DIY Frequently Asked Questions



  • One type is made for mounting on a post (typically in rural areas), the other is for mounting on a house (typically in town).
  • Rural mailboxes are medium or large size, usually made of heavy galvanized or painted steel, aluminum or plastic. Since they will be exposed to the elements, they must be able to resist the weather.
  • You may need a mounting pole for rural mailboxes. Wrought iron posts are attractive and last a long time. Wooden posts should be treated if they are to last a long time.
  • Suggest enamel plates and stick-on letters for street names and numbers. Large 4” high numbers make it easy to identify a house at night.

Hand Sprayer

  • One type produces a fine, floating spray suited for controlling insects.
  • Another type produces a wetter, heavier spray for treating exposed surfaces where insects feed, lodge or crawl.
  • Another model, a plant mister, produces mist for indoor plants.
  • Features intermittent, continuous or hydraulic pressure pumping action.

Synthetic Rubber Caulk

  • A relative newcomer to the caulk category, synthetic rubber caulk is perhaps the most flexible product on the market.
  • Cures clear and is ideal for exterior joints that typically expand and contract.
  • Can be applied in adverse weather conditions (wet and cold).
  • Stretches easily without breaking and recovers easily.
  • Great for use on roofs, wood siding and joints that frequently show movement.
  • Can be painted with latex paint.
  • Due to higher VOC content, can’t be used indoors in some parts of the country, although manufacturers have introduced low VOC formulations to the marketplace.

Cordless Drill

  • Operates with a rechargeable battery, with sizes ranging from 9.6 volts to 24 volts.
  • Most portable drill and popular among DIYers and professionals alike.
  • Lower-voltage drills cannot handle more heavy-duty drilling jobs.
  • An important feature is an adjustable clutch. This lets the user select the degree of force applied to the drill. This helps prevent the motor from stalling and overheating, which can damage the battery.



  • Used to smooth the edges of wood and help remove warps.
  • Can cut flat surfaces.
  • Size is determined by length of the tool’s knives. Most common size is 6”.
  • Often combined with a planer.

Shutoff Valve

  • Used to shut on or off the water to a water supply tube.
  • Generally used underneath sinks and toilets.
  • Also known as a speedy, angle stop, water supply valve, cutoff valve, lavatory straight valve or stop.
  • Made of metal or plastic in either a straight or 90∫ configuration.
  • Fairly easy to install.

Bow and Bay Window

  • A bay window is made of three windows: one large unit in the middle and two flanking windows that are usually placed at 30- to 45-degree angles.
  • A bow window is made of four or more windows that, all together, form a shape that curves outward. It looks like a bay window, but is free of sharp angles.

Chain Saw File

  • Is made for both round-hooded and square-hooded chain saw teeth.
  • For round hooded teeth, the file must be held level against the bevel of the cutting surface of the tooth at an angle of 25° to 45° with the saw blade.
  • File direction is off the cutting edge, pressing back and slightly up during the stroke.

Tubular Cylinder Padlock

  • Offers many key changes by replacing the cylinder.
  • Usually used in electronic security systems, but some owners of motorcycles and expensive bikes use them as well.
  • Pins are arranged in a circle and are exposed.
  • The key is cylindrical.

Roller Cover

  • Available in natural or synthetic fibers.
  • The density of the fiber determines the roller’s ability to hold paint and spread it evenly. Inexpensive rollers that become matted or fail to spread the paint will produce a mottled finish, regardless of the quality of paint used. They may also leave lint on the painted surface.
  • Mohair covers are especially good for applying enamel, while lambs wool covers are excellent for alkyd paints, but not latex.
  • Synthetic fibers make good all-purpose covers. In fact, about 95 percent of all roller covers are synthetic.
  • Smooth roller covers (with a 3/16″ or 1/4″ nap) are used for painting walls, floors and fine finishing.
  • Medium rollers covers (with a 3/8″ or 1/2″ nap) are used for for sand-textured walls.
  • Rough rollers covers (with a 3/4″ or 1″ nap) are used for light stucco walls and masonry floors.
  • Extra rough covers (with a 1-1/4″ nap) are used to paint brick, block, masonry and stucco.
  • Texture roller covers are designed specifically for the applying texture paints. Some are foam with patterns etched into the surface. Others have deep, looped material. Texture roller covers have large diameters to accommodate the heavier consistency of texture paints.

Window Fan

  • Uses less energy than air conditioning and contains no chlorofluorocarbons.
  • Brings fresh air into the room while expelling hot air.
  • Typical size is 20”.
  • Larger window fans require mounting kits and side panels. The panels support the fan and prevent air from circulating around and back into the fan, resulting in a loss of performance.
  • Smaller units are easiest to install, as they come with the panels attached to the fan.
  • Used to intake and exhaust, for bringing inside air into a room or expelling inside air out of a room. Better models have electrical reversibility, which allows the user to switch from exhaust to intake without turning the fan around.

Angle Vise

  • Contains marked adjustments to permit clamping at different angles.
  • Can also be adjusted to a flat position and used as a regular vise.
  • Can be locked into any position with a thumb screw, and bolts can be tightened for permanent positioning.


  • Used to burrow into soft ground to create holes for setting posts, footings or for planting trees or shrubs.
  • Some models have an adjustable yoke that can be locked into position or changed to drill different sized holes.
  • Operates by turning in a downward motion.
  • Has a T handle for easier turning.
  • Common sizes are 6”, 8” and 10”.

Circle Cutter

  • Also known as a fly cutter.
  • Has a cutting blade attached to a horizontal arm. It can cut holes up to 7” in diameter.
  • Primarily used on a drill press.

Weatherproof Box

  • Also known as an outdoor box.
  • Used for exterior switches or receptacles.
  • Thicker than interior boxes and has a rubber gasket between the cover and the box to keep out water.
  • Covers are screw-on or snap-on.

Three-Dimensional Asphalt Shingle

  • Also known as a laminated asphalt shingle, or architectural shingle.
  • An inorganic shingle.
  • Characterized by a more rugged texture than a standard three-tab shingle.
  • Weighs and costs more than standard shingles.
  • Made of two or more layers that are laminated to create the three-dimensional look, giving it the appearance closer to wood or slate roofing.

Hammer Drill

  • Used to drill quickly through concrete, stone, block and brick.
  • While the drill turns, the drill vibrates the chuck back and forth or side-to-side to help the bit chip the material while it is drilling.
  • Many models have a mode selector, allowing the operator to choose rotation only, like a conventional drill, and hammer drill, which combines the drill and hammer action. Better models might offer a hammer only option for chisel and scraper attachments.
  • Do not confuse with a rotary hammer, which can accommodate core bits up to 6” in diameter. These tools have unique bit drive and retention methods rather than the conventional geared chuck.
  • Manufacturers will measure speed by rpm (revolutions per minute), and the hammer action by bpm (blows per minute).


Clutch-Head Screwdriver

  • Tips have four points of contact.
  • It locks into the screw head when turned counter-clock-wise.
  • The driver is unlocked by turning it in the opposite direction.
  • Because of the many contact points, the tip will not damage the screw head under high torque situations.


Shelf Standard

  • Pre-slotted metal strips attached to the wall, preferably into wall studs.
  • Can be attached with toggle bolts or similar fasteners approximately 16” apart.
  • If the standards are further than 16” apart, the shelves may not support heavy loads.
  • A newer variation includes a mounting rail that is fastened across the studs. The standard then clips directly into the rail or may require an adapter. Usually requires a fastener at the bottom for stability.

Power Sprayer

  • Powered by a gasoline or electric motor to assure greater application efficiency.
  • Tank is large enough to cover large areas with one filling.
  • Some models can be towed by garden tractors.
  • Used on shrubs, flowers, vegetables and trees.
  • Cordless electric models with 1- to 5-gallon tanks eliminate the work of pumping while spraying.

Modified Silicone Polymers

  • Delivers excellent performance on vinyl, fiber cement, aluminum and wood siding.
  • Combines the best characteristics of polyurethane, silicone and water-based products, offering permanent flexibility.
  • Great for applying in wet weather and low temperature applications for caulking around exterior windows, doors and vents.
  • Can be painted with latex paint.

Retractable Tape Measure

  • Ranges in blade length from 6′ to 35′, with 10’, 16′ and 25′ being common sizes.
  • The concave blade measuring rule varies in width from 1/4″ to 1-1/4″—wider tapes are easier to extend over longer distances without collapsing.
  • A spring mechanism contained in the housing automatically retracts the tape.
  • A locking mechanism locks the tape in place. Some models have buttons that slide to lock the blade, while others have levers and toggles that permit the tape to retract when squeezed.
  • Many have markings for laying out studs on 16″ centers or other specialized markings.

Picture Window

  • A fixed window.
  • Has no moving parts or sashes and does not open.
  • Sometimes used with another window type, such as an awning window.
  • Usually a fixed window available in various shapes, such as an oval, arch, ellipse, octagon or circle.


  • Type of file used to shape wood.
  • Teeth are rougher than a file’s teeth for rapid removal of wood stock.
  • Rasp-cut files have individually punched teeth shaped like pyramids that are entirely separate from each other.

Extension Pole

  • Makes roller painting both faster and easier for hard-to-reach areas.
  • Generally range from 1′ to 16′ in length.
  • Some poles are adjustable, or telescoping, to handle a multitude of painting situations.
  • They also enable the user to stand on the floor instead of a ladder when painting high walls or ceilings.
  • Generally made of fiberglass or aluminum
  • Some include quick-release adaptors for easy tool changes.
  • Usually extends in 6” increments.


  • Used for wood turning applications to create spindles, miniatures, bowls and plates.
  • Consists of a track or bed, headstock, tailstock and a tool support or rest.
  • The tool locks in a piece of wood, with the headstock turning the piece and the tailstock supporting the other end.
  • Different types of tools shape the wood as it is spinning.

Floor Fan

  • Can be moved anywhere in the home to provide air movement that will cool and circulate air.
  • Sizes are generally 10” to 12” in diameter. They can be mounted in rectangular or round, hassock-type case.
  • A hassock fan throws air outward and upward in a 360° direction.
  • A rectangular fan will tile about 170° and may be used as a table fan, throwing air outward.
  • Typically has a speed-selection control, while some may run at a fixed speed.
  • One variation is the stand-mounted fan. This type can generally be easily tilted and may be used as an exhaust fan if placed near a window.

Pipe (Stillson) Wrench

  • Used to grasp pipes and other curved surfaces. Solid housings and hardened steel jaws provide excellent bite and grip.
  • Has two serrated jaws, one adjustable and the other fixed and slightly offset.
  • The Straight pattern is standard.
  • The End-pattern style has jaws slightly offset and is handy for working in restricted spaces or close to walls.
  • The Offset style has jaws at 90∫ to the handle and is also handy for tight spots.
  • The jaws will leave marks on the pipe, so itís best to avoid using them on coated pipe, such as galvanized pipe.
  • Some pipe wrenches have aluminum handles for lighter weight.


Angle Drill

  • Has an angled head designed for tight fits and close-quarter drilling.
  • Available in 3/8” or 1/2” sizes.
  • Some models feature an angle attachment that rotates the drill into any position, while a side handle allows one-hand operation and easy control.


Cable Lock

  • Uses the combination of a lock and cable to lock and secure objects in a variety of applications.
  • Some models have a chain or cable permanently attached to a combination or keyed lock.
  • Chain or cable often has a protective plastic coating to prevent scratching.

Post Hole Digger

  • Used to dig into the ground to create holes for setting posts, footings or for planting trees or shrubs in all soil types.
  • The user plunges the tool into the ground with the handles together. The user then pulls the handles apart which brings the blades together to remove the soil.
  • Heavy-duty models have sharp steel blades riveted to a heavy steel frame.
  • Light-duty models are made with blade and handle socket rolled from one piece of metal.
  • Typical spread point ranges from 5-1/2” to 6-1/4”.

Drill Guide

  • Functions as a portable drill press.
  • Has a bracket to hold a portable drill and allows the user to drill perfectly angled or perpendicular holes.

Wall Plates

  • Also known as faceplates or covers.
  • A flat metal, plastic or wooden piece that covers the openings in the wall made by receptacles and switches.
  • The openings in the cover match the type and number or receptacles or switches being covered. Blank covers are also available.

Roll Roofing

  • Less expensive than shingles.
  • Used on lower-slope roofs or as a supplement to shingles.
  • Comes with either a smooth or mineral-covered surface on a heavy felt base that has been saturated with asphalt and then coated on both sides with more asphalt.
  • Easy to install.
  • A typical roll roofing, known as 90-lb. granule-coated, will cover 100 square feet.
  • A 45-lb. smooth roofing, without granules, will also cover 100 square feet.
  • A properly applied roll roofing should last from 10 to 20 years.

Shelf Bracket

  • Fits into the slots on shelf standards and supports shelves. Some types mount directly onto the wall.
  • A flexible storage system can be built with standards and brackets that are easily removed and repositioned by pushing up and lifting out.
  • Can be mounted in cabinets, closets or bookcases.
  • One type is used with invisible shelving systems, which offers ways to put shelving into living areas. These systems mount brackets directly on the walls to support wood or glass shelving. They are not suggested for heavy support jobs.
  • Another form of standard is the Z bracket. It is frequently used for utility shelving in basements or garages. It offers more support than other types and is less expensive.
  • Floor-to-ceiling standards can be used to create room dividers.
  • These pieces are usually double-slotted and come in lengths ranging from 7’6” to 12’.

Plunger Duster

  • Ideal for pest control or for use on flowers or roses.
  • Capacity ranges from 1/4 to 1 lb. for home use and up to 3 lbs. for commercial use.
  • Discharges on the forward stroke of the plunger.
  • Volume of dust discharged and range or carry is controlled by the size of pump and speed of pumping.

Caulk Gun

  • Tool that applies caulk from cartridges to work area.
  • Ratchet Guns are less expensive, but are more difficult to use. To stop caulk flow on the ratchet gun, the user must turn the piston so the ratchet disengages.
  • Smooth Rod Guns are more expensive, but are easier to use. With a smooth rod gun, the user simply disengages a quick-release thumb plate to stop the flow of caulk. Drip-free smooth rod caulking guns allow the piston to back up slightly after each squeeze so the user does not have to turn the piston or depress a lever to stop the flow of caulk.
  • Some models use an automatic vacuum action to draw any unused caulk back into the nose of the tube.
  • Power Guns that operate with a rechargeable battery pack are becoming popular with pros and serious d-i-yers.

Hex Nut Driver

  • Similar to a screwdriver, but has a tip like a wrench socket.
  • Used mainly on small hex nuts and in confined areas such as electronic equipment, car ignitions and plumbing jobs.
  • Available in several sizes and styles, with a fixed-size or variable-size “socket” at the end to adjust to various nut sizes.


Clamp Vise

  • Is a combination fixed and portable vise, featuring a bottom clamp for easy attachment to workbenches, sawhorses or tables.
  • The best choice for portable use.

Alkaline Battery

  • Longest lasting all-purpose battery.
  • Used for high and continuous current drain applications.
  • Disposable and operates well in low temperatures.
  • Voltages range from 1.5V to 9V.
  • Lasts as many as five years on the shelf.

Glider Window

  • Slides horizontally to open.
  • Durable, since the sash is fully supported in the frame.
  • The nail-on frame style uses nailing flanges and is used mainly in new construction.
  • The block frame style is used either as a replacement window or in block construction.

Power Screwdriver

  • A common type is a variable-speed, reversible drywall screwdriver. It is designed for driving drywall, decking and other self-drilling screws. They offer higher speeds than a power drill.
  • A cordless, in-line screwdriver is handy for light-duty household applications. They have less power and speed than a power drill, but are easier to handle.


Digital Tape Measure

  • Similar to a conventional tape measure but with electronic features added, such as a digital readout to make measurement readings more precise and the ability to convert fractions to decimals or even metric equivalents.
  • Another useful feature is a function that compensates for the size of the tape case when taking inside measurements, such as a window frame or a door jamb.
  • Some models have a memory function which holds a measurement without having to write it down. Other models have a voice recorder to make it easy to keep track of multiple measurements.

Hand File

  • Also called a shoe rasp or four-in-hand rasp/file.
  • Features four files in one, including a file section and a rasp section on the flat side, and a file section and a rasp section on the half-round side.
  • Handy for a wide variety of filing jobs.

Paint Pad

  • Lies flat on the surface, allowing the user to avoid spattering.
  • Most pads are made of mohair or foam and can apply either latex or oil-based paints.
  • Some models have guide wheels or trim tabs that guarantee a straight line at the point of intersection.
  • Paint pads are also an excellent way to apply waterproof coating to a deck or fence. Attached to a long handle, they eliminate bending and stooping and can be washed and re-used.


  • Used to cut and grind metal, concrete and masonry, for sharpening all tools, cutting into corners and tight spots, polishing, buffing and wire brushing.
  • Consists of a motor powering one or two grinding wheels, often mounted on a workbench.

