
  • Painter's tape - for more than just painting (temporary marking, limiting tear-out etc.)
  • Bubble-Level - for hanging shelves & finding 'level'
  • Small hammer - some things can only solved by hitting them
  • Needle-nosed pliers - for getting things out of small recesses.
  • Utility Knife - For cutting just about everything
  • headlamp  - Because the light doesn't always shine where you are working
  • Two clamps.  Clamps have a near-infinite number of uses
 
All of those will fit into a 12-15" tool bag which you can store easily in a closet somewhere. Or, alternatively, a tool bucket like this.
Excluding the drill, nothing on here needs to cost more than $20, and many items are under $10.

I'd also want a saw of some kind (e.g. to cut wood for shelves) but here's where you have to decide what works for you - a power circular saw or miter saw might be overkill; jigsaws are cheap and small, but you could do the same with a small $8 handsaw and some patience.

Don't give perishable items that may not be needed for 5 years. Dry wall compound, if opened, will dry out. Otherwise, yep.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 10:24:52 AM »
I like the compete tool kits; the ones that come with screwdrivers, wrenches, tape measure, pliers and wrenches. Everyone should have them, I can get them for $20 on sale.

Floating shelves do not require a power drill when installed in drywall. The proper technique is to install Drywall anchors (with a screwdriver, takes about 10 seconds) then the screw (30 seconds). If its in the stud, which is stronger but limits placement, you should drill a pilot hole (can be done with a push drill, again no power drill required) then use a screwdriver. The basic tools I need all fit into a shoebox.

Watch Youtube videos on Push Drills, they'll do exactly what you desire.

I have a house (lots of space) and a drill, I still like my basic hand tools. Sometimes the simple solutions are best, especially for rare use situations or when you just need something for a minute and the battery is dead or you don't feel like dragging out extension cords. You can pass the tools onto your grandkids, they'll never wear out or require a new battery. Large scale projects are easier with power tools, what you described is small scale projects and there's a world of difference.

albireo13

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 08:40:19 AM »
Get a quality cordless drill ... you will love it!!
Working drilling holes in the wall, you will quickly
get tired of a corded drill. 

robartsd

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 10:12:44 AM »
I have a hard time buying corded tools unless it's something that's abhorrently expensive in the cordless variety (or if it's something I'm almost never going to use).  Lithium battery powered tools are incredible.
Until the battery stops holding a charge. If you're using them regularly, the convenience is worth it, but a battery aging on a shelf with use only every few months is not. A replacement battery is a large fraction of the cost of many cordless tools.

I like the compete tool kits; the ones that come with screwdrivers, wrenches, tape measure, pliers and wrenches. Everyone should have them, I can get them for $20 on sale.
Bonus is that getting them as a kit usually includes a case that fits them well without taking out much extra space. Of course putting together your own toolbox means you can choose what to include in a single convenient case.

Rare earth magnets make great cheap stud finders by finding the screws in the walls, that with knocking should cover you on that front. If you still need a pretty package for it, get this. Cheapest one available, and takes no batteries.

Agreed. You might want want to cover them in some kind of tape (I used blue painters tape) as I found dragging the magnets I bought from amazon across the wall left marks.

Start looking on each side of an electrical outlet as outlets are usually attached to studs. Once you find one measure in multiples of 16" and 24" and start your next search there as those are the most common spacing for studs (in the US -- probably a little different in metric countries).

In North America, sheet products like drywall and plywood are most common in 4' widths - the 16" and 24" on center spacing of studs is an even division of that width. If you're in an area where the standard width of sheet products is not 4', I'd start with an even division of that width that falls close to the 16-24" range (quick internet research found that Norway uses 60cm spacing - 23.622").

GuitarStv

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 11:18:17 AM »
I have a hard time buying corded tools unless it's something that's abhorrently expensive in the cordless variety (or if it's something I'm almost never going to use).  Lithium battery powered tools are incredible.
Until the battery stops holding a charge. If you're using them regularly, the convenience is worth it, but a battery aging on a shelf with use only every few months is not. A replacement battery is a large fraction of the cost of many cordless tools.

I agree with you that if you don't anticipate you'll be doing a lot of drilling/screwing in the future you would be just as well served with a screwdriver set (which you'll need anyway, as cordless drills aren't always the best tool for the job) but think that your concern regarding battery life may be a bit overblown.  The cordless drill that I mentioned purchasing earlier in the thread comes with two li-ion batteries.  Both hold a good charge still, and work very well six years later.

JLee

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2018, 11:36:20 AM »
I have a hard time buying corded tools unless it's something that's abhorrently expensive in the cordless variety (or if it's something I'm almost never going to use).  Lithium battery powered tools are incredible.
Until the battery stops holding a charge. If you're using them regularly, the convenience is worth it, but a battery aging on a shelf with use only every few months is not. A replacement battery is a large fraction of the cost of many cordless tools.

I have yet to have a lithium tool battery die on me.  Nicads were terrible.

nereo

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Re: Recommend me some tools for apartment use
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2018, 11:41:35 AM »
re; cordless vs. corded drills - beware of tiny detail exaggeration syndrome.
Both will drill holes in 'stuff' in an apartment just fine for years.  Corded is cheaper, lighter and has maximum power all the time, but you need to be near an outlet or have an extension cord.  cordless costs more but is (obviously) portable and after many years it won't hold as much of a charge (though certainly enough to drill a few holes through a pine board or drywall).  Cordless batteries are also hazardous waste and need to be recycled properly. The cost difference between the two will easily pay for an extension cord and a few other tools if that's a big deal to you.

Either will do the job for an apartment dweller just fine.  FWIW I own and use both in my apartment (but I do a lot of home improvement projects).