10 Non-Tools to Keep in Your Toolbox

Sure, he uses hammers and screwdrivers. But Chris Grundy, host of DIY Network’s Cool Tools , tells HGTV Magazine what else he stashes for repair job surprises.
RX-HGMAG021_Non-Tools-082-a-4x3

RX-HGMAG021_Non-Tools-082-a-4x3

Photo by: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Rubber Bands
To save hardware from scratches when assembling furniture, I stretch a rubber band over the head of the screwdriver first. The rubber provides a buffer between the metals so they don't scrape.

Resealable Plastic Bags
If I'm painting and want to take a quick break, I put my wet brush in one of these sandwich bags so the paint won't dry out or drip while I'm away.

Baby Oil
It's my secret ingredient for getting latex paint off skin. Just rub some on your hands and arms after painting, and the splatters come right off.

Magnet
If a screw or nail rolls behind a heavy piece of furniture, tie string around a magnet and drop it where you think the hardware might be. When you hear a click, reel the string back in.

String
Use it to draw a perfect circle. Cut a piece about two inches longer than the circle's radius. Pin one end to the center of your drawing surface, tie a pencil to the other, pull the string taut, then draw the circle around the pin.

Toothbrush
A toothbrush's small head is the ideal size for brushing away dust and fingerprints from hinges and other hardware after installation. Rest assured: This isn't the one I use on my teeth!

Fork
An old fork works great for pulling thin nails out of a wall. The space between the tines provides a better grip than the back of some hammers, and most stainless steel versions don't bend out of shape.

Toothpicks
Shims are thin pieces of wood used to fill space or level an object, and toothpicks make great small-scale shims. They're just right for padding tiny gaps, like a screw hole that's become too big.

Empty Water Bottle
In a pinch, it can double as a level. Fill it up to one of its ridges with water, then set it on top of the object you want to make level. If the water doesn't line up with the ridge, the object isn't straight.

Compact Mirror
Try it when you need to get a good look at hard-to-access spots, like behind a piece of bulky furniture.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Major Home Repair Problems to Avoid

Handy people share hair-raising tales from the job with HGTV Magazine . Plus, they explain what you can do to avoid a frightening repair in the future.

Talk to a Toolman: Q&A With Chip Wade

Should you hire a pro or do that home repair yourself? HGTV Magazine asks Elbow Room ’s Chip Wade to weigh in on five common questions.

The Best and Worst Time to Tackle These Chores

HGTV Magazine talked to the pros who know when to paint your house, reseed your lawn, and even grocery shop.

Talk to a Toolman: Home Repair Advice from Chip Wade of 'Curb Appeal'

Should you hire a pro or tackle that home repair job yourself? Curb Appeal 's Chip Wade weighs in on five common questions.

10 Renovation Mistakes

Property Brothers ' Jonathan and Drew Scott talk to HGTV Magazine about how to avoid the biggest remodeling mishaps to save money and hike up your home’s value.

10 Tips to Increase Your Home's Value

Increasing the value of your home is easier than you think. Follow these tips, and your home will be worth more before you know it.

10 Bad Habits Around the House That Cost You Money

HGTV Magazine explains why it pays — literally — to quit these around-the-house mistakes.

10 Simple Steps to Kitchen Safety

Everything you need to know about keeping your kitchen safe — in 10 simple steps.

How to Mount an Exhaust Fan

Getting rid of attic heat keeps things cool in the rest of the house, too.

How to Install a Whole-House Fan

Learn how to keep your cool by installing a whole-house fan.

On TV

Tiny House Hunters

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Good Bones

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Good Bones

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.