Oscillating Fan

  • Moves back and forth in an adjustable pattern to spread air over a larger area.
  • Oscillation function can generally be switched off with the turn of a knob.
  • May be used on the floor, a table or mounted on the wall.
  • Usually does not have as high an air delivery as floor fans.
  • Typically ranges in size from 8” to 16” in diameter.
  • Tile angle varies from about 50° to 90°.

Chain Pipe Wrench

  • Offers easy handling in close quarters on round, square or irregular shapes without crushing the object.
  • Consists of a forged-steel handle attached to a length of heavy sprocket chain. The chain wraps around a length of pipe and engages the sprockets in notches on the back of the handle. Sharp teeth on the face of the handle bite into pipe while the chain holds the pipe against the teeth to prevent slipping.
  • Turns pipe in either direction and can be used like a ratchet wrench. The handle can be loosened, shifted and turned again without removing the chain from around the pipe.

U-Bar Lock

  • Provides maximum protection for bicycles, gates, etc.
  • Hardened steel shanks resist cutting.
  • Available in combination lock or keyed lock versions.


  • Used For scraping debris off of floors, sidewalks or hard surfaces.
  • Good for removing ice.
  • Has a flat, steel blade.

Metal Roofing

  • Steel panels designed to cover the roof in place of shingles.
  • Designed with either exposed or hidden fasteners.
  • Metal roofing can be coated with zinc or a mixture of zinc and aluminum for rust prevention. The best steel panels are manufactured with zinc.

Picture Hanger

  • Nail Hangers consist of a piece of metal with a hook on the lower end of a twist and loop that forms a nail hole. Depending on the size, this type will hold from 10 lbs. to 100 lbs.
  • Adhesive Hanger is a piece of flat metal with cuts or serrations along either edge that attaches to the back of a picture frame. The strip will stick to any clean, flat surface like glass, wood or metal. For light-duty use only.
  • Adjustable Hanger is a piece of flat metal with cuts or “serrations” along either edge that attaches to the back of a picture frame. Serrations allow for adjustment. For light-duty use only.
  • Utility Hanger is a hook that has an eye drilled into the flat upper piece for nailing or screwing to the wall. For light to medium use.
  • Hook Anchor is made of polypropylene and can be used in hollow or solid walls. For light to medium use. It will hold mirrors and pictures.
  • Hardwall Hanger is a plastic hook with case-hardened pins that can drive into brick or concrete walls to hold light- to medium-weight mirrors and pictures.
  • Flush Mount Hanger has two pieces of formed metal. One piece mounts to the picture and the other to the wall. These pieces interlock to create a high-load system.

Crank Duster

  • Provides a constant flow of dust while the crank is turned.
  • Capacity ranges from 2 lbs. for home use to 15 lbs. for commercial use.
  • Discharge is either in front of or behind the operator.
  • Larger models are carried by straps over the shoulder.
  • A regulating device controls volume of dust discharged.

Step Ladder

  • A self-supporting device used for climbing that consists of two rectangular frames hinged at the top with one side containing the rungs for climbing.
  • Non-adjustable in length and folds closed for storage.
  • Available in increments from 2’ to 12’ in height.
  • Steps are flat and riveted and are generally 3” or more in width.
  • Most models include a top plastic platform on top for storing tools or loose fasteners.
  • Available in wood, fiberglass and aluminum construction in various duty (weight) ratings, with fiberglass considered the best construction of the three.
  • Quality classifications include consumer (household), commercial (mechanic) and industrial grades

Chuck Key

  • A small T- or L-shaped tool used to tighten and loosen the chuck on electric drills and drill presses.
  • Available in various sizes, as well as universal models.

Incandescent Bulbs

  • Produce light by passing current through a thin coil of wire called a filament. As the wire heats, it becomes white hot and emits visible light. Vacuum filled.
  • Use for general and task lighting around the house.
  • Wattage indicates the amount of electric power used by a bulb to produce light. Generally, the greater the wattage, the greater the light output. Some bulbs produce more light per watt than others.
  • Standard household bulbs have an average life of 750 to 1,000 hours, which can be lengthened or shortened by the treatment they receive. For example, a 120V bulb operating on a 125V circuit may produce more light but won’t last as long as one on a 120V circuit.
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL) tags on fixtures designate the maximum allowable wattage. A mercury or fluorescent system is typically limited to a single bulb size.
  • Long-life bulbs may last longer than ordinary bulbs, because they have heavier filaments that do not burn out as quickly. However, these bulbs do not produce as much light as standard bulbs.
  • Manufacturers disclose average light output (in lumens) and average bulb life (in hours) on package labeling.
  • The filament vaporizes as a result of current flowing through it, and generally, the bulb “burns out.” Three-way bulbs lose two light levels when one filament burns out because two filaments are used in the bulb separately for two of the levels and together for the third.
  • Bulb designations denote size and shape. The figure following the bulb shape letter designation is the bulb’s maximum diameter in eighths of an inch. Thus, A-19 would mean an A-shaped bulb with a diameter of 19 x 1/8″, or 2-3/8″.
  • Most standard bulb envelopes are made of lime glass, but bulbs that must withstand greater heat are made of harder, heat-resistant glass. Hard-glass envelopes are used in many high-wattage bulbs and in bulbs recommended for outdoor use where there is danger of thermal shock from condensation.

Drill Press Vise

  • Great for holding work piece still when drilling, tapping and reaming on a drill press.
  • Most models have grooves machined on both sides for mounting to machine table.
  • Used for 90-degree machining of sidebodies.

Lithium Battery

  • Holds power for eight to 10 years on the shelf.
  • Available in 9V.
  • Used for cameras, watches and other items used repeatedly over a long period of time.

Standard Toilet

  • Made of vitreous china and finished with a high-gloss glaze.
  • Designed to be durable and sanitary.
  • White and almond are most common colors.
  • Federal law mandates that all new toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to old models that used 3.5 gallons or more.
  • Gravity-fed toilets operate with a conventional flush, where water draining from the tank is released into the bowl and its weight and gravity pull waste down the drain.
  • Pressure-assisted units use pressure built up within the water supply to increase the force of the flush. These tend to be noisier than gravity-fed models, but the bowl empties quickly (within 4 seconds). The larger water seal surface results in fewer stains. Since the trapway on pressure-assisted models has fewer bends, it is less likely to clog than a gravity-fed system.
  • A third type of toilet uses a pump to assist the flushing operation with increased pressure. Some models are even designed to flush automatically when the seat lid is closed. Dual flushers feature a lever that uses 1.6 gallons for solid waste removal and 1.1 gallons for liquid waste.
  • The rough-in is the distance from the finished wall to the center of the sewer outlet. Standard rough-ins are 10″, 12″ or 14″.
  • Another style is the one-piece toilet.

Storm Window

  • Sometimes called combination windows because they combine the functions of storm and screen windows.
  • Typically made of aluminum
  • Easy to install and usually attached directly to the exterior casing surrounding the window.
  • The single-track type consists of a piece of glass in a lightweight sash, fixed permanently in a nail-on frame.
  • The dual-track style has a glazed sash and screen. The glazed sash is in the top half of the outer track and the screen is in the lower half. Another glazed sash in the inside track covers the screen and can be raised to uncover the screen for ventilation.
  • The triple-track storm window has two glazed sash and a screen panel, all in a separate track. This is best for second floor windows.

Offset Screwdriver

  • Designed for removing and inserting screws in places where it is impossible to use a straight shank screwdriver.
  • Available in two- or four-blade varieties, with one end slotted and one end Phillips
  • Some models available with reversible ratcheting mechanism to turn screw tip and magnetized tips to guide screws into holes or otherwise inaccessible areas.
  • Others have split-points that can be expanded in width to fill the screw slot and hold screws when guiding into inaccessible areas. A spring clamp that fits over the screw head, holding the bit in the slot, serves a similar purpose.


Ultrasonic Measuring Device

  • Tapeless electronic devices allow a single person to measure interior spaces (generally up to 50 feet) without assistance.
  • These electronic tapes often include built-in calculations for area (square footage) and volume (cubic footage) and can store measurements in memory.

File Cleaner

  • Also called a file card, this tool contains a brush used to clean out file grooves.
  • Generally used on finer cut files to remove sawdust and metal particles.

Corner Pad

  • A corner pad is a paint pad shaped in a 90 degree angle to allow for easy painting of corners.

Drill Press

  • Used for boring holes in precise, repetitive cuts. With the appropriate accessories, the drill press can also shape, carve, sand, grind, buff and polish.
  • Consists of a base and a column rising upward to a head holding the motor and drill. A radial arm holds a worktable that adjusts vertically. A feed handle enables the user to direct the drill chuck up and down.
  • On a radial drill press, the head rotates 360º around the column and can drill at an angle or horizontally.

Exhaust Fan

  • Used primarily to extract stale air from an attic, kitchen or bathroom.
  • Kitchen fans are installed above the kitchen range or under the range hood and prevent smoke and grease from accumulating in the kitchen and spreading throughout the house. A switch simultaneously starts the fan and opens an outside vent.
  • Bathroom fans may come with an optional light or heater and are used to expel steam and odors from the rooms.
  • Should carry certified sound ratings developed by the Home Ventilating Institute and its member manufacturers. Ratings are in steps of 0.5 sones and 10 (CFM) cubic feet per minute. Limits for sound outputs are 6.5 sones for bathroom fans and 9 sones for kitchen fans up to 500 cfm.

Strap Wrench

  • Recommended for working with brass, aluminum, lead, soft metal or plastic pipe because it grips pipe without teeth and does not damage the surface.
  • Consists of a fabric strap, attached to a loop ring that is fastened in the curved head of a straight forged bar or handle. It is then pulled around the pipe, back through the loop and over the head.
  • When the wrench is pulled tight, the strap grips the pipe.

Sod Lifter

  • Blade is beveled for cutting in both directions.
  • Used for loosening and lifting sod.
  • Removes sod at the root level and saves it for transplanting.

Clay Tile

  • A roofing material known for its durability, as it can last up to 50 years.
  • May be flat or rounded in shape, and may even have a glossy surface.
  • Can be made of clay or concrete.
  • Colors include reddish brown as well as blue and green.

Gun Lock

  • Fits over the trigger housing of guns to prevent firing of the weapon.
  • Some models have a sound alarm to warn that the gun is being tampered with.
  • Some have tamper-evident devices to alert owners that the gun has been disturbed.
  • Some models can lock multiple guns at once.

Cable Tie

  • One-piece bands with self-locking catches or heads on one end.
  • Available in different widths and lengths to accommodate various bundle diameter sizes.
  • Used on anything that needs to be tied up, tied down or held in place.
  • Natural, colored and fluorescent ties are used indoors while UV (sunlight resistant) black ties are used outdoors.
  • Mounting bases can be used with standard cable ties to fix wire bundles to support structures or other surfaces. Bases are adhesive-backed for quick anchoring and contain molded knockout screw holes for extra power.
  • Use cable tie tools to make the use of cable ties easier.

String Knit Gloves

  • Used for general purpose work applications.
  • Provides cut and abrasion resistance.
  • Some styles are coated with a polymer to provide added protection or to provide a better grip.
  • May be constructed of cotton, a cotton/polyester blend, synthetic fibers and high-performance fibers.

Halogen Bulbs

  • Like incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs produce light by passing current through a coiled tungsten wire. The tungsten wire is enclosed in a small quartz or high-temperature glass tube, which is then filled with gases, including a halogen gas.
  • The advantages of tungsten halogen bulbs compared with standard incandescent bulbs include less loss of light over lamp life; smaller physical size for better directional light control; whiter, brighter light; more light per watt; and longer life.
  • Like incandescent bulbs, halogen lights have the advantage of instant-on light. They are easy to use with dimmers for energy savings.
  • Typical halogen lamps last 2,000 to 4,000 hours compared to 750 to 1,000 hours for incandescent lamps. Wattage levels for home use run from 5 watts to 500 watts.
  • More energy-efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. They generate up to 30 percent more light for the same electricity.
  • Halogen bulbs blacken much less than incandescent bulbs and stay brighter as they age. Because of their brilliant white light, they are excellent for use in displays.
  • Be careful not to touch the glass on halogen bulbs. This can degrade their lifespan and they can also be extremely hot within seconds of being turned on.

Heavy-Duty Battery

  • Short life and best used for low-drain applications such as remote controls and wall clocks.

Flush Handle

  • Activates the flush valve ball.
  • Usually sold in combination with the trip lever.
  • Attaches with a left-handed screw, which screws on in a counter-clockwise direction.


  • A window installed on a sloping roof. Also called a roof window.
  • Can be stationary or vented.
  • Sizes range from 18” to 60” wide to 18” to 60” long. Usually, there should be only one square foot of skylight for every 20 square feet of floor space.
  • Opening the window can be controlled by a manual crank,sometimes reached with a long pole, or by a remote electronic operation.
  • A tubular skylight is one type designed for rooms where a larger, standard skylight may not be practical. Easy to install, it features a one-piece flashing system to eliminate the possibility of leaks.
  • A self-flashing or curb-mounted roof window works best with asphalt or fiberglass shingles.

Folding Rule

  • Measuring device consisting of 6″ to 8″ hardwood, steel or aluminum lengths connected by spring joints that unfold for measuring distances.
  • Some models include an extension slide for measuring closed-in areas such as doorways and window frames where a regular folding rule will not work. The rule is unfolded as far as possible, then the slide is extended and its measurement added to the overall measurement for a total measurement reading.
  • Different models are designed for specific measuring needs of masons, engineers, carpenters and plumbers.

Vacuum Vise

  • Light-duty vise that has a lever-operated suction cup on the bottom to secure to tabletop or other work surface.

Sharpening Stone

  • Available in diamondoiled and dry models, these tools are used to sharpen various blades of cutting tools.
  • Diamond whetstones sharpen using the diamond dust from the stone.
  • Oil stones must be oiled to avoid accumulation of the metal particles from the tools being sharpened. To oil the stone, put a drop or two or lightweight household oil on the stone before each use. Also, new stones should be soaked in a bath of oil for several days before use.
  • Flat whetstones are the most common type of oil stones with both a smooth side and a coarse side for various sharpening requirements.
  • Drystones wear out much faster than oil stones because the stone’s surface crumbles away when sharpening.
  • Be sure to study manufacturer literature to recommend proper stones for different types of blades.

Airless Paint Sprayer

  • Used when painting large areas with the same color or painting intricate surfaces such as furniture or grillwork where other tools will not reach all surfaces.
  • Airless sprayers eject paint at high pressure. An electric airless paint system consists of a paint container, high-pressure pump, motor, handle and housing and pressure regulator. Extension nozzles, longer suction tubes, extra nozzles and viscosity measuring cups are optional accessories.
  • Choice of spraying tip depends on paint consistency, but generally the thinner the paint, the smaller the tip needed. Paint consistency also governs pump pressure. Thinner materials such as stains, lacquers, enamels and sealers require less pressure than heavier materials such as house and wall paint.
  • Paints that have been formulated for brush or roller application may be too thick for spraying. They should be tested first and thinned if necessary.

Platform Ladder

  • A type of aluminum stepladder with three steps for ordinary household climbing tasks.
  • Some models feature extra wide non-slip treads for comfort during long periods of use.
  • Common step heights include 10”, 20” and 30”.
  • Most have a 200 lb. duty rating.
  • Most have a platform above the steps for resting tools and materials and a high handrail.
  • Folds easily for convenient storage.

Drill Bit Sharpener

  • Extends the life of drill bits and drills, since sharper bits put less strain on the drill.
  • Provides consistent sharpenings for a variety of drill bits, including standard, masonry, carbide, titanium nitride, cobalt and left-handed.

Incandescent Fixture

  • Styles vary widely, but the basic purpose is to hold an incandescent light bulb. Fixtures can be mounted on a stand, on the wall or on the ceiling.
  • The basic wall or ceiling fixture mounts onto an electrical box. The most common type of box contains a threaded stud (or threaded rod) that attaches to the fixture with a part called a hickey. Or, instead of a threaded stud, the fixture may use a crossbar hanger.
  • Various styles of lights can be used for four basic purposes: task lighting (to illuminate specific areas for activities such as reading or preparing food), ambient lighting (for general illumination of a room), accent lighting (focused, directional light generally on artwork or architectural features), and utility lighting (used to flood an area with light, often outdoors or in work areas).

Whole-House Fan

  • Draws hot air from the living area into the attic where it is vented outside.
  • Installation and operation costs less than an air conditioner.
  • Keeps a gentle breeze stirring throughout the house and can make the temperature seem 2° to 3° cooler.
  • Has louvers that open automatically when the fan is turned on and close when it is turned off to seal out outside air.
  • Rated according to the measurement of cubic feet of air per minute (CFM) that it moves.
  • Fans with variable-speed motors cool the house at higher speeds and maintain general air circulation when turned down.

Basin Wrench

  • Also known as a faucet wrench or a crowfoot faucet wrench.
  • One type has fixed jaws opening at right angles to the shaft handle. It is primarily used to remove supply nuts and hose coupling nuts on faucet spray attachments under worktables, sinks and lavatories.
  • The second type has spring tension pipe-gripping jaws that are reversible by flip-over on the end of drive shaft handle. It will grip pipe nipples, odd sized supply nuts and jam nuts in hard-to-reach spots.

