What’s in HER Tool Box?

Having the right tools is key to successful DIY projects.

Ever since I started this blog, I have wanted to share with you the tools I have and use for my own creations. I am finally going to show them to you today.

I don’t necessarily carry around a “tool box” but my tools are scattered among the garage. I wish they were more organized.

Let’s go over the simplest to start.

You know about screwdrivers, right? The star tip is called a Phillips. Did you know there are several different sizes? A screwdriver set is a good way to start your tool collection and should include most of the sizes you will ever need.

A flat head screwdriver is useful, lots of bolts are flat head.

I have a preference for Phillips because of the screws I buy.
I prefer a screw head that looks like this…

The box for this type of screw will say that they are for sheet rock but I use them with some wood projects too. Unless I am making something to go outside, I don’t worry too much about what the screws are made of. I buy size #6 -1 inch, 1 1/4 inch and 2 inch. I keep a box of each around at all times. That way I am prepared just in case an inspiration hits me.
I also use wood screws that look like this. Can you see the difference between the sheet rock screws and the wood screws? The thread on the wood screw ends about 3/4 of the way up so that you can drill closer or lower into your wood surface. Wood filler can then go on top of them so that you don’t see any fasteners. (screws and bolts are referred to as fasteners)

                                                                                                   This is wood filler. I use this to cover nail holes or fill in gaps in wood mostly at seams. It dries out easy so keep the lid on tight after each use. 
I like rustic and handmade looking stuff. I am not going for polished and perfection here so I don’t cover every nail or screw hole.

Caulk is another type of filler. I use this on wainscoting and trim inside my house. Be sure it’s the PAINT-ABLE kind. You will need a caulking gun for this and liquid nails.
Liquid nails is a glue for wood and moldings. I just buy heavy duty every time.

Now let’s move on to the power tools. I am not necessarily recommending or getting paid to advertise for any brand that I feature here – but I am showing items that I own myself. 🙂
This is a cordless drill. I have had about 3 others that worked OK but were either too heavy or had a short battery life. My favorite one is a 20vMax lithium ion 1.5 by Dewalt. It’s just the right size and weight for me. It came with two batteries and they charge fast.
A set of drill bits.
More drill bits that are used for making holes.
An electric miter saw can do most cuts for my kind of projects. A six inch blade is plenty big enough. I own a Craftsman and it’s about 15 years old. I have replaced the blade before but it has been a great saw. A stand comes separate but was worth the extra cash to me.
Put this air compressor on your list for Santa. I love this thing. I hook it up to a brad nailer, nail gun and even for blowing dust out of tiny crevices in furniture that I’m refinishing. Plus we use it for car tires, bike tires and snow tubes. You will need a hose to go along with it. Don’t be intimidated by the noise and power.
My nail gun has made applying molding so much easier. It’s fast, too. I have one similar to the one above. I also use a smaller brad nailer for picture frames or smaller projects. Rigid brand has been extremely reliable for me.
Now for the big guns!
Once I got used to using my miter saw, my in-laws gave me this Rigid table saw for Christmas. It has been a work horse. It isn’t the cheapest saw but it cuts through any kind of hard wood I run though it. 
I must have been a really nice girl that year.
Apparently I spent my Victoria’s Secret gift cards on the right thing!
It’s an inside joke that I will let you in on. My in-laws buy me gift cards to VS sometimes. My F-I-L gives me a friendly reminder to NOT buy socks with it! – Isn’t that what your in laws do?
I love my husbands family!
Let’s move on.
One necessary accessory that makes hanging pictures a breeze is….
Monkey Hooks.

They can hold heavy items on sheet rock without making an enormous hole in the wall.

Needle nose pliers for removing staples or nails in wood.
Vice grip pliers work best for removing stripped screws.
Flat head nails in various sizes. I use them for hanging light weight wall art.
Push pin thumb tacks are best for hanging wreaths from ribbon over a door.
D rings and frame wire are also in my box.  They work together on the backs of old windows, gates or pallet art that go up on the wall. Check the weight on the box before you buy to be sure it is strong enough to hang what you want.
I use saw horses all the time……
They bring my project high up so I can reach them.
My orbital hand sander gets completely abused. I have purchased three or more of them since 2007. For a while there it seemed like I was replacing them every year. The circular motion works best. 220 grit paper is the finest and last to use when smoothing down a wood surface. 60 grit is the roughest and you would need to smooth a surface out by gradually increasing your grit number until you are ready for a polished 220. 

