DP Hand Tools

Recommendations from a Pro

This is a collection of some of the key hand tools that I recommend.  I am not sponsored by any tool company so my recommendations are unbiased and based on my own experience and use as a professional builder.  Any purchases made through the links help support the DP site and the DP Shop Talk channel which helps me bring you more content.  Any support through the use of the links is at no extra cost to you and is very much appreciated!

Estwing E15S 15 oz Hammer

The Estwing E15S 15 oz hammer is well balanced and comfortable.  It's my go-to general purpose hammer and just plain looks good too!

Estwing RSC Pro-Claw Pry Bar

The Estwing RSC Pro-Claw pry bar is a very versatile tool.  I use it for light demolition work, pulling trim, removing siding as well as pulling difficult nails.  With a broad end and a narrow end there aren't many jobs that it won't tackle well.

Prosensor 710 Stud Finder

The Franklin Prosensor 710 stud finder is by far the most accurate and reliable that I've found.  With LED lights that visually show where studs are it is easy to use and is finally a sensor that I can trust.


Stanley FatMax 25' Tape

The Stanley Fatmax 25' tape measure is my go-to general purpose tape.  With 13' of stand-out and a tough blade and casing it has been a winner in my tool kit for years.

Tacklife HD40 Laser Measure

The Tacklife HD40 laser measure is an economical and easy to use measuring tool.  It has impressive accuracy and vastly speeds up the process of measuring up for jobs.  Watch my full video review here.

Picquic Screw Driver Set

The Picquic screw driver set is my favorite collection of screw drivers.  Quick and easy to use they are what I reach for.  The mini driver gets into spaces that others won't.


Collins Miter Clamps

The Collins miter clamps and pliers set are an essential for doing trim work or miters.  The clamps make it quick and easy to add firm clamp pressure to just about any miter joint until the glue is dry making for a great looking joint.  See the clamps in use here.

Starrett 505P-7 Protractor

The Starrett miter protractor takes the guess work out of trim work.  Corners are rarely a perfect 90 deg. and this tool will tell you what to set your saw to for a perfect joint.

Olfa H-1 Utility Knife

The Olfa H-1 utility knife is a classic.  It is the knife I reach for when I need a heavy duty and durable knife.


Bessey H Style Pipe Clamp

The Bessey H style pipe clamps are a great design and an economical clamping solution.  When I need the maximum amount of clamping force these are the clamps I reach for.

Bessey K Body Clamp

The Bessey K body clamps give finesse, control and an accurate clamping action.  They are my go-to clamp for assembling cabinets or gluing up panels.  A classic.

Bessey F clamp

The Bessey F clamps are a great general purpose clamp for smaller and lighter duty clamping needs.  I always keep two in my tool bag for all sorts of applications.


Elipse Dust Respirator

The Elipse dust respirator is the most comfortable and effective that I've tried.  With a P100 rating and great contours to make a tight fit against your face, it provides the needed protection against fine dust.  I can wear it all day without being uncomfortable.


Blaklader Brawny Pants

While they may not seem like a tool, my work pants are one of my most important tools.  With plenty of pockets to keep my most used tools on me and built in knee pad pockets, these tough pants have been my go-to for years now and I wear them every day.


Tekton 3/8” Socket Set

I’ve found this Tekton 47pc socket set to be great quality and excellent value all in a compact case. It makes a perfect general purpose compact socket set for the shop or on-the-go. It also comes with Tekton’s no-hassle lifetime warranty.

Stabila Jamber Level Set

I recently upgraded my levels to the Stabila jamber set which includes the 32" and 78" models.  These levels are a pleasure to work with.  Accurate, well made and useful features like removable end caps make them my go-to levels for setting cabinets or door frames.  They are also backed by a lifetime warranty so you know they will be a lifetime tool.


Gearwrench Ratchet Set

With an increasing amount of mechanical work being done in the new shop, these Gearwrench flex head ratchets have quickly become my favorite.  With an 84 tooth gear, the ability to get into awkward places and extra long handles for more torque, they are what I reach for most.


Wera Tool Check Plus

When it comes to compact repair tool sets, the Wera Tool Check Plus is my favorite. If I could only carry one tool set on me to do a repair, this would be it. It has a selection of high-quality bits and sockets, a screw driver handle, bit ratchet and bit holder, all in a compact case that you can wear on your belt. It’s hard to beat the Tool Check Plus for a ‘go anywhere’ tool kit.

Stabila Level Case

I purchased this Stabila 30025 level case along with my jamber set and I wish I'd had one of these a long time ago.  It holds all of my different sized levels in one convenient package, making them easy to carry and also adding protection to my investment.  When my levels are in use on site the case easily folds up and stores out of the way.


Capri Wire Stripper and Cutter

I don't often need to strip wires but these are an incredibly handy tool for cutting 8/32 cabinet hardware screws to length.  For times when a knob or handle screw is just a little too long, these make quick work of cutting it down. 


Knipex Cobra Pliers

The Cobra pliers are my favorite all around pliers, especially for gripping hex or round profiles. They work great for getting fittings off or removing rusted or rounded bolts. The Knipex Pliers Wrench are a perfect companion to the Cobra’s and replace an adjustable wrench.


Learn about my ‘Fix Anything’ Repair Tool Kit


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