Straight Edge Rake

  • Used to pull leaves and debris toward the user.
  • Also used to gather up heavy trash such as sticks and stones.

Wood Shingle

  • Typically made of cedar, although composite wood shingles are available.
  • Flat shape and a smooth texture.
  • Usually 1/2” thick.
  • Wood shakes are similar, but have a rougher texture. They are usually 1/2” or 3/4” thick.
  • More difficult to install than asphalt shingles.
  • Features may include a fire-retardant coating, which only reduces, not eliminates, its flammability.

Trailer Lock

  • Used to secure standing trailers by rendering the towing device inoperable.
  • Locks cover or fill the coupler socket so it cannot be mounted on a ball.

Support Hardware

  • Includes metal plates and braces specifically designed for use as reinforcement in a variety of applications.
  • Available in an assortment of sizes, shapes and finishes.
  • Specific items include t-plates, corner braces, mending plates, triple corner braces and chair leg braces.
  • Can be packaged with or without mounting hardware.

Cotton Gloves

  • General-purpose glove for performing a variety of tasks around the home and garden.
  • Offers good comfort and breathability.
  • Quilted style is good for heavy, multi-purpose applications and added heat protection.
  • Chore gloves are for general purpose work.
  • Some gloves may be marketed for specific tasks, such as garden gloves with patterns or designs to attract certain types of buyers.
  • May be cotton or cotton/polyester blend, canvas, jersey or terrycloth. Often has a knit wrist.
  • Some styles may have PVC dots to improve gripping ability and durability.

Fluorescent Bulbs

  • Current flows through an atmosphere of inert gas and mercury vapor, producing ultraviolet energy that is invisible to the human eye. A phosphor coating on the inside of the tube transforms the ultraviolet energy into visible light.
  • Fluorescent bulbs can vary from straight tubes 6″ to 96″ long to U-shaped tubes and circular tubes. Wattages for home use range from 4 to 75 watts.
  • Tubes also come in a variety of diameters. Several common types are available in reduced-wattage versions that consume 15 percent to 20 percent less energy. The most common tube is the 1-1/2″ used in most bulbs from 15″ to 96″ long. The smallest diameter is 1/2″, used in low-wattage twin tube designs. The largest is 2-1/8″ used for some high-wattage, non-residential installations.
  • Produce up to 105 lumens per watt, compared with a 100-watt, type A incandescent, which produces around 18 lumens per watt.
  • Features include a long lamp life, relatively low brightness and low heat content and glare, compared with incandescent lamps.
  • Fluorescents work well for area lighting, especially in kitchen, bath and task areas.
  • Available in many shades of white and colors. Color is determined by the type of phosphor used in the bulb. Soft white fluorescent bulbs are recommended for living areas, baths and kitchens since they offer good color rendering. Warm white bulbs are good for living areas, although not in areas where color discrimination is important. Cool white bulbs are used for work areas.
  • Use a ballast. Dim only with special equipment that is relatively expensive. Standard household fluorescents are also sensitive to temperature, and therefore work best indoors. High-output fluorescents are for outdoor use and commercial application.
  • Ballasts have sound ratings— “A” is the quietest; “C” is the loudest. Often noise made by fluorescent fixtures can be reduced by replacing the ballast.
  • Electrical connections to the bulbs are made to the bases at each end. The most common is the two-pin base, designated miniature bi-pin for small diameter bulbs, medium bi-pin for average size bulbs and the mogul bi-pin for industrial bulbs. Single-pin bases are used for instant start bulbs, and recessed double contact bases are used on rapid–start bulbs longer than 48″.

Ratcheting Screwdriver

  • Features a reversible ratchet mechanism in the handle that eliminates the need to grip and re-grip during the driving process.
  • Usually comes with interchangeable tips.


Rechargeable Battery

  • A commonly used type is the nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery.
  • Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are another alternative, and they outlast NiCd batteries by up to 40 percent.
  • Rechargeable batteries will lose their charge if not used for an extended period of time (30 to 60 days).

Flush Valve Seat

  • Located at the bottom of the tank.
  • Surrounds the opening that lets water into the bowl.
  • Kept closed by a rubber flush ball or flapper.
  • The flush valve seat is attached to the Overflow Tube, which drains water back into the bowl if the water level goes above it. This is a good safety precaution if the inlet valve fails.

Measuring Wheel

  • Consists of a wheel, handle and odometer designed for lengthy exterior measurements—up to 10,000 feet.
  • Features include collapsible or telescoping handles, gear-driven counters, a variety of wheel sizes, different types of tread materials and optional carrying cases.
  • A push button reset returns the counter to zero.
  • Wheel diameters range from 4” to 25”, with professionals generally opting for the large-wheeled units that are suitable for rough terrain.

Staple Gun

  • Also called manual power staplers, this tool shoots a variety of staples (and many times brad nails) with a one-hand lever operation.
  • Good for a variety of jobs requiring material to be held with one hand and fastened with the other, such as lining closets, installing insulation, tacking ceiling tile or fastening roofing paper.
  • One new design features a handle that is squeezed toward the front instead of the rear, making it easier to use and control.
  • Other models are designed to fasten a variety of materials, such as different types of wire, including telephone wire, heavy-duty wire and insulated wire, etc.
  • Electric and cordless staple guns are also available. They have the same uses as the hand-operated guns but the staples are ejected automatically with the pull of a trigger.

Drywall Taping Knife

  • Is used for taping drywall joints and spreading drywall joint compound between wallboard seams.
  • Tempered stainless steel blades bow for feathering.
  • It can be used in covering nail spots and other indentations in the board as well.
  • Blades range in size from 4” to 14”, with the most popular blade widths being 8” and 10”.
  • Handles are constructed of either wood, plastic or ergonomic foam rubber for added comfort.

Wood Stain

  • Is available in oil-based, water-based and gel formulations.
  • The two major types of wood stains are semi-transparent and solid-color (opaque), where the essential difference between the two is that semi-transparent stains impart color, but the texture and the natural grain of the wood continues to show through; while on solid-color stains, the texture still shows through, but not the grain itself.
  • Interior stains, used for furniture and woodwork, come in either pigmented or dye categories. Both can have oil, synthetic or water bases. Pigmented stains color the wood with the same type of pigments used in paint. They range in color from almost clear to semi-transparent. They are easy to apply—usually brushed on or wiped on with a rag, then wiped off enough to control the depth of the stain. They leave no brush or lap marks if applied properly.
  • Exterior stain is used primarily on wood siding and shingles, decks, outdoor structures and furniture. It is also available in latex and oil-based formulas. Oil-based stains penetrate the wood, and they erode with weathering. Latex stains do not typically fade as rapidly.
  • Stains may or may not protect the wood; check manufacturers’ labels. An oil or polyurethane finish can be mixed with the stain, so the do-it-yourselfer can complete the staining and finishing job in one step.
  • Wood stain pens will hide minor scratches, nicks and chips on furniture and wood.

Extension Ladder

  • A non-self supporting type of ladder with two similar sections that are linked with internal guides on the bottom of base section and external guides on the top.
  • Sections are pulled apart to increase length.
  • Used for working in high areas and primarily for exterior applications.
  • Available in heights ranging from 16’ to 40’.
  • Smaller extension ladders are extended manually and secured with gravity spring lock brackets
  • that rest on the selected rung.
  • Larger extension ladders are extended by means of a rope and pulley running down the side of the ladder and secured with a cleat.
  • Generally available in all aluminum and fiberglass with aluminum rungs.
  • Rungs can be round or flat and are usually serrated for enhanced slip resistance.
  • Ladder shoes pivot to allow full contact with ground. Shoes can also be turned up to penetrate soft ground for extra stability.
  • Quality classifications include consumer (household), commercial (mechanic) and industrial grades.

Sidewinder Circular Saw

  • Designed to make straight cuts on materials that are difficult to cut with a handsaw.
  • Can make cuts on a variety of materials, and different types of materials generally require different blades.
  • More compact than a worm drive saw. Has the motor mounted on the side of the blade.
  • Requires less maintenance than worm-drive saws and does not have an oil-filled crankcase.
  • The size of the saw tells you what is the largest size blade that you can use with it. Generally, blade sizes range from 5-1/2” to 10” in diameter. 5-1/2” and 7-1/4” are the most popular. The larger the blade, the thicker material it will cut.
  • Rated by amperage. Better tools have higher amp and rpm ratings.
  • Cordless models are popular, but offer less speed and power than corded models.
  • A popular feature is an ejector chute that directs dust away from the work and a tilt base that allows the user to cut a variety of angles.

Fluorescent Fixture

  • Used to house fluorescent lamps, and can be rectangular or round.
  • The rapid start type has a starter (a small aluminum barrel that is a type of automatic switch) and ballast in one piece and turns on the instant the switch is flipped.
  • The starter type has a small ballast and a starter and will flicker for a moment before turning fully on.
  • The instant type turns on after a momentary pause.
  • Fluorescent lights are less expensive to operate than incandescent, and most of the parts are replaceable.

Ceiling Fan

  • Creates a gentle indoor breeze and supports heating and air conditioning systems by using less energy than a 100-watt light bulb requires.
  • Typical sizes are 36”, 42”, 48” and 52”, and some industrial models are as large as 56” to 72”.
  • Many models combine the fan with a light fixture.
  • Most ceiling fans have variable speed controls.
  • Standard mounting kits are available for ceilings as low as 8’ and close to-the-ceiling models can be used on 7’-6” high ceilings.
  • Blades may be real wood, metal or plastic.
  • Heavy-material motor housings will aid fan efficiency as the additional mass gains more momentum, reducing the energy necessary to keep the fan in motion.

Plastic Nut Basin Wrench

  • Used to reach and turn plastic mounting nuts on faucets, sprayers and ballcocks.
  • Notched ends self-center on 2-, 3-, 4- and 6-tab nuts.

Sweep Rake

  • Used like a broom to pull leaves and debris past the user.
  • Fan-shaped.
  • May have a straight or round leading edge.


  • Strips of sheet metal or roofing material.
  • Used to make waterproof joints on a roof.
  • Some flashing may be called a “boot”. This kind is specially made to fit around a vent pipe. They are often made of plastic. It fits snugly over the pipe and then slides under the shingles for a waterproof joint.
  • Seals with flashing sealant, usually sold in a tube and applied with a caulk gun.

Home Intrusion Alarm

  • Wide variety of types available. Selection will depend on what you want to accomplish. Some feel a loud alarm at the point of entry will scare away the intruder. Others prefer a remote alarm located in a bedroom that will alert only the homeowner. Others prefer an outside alarm that will alert neighbors. Other kinds will sound an alarm and are connected directly to monitoring systems that will alert the police.
  • Simple alarms may consist of a door-locking device with a buzzer attached. When the device is tampered with or the door opened, the alarm sounds.
  • Many intrusion alarms are more elaborate and have twocomponents. A perimeter alarm detects intrusion at points of entry, such as door and windows. An area alarm detects motion inside a room.

Leather Gloves

  • May be solid leather for heavy-duty applications or have a leather palm.
  • Durable and long lasting glove. Handles a wide variety of applications.
  • Construction materials include cowskin, pigskin, goatskin and deerskin.
  • Driving gloves offer dexterity when operating equipment.
  • Welding gloves offer protection from heat and sparks in welding applications.
  • Gunn pattern leather palm gloves offer protection from rough objects, sparks and for cushioning blows.
  • Clute pattern leather palm gloves offer the best economy in leather protection.

Spiral-Ratchet Screwdriver

  • Also called Yankee Screwdriver or Yankee Push Drill.
  • Drills and removes screws using a ratchet mechanism similar to a push-pull drill, with driving action provided by pushing straight down on the handle.
  • It has an adjustable chuck to permit interchanging different size driver tips and drill points.


Braided Cord

  • May be made with or without a center filling (core) that gives it strength.
  • Diamond braid cord, also known as maypole braid, does not have a core and is frequently used for drapery cord or Venetian blind cord or as low-cost clothesline. It splices easily.
  • Solid braid cord is firm, round and tightly woven so it will not unravel when cut or torn. Works well over pulleys and has good abrasion resistance.
  • Double braid is when both the rope and the core are braided. It is the strongest and most expensive type of rope.


  • Some models are battery operated and are wireless. They are easiest to install.
  • If not battery operated, they require AC step-down transformers to reduce household voltage to the proper operating voltage.
  • Standard doorbells operate at 10V or 16V.

Flapper Valve Seat Ball

  • Also called a Flush Valve Seat Ball, this device sits on the flush valve seat and attaches to the trip lever with a chain, rod or guide arm.
  • When the outside handle on the toilet tank is pressed down, it raises a trip lever that pulls the flapper off its seat. Water inside the tank pours through the opening to flush the toilet bowl.
  • The valve stays closed with water pressure. However, once the trip lever lifts the device, it remains off the seat by floating on top of the water until the tank is empty. As the water level drops, the flapper gradually settles back into the opening, sealing it so the tank can refill for the next flush.
  • A new style design has replaced the older ball-style. It is connected to the float arm with a chain and eliminates many of the problems associated with wires, rods and guide arms.

Yardstick Metal Rule

  • Used for measuring and cutting roll and sheet material using straight edge as a fence.
  • Also called a straight-edge rule, as thicker, rigid models can be used as a saw guide.
  • Some models measure in 1/8” and 1/16” increments on one side and in 1/32” and 1/64” increments on the other.

Hammer Tacker

  • Also called a “slap tacker,” this tool resembles a hammer in design, with the stapling mechanism in the head and the staples stored in the handle.
  • The unit is used like a hammer and automatically drives a staple with each blow.
  • Commonly used by construction crews to install roll felt roofing paper under roofing materials.


  • Trowel designed for holding plaster and drywall joint compound during application.
  • Generally made of lightweight aluminum or magnesium in 13″ or 13-1/2″ square sizes.


  • Is a blend of oils and resins that coat the surface of wood to give it a transparent, protective coating, allowing the beauty of the wood to show through.
  • It can leave a gloss, semi-gloss or satin finish, depending on its formulation.
  • Varnishes fall into three groups, divided by their base: alkyd, latex or phenolic.
  • Phenolic varnishes of modified phenolic oils deliver the best durability, especially in exterior uses. They absorb ultraviolet light and neutralize oxidation. However, they also tend to yellow faster than other varnishes.
  • Alkyd varnishes offer flexibility and hardness in both interior and exterior uses, but in exterior use they oxidize more quickly. However, they do not yellow as much as phenolics.
  • Latex varnishes offer the advantages of oil-based coatings and the cleanup convenience of a water based coating. The acrylic coatings take from 30 to 90 minutes to dry and do not yellow the wood. Some acrylic-based varnishes are even durable enough for use on floors; check manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Varnishes are also typically mixed with a tung oil or linseed oil.

Attic Ladder

  • Folding ladder that pulls down from attic access hole to permit entry.
  • 3 sections unfold to rest on floor, then fold back up to store on top of pull-down access door. Generally made of wood or aluminum.
  • 90-degree wrap-around hinges allow legs to completely fold up when not in use.
  • Different models accommodate different floor-to-ceiling height ranges.
  • Steps are usually double riveted for extra durability.
  • Generally rated either at 250 lbs. or 300 lbs.


  • Provides localized light for specific activities such as reading, writing, sewing and food preparation.
  • The light should cover the entire task area and be located so shadows are reduced to a minimum.
  • Available in a wide variety of styles.

Spud Wrench

  • A generic name for many types of wrenches that have large, flat-sided jaws.
  • Good for general purpose plumbing use.
  • The Adjustable type is an all-purpose model with notched jaws ideal for various sizes of nuts. It is the handiest and most common.
  • The Fixed type works with large spud nuts under kitchen sinks.
  • The 4-in-1 is similar to the fixed type and is use for turning locknuts on the toilet tank, basket strainers and spuds.
  • The Closet type is designed for toilet tanks and bowls.
  • The Internal type holds the sink strainer basket in place while you tighten the locknut below. It can also remove or install closet spuds, pop-up plugs, and strainers.

Shrub Rake

  • Used to rake around small plants and shrubs.
  • The flexible tines may have a straight or rounded edge.

Drip Edge

  • L-shaped weather-resistant metal.
  • Installed at exposed roof edges (eaves) to help shed water and to protect the roof’s wood parts.

Supported Gloves

  • Protects against solvents and resists chemicals, cuts punctures and abrasions.
  • May be constructed of neoprene, nitrile, PVC, rubber or vinyl.
  • One style is a coating over a lining of cotton or other fabric. The fabric helps insulate and adds comfort.
  • Another style is dipped, where the PVC or other material does not have a fabric lining.
  • Neoprene offers the most chemical protection and flexibility.
  • Nitrile offers good abrasion resistance.
  • PVC offers good liquid and solvent protection.
  • Rubber offers good gripping power and cut and puncture resistance.
  • Vinyl offers breathability, gripping power and minimizes absorption.

Worm Drive Circular Saw

  • Designed to make straight cuts on materials that are difficult to cut with a handsaw.
  • Can make cuts on a variety of materials, and different types of materials generally require different blades.
  • The motor is inline with the handle and at a right angle to the blade arbor. It also has an oil-filled crankcase.
  • The worm gear style of power transmission means this saw has plenty of torque, which keeps it from stalling in wet or pinched lumber.
  • Quieter operation than sidewinder saws, but heavier, usually 14 to 19 lbs.
  • It has better sightlines than a sidewinder style saw
  • Most common blade size is 7-1/4”. Also available are 6-1/2” and 8-1/4” blades.

Hex (Hexagonal) Tip Screwdriver

  • Also called a hex key or hex wrench.
  • It is used to tighten socket set (hex head) screws and usually comes in sets.
  • Some hex sets are attached to and fold into a metal carrying case.
  • Other variations include T-shaped hex tools with vinyl grips and L-shaped keys for greater torque power.

Sisal Rope

  • A twisted rope that can be used where it is likely to be discarded after each use and where strength is not important.
  • Do not use where personal safety or valuable property is involved.
  • Good resistance to sunlight and stretches little.
  • Polypropylene has largely displaced sisal in low-cost usage.

Lamp Holder

  • Used to hold light sockets where design is not a concern. Often used in garages or basements, or as a temporary fixture.
  • One type has a pull chain to turn it on. The other, a keyless lampholder, does not have a chain. Another type has a socket, two receptacles and a pull chain that turns off the lamp but not the receptacles.
  • Typically is a round porcelain fixture with a socket with prewired leads ready for connecting to a circuit. It also has screw holes for mounting it to a box.
  • Another type is the Pigtail. It is merely a socket with wire leads and without a fixture. It is also used for temporary lighting or for testing.


  • Also known as a fill valve or inlet valve.
  • Controls refilling the tank.
  • Consists of multiple parts, but is commonly sold as a complete unit. Parts include: upper lever, float rod, lower lever, plunger, valve seat, refill tube, nylon seat, eye screw, body, hush tube, regular shank, shank gasket, lock nut, coupling nut washer, riser pipe and repair shank.
  • Older models use a float ball. When repairing them it is best to replace the entire unit instead of trying to repair its parts.
  • Newer models eliminate the flat ball and may have an anti-siphon feature that keeps toilet water from backing up into the water lines.

Gypsum Wallboard

  • Consists of a core of gypsum plaster covered with two sheets of heavy paper.
  • Panels are 4’ wide and range in length from 6’ to 16’.
  • Boards 1/4” thick are normally used for recovering old walls and ceilings.
  • Boards 3/8” thick are used in two-ply construction.
  • Boards 1/2” and 5/8” are used in single-ply new work. 5/6” boards provide better fire resistance and sound control.
  • Benefits include low cost and ease of installation. The plain-papered face provides an excellent surface for paint or wallpaper.
  • The edges are typically made with a slight taper, which allows for a filled and tapered joint.
  • Greenboard is a type of gypsum wallboard that has a water-resistant (not waterproof) facing and is used in bathrooms and areas that will be exposed to water or steam.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

  • CFL BulbCompact fluorescent bulbs offer different style and performance from standard fluorescent bulbs. Their color nearly equals that of Soft White incandescents, and they offer superior energy efficiency and long life.
  • Can be as small as 4.5″ long, and some are the same size as their incandescent counterparts. Not all fixtures designed for incandescents may have enough room inside the shade or glass for the bulb.
  • Cannot be dimmed. Their life will be maximized if they are used in locations where a light stays on for hours at a time.
  • Reflector-shaped compact fluorescents can replace standard R30 and R40 shaped incandescent reflector bulbs.
  • Globe-shaped compact fluorescents can replace standard G25 bath and vanity globes or G30 decorative globes that are used in pendants.
  • Decorator or flame-shaped bulbs can replace similar incandescent bulbs in chandeliers, sconces and outdoor fixtures.
  • Stick-shaped compact fluorescents can replace standard Type “A” bulbs in portable lamps.
  • Twist-shaped compact fluorescents can replace standard Type “A” bulbs in virtually any application.
  • When choosing a compact fluorescent bulb to replace an incandescent bulb, compare the lumen output of the two bulbs. For maximum energy efficiency, select a bulb with the highest lumens and lowest wattage combination. For example, replace a 100-watt incandescent household lamp that produces 1600 lumens with a 25-watt compact fluorescent lamp that also produces 1600 lumens.


  • Comes in water-based and oil-based formulations.
  • Recommended for interior use on floors and many times wood furniture because of its excellent protection.
  • Polyurethane stains are better used for interior applications for water-resistance and hard use, but do produce a rather plastic appearance. For a more natural-looking gloss, use an Alkyd for furniture and indoor architectural trim and doors.
  • It is generally not recommended for outdoor use because it will yellow and crack when exposed to ultraviolet light—unless ultraviolet light absorbers are added.

Articulated Ladder

  • Also called a combination ladder.
  • 3-position, multi-lock hinges offer many different arrangements and combinations to become a step ladder, an extension ladder, a stairway ladder (modified step ladder) or a scaffold.
  • No tools needed for conversion between ladder types.
  • Most models extend between 12’ and 16’ and carry either a 225 lb. or a 250 lb. duty rating.

Track Lighting

  • A system of movable lights wired to a metal track that makes a great accent lighting choice for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms.
  • Available in many colors, sizes and shapes, is easy to install and flexible since the lights can be moved around and repositioned.

Seat Wrench

  • Also known as a faucet seal tool or faucet seat wrench.
  • Used to remove faucet seats.
  • It is L shaped. One end has four flat sides, the other has five flat sides.

Desk Stapler

  • Common household and office tool used to staple paper and other lightweight materials together.

Drywall Finishing Trowel

  • Designed for smoothing the various layers of joint compound when finishing drywall.
  • Has a slight concave bow in the blade that helps to feather mud when making drywall joints.
  • The tempered, flexible steel blade is securely attached to a lightweight aluminum mounting.
  • Handle varieties include smoothly turned basswood handle and ergonomic plastic.
  • The most popular size is 11″ x 4-1/2″.

Landscape Rake

  • Has a wide head braced with brackets attached to the handle.
  • Used for spreading dirt, gravel and sand.

Felt Paper

  • Also called building paper.
  • Installed under shingles.
  • Composed of a tough, fibrous base saturated with asphalt.


  • Tool consisting of two curved pieces of metal that are joined at one end with a pivot that has a screw to adjust the distance between the two pieces.
  • Used for transferring measurements from a model or prototype to a part being produced.
  • Can also be used to measure the inside or outside of holes or objects that cannot be reached easily with a graduated measuring device.
  • Common models include inside and outside calipers.

Unsupported Gloves

  • Good for applications requiring dexterity and mild chemical resistance, or disposable gloves.
  • Thin gauges offer a better sense of touch while a heavy gauge offers more protection.
  • May be constructed of latex, nitrile, neoprene, vinyl, polyethylene or blends.
  • Some styles are lined.

High Intensity Discharge Bulb

  • HID BulbProduces light when current flows through a conducting gas. Uses ballasts to start the bulb and to control its operation. Unlike fluorescent, most of the light comes from the arc itself rather than through the work of the phosphor.
  • Used primarily for area and security lighting. They feature a lifespan of 20,000 to 24,000 hours. They come in a variety of shapes and in medium and mogul bases.
  • One type is the mercury vapor lamp. These are used for exterior area and security lighting, such as dusk-to-dawn residential lighting. Mercury vapor lamps provide twice the light output per watt as incandescent lamps. Along with the higher output, they also have a longer lamp life, in some cases up to 30 times as long. They are also more expensive than incandescent or fluorescent. Mercury vapor bulbs produce a bluish white color. Self-ballasted mercury lamps can be used with a ballast in incandescent fixtures and are available for 120V systems in the lower wattages (up to 250 watts) and for 240V systems in both lower and higher wattages. These lamps deliver slightly more light output per watt as the incandescent lamps but have the long life of mercury lamps.
  • Metal halide lamps feature medium efficiency, with 50 to 110 lumens per watt. They provide good color characteristics (similar to cool white fluorescent lamps) along with higher light output.
  • High–pressure sodium lamps provide even higher light output per watt than metal halide (50 to 150 lumens per watt), with a golden yellow light. Residential applications include security and landscape lighting.
  • Low–pressure sodium bulbs feature the highest efficiency, with 100 to 180 lumens per watt. They produce an orange light.
  • When replacing HID bulbs, you must replace it with exactly the same type of bulb.


Voltage Tester

  • Also known as a test lamp, a circuit tester, a neon tester or a test light.
  • Consists of two insulated wire probes and a small neon light.
  • Designs vary widely.
  • Used to determine if there is electricity running through a circuit or if it is properly grounded.
  • Recommend as a basic tool for every toolbox.

Float Ball

  • Part of the Ballcock.
  • When the water level raises it, it shuts off the valve that lets water into the tank.
  • Made of plastic or copper.
  • Should be replaced if it develops cracks or corrodes and let water inside.

Premixed Concrete

  • Contains all the elements needed to mix concrete except water.
  • Generally comes in 40-, 60- or 80-lb. bags.
  • Typically used for minor concrete repairs or projects such as setting a post or replacing a section of a sidewalk.

Multi-Bit Screwdriver

  • Allows the user to have a number of different types of tips in one tool.
  • Some models store the interchangeable tips in a self-contained unit.



  • Provides a fast, hard-drying, durable finish for furniture, woodwork, hardwood floors and other wood-finishing applications.
  • It also functions as a sealer and stain-killer on drywall, cured plaster and new wood. Shellac is widely compatible with other coatings, and it can be applied over old shellac, varnish or lacquer finishes that are adhering well.
  • Most shellac is sold in a 3-lb. cut, the consistency recommended for most uses. The 3-lb. cut can be thinned to a 1-lb. cut for applications such as wood sealer before staining by thinning one quart of shellac with three pints of alcohol.
  • For applications where water spotting may be a problem, shellacked surfaces can be protected with paste wax or varnish.
  • Shellac may be applied with a brush, foam brush or from a can. When brushing, flow on the shellac from a full brush—with minimum brushing—and do not re-brush areas, since the alcohol-based solvent of shellac dries quickly.
  • Cleans up with ammonia and warm water.

Ladder Mitts

  • Are attached to the top rails of extension ladders to prevent marring of the surface the ladder is leaning on.
  • Generally made of tear-resistant and weather resistant urethane foam.

Beam Saw

  • A circular saw with a high capacity, usually with blades 10” and larger. Can cut through 4” material.
  • Used for cutting heavy timbers or for crosscutting or mitering angles on large, thick stock.

Can Light

  • Also known as recessed lights.
  • Provides ambient lighting.
  • Ideal for rooms with low ceilings and can be used to supplement existing light in kitchens and bathrooms.

Packing Nut Socket Wrenches

  • Also known as a plumberís wrench or wall socket set.
  • Available in sets and fits nearly all tub and shower valves.
  • Hex-shaped on both ends and hollow core to fit over faucet stem handles.

Plier Stapler

  • Similar to a desk stapler, but is generally used in heavy-duty work.

Manila Rope

  • The most frequently used natural fiber in twisted rope today.
  • Must be handled with care to prevent rot and mildew.
  • Good resistance to surface heat.
  • Stretches little and holds knots firmly.

Level Head Garden Rake

  • Has a level head set close to the handle.
  • Used to break up and smooth soil after it has been spaded and cultivated.
  • Has sharp, curved steel teeth to pulverize dirt clods.
  • The straight back is good for leveling the soil for planting.

Reinforcing Fabric

  • Used with roof cement to add strength and flexibility to surface repairs.
  • Used with cold-applied roof coatings, meaning they can be applied direct from the container with little to no heating required for application.

Dial Calipers

  • Tool used for measuring inside and outside diameters of cylinder-shaped objects, such as drill bits and pipe.
  • Dial readout provides accurate measurements in 1/64” or .01”.
  • Metric models are also available.
  • Other models include vernier calipers, which don’t have a dial and require the user to read from measurements on linear scale, and electronic digital calipers, which have a digital display readout.

Drywall Corner Trowel

  • Is used in applying compound to both sides of a corner at one time.
  • Comes in both inside and outside corner models.
  • A flexible one-piece blade of stainless steel eliminates tape snagging.
  • The blade angle is set at 103° to give perfect 90° corners when flexed in use.

Home Perimeter Alarm

  • Some types use low-voltage wire, similar to stereo speaker wire, to connect magnetic window and door sensors to a control panel.
  • Other types use radio transmitters at each door and window sensors to trigger an alarm at the control panel.
  • Alarm sounds when the window or door opens.
  • Alarm systems designed for d-i-y installation are frequently battery powered, so ease in testing the batteries can be an important feature. Some systems sound a warning when the batteries are low.
  • Hard-wired systems may have a button on the control panel that checks the entire system.

Flower Border

  • Encloses flower gardens or other plants.
  • Typically available in 6, 12 or 18 in. heights.
  • Made of galvanized or vinyl-coated metal or plastic.

HEPA Air Cleaner

  • Passes air through a filter to remove pollen, dust and other airborne allergens.
  • Uses a high-efficiency-particulate-arresting  (HEPA) filter.
  • Often used in medicine, atomic energy and semiconductors because of their superior air-cleaning ability.
  • Can trap as much as 99.97 percent of particles 0.3 microns or larger.
  • Designed to trap allergy-causing pollen and mold spores, as well as filter out smoke and dust mites.

Copper Pipe

  • Rigid copper pipe is good for new installation. Soft or flexible copper pipe is good for repair work since it can bend around obstacles without multiple cuts and joints.
  • Type K is heaviest, used in municipal, commercial, residential and underground installation; Type L is medium weight and is the most commonly used in residential water lines; Type M is hard and thin.
  • Recommended for light domestic water lines and not permitted in some city codes or for underground use.
  • Common sizes are 3/8”, 1/2 and 3/4”.
  • Refrigeration tube has moisture removed and ends sealed for better performance of refrigerants. Often used in heater connections but may corrode. For heater connections, use flexible brass or aluminum.
  • Larger sizes also used for DWV (drain-waste-vent) applications.

Continuity Tester

  • Used to determine if a wire or circuit can carry electricity from one end to the other.
  • Generally consists of two probes (one of them being an alligator clip) and an indicator light powered by a battery.
  • Can also be used to test cartridge fuses.

Tank-to-Bowl Hardware

  • Creates a secure connection between the tank and the bowl.
  • Consists of long brass bolts with rubber washers and a large foam-rubber washer.
  • One size fits all toilets.

Premixed Mortar

  • Contains masonry cement and sand, everything but water needed for a mortar.
  • Used for laying brick and block as well as patching and filling in around masonry.

Jeweler’s Screwdriver

  • Has a rotating head that is held by the forefinger to steady the screwdriver while the thumb and middle finger turn the screwdriver to remove or install small screws.
  • Mainly used by jewelers and hobbyists and others who often work with very small screws.
  • Generally manufactured in sizes ranging from .025” to .1”.
  • Usually available in sets with Phillips and slotted tips.


Wood Preservatives Waterproofers

  • Water repellents minimize water damage on pressure-treated and untreated wood. Some also contain a mildewcide to control mold and mildew. Use water repellent formulated for immediate application to pressure-treated wood to avoid premature cracking, splitting, splintering and warping. Periodic re-applications help prevent water damage as wood ages.
  • Wood preservatives by themselves provide no protection against moisture or water. Water repellency must be formulated into the product. Mildewcides are also frequently formulated into preservatives.
  • Water-borne, water-repellent preservatives for wood offer lower environmental hazards and convenient water cleanup. They provide an alternative to conventional solvent-based, water-repellent preservatives while retaining effectiveness, rapid drying qualities and excellent paintability.
  • Wood toners are water repellents that add color to highlight wood grain. Although toners are not to be used as if they are stains, adding color to a water repellent gives wood the benefit of ultraviolet light protection.
  • Most toners on the market are designed for use on pressure-treated wood. Some repellents contain ingredients that cause water to bead.
  • Specialty waterproofers include a multi-surface formula that can be used on brick and concrete, an aerosol version that works well for small exterior projects, a fence protector, a leather and fabric protector and a sport waterproofer specially designed for use on outdoor fabric and sporting equipment.
  • Preservatives should be reapplied periodically.

Ladder Tool Holder

  • Tool holder that drapes on both sides of the top of step ladders.
  • Contain separate pockets to hold different hand tools and fasteners.
  • One pocket generally snaps off to enable it to be used with extension ladders.

Trim Saws

  • Small circular saw used to cut sheet goods, moldings and trim.
  • Designed to make straight cuts on materials that are difficult to cut with a handsaw.
  • Can make cuts on a variety of materials, and different types of materials generally require different blades.
  • Easy to handle and lightweight.
  • Some models can adapt to cut glass and ceramic tile.

Landscape Fixtures

  • Designed to accent or light steps and pathways. It also serves a decorative function and is relatively easy to install. Don’t install landscape lighting with extension cords, which are for temporary use only.
  • Mushroom lights, named for their sloped shades, are commonly used along pathways or in gardens. The bulb ranges from 5 watts to 60 watts, and light is reflected downward to give a soft illumination to the immediate area near the fixture. Opaque, tiered lens attachments shield light from the eyes and direct it downward.
  • Bollard lights are cylindrical in shape, with the faceted lens being part of that cylinder. The lens diffuses light in a 360° pattern to create a soft glow. Lens shields can limit lighting to a 180° range.
  • Globe lights have spherical lenses, so they cast light in all directions, providing subtle illumination that can cover a large area without glare. They are often used around outdoor living areas.
  • Deck lights are designed to fit under steps, benches and railings. They can be mounted in many other ways as well. Many other kinds of fixtures can be recessed into steps or planters to directly illuminate pathways.
  • Landscape boulders blend naturally into the environment and glow from within, casting illumination for pathways. The faux boulders contain low-voltage lamps and UL-listed components that are easy to wire, can be installed on their own system or added to an existing low-voltage system.

PO Plug Wrench

  • Used to remove pop-up or pop-out (PO) plugs from the drain opening in the basin.
  • The four-way shape makes it useful for a variety of strainer types.

Glue Gun

  • Electrically operated glue guns consist of a heating element, nozzle and glue chamber.
  • Glue or caulking sticks are put in the chamber, where they are melted by heat and released through the nozzle. The adhesive cures by cooling. Cordless models are also available.
  • Some models require the operator to maintain pressure on the glue stick with the thumb. Others are self-feeding. The trigger mechanism on some models closes the nozzle to prevent dripping.
  • There are a variety of glues available—both with a gun and in replacement packages including heavy-duty types for wood joints requiring about 60 seconds drying time and lightweight for paper, etc., with shorter drying time.

Polypropylene Rope

  • A twisted rope that is less expensive than other rope fibers, making it a good all-purpose rope.
  • Floats and is easy to produce in colors, making it good for water use.
  • Low melting point, so it is not a good choice for using on pulleys where friction may melt the outer jacket.
  • Resists rot and mildew.
  • Not as strong as polyester or nylon, but three times stronger than manila.

Bow Head Garden Rake

  • Rake head is attached to the handle with a long, curved bows extending from each end of the head.
  • Handles are usually 48” to 54” long.
  • Used to break up and smooth soil after it has been spaded and cultivated.
  • Has sharp, curved steel teeth to pulverize dirt clods.
  • The straight back is good for leveling the soil for planting.

PVC Pipe

  • PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride.
  • Used for carrying cold water, irrigation, as conduit and for DWV (drain-waste-vent) projects.
  • Rated by thickness and strength. Common ratings (thickest to thinnest) are Schedule 40 (most common), Class 315, Class 200 and Class 125 (generally used for irrigation).
  • Available in sizes from 1/2” to 2”. White in color.



  • A caliper shaped like the letter “P” used for close tolerance work on tools such as drill presses and lathes.
  • These devices can make inside, outside and depth measurements to within .001″.

Drywall Pole Sander

  • Is used for sanding drywall joints, especially ceilings and side walls without having to use a ladder or stilts.
  • Swiveling head design allows for excellent maneuverability and easy access into corners.
  • Some models feature a hammerhead tip to easily set drywall nails.
  • Sandpaper or sanding screens clamp to head.
  • Extension pole is often sold separately.


  • Sits close to the ground to separate flowerbeds from lawn areas and keep grass roots from spreading into flower and garden beds.
  • Typically constructed of polyethylene plastic, aluminum or galvanized steel with a rolled top edge.
  • Another type is a length of scalloped wood slabs joined by wire in 3 ft. sections.
  • Some types are designed to look like stone or brick but feature poly construction that won’t chip, crack or fade.

Electrostatic Air Cleaner

  • Works best for whole-house filtration
  • Filter used consists of shredded polypropylene fleece that has been given a permanent electric charge to help attract and remove submicron-sized allergens.
  • Does not remove gas molecules from the air.

Plastic Roof Cement

  • A trowel-grade, general-use sealing compound.
  • Makes flashings, seams or patches in roofs and gutters water-repellent.

Home Area Alarm

  • Uses either ultrasonic waves or microwaves to detect motion. When it detects motion, it triggers an alarm.
  • Generally plugs into a standard electrical outlet, so they’re easy to install.
  • Ultrasonic detector waves only go as far as the wall of the room, while microwaves penetrate walls and windows.
  • Some ultrasonic alarms use a narrow sonic beam that must be bounced off a hard surface. Here, the intruder must break the beam to be detected.
  • Other ultrasonic alarms use a wide beam that fills the room and detects motion anywhere in the trap zone.
  • The most important consideration with this type of alarm is avoiding false alarms. These can be caused by air conditioners or drapery moving above a hot air register. Better systems have built in circuitry that does not respond to these types of signals.
  • Some systems have extra repeater alarms or satellites. These can be plugged in anywhere in the home to add extra noise and relay the warning to remote rooms.

Receptacle Analyzer

  • Analyzes a receptacle to determine whether or not the wiring is sound, if it is grounded and if the receptacle is receiving power.

Bowl Gasket

  • Wax RingAlso known as a wax ring.
  • Seals the joint between the toilet bowl and the drain piping in the floor.
  • Some types have a plastic ring inside to add protection.
  • For a better seal, use two rings, one on top of the other.

Latex Patching Cement

  • Used to patch cracks in concrete.
  • Can also be applied in layers as thin as 1/16” to make it useful for smoothing rough surfaces.
  • Comes as a powdered cement and latex liquid, which is mixed.

Bit Brace

  • A hand-drilling tool with a crank handle generally used to drill large holes in wood.
  • Drilling is done by turning the handle or center section in a circular motion. Pressure is applied to the knob or head of the bit brace with the heel and palm of the hand.
  • The knob or head of the bit brace is mounted on ball bearings so that it will turn freely from the rest of the brace and remain stationary when turning the tool.
  • Generally used with auger bits.
  • Can also be used as a powerful screwdriver.
  • Direction ratchet control in some models permits turning the bit in one direction and not the other which can be useful in tight spaces.



  • Is available in clear or colored formulations and has a fast-drying finish.
  • Work fast with lacquers. Also you may try a 50/50 mixture of lacquer and lacquer thinner (each preferably made by the same manufacturer) to slow drying time.
  • Lacquers should be applied only to new wood or over previously lacquered surfaces. They cannot be used over old paint or varnish; the solvents will lift old finishes.
  • Lacquers are available in clear or colors. They are usually difficult to apply by brush. However, some manufacturers do offer specially formulated versions that apply more easily with a brush.
  • Lacquer thinners are required to clean tools.

Paint Pail Shelf

  • Attaches to step ladders to provide a tray for paint cans.
  • Generally constructed of molded plastic shelf with aluminum arms.
  • Some models automatically close when step ladder is folded for storage.
  • Usually contains a built-in rag rack.

Water Pump Pliers

  • Also called expanding jawed pliers.
  • Larger sizes can be used as a quick opening pipe wrench.
  • Used to loosen sink strainer jam nuts or grip flush valve jam nuts.


  • CPVC stands for Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride.
  • Used for both hot and cold water supply or chemical distribution systems.
  • Good for temperatures at 200° F in pressure systems and non-pressure systems.
  • Requires special solvent cement that is different from cement used for other types of plastic solvents. Most solvents will indicate this on the can.

Rivet Tool

  • Plier-type tool that fastens materials together using rivets. The tool flattens the rivet heads to create a flange that sandwiches the material together.
  • Can be used in place of screws, nails and other fasteners in many applications, such as thin metal, leather and canvas.
  • It is usually purchased in a set containing one or two interchangeable nosepieces that set 1/8″ steel or aluminum rivets or 3/16″ aluminum rivets. Fixed nosepiece models are only capable of setting 1/8″ steel or aluminum rivets.
  • Many rivet tools feature self-storage of the extra nosepieces. Other features include sliding latches to lock handles closed for storage, spring opening handles to make constant usage easy and epoxy finishes to protect the tool.

Nylon Rope

  • A twisted rope that is the most versatile of all because of its strength.
  • Good shock resistance.
  • Good abrasion resistance.
  • Lasts five times longer than natural fibers.
  • Resists chemicals and will not rot or mold.
  • When stretched, has a tendency to return to its original shape.
  • Do not use on winches or bits or attached to hooks or chain.

Bamboo Rake

  • Lightweight and inexpensive.
  • Used to gather light debris such as dry leaves or grass.
  • Teeth should be evenly bent for best raking results.

Cordless Saws

  • Most portable of all saws. Cordless versions of circular, sabre and reciprocating saws are available. Very popular among both professionals and DIYers.
  • Operate off of a rechargeable battery, which is available in a wide range of voltages.
  • Used for finish work and the larger capacity batteries have sufficient power for large framing or carpentry jobs.
  • Usually feature an electronic brake to stop the brake instantly and avoid accidents.

Pitch Gauge

  • Used to determine the exact thread pitch needed for replacing screws and nuts.

Plant Pot

  • Also called planters.
  • Comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as rectangular and round.
  • Contains plants for hanging or displaying inside or outside the house.
  • Clay pots are porous, allowing air and moisture to pass through.
  • Plastic pots are lighter and more colorful, but depend on drainage holes to relieve excess moisture.
  • Factors to consider when selecting a pot are size, drainage and construction.
  • Pots often include a saucer to catch water from the drain holes.

Outdoor Fixtures

  • Primarily serve a security function, but there are a wide variety of systems, including: high–intensity discharge (HID) systems for mercury, metal halide and high–pressure sodium light sources; incandescent and tungsten halogen fixtures; low-voltage lighting systems; and incandescent or halogen PAR spotlights and floodlights.
  • HID lighting provides considerably greater illumination than other lighting commonly available. Its cost is also higher, although operating costs for lumens output is generally less.
  • Lumens are the measurement of light output.
  • Fixtures to be used outdoors must seal moisture and dust from wiring and switches. Fixtures with photocells provide automatic activation from dusk to dawn.
  • Spotlights or floodlights are used for security. They can also be used with a colored lend as decorative lighting. Weatherproof sockets are essential because the fixture is often mounted on the ground and pointed upward. Only install when the ground is completely dry.
  • Motion lights use sensors that activate the light when they detect heat and motion up to 40 feet away. They can attach to a power pack and mount on walls or fences 6 to 8 feet above the ground.

UV Air Cleaner

  • Uses a HEPA filter as well as ultraviolet light rays to clean air.
  • Also acts as a germ killer to remove virus, mold and bacteria from the air.
  • Some units have a pre-filter as the first line of defense against larger particles. It is the less expensive filter and extends the life of the more expensive HEPA filter.

Cold Process Adhesive

  • Also called lap cement roof adhesive.
  • Designed to form a water-resistant and waterproof bond with most coated roll roofing products.

Drywall Hand Sander

  • Used for hand sanding drywall joints.
  • Generally accepts ½ sheet of sandpaper or sanding screens.
  • Some models come equipped with a 6” flexible hose adapter that can be connected to a shop vacuum to suction drywall dust during sanding.

Closet Flange Bolt

  • Secures the toilet bolt base to the floor flange.

Vinyl Patching Cement

  • Used for patching concrete.
  • Consists of a powder mixed with water.
  • It has greater adhesive strength than cement and sand mixtures and a greater resistance to cracking and chipping.
  • Not affected by repeated freezing and thawing.
  • Can be applied in layers as thin as 1/16”.
  • Bonds to brick, tile, marble and concrete.

ABS Pipe

  • Drain PipeMeans Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.
  • Made from a thermoplastic resin. Lightweight and easier to use than metal pipe.
  • Commonly used for DWV (drain-waste-vent) applications or for underground electrical conduits.
  • Available as either solid wall or cellular core construction.

Ionization Fire Detector

  • Measures the changes in electric current caused by invisible particles ionized in the heat of combustion.
  • Transforms air inside the detector into a conductor of electric current. When smoke enters the detector and impedes the flow of current, the alarm sounds.
  • Responds particularly well to the smoke caused by a flaming fire.
  • Requires little power and is effectively powered by household batteries.
  • Slower to respond to a smoldering fire.
  • Detectors are required to emit a low warning when batteries are weak.

Oil Finish

  • Common types include Danish oil, tung oil or Swedish oil.
  • Provides coloring and protection in one step. However, oil finishes do not stand up to alcohol or water the way polyurethane does, so they are not recommended for high-traffic, abuse-prone applications.
  • Oils make nice, low-luster finish for furniture and other fine pieces. Waxing can provide water resistance with these finishes.
  • Lemon oil can be used to replenish fine wood with its natural oils while protecting the finish. It is best to use products that contain no beeswax or silicones that could cause a buildup or darken the wood.
  • Timber oil is a wood finish designed to penetrate exotic hardwoods such as mahogany and teak. This specialty wood finish helps preserve the hardwood and maintain its natural appearance.
  • Available in several shades, timber oil is a combination of tung oil, linseed oil and long-oil alkyds. In general, teak should be treated with oil-based formulas. Since teak is denser than many other common woods, wood protector should be applied with a brush or by rubbing it in with a cotton cloth.

Ladder Paint Tray

  • Similar to paint tray for step ladders but designed for extension ladders.
  • Can fit on aluminum or fiberglass extension ladders with round or flat rungs.

Fish Tape

  • Also known as a snake.
  • Used for pulling the electrical cable or wire through the wall or through electrical conduit.
  • Often comes in lengths of 25 or 50 feet, 1/2” or 3/4” wide with a hook on one end. Also comes coiled in a case.
  • Also used to probe wall cavities to determine the best path for routing a cable.

Push Drill

  • Operates by a push-pull movement using a spirally threaded shaft and chuck to hold the bit, similar to a push-pull screwdriver.
  • Generally has space in the handle for storing extra drill bits.


Tool Box

  • Is available in a variety of configurations and made from a variety of materials, with steel being the most popular.
  • Plastic toolboxes are available in a number of styles as well. Some are suited for light-duty use, while others are comparable to steel in quality.
  • The highest quality plastic boxes are constructed of polypropylene, and some models can hold up to 75 lbs. of tools.
  • Some carpenters and precision tool users use hardwood chests because the wood absorbs rust-producing condensation.
  • Carpenters’ toolboxes are specially designed so carpenters can carry hand saws and framing squares in the same box with other tools.

Polyester Rope

  • A twisted rope with strength similar to nylon.
  • Stretches less than nylon and has a poor shock load capacity.
  • Good resistance to abrasion and sunlight.
  • The top choice for general-purpose boating applications.

Thatching Rake

  • Used to remove thatch and dead grass from the lawn.
  • Pointed on one side for pulling and rounded on the other for pushing.
  • The wheeled version rolls along the ground. It digs as it is pushed forward and cleans itself of debris as it is pulled backwards.
  • The half-moon version does not have wheels. The user drags it along the ground. The pull stroke digs up the thatch, while the push stroke cleans.

Sabre Saws

  • Jig SawAlso known as a jig saw.
  • Cuts with an up and down motion and is ideal for cutting curves and irregular lines.
  • Usually can cut through 1” hardwood and 1-1/2” softwood. More powerful models can cut up to 2-3/4” thick in wood and 3/4” in aluminum and some can cut thin steel.
  • Quality machines operate at approximately 3,000 strokes per minute.
  • Generally, better machines also have longer strokes, often 1”.
  • The scrolling feature on some saws allows the user to turn the blade by means of a knob on the top of the tool instead of turning the whole tool.
  • Good quality jigsaws will also have features on the base that allow them to cut at an angle. An antisplintering insert is a removable plastic piece that sits in front of the blade and reduces the splintering of the material.
  • Another quality feature is a blade guide. This is a disk that sits behind the blade and supports it, keeping it on a straight path and resisting deflection. It provides for a more accurate cut and helps prevent blade bending and breaking.
  • Better models have orbital action for more aggressive cutting.

Low Voltage Lights

  • Safe for many outdoor lighting applications. Because of the low voltage, users will not receive an electric shock even if they touch the bare wires or cut a buried cable with a garden tool. Consequently, these systems are harmless to children and pets and do not require cables to be buried.
  • A power pack is the heart of the low-voltage system and should be located outdoors by installing a weatherproof outlet cover to keep snow and rain out. Power packs typically range from 88-watt capacity up to 900-watt capacity.
  • May be one of several types. Bayonet base lamps feature a copper base that twists into the fixture socket, while the wedge base lamp plugs into the socket. Halogen lamps provide the most energy efficiency.
  • Remote photo control automatically turns lights on at dark and off during daylight hours.

Ionizer Air Cleaner

  • Use an ionizer to clean air by charging molecules of air, which helps make indoor air more refreshing.
  • Ionizer technology in an air cleaner can also reduce static electricity and improve the filter’s efficiency.

Black Poly Pipe

  • Used for carrying low-pressure cold water. Common applications include golf course sprinklers, underground conduits or to carry corrosive liquids and gases.
  • Good chemical and crush resistance.
  • Lightweight enough to cut with an ordinary knife or a fine-toothed hacksaw blade.


  • Used with either a 3/8” or 1/2 ” drill for mixing drywall mud.
  • Has blades attached to a shaft that is inserted into power drill.
  • Shaft lengths generally range between 16” and 28”.

Toilet Water Supply

  • Connects water supply to toilet.
  • Flexible types are easiest to install.

Epoxy Patching Cement

  • Fortified with epoxy to make it one of the toughest masonry patchers available
  • Comes in a kit of emulsion, hardener and dry cement
  • Bonds to ceramic tile, glass and steel.
  • Not the ideal choice for minor patching jobs.

Stud Finder

  • Stud finders are devices that help locate wall studs, enabling you to hang pictures, mirrors and shelves securely.
  • Come in two basic types—electronic, which finds the stud by measuring the density of the wall, and magnetic, which detects nails and/or metal studs in the wall.
  • In addition to wood and metal studs, some advanced electronic stud finders will locate pipe, conduit, electrical wires and even reinforcing bar buried up to 6” in concrete.

Photoelectric Fire Detector

  • Uses a small lamp adjusted to direct a narrow light beam across the detection chamber. Smoke entering the chamber scatters this light beam, causing it to hit a sensor and set off the alarm.
  • Usually more sensitive to smoke from a slow, smoldering fire than an ionization detector, but reacts less quickly to flaming fires.
  • Available in both battery-operated and plug-in versions.

Grow Light

  • Gives indoor plants light they need to grow.
  • Versatile and can be fitted into bookshelves, into hanging planters, etc.
  • In order for the plant to maintain its shape, evenly distribute the light from above.

Wood Hardener

  • Formulated to strengthen and reinforce decayed or rotting wood.
  • Is a liquid consolidating agent that seeps deep into soft, deteriorated wood fibers, then hardens it to restore strength and some structural integrity.
  • Depending on the strength required, the formula can be water-based, solvent-based or two-part epoxy.

Ladder Levelers

  • Can be mounted to one or both legs of a ladder to allow it to remain level on uneven surfaces.
  • Consists of two swivel shoes that adjust between 3-1/2” and 8-1/2” (depending on the model) so that one leg can stand on the ground and one can stand on an elevated surface, such as a step.

Electrical Tape

  • Most common type is plastic, usually 3/4” wide.
  • Handy for many uses. In electrical work, it is used to cover bare wires after they have been exposed.


  • Made by twisting yarns together to make a single, continuous strand.
  • Low cost rope.
  • Not recommended for reuse.
  • Use for wrapping a roast, tying packages or establishing a line in the garden.
  • The more plies, the stronger the twine. A 16-ply #8 thread cotton twine is twice as strong as an 8-ply #8 thread twine.

Hand Trowel

  • Used to loosen dirt in a garden.
  • Blade is usually 3-1/4” to 3-1/2” wide.
  • Another type is a transplanting trowel that has a slimmer 2” wide blade.

PEX Pipe

  • PEX stands for crosslinked polyethylene.
  • Chief advantage is its flexibility and strength. It can make turns around corners without couplings.
  • In a PEX plumbing system, a separate line is run from the main water supply to each fixture in a set up much like a circuit breaker box.
  • Used for carrying hot and cold water.
  • Excellent chemical resistance to acids and alkalis, but do not use for fuel oil, gasoline or kerosene systems.
  • Do not weld with solvents. Join with heat fusion, flare, crimp ring or compression fittings.

Tool Chest

  • Stores tools as well as parts, screws, nuts, bolts and other small pieces.
  • Available in a variety of drawer configurations, with four- and six-drawer configurations being the most popular.
  • Many tool chests also come with casters or wheels for portability.

Bayonet Saw

  • Operates similar to a sabre saw.
  • Some models have a worm gear and a large blade orbit to make it suitable for metals, plastics, thin wood and laminate.

Trouble Lights

  • Have a strict standard for safety. All lamps with metal guards must be permanently grounded to the guard. Some lamps have plastic guards that solve the grounding problem, reduce heat build-up and prevent scratching of painted surfaces.
  • Some models do not have built-in cords. These models attach to a user’s extension cord and are easy to store and convenient to use.
  • In all cases, handles must be tightly fitted to the cage and meet crush-resistance testing and heat-factor requirements.

Fiberglass Filter

  • Designed to protect the heating and air conditioning system from large particles, heavy dust and lint.
  • Protects furnace from larger particles and lint that enter the HVAC system.
  • Most common type of filter.
  • Fibers are not dense or electrostatically charged, so they cannot attract and capture smaller-sized particles.
  • This type of filter should be changed at least once a month.
  • Most common size for all furnace/AC filters are 20”x 20”, 20”x 25”, 16”x 20”, 16”x 25” and 14”x 25″.


Mud Masher

  • Hand powered device used to mix drywall joint compound.
  • Features hardwood handle and square, grooved head.

Toilet Seats

  • Made of plastic or kiln-dried hardwood.
  • Hardware should be sturdy and non-rusting. Metal hardware should be solid brass with a quality finish.
  • Some toilet seats have “easy-on, easy-off” hinge posts that facilitate installation by the homeowner. These hinge posts also make it practical to remove the seat for thorough cleaning.

Anchoring Cement

  • Used for setting bolts, handrails or anything to be set in concrete.
  • Develops a strength greater than concrete.

Hand Drill

  • Also called an eggbeater drill, the drilling action comes from turning a hand crank on the side of a drill frame.
  • Features adjustable drill chuck to permit easy changing of drill bits ranging in size from 1/16″ to 1/2″.
  • Usually has drill bit storage in handle.
  • Generally used for precise drilling in fine woodworking applications.


Plant Hardware

  • Used in conjunction with pots or other plant containers.
  • Different types can include hooks and brackets in a wide variety of styles and finishes, including vinyl-coated and rustproof items.
  • Other features include rotating hooks or swivel brackets.

Grain Filler

  • Fills the open grain and pores on hardwoods like oak, ash and mahogany.
  • Designed to achieve a flat surface on work surface before top coating with a clear finish.

Ladder Stabilizer

  • Attaches near the top of extension ladders to help stabilize the ladder and make it safer to use.
  • Most models provide a wider or more stable base and protective rubber end cap to protect the work surface.
  • Can be used on both aluminum and fiberglass extension ladders and even articulated ladders to hold ladder 10” away from the wall.
  • Some models include spring loaded locking latch for quick installation and removal.
  • Commonly used to span second story windows to center ladder when working on windows. Some models span double windows.
  • Some models also designed for use on corners.

Wire Nuts

  • Used to connect the bare ends of two wires inside a box. At least two are required at every circuit connection.
  • Available in a variety of sizes and colors.
  • Connects wires with a twisting action.

Galvanized Pipe

  • Has zinc coating that prevents rust if not scratched.
  • Use primarily for carrying water or waste. Do not use for gas or steam.
  • Common water sizes are 3/8”, 1/2”, 3/4” and 1”. Common waste sizes are 1-1/2”, 2” and 3”.
  • Often sold in pre-threaded standard lengths, or can be custom threaded.
  • Use only with similar galvanized pipe fittings, not with black pipe fittings.
  • Measured using the I.D. (inside diameter).

Carpenter’s Level

  • Tool that employs bubble vials positioned in the center and both ends to check vertical and horizontal surfaces for level or plumb.
  • Made of either hardwood with brass binding, metal (aluminum, magnesium) or high-impact plastic.
  • Typically 24″ to 48″ long, but some models (generally mason’s levels) are longer and can be up to 72” in length.
  • Some models include split level or graduated vials that have two sets of lines, with the outside line representing a 2 percent grade that conforms to the slope required for gutters and waste lines to drain properly.
  • Some models include electronic features to calculate angles on sloped surfaces (roof pitches, stair slopes and drainage angles) and display reading in degrees, percent slope or inches per feet (rise/run).

Proof Coil Chain

  • The most common all-purpose chain.
  • A welded chain, which means the individual link is welded to form a continuous loop.
  • Commonly used as a log chain, tow chain, guardrail chain and switch chain.
  • Not intended for use as a sling or overhead lifting chain.

Bulb Planter

  • Used to plant or transplant flower bulbs or small plants.
  • The user twists the tool back and forth into the ground while pushing it into the ground. When desired depth is reached, remove the tool from the soil. It will pull up a core of earth with it.

Nail Hammer

  • Used for general carpentry, household chores and nail pulling.
  • Should be used only with non-hardened, common or finishing nails.
  • Curved claw offers leverage in removing nails and can also cradle a 2×4.
  • Choose 16 or 20 oz. weights for general carpentry; choose 7, 10 and 13 oz. weights for fine cabinetry or light-duty driving.
  • Available with smooth or waffled (serrated) faces. Milled face is for finishing jobs while waffled face provides more control when hammering large nails into lumber. Some claw hammers feature a side notch on the head for easier pulling of small nails and fasteners.


Tool Caddy

  • Plastic revolving storage container that holds tools and items such as nails, bolts, screws, glue and wire in tiers of circular trays.
  • The caddies are made of a high-impact plastic and feature a ball bearing base plate, allowing the unit to revolve easily.

Reciprocating Saw

  • Commonly used for demolition, framing and rough-in work. Good for cutting in tight quarters.
  • Used on a variety of materials, depending on the type of blade used. Some blades can cut through wood and metal, which is ideal when cutting through wood that might have nails in it.
  • Uses a straight blade that operates with a back and forth motion. Some saws may have an orbital action, and some models may let you choose between orbital and linear action. A third option is a swing action, which offers a smoother and faster cutting action.
  • Blade action usually goes to about 2,000 strokes per minute, but some pro models go higher.


  • Available in a variety of sizes and styles. Popular features include high-intensity, adjustable spot-to-flood beams with a simple twist of the wrist.
  • Mini-flashlights operate with AA or AAA cell batteries. Standard flashlights use two 6D cell batteries.
  • Flashlights with LEDs (light emitting diodes) will last much longer than standard incandescent bulbs. LEDs do not have a filament that will burn out. Instead, they use a semiconductor material. They’ve long been used in the electronic industry, and manufacturers are new using them in consumer flashlights.

Pleated Filter

  • A low-cost alternative to fiberglass filters, designed to protect the home’s HVAC system from dust.
  • Made of a dense and efficient cotton/polyester material.
  • The pleated design provides greater surface area to capture more particles than fiberglass filters.
  • Smaller sized particles can pass through the filter because fibers are not eletrostatically charge and the media must be woven with spaces between fibers to allow adequate airflow.
  • This type of filter should be changed every 90 days.

Mud Pan

  • Pan for holding drywall joint compound in hand during application process.
  • Generally 12” in length with tapered sides for easily applying joint compound onto taping knife.
  • Plastic models generally have a replaceable scraping bar for cleaning excess joint compound from taping knives and trowels.
  • Galvanized steel models feature watertight seams and sheared sides.

Thermal Fire Detector

  • Used primarily by large commercial firms.
  • The alarm sounds when the temperature rises to a certain level.
  • Most are also triggered by a quick rise in temperature even if an extreme temperature is not reached.
  • Not as safe as other types of fire detectors as fire usually must be intense before the thermal unit will sound.

Concrete Patch

  • A combination of cement and fine sand that the user mixes with water.
  • Some products come ready-mixed. They can also come in convenient containers or caulk tubes that make dispensing easy.
  • Used to repair cracks and holes in concrete walks, foundations and chimneys.

Black Iron Pipe

  • Not treated for rust resistance.
  • Used for carrying steam or gas.
  • Used only with black iron pipe fittings, not galvanized fittings.
  • Measured using the I.D. (inside diameter).


  • Used to make screw-starting holes for drilling, screwing or nailing when lightly tapped by palm of hand or with hammer or soft-face mallet.
  • Also used for scribing or scoring along a straight edge to produce a sawing or layout line on wood or soft metal.
  • gimlet is a variation of the awl with threads like a screw on the tip.


Plant Stake

  • Supports and gives extra protection to young plants.
  • One popular type is the tomato cage or tower that encloses the tomato plant and contains and gives it support, especially when it is heavy with tomatoes.

Paste Wax

  • Protects and adds luster to any stained or finished wood surface.
  • Many formulations contain carnauba for enhanced durability.
  • Commonly used on hardwood floors and fine wood furniture and even marble surfaces.
  • Dries quickly and doesn’t cause surface to become slippery.

Paint Can Bucket Hanger

  • Provides a convenient place for paint or tools.
  • Can secure one gallon paint can to ladder for ease of painting.
  • Some models include swivel hooks that snap to the can to keep it level.
  • Other models specifically designed to attach to the frame of extension and step ladders.

Fuse Puller

  • Used to remove cartridge-type fuses.

Nipple Extractor

  • Also known as an internal pipe wrench.
  • Used to remove pieces of pipe that have broken off.
  • Has a rigid cylinder with a moving part that fits into the inside of the pipe and is used with pliers to turn it.

Torpedo Level

• Usually 9″ long and 1” wide, it is used for obtaining readings in close quarters where a typical carpenter’s level won’t fit.

• Because of its compact size, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, hobbyists and homeowners often choose torpedo levels.

• Enhancement features include magnetized models and models incorporating a battery-operated light for working in dark areas.


Straight Link Welded Chain

  • Available in many gauges and link sizes.
  • Has high strength and is popular for general use.
  • One type is the coil chain, which has long lengths.
  • Another type is machine chain, which has shorter links than the coil chain.

Plug-Type Aerator

  • Cuts through hard soil to loosen and break up the dirt several inches below the surface so air and moisture can promote deep root growth.
  • Has coring points that puncture up to 3” deep.

Work Belt

  • Is generally constructed of leather or nylon and has compartments to keep tools and fasteners organized.
  • Can be purchased as a single unit that comes complete with a belt and separate compartments and pouches for various tools, or as individual components with the belt and pouches sold separately.
  • Most work belts come equipped with a steel or leather hammer loop, a tape measure compartment or clip, and various nail pouches as well as individual compartments for tools and fasteners.
  • Belts generally fit waist sizes from 29” to 46” and even 52” and are constructed of leather or padded nylon for comfort.
  • Some come equipped with compartments for cell phones.

Belt Sander

  • Sands using a continuous belt or abrasive material.
  • Used for aggressive removal of stock.
  • Uses two pulleys, a drive pulley that drives the belt and an idler pulley that guides it.
  • Two handles allow the user to push or pull the machine with little effort.
  • Comes in sizes of 2-1/2” to 4” wide belts; 3” wide is the most common size.
  • Some models have dust collection systems to help control the dust from sanding.
  • Most models have an adjustment feature that automatically maintains the belt in the center of the pulley during operation to eliminate belts that wander off the pulleys.
  • When using, take care not to gouge or ripple a soft wood surface. This sander can remove material rapidly.
  • Use open-coat sandpaper as it is less likely to clog.


  • Fluorescent lamps require special auxiliary equipment to provide reliable starting and to assure proper electrical operation. The principle function of the ballast is to hold operating current within proper limits and to provide enough voltage to start the lamp.
  • Instant-start ballasts provide sufficient voltage to start fluorescent lamps without preheating and are commonly used with single-pin lamps and some special lamp types.
  • Rapid-start ballasts heat the cathodes continuously from a low-voltage transformer within the ballast. This is the most common type of ballast in use today for 40-watt lamps and for all lamps that use recessed double-contact bases.
  • Reduced wattage lamps operate on most existing ballasts, which can reduce wattage 14 to 20 percent. In addition, new ballasts developed to minimize the wattage consumed by the ballast itself further reduce electrical consumption.

Electret Filter

  • More expensive than other types of filters, but also removes more particles than other types of filters. Also helps protect the heating and cooling system mechanical parts from dust, which helps extend its life.
  • Electrostatically charged. Contains “sites” that carry a permanent electrostatic charge. Sites attract and capture sub-micron-sized particles, as well as larger particles.
  • Captures large airborne allergens like household dust, pollen and mold spores.
  • Also captures microscopic allergens like pet dander, smoke and smog. Some manufacturers produce models that can capture bacteria and particles that can carry viruses.
  • Disposable. Should be changed every three months.

Drywall Hopper Gun

  • Pneumatic tool used for texturing and spraying joint compound on walls and ceilings. Generally has a multitude of spray settings and patterns for a variety of finishes.

Hydraulic Cement

  • Used to plug running leaks in masonry surfaces.
  • Stops water leaks under pressure and can be used under water.
  • Fast setting.
  • Used inside or outside, above or below the ground.

Water Supply Tube

  • Steel Supply TubeUsed to connect a water supply line to a faucet fixture, toilet or appliances. Several types available.
  • Plastic type is flexible and inexpensive but not designed for exposed connections.
  • Ribbed chrome type bends easily without kinking.
  • Braided type features pre-attached connector nuts at both ends and can be flexed to fit.
  • Chrome-plated copper or brass tubes are more rigid than other types and are good for exposed applications.
  • The most common size is 3/8″, with lengths ranging from 6″ to 72″.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

  • Detects carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, deadly gas that poses a potentially deadly health risk to people.
  • Measures the amount of carbon monoxide over time and sounds an alarm before people would experience symptoms.
  • Operates on batteries or can be plugged in.
  • Some models provide a running digital readout of CO levels.
  • Hard-wired or plug-in models typically use some type of solid-state sensor, which purges itself and resamples the air periodically. That cycle increases the power demand.
  • Battery-powered detectors typically use a passive sensor. They will operate even in case of a power failure.
  • Available in combination units that have CO and smoke detectors in the same unit.