 Make sure to buy the right sand paper. Mine has 8 holes. It’s so easy to switch out the sanding discs because they just velcro to the sander. My preference for a brand of sand paper is from Ace Hardware – it seems like I change the sanding discs less often when I use a good paper.
That is all the tools or gadgets that I use on a regular bases. I can make pretty much anything I want within my skill level with these tools.
My recommendation is to start asking for tools for your birthdays and Christmas. Men, especially, would rather buy your gifts at the hardware store than a department store any day.
(my Christmas present this year – a brad nailer)
I didn’t get all of these items at once. It has taken a while to collect them. I would buy new tools when I was working a lot and as my skills grew, my tool collection grew too. I still have far to go but at this point, I am super happy with what I can accomplish by myself around my home. 
This post is not to brag at all. My job was making furniture and home accents so I needed tools. I have had several people ask me what I use…so here it is! 🙂 
Happy Tool Shopping!

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Naush S.A.

Oh My !! Your tool box looks like a box of candy to me :)) drools My problem is that inspite not having tried too many wood projects ~ I have collected far too many tools 🙁 A borderline hoarder :(Naush from Dubai

Christine Freeman

Oh, I love your toolbox! I have everything you mentioned here, those brands + some others. For your Christmas List: A Dewalt table top Planer. (OMG cool)A Craftsman table top jointer. WONDERFULYou didn't mention a circular saw, jig saw, belt or mouse sander, or a router! What about a hand planer?I've recently stepped up to a Craftsman 20v Lithium impact driver. You can get detachable heads which includes just those: Circular & jig, reciprocating & oscillating saws, router, a mouse sander and I know I'm forgetting something. Since one can never have too many drills/screw guns, I kept my 2… Read more »


That was a super great post! Loved the Victoria Secrets story, btw! I saw so many tools and accessories that I need to investigate… I have some birthday money, maybe I should head to Home Depot! Great job!!! Jules


What an awesome post Holly! Pinning this. I need a few tools on this list.


Love that you showed us your tool box… I am so green with envy! My Father was a great woodworker, but sadly he never showed me how to use the Big Boy tools, I would draw up plans and he did it for me. Now that he has passed and I have inherited his tools and saws, I REALLY want to learn how to use them myself. I would love for you to do some really basic tutorials on how to use some of your tools next…please, help this tool envy gal learn some basic skills!Begging Hugs,Pendra


Does your husband get jealous of you having all those tools? My husband has most of that (except an orbital sander because it got damaged). I don't use the electric stuff. I leave it to him. You're so talented to be able to use all of that stuff on your own. Bet it beats having to wait on your husband to do stuff for you like I have to.

Diane Bertao

I just love the fact that you know how to make furniture and do most things around the house — and you do it beyond lovely! I feel a bit intimidated by the larger tools. I have a miter saw that I am dying to use to make some crown moulding for my home. Just need to have someone walk me through it once I think, and I'd feel more confident. Thank you Holly for all of the great inspiration and ideas that you share with us.

Christine Vandormolen

Holly thanks so much for putting this together…I know this was a lot of work!!!!! pinning for future reference (lol)…..


Great set of tools 🙂 I need a table saw & that would make for a fantastic Christmas present this year..it's now top of my list.

Sherri Smith

Wow, your toolbox is better than most mens! No wonder you are such a pro :)Blessings!~Sherr

chateau chic

You are a real pro in my book, Holly!!Mary Alice

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper

what a great idea for a post! love your tools!

Carol Bartlett

I AM impressed.

Katie Mansfield

Wow! You have an amazing collection of tools. Bill has some good stuff but he needs a new table saw and a new miter saw. I would have died if my in laws gave me Victoria Secret. That is too funny. I have tried to put things back in the garage where they belong but I have my own stash of tools in the kitchen. 🙂


LOVE your tools. I used to have a pretty decent \”workshop\” but don't have one at this house really set up. I LOVE my band saw and used it for so many things- xo Diana

Shabby chic Sandy

Wow–your tool box is a lot bigger than mine 😉 Looks like you have some great tools. My husband and I sometimes argue about whose tool belongs to who–I don't know why it can't just be ours 🙂 lol