Tools of the Trade

This is no comprehensive list but it contains the tools that I consider essential and others that are ‘nice to haves.’ I don’t explain the essentials because I feel they speak for themselves, but I do explain why it’s nice to have the others.


Essential Tools


  • Hammer
  • Drill with various size bits
  • Socket and adjustable wrenches
  • Miter saw
  • Carpenter square
  • Clamps in various lengths
  • Sharp knife (i.e. exacto, razer)
  • Pencil, pens
  • Paint, brushes
  • Plyers
  • Various nuts, bolts, nails
  • Duct tape

For Electrical, Motors

  • Soldering iron
  • Wires in various gauges
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical Tape
  • Heat-shrink tubing

Nice to Haves

  • Great stuff – Everyone uses this to expand their projects. It’s a hate-to-love
  • Chip brushes – Expendable. Good for when you don’t want to ruin a good brush. I use these a lot for tombstones (Drylock), and other non-latex coatings.
  • Heat gun – A hairy dryer can be used as a replacement but I use this quite a bit.
  • Dremel – So many uses for this that it’s hard not to included in the Essentials area.
  • Heat pens and wands – Really good for tombstones and adding details.
  • Rubber mallet – Useful for when you want to ensure you don’t put dents in objects.
  • Mini / Handheld sledgehammer – I mainly use this driving rebar into the ground.
  • Jigaw – If you want to do any circular cuts or just to make it easier on yourself.
  • Orbital sander – You could argue this is a must have but depends on what you are building.
  • Pipe cutter – helps make straight cuts but can be substituted with a saw.
  • Sewing machine – Can be substituted with sewing by hand.