Lawn Weed Control

  • Weeds are classified as grassy (such as crabgrass), broadleaf (such as dandelions and plantain), annual or perennial.
  • Weed seeds can lie dormant in the ground for several years, then grow again when conditions are right.
  • Spring is the best time to control broadleaf and grassy weeds when they are small and vulnerable. Weed killers are formulated to work best in temperatures between 60°F and 85°F.
  • Pre-emergent herbicides attack weeds before they break the surface of the soil. Apply them early in the spring. Post-emergent herbicides attack the plant after it begins to grow.
  • Selective herbicides kill certain plants but do not harm others. Non-selective herbicides will kill all vegetation they touch.
  • Do not rake or dethatch lawns after applying a pre-emergent herbicide. It will destroy the protective barrier the chemical has created.

Wood Conditioner Sealer

  • Is used on softwoods to help tame wild grain patterns and to even up stain absorbency.
  • The sealer penetrates the wood, which allows a more even color appearance and grain pattern.

Ladder Jacks

  • Convert a pair of extension ladders into a working platform.
  • Ladder jacks can accommodate 12”, 14” and 20” wide planks, depending on the model, and can be attached to either 2 or 3 rungs.
  • Clamp secures platform to ladder jacks and ties supporting ladders together to help secure entire ladder jack system.
  • Can be mounted to either side of an extension ladder.

Insulated Staples

  • Used to mount cable to studs or other framing members.
  • There are different sizes, so make sure you are recommending the correct one.

Handle Puller

  • Also known as a faucet handle puller.
  • Used to remove corroded or frozen handles without scarring the chrome.
  • Has two hook-like jaws with a center rod that turns.
  • Use penetrating oil to help loosen the handle before pulling.

Open-End Wrench

  • Provides gripping power on two sides of the head with another side open so the wrench can be placed on a nut, which might not be accessible to a closed or box wrench.
  • Has different size openings on each end and should fit the nut exactly to prevent mutilating the nut edges.
  • Some types, called flare nut wrenches, are flared to fit hex fittings and flare nuts.
  • Generally available in sets.


Twist Link Welded Chain

  • Has links twisted at uniform angles. The slight twist in the links tends to make the chain more flexible and prevents the entire chain from twisting and knotting during use.
  • One type is the coil chain, which has long lengths.
  • Another type is machine chain, which has shorter links than the coil chain.

Spike-Type Aerator

  • Cuts through hard soil to loosen and break up the dirt several inches below the surface so air and moisture can promote deep root growth.
  • Has spiked wheels that allow scrap-free transport across hard surfaces.

Narrow Belt Sander

  • Has a belt that is narrower than a typical belt sander, making it ideal for sanding in tight places.
  • Easy to maneuver.
  • With a bench stand accessory, it can mount on a table top and is good for sanding smaller pieces.


  • A small silver-colored cylinder found mostly in older fluorescent lamps.
  • Allows the electrodes to heat up prior to the lamp starting.
  • When the lamp in an older fluorescent begins to flicker, both the tube and the starter should be replaced.
  • Starterless operation is achieved with instant-start and rapid-start ballast designs.

Electronic Filter

  • Filters the entire home by installing in the duct system.
  • Only operates when the furnace or AC blower is running.
  • Typically must be installed by a professional.
  • Electronic cells must be cleaned regularly.

Rip Hammer

  • Also known as a Rip Hammer
  • Used mainly by professionals for ripping apart wooden components and demolition work.
  • Should be used only with non-hardened, common or finishing nails.
  • Choose weights from 20 to 32 oz. for framing and ripping.
  • Available with milled or waffled faces to grip the nail head and reduce the effect of glancing blows and flying nails.


Vinyl Tubing

  • Vinyl TubingEconomical and used in a variety of applications.
  • Usually joined with pressure fittings and clamps.

Laser Level

  • Also called laser chalk lines, they are used to level and provide reference lines for hanging pictures, tile work, etc.
  • New features for electronic levels include having preset angles commonly used in construction, a self-leveling feature, and offering a graphical display that tells the user the direction and extent to rotate toward level or plumb.
  • Accessories include a variety of mounting devices such as clamps and magnetic mounts that make setup and use easier and more convenient.

Nail/Tool Pouch

  • Comes in a variety of configurations for holding tools and fasteners.
  • Main pockets generally hold fasteners and smaller, individual compartments hold tools.
  • Generally constructed of leather or nylon.
  • Belt, which is sold separately, fits into slots in pouch.

Blacktop Sealer

  • Used to maintain outdoor asphalt surfaces.
  • The ultraviolet rays of the sun damage the asphalt binder used as the paving material. The sealer protects asphalt against oil, tar and gasoline and keeps water from settling in pores.
  • Apply at 70°F or higher and require 24 to 48 hours to dry before use.
  • The coal tar type of sealer needs to be resurfaced yearly and may contain hazardous chemicals.
  • The acrylic sealer type is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

Toggle Bolt

  • Used where the back of the wall is inaccessible.
  • Works on a spring principle. The holding arms open after the screw and holder are inserted into the hole, gripping the wall as the screw is tightened.
  • Select bolts according to the thickness of the diameters from 1/8” to 1/2”.
  • Fixture to be mounted must be assembled with screw and holder before inserting it into the wall.

Alpha-Track Radon Detector

  • Detects radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas formed wherever there is uranium, an element present throughout the crust of the earth. It poses little risk if it makes its way to open air, but if it seeps into a house, it can collect in hazardous concentrations.
  • This detector consists of a small sheet of plastic. Alpha particles that strike the plastic cause microscopic pockmarks.
  • After an exposure period, users mail the detector to a lab. The lab’s count of the pockmarks gives a direct measure of the mean radon concentration.
  • Another type uses activated-charcoal granules, which trap radon gas. After an exposure time, the container is resealed and shipped back to a lab for analysis.

Lawn Insect Control

  • Controls a variety of insects that destroy healthy lawn turf.
  • The active ingredient in some pesticides will remain active for months, eliminating the need for multiple applications.
  • Some products can be sprayed on while others are incorporated into a fertilizer in granular form.
  • Insects attacking lawns can be all shapes, colors and sizes, but they generally fall into two categories: surface-active (above ground) and soil active (below ground).
  • Examples of surface-active bugs are webworms, cutworms, army worms andchinch bugs.
  • Sod webworms damage lawns throughout the entire growing season by eating grass blades. Small moths flying in zigzag patterns across the lawn are a good indication these bugs are present.
  • Chinch bugs damage lawns when temperatures rise above 80°F. They attack grass stems and suck out plant juices. Lawns usually have to be reseeded.
  • Grubs are an example of soil active insects. They feed on grass roots, killing the grass in patches. White grubs become active when the soil warms up and they destroy lawns from late spring to early fall.
  • Many insects do not pose problems to lawns. Before you decide to use a pesticide, determine that the number of pests and potential damage and environmental impact justify the use of a pesticide.


Natural Sea Sponge

  • Used with sponging technique to apply paint and glaze to the surface to give a mottled look.
  • Process begins with application of a coat of paint in a solid color. Once this coat is dry, the damp sponge is then used to add glaze in another color.
  • One line of sponges comes with a plastic handle that can be removed as well as a smaller trim sponge for corners.
  • Can also be used with a negative method, which involves applying a base coat, then a glaze coat. A sponge is then used to remove some of the glaze before it has a chance to dry, partially exposing the color of the base coat.

Yoke Vise

  • Helps hold pipe when cutting or reaming pipe.
  • Has V-shaped jaws that grip pipe from above and below. The lower jaw is fixed, while the upper jaw is raised or lowered by a screw.
  • Holds pipe with the inverted V-shaped yoke that unlatches on one side and tilts to accommodate the pipe.

Box (Box-End) Wrench

  • Has enclosed head and provides more leverage by completely enclosing the nut.
  • Some are offset to provide knuckle room and clearance over obstructions.
  • Ranges in size from 4″ to 16″ long and is available with either 6- or 12-point rings.
  • Some models have ratcheting capabilities.


Passing Link Welded Chain

  • Made with links sufficiently wide to permit the links to pass each other easily, keeping kinking and tangling to a minimum.
  • Used extensively on farm machinery, for a swing chain and for animal tie-out.

Spading Fork

  • Used to dig and aerate soil.
  • Has straight tines.

Wood Fireplace

  • Burns seasoned wood or manufactured wood logs to provide primary or secondary heat to a home.
  • Newer prefabricated fireplaces are more energy efficient than traditional masonry ones.
  • Must use a venting system. In a conventional, open-face fireplace, the chimney serves as the vent. The drawback is that it pulls warm air up the chimney and out of the house.
  • A prefabricated fireplace has an enclosed firebox made of a material that will hold some of the heat from the flue gases so more heat is radiated back into the room.
  • Fireplace systems will incorporate a damper in the flue, which can be closed when the fire is extinguished. Otherwise, the warm air will continue to flow out of the house through the draft that is created.

Finishing Hammer

  • Used for general carpentry, finishing and cabinet making.
  • Head size generally between 7 oz. and 16 oz.
  • Smooth striking face so errant strikes don’t leave marks on the wood.


  • Installed under sinks and tubs to route wastewater to the drain.
  • Bridges the gap between the sink tailpiece and the drain line.
  • The bend in the trap uses gravity to hold water and prevent sewer gas from seeping into the house.
  • Attach using slip nuts
  • Three configurations include: P trap, S trap and J bend.
  • Most common sizes are 1-1/4” and 1-1/2”.
  • Also available is a trap with flexible tubes that help in connecting misalignments of the tailpiece and the drain line.
  • Available in plastic and chrome-plated brass.

Linseed Oil

  • Pure preservative available in boiled and raw formulations.
  • Boiled linseed oil has driers added to promote faster drying than raw linseed oil.
  • Offers superior penetration into wood surfaces and provides good UV protection.
  • Also improves the flow and gloss of exterior oil-based paint.
  • A classic finish for natural wood to seal and protect it.

Disc Sander

  • Used mostly for metal sanding or grinding, but also capable of removing stock in plastics, wood or concrete when used with the proper accessory stone, disc or wheel.
  • Aggressively removes stock but leaves scratches in the material.
  • Available in two styles: the angle head where the disc runs parallel to the motor, and the vertical style where the disc runs in a plane perpendicular to the motor.
  • Polishers are another variation of this sander, but they operate at much lower speeds than the sander. A sander should not be used for polishing as the high speed could burn the paint.


  • Different than cable. Cable refers to two or more wires or conductors grouped together in a jacket.
  • Copper or tinned copper is the most common conductor in home wiring because it has minimum resistance at reasonable cost.
  • Wire is grouped by gauge number, running from 0000 to No. 40. The smaller the number, the thicker the wire. For home use, the most common gauges are between 10 and 20.
  • Larger wire carries more current. Forcing too much current through a wire will cause it to overheat and trip a breaker.
  • Wire is also characterized by letters that correspond to the insulation type and electrical capacity.
  • Grounding wire provides a path of least resistance from the frame or case of an appliance to the ground to guard against electric shocks. Both two- and three-conductor cables can carry grounding wires.

Permanent Washable Filter

  • Consists of a flat panel of various woven synthetics.
  • Considered permanent because homeowners can rinse it free of particles and reuse it.
  • Should be rinsed every 30 days. Filter usually lasts 5-6 years.
  • Some brands have an anti-microbial agent that inhibits growth of mold, mildew, bacteria and fungi in the filter.
  • An electrostatic charge develops as air passes through the filter. The charge, however, varies with humidity and the furnace or A/C blowing cycles. This means some particles may fall off the filter, pass through it and re-enter the air stream.

Specialty Stationary Workbench

  • Comes with a variety of drawers, holes and pegs for tool storage.
  • Some models are equipped with vises to hold work firmly in place.
  • These units are generally expensive and can’t be easily moved around the shop.

Tack Hammer

  • Used for furniture upholstery and to drive small nails and tacks.
  • Features a magnetic face used to hold small tacks. The other face is used to drive them.

Plumb Bob

  • A small, tapered, pointed weight suspended from string or cord used to measure true vertical plumb or depth.
  • Commonly used in construction and framing.
  • Many chalk line reels can also be used as plumb bobs, hanging the tool from its string.

Continuous Monitor Radon Detector

  • Plugs into a standard outlet.
  • Samples air continuously for radon and provides updated reading on the display.
  • Alarm sounds when the long-term average of radon level passes an acceptable level.
  • Alarm will be repeated until the radon level drops back to the accepted level.

Lawn Disease Control

  • Controls fungus-related diseases that destroy healthy lawn turf.
  • Fungi adheres to the plant, steals food from and/or deposits toxic substances in the cells of the plant.
  • Some types of disease controls are granular chemicals while others are liquids.
  • Homeowners who use a mixture of grasses have a better chance of their lawn surviving a disease as most diseases attack one specific type of grass.
  • Common types of lawn fungi are snow mold, leaf spot and dollar spot.
  • Snow Mold attacks grass any time from late fall to early spring. Grass turns a reddish color or tan to gray. It can destroy small areas or complete lawns.
  • Leaf Spot results in brown or black spots on leaves and can occur through a wet, cool fall, winter and spring season. Thinning of the lawn may not be noticeable, but leaf activity is quite pronounced.
  • Dollar Spot starts in mid-spring and/or when weather is moist and cool. Damaged spots are a bleached straw color. A cobweb-like growth is a sign the fungus is active.

Rag Rolling Applicator

  • Used with rag rolling technique to achieve effects similar to crushed velvet, parchment, chamois leather, watered silk or brocade.
  • As with sponging, ragging begins with application of a coat of paint in a solid color and allowing it to dry. A crumpled cloth is then used to add glaze in another color.
  • To rag-roll, a cloth is rolled into a sausage shape of varying tightness, then lightly dipped into the glaze and rolled gently across the base coat.
  • Ragging and rag-rolling results vary according to the cloth material used. Linen, lace and burlap are common choices, but almost any material will do if it is clean and free of lint.
  • Can also be used with a negative method, which involves applying a base coat, then a glaze coat. A rag is then rolled over the glaze to remove some of it before it has a chance to dry, partially exposing the color of the base coat.

Chain Vise

  • Helps hold pipe when cutting or reaming pipe.
  • Smaller than the yoke vise. Has a fixed lower V-shaped jaw with teeth on where the pipe is laid and a bicycle-type chain fastened to one end. When the pipe is inserted, the chain is placed over it and locked in a slot on the opposite side.

Cartridge-Type Faucet

  • Also known as a washerless faucet.
  • Uses a rubber diaphragm or two metal, plastic or ceramic discs with holes that align to let the water flow or close to shut off the water flow. Ceramic plates are more difficult to damage than rubber seats, but hard water can sometimes cause problems with the ceramic cartridges, such as squeaking or sticking.
  • Single-handle faucets that use stainless steel ball design have just one moving part and are a durable alternative.
  • Reduces leakage problems that result from worn washers.
  • Easy to repair because most new models have the water-control mechanism housed in a replaceable cartridge.
  • Replacing a cartridge is an easy do-it-yourself project, compared to working on conventional faucets. Most faucets that offer this convenience are labeled “self-contained cartridge.”

Ridge Vent

  • Vents exhaust from the attic and extends the life of the roof.
  • Typical widths are 9” and 12”.
  • Helps keep the attic cool and reduces air conditioning costs.
  • Helps prevent ice dams.
  • Shingle-over ridge vents incorporate shingles that match the roof and are nailed over the vent.
  • Pre-drilled holes make installation easy.
  • Most types feature baffles because ridge vents without baffles can allow wind and moisture to enter the attic.

Combination Wrench

  • Has a box and an open end on opposite sides of the same wrench. Both ends are usually the same size.
  • Used for working on machinery and is the most popular of all fixed-end wrench styles.
  • Also available is a reversible ratcheting combination wrench that allows the user to quickly tighten nuts and bolts without lifting the wrench off and repositioning it after each rotation.


Molly Bolt

  • Also known as an expansion bolt.
  • Consists of a screw in a metal sleeve.
  • When the sleeve is inserted into a pre-drilled hole and the screw is turned, the sleeve spreads.
  • Screw can be removed and inserted in the fixture to be mounted and replaced.

Weldless Flat Chain

  • Commonly called sash chain.
  • Made by stamping or shaping a flat strip from metal. Strips are then formed into links and attached to each other.
  • Especially suited for use over pulleys or where chain must lie flat.
  • Weldless chain is generally recommended for light work only.


  • Breaks up clods left by spading or aerating.
  • Has one, three or four sharp curved tines or prongs.
  • A rotary cultivator with sharp spurs is best for heavier work.

Gas Fireplace

  • Uses natural or LP gas.
  • Burns either natural or LP gas to provide primary or secondary heat to a home.
  • Conventional models require a venting system and a smoke dome or chimney installed through the roof.
  • Newer gas fireplaces can be vented through the wall using a power vent.
  • Built-in units require no special flooring or hearth front.
  • Can be converted to a wood-burning fireplace.

Ball Peen (Ball Pein) Hammer

  • Ball Pein HammerUsed with cold chisels for riveting, center punching and forming unhardened metal work.
  • Striking face diameter should be about 3/8” larger than the diameter of the head of the object being struck.
  • Designed with a regular striking face on one end and a rounded or half ball on the other end instead of a claw.
  • Sizes range from 2 oz. to 48 oz. with 12 and 16 oz. the most popular.
  • Variations include a cross-peen hammer (with horizontal wedge-shaped face) and a straight-peen hammer (with vertical wedge-shaped face).


Tub Drain

  • Bath DrainUses an overflow opening to control draining in a tub.
  • The Spring type consists of an assembly controlled by a lever that moves a pop-up plug up and down. It is easiest to install, especially in retrofits.
  • The Weight type consists of an assembly that controls a weight that lifts up or down out of the drain hole. It is also controlled by a lever.

Heavy Duty Scraper

  • Is used to scrape old wallpaper off walls and peeling paint from work surfaces.
  • Blade is removable for replacement and is secured with screws.
  • Angled head offers enhanced leverage.
  • Many now come with ergonomic rubber grip handles for enhanced comfort.

Random Orbit Sander

  • Uses a round disc of sandpaper to sand in both a circular and back-and-forth motion, which reduces swirl marks.
  • Common sizes are 5” and 6”, but smaller and larger sizes are available.
  • Sands in all directions, both against and with the grain.
  • One of the biggest differences in these sanders is the grip style a manufacturer may use. Some have grips at the front of the sander, while others have handlebars that can be attached at either side of the sander.
  • Another important feature is variable speed for slower, delicate work or faster, heavy work.
  • Most use a dust bag to collect sanding dust.


  • Refers to a collection of two or more strands of wire or conductors.
  • Basically, cable has a “hot” line to carry the current and a “neutral” line to complete the loop. They often have a third wire as that acts as a grounding wire.
  • Classified according to the number of wires it contains and their size or gauge.
  • All cables are marked with a series of letters followed by a number, a dash and another number. The letters indicate the type of insulation (cord, wire and insulation). The first number indicates the resistance of the wires in the cable, and the number following the dash indicates the number of individual conductors in the cable.
  • If the designator “G” follows the series it means that the cable is also equipped with a non-current-carrying ground wire. Hence, the designator USE 12-3/G indicates an underground cable containing three separately insulated wires capable of carrying 20 amps of current plus a grounding wire.
  • The most common jackets are NM-B (Non-Metallic Building Indoor), UF-B (Underground Feed) and BX, which is flexible metallic cable.
  • Two-conductor cable contains one black wire and one white wire. The black wire is always the “hot” wire and must be fused. The white is always neutral and must never be fused. When current bridges the gap from the 110V hot wire to the neutral, it results in a 110V input to the appliance.
  • Three-conductor cable contains a red wire in addition to black and white. The black and red wires are “hot,” carrying 110V each, and both must be fused. The white remains neutral. This three-wire circuit is increasingly common in home wiring; it accommodates major 220V appliances, such as ranges and air conditioners.
  • BX cable is armored metallic cable. It consists of two or three insulated wires individually wrapped in spiral layers of paper. The steel casing acts as a ground wire. There is also a bond wire included in the casing that acts as a ground if the casing breaks.
  • Romex® cable is a flat, beige thermoplastic jacket surrounding two or three wires. Each wire is wrapped in insulation and a spiral paper tape. Type NM means it can be used indoors. Type NMC means it can be used indoors or outdoors. Type UF means it is suitable for use underground outdoors.

Dial Thermostat

  • Controls the temperature in a room turning on or off the furnace or air-conditioner.
  • Temperature is set manually by a dial.
  • One type is low-voltage. It uses power from a transformer that converts 120-volt power into 24 volts.
  • Line-voltage thermostats are another type, and use the same power source as the units they control.

Mobile Workbench

  • Enables user to position a workbench wherever it is needed in the workshop.
  • Some models feature adjustable leveling feet, adjustable height, detachable casters, latching doors, drawers, hooks for hanging tools, dust collection ports, quick-change tool set-up, lock-down hardware and corner tops.
  • They can hold large and small tools, and some models are designed to serve as a shop bench, router station or clamping station.

Line Level

  • Used for checking level over distances, such as when installing a patio, floor or a suspended ceiling, and when there is no flat surface available.
  • Generally attached to a string stretched between two points, allowing the user to make an accurate height comparison between the two points.

Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher

  • Extinguishes Class B and C fires.
  • Class B fires involve flammable liquids, gases and greases.
  • Class C fires involve electrical equipment or wiring where the electric non-conductivity of the extinguishing agent is important.
  • Has a limited range and is affected by draft and wind.

Household Pesticides

  • Kill or repel pests that could come inside the home.
  • Improper application can have harmful effects on families and pets.
  • One popular type is the spray or fogger. These penetrate the cracks and crevices inside the house where insects nest. Users will need to leave the house for a period of time while the chemical works.
  • When using foggers, read the warning labels regarding use around open flames. The pilot lights on gas furnaces and appliances will ignite the insecticide if it reaches a high enough concentration in the home.
  • Pest repellents keep insects and rodents from entering the home. Common examples are sprays that repel dogs and wild animals from gardens and flowerbeds, or spray-on mosquito repellents that can be used on skin or clothing.
  • Pest traps will kill or confine rodents or insects. Common examples are the mousetrap and the roach trap. Traps incorporate some type of bait.
  • Poisons are ingested directly into the pest. Keep in mind they can also be harmful to household pets or small children.
  • Be sure to read the pesticide package carefully and follow all instructions.

Graining Feather

  • Used in marbling technique, in which a base layer of white or color is dabbed on with a damp sponge, and then a second glaze of a different color is applied the same way, causing the two colors to “marble.”
  • The feather provides the “veined” look.
  • Marbling is often done with fireplace mantles.


  • Removes burrs from the inside of the pipe. Burrs are the flakes of metal or plastic on the outside and inside of the pipe after the pipe is cut.
  • Cone-shaped, with ratchet handles.
  • Cutting edges can be sharpened, but this is difficult and time-consuming and the small replacement cost usually makes it impractical.
  • Straight-fluted reamers have straight cutting edges. They can be used by hand or in a pipe rotating on a power drive unit.
  • Spiral-fluted reamers have spiral-shaped cutting edges. They cut more easily, save time and are often used by sheet metal workers to enlarge holes in sheet metal and conduit box outlets, as well as smoothing inside edges of pipe. They are for hand use only.

Soffit Vent

  • An air intake on the soffit or eave.
  • Helps balance the flow of air into the attic from the ridge vent.
  • Usually made of either aluminum or PVC.
  • Reversible soffit vents can be flush or recessed mounted.

Wall Driller Anchor

  • For light-duty use on drywall.
  • Fastener makes its own hole in the drywall.
  • Do not use overhead.

Double Loop Wire Chain

  • Made of light-gauge wire with the links formed by knotting or tying the wire to the desired link size.
  • One of the most popular chains because of its versatility.
  • Commonly used for dog runners, swing sets, playground uses and padlocks.

Garden Hoe

  • Prepares soil for planting.
  • Also used for weeding.
  • Typical blade width is 6”.

Vented Gas Log

  • Requires a venting system and a smoke dome or chimney, installed on the roof.
  • Operate at a range of 60,000 to 90,000 BTUs and loose heat as they require the chimney damper to be open.
  • Made of high-temperature, heat-resistant ceramic or cement in a variety of finishes.
  • Place directly on the fire grate or lay on a flame pan covered with a bed of volcanic granules for a more realistic looking fire.
  • Requires no electricity to operate.
  • Fits into fireplaces with a gas hookup and can be installed into any UL-listed, solid fuel burning fireplace.


  • Used for jobs where great force is required such as breaking up concrete or driving heavy spikes.
  • Feature long handles from 14” to 36” and heavy heads weighing from 2 lbs. to 20 lbs.
  • Double-face sledgehammers feature two identical faces.
  • Single-face sledgehammers have one flat face for striking and one wedge-shaped face for splitting wood.

Pop-Up Drain

  • Also known as a P.O. drain.
  • Controls the mechanism in a lavatory sink with a plug that can open or close the drain.

Adjustable Wrench

  • Comes in two styles: locking and non-locking.
  • Non-locking styles feature an adjustable end opening with little provision made for slippage.
  • The locking style also has an adjustable head, but uses a locking mechanism to secure jaws in desired position, eliminating the need for constant readjustment. When properly adjusted to a nut or bolt, it will not slip.


Paint and Varnish Scraper

  • Also called a wood scraper.
  • Removes old finishes and smooths the surface with its sharp cutting blade.
  • Often used with paint strippers and other chemical removers
  • Can either have a fixed blade like a putty knife (generally called a wall scraper) or a replaceable blade.
  • Sizes range from the 1″ blade—primarily used for small, hard-to-reach areas—to a 5″ blade.
  • Replaceable blades are usually made from tempered, high-carbon steel. Some have carbide or even diamond-honed blades for greater cutting ability and durability.
  • Contour scrapers can accommodate a variety of blades for removing materials on rounded surfaces and in grooves.

Palm Sander

  • Also known as a finish sander.
  • Sandpaper attaches to a rectangular pad on the bottom of the sander. The motor moves the pad in small, circular orbits.
  • Easy to handle.
  • Can use regular sandpaper, and measures its size by the portion of a standard 9”x11” sheet of sandpaper it uses. A 1/4 size uses a 1/4 of a regular sheet, a 1/3 uses a 1/3 sheet and a 1/2 uses a 1/2 sheet.
  • The holes on the bottom of the sander help to remove the dust from the material as you are sanding.
  • Some models have a sandpaper piercing plate that allows you to transform a standard sheet of sandpaper into one with holes designed to fit on the bottom of the sander.
  • Good for sanding corners and finish work. However, it may leave some scratches as is sands both with and against the grain.
  • Some models incorporate a triangular pad extension for sanding in tight corners.

Thermostat Cable

  • Used in low-voltage control, alarm and communication systems. Most common types are braided, twisted and plastic-jacketed types. All three use solid copper conductors and are twisted and insulated with plastic.
  • Although thermostat cable is low voltage, it carries an UL-listing for being flame-retardant, since it is installed in the wall. Wiring used in security alarm and smoke detection systems must be UL-listed.
  • Twisted cable, which has no outer braid, is used in doorbells, burglar alarms, intercom telephones and public address systems.
  • Braided cable is covered with cotton braid and is used primarily in thermostat controls and other low-voltage, remote control circuits.
  • Plastic-jacketed cable is also used in similar low-voltage applications.

Digital Thermostat

  • Controls the temperature in a room turning on or off the furnace or air-conditioner.
  • Temperature is set electronically.
  • A popular type is a programmable thermostat that allows the use to preset temperatures for different times of the day.
  • A popular replacement for dial thermostats because they use the same wiring.

Ball-Type Faucet

  • Also known as a washerless faucet.
  • A single-handle faucet that uses a ball with openings in it to control hot and cold water.
  • May leak either at the spigot or at the handle.
  • Leaks from the handle are usually caused by improper adjusting-ring tension. To stop the leak, adjust the tension.
  • Worn cam seals can also result in leaks at the handle.
  • Worn spring-loaded, soft rubber seal assemblies usually cause dripping from the spigot.

Hand Drilling Hammer

  • Has short handles and is used for pounding hardened nails into concrete or for using with tools that drive nails and pins into concrete or brick.
  • Only hammer to use with star drills, masonry nails, steel chisels and nail pullers.
  • Weighs between 2 lbs. and 4 lbs.
  • Larger striking surface, generous bevel and special heat-treating minimize chance of chipping the striking face.


Circular Level

  • Circular in shape, this tool is used for leveling flat surfaces over a 360 degree plane, such as table tops and appliances.
  • Also called Bull’s Eye or Surface Level.
  • When bubble appears in center of circular vial, piece is level.

Folding Workbench

  • Is a portable specialty bench that comes as a tabletop or folding bench.
  • The folding benches offer easy storage and a firm, broad base.
  • Many models come with a tabletop clamping device to secure work piece to the table and hold irregular pieces securely.

Dry-Chemical Extinguisher

  • Some types extinguish only Class B and C fires.
  • Includes sodium and potassium bicarbonate base agents.
  • Some types are marked general-purpose or multi-purpose. These types can be used on Class A, B and C fires.

Sphagnum Peat Moss

  • Adds body to sandy soil to help with water retention and also loosens and aerates densely packed soil with high clay content.
  • Consists of the remains of a spongy type of northern moss called sphagnum.
  • Reduces leaching of soil nutrients.
  • Adds organic material to soil.
  • Available in compressed bales from 6 cu. ft. down to 1 cu. ft.
  • Also available in smaller packages for use in flowerpots and in planter boxes that must be soaked before using.

Stippling Brush

  • Brush used to create stippling effect which is a faux technique that gives an aged look to new surfaces.
  • Stippling involves using the brush to paint criss-cross patterns using glaze over a base coat. The brush bristles are then used to dab on glaze to achieve the desired look.

PVC Cutter

  • Used for cutting ABS, PVC and PE pipe.
  • Makes clean cuts with one-handed operation.

Gable Vent

  • Designed to complement most brands of vinyl siding.
  • Installs before or after the siding.
  • Requires little maintenance.
  • Features open louvered joints and built-in screens to keep out bugs and birds.
  • Comes in a variety of shapes, including octagon, pentagon, round, square, half-round or rectangular.

Box Wood Stove

  • Radiates warmth through the firebox to the surrounding air.
  • Draws air for combustion through the door.
  • Door is not tightly sealed, has no damper control and releases a considerable amount of unburned gas up through the chimney.

Plastic Screw Anchor

  • Use with wood or sheet metal screws.
  • Insert into a pre-drilled hole. User drives the screw through the anchor into the wall.
  • Sizes range from 3/4” to 1-3/8” long.
  • Another type of plastic anchor functions like a toggle fastener with sizes from 3/4” to 3-1/2”.
  • Another type pops open and locks into place before the screw is inserted.

Plumber’s Chain

  • A weldless, stamped, flat link chain.
  • Used to attach plumbing fixtures and for general utility purposes.

Push Hoe

  • Also called a floral hoe.
  • Used for weeding, cultivating and aerating.
  • Pushed rather than pulled into the ground.
  • Blade slides just below the surface to cut weeds.
  • Handle is attached to the rear of the blade at a shallow angle.

Vent Free Gas Log

  • Operates with the chimney damper closed, thus preventing heat-loss.
  • Has an adjustable input with a maximum of 40,000 BTUs.
  • Any unit made after 1980 includes an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) that shuts off the heater and flow of gas if the oxygen level in a room becomes inadequate.
  • Another safety feature is an automatic shut-off valve to shut off the gas flow if the pilot light is extinguished or the gas flow is interrupted.
  • Made of high-temperature, heat-resistant ceramic or cement in a variety of finishes.
  • Placed directly on the fire grate or lays on a flame pan covered with a bed of volcanic granules for a more realistic looking fire.
  • Requires no electricity to operate.
  • Fits into fireplaces with a gas hookup and can be installed into any UL-listed, solid fuel burning fireplace or in an
  • American Gas Association (AGA) design-certified, vent-free fireplace listed for use.


Pipe (Stillson) Wrench

  • Screws pipes into elbows or other threaded devices.
  • Jaws actually bite into the surface to hold it for turning.
  • They should never be used on plated pipe installations because they will badly mar the finish.
  • Aluminum pipe wrenches are popular among professionals because of their lighter weight, but they are more expensive.

Putty Knife

  • Putty knives range in size from 1″ to 3″. Generally, the greatest demand is for 1-1/4″ and 1-1/2″. Models with wider blades are joint taping knives.
  • Blades range from stiff to flexible for different tasks.
  • The finest quality putty knife blades are made from mirror-finished, high-carbon steel and are hardened, tempered and individually ground.
  • Used for applying putty and spackling as well as scraping paint, chipping out old putty, scraping off accumulated grease and scraping old finishes off furniture.

Detail Sander

  • Used for sanding detail work and in tight spots.
  • Easy to handle.
  • Can accept a variety of attachments for particular applications.
  • Some models have orbital action sanding, while others use a pivot drive that moves the pad in a small arc.

TV Wire and Accessories

  • Television lead-in wire connects the receiving set to the antenna. Good quality 300-ohm wire is used for both VHF and UHF receivers.
  • A TV set coupler is a loss-producing device for connecting two or more TV receivers to the same antenna. The loss introduced into the circuit is small, but can be critical in “fringe area” reception. In such areas, you should be aware of this small loss and to expect a slight reduction in signal strength at the receiver.
  • A lightning arrestor mounts on the outside of the house as close to the TV receiver as possible to protect the receiver against lightning damage. The lead-in wire is attached to proper contacts and the ground rod to ground connector. Lightning will jump the gap inside the arrestor and flow into the earth if the circuit is properly installed.

Compression Faucet

  • Also known as a washer-type or stem faucet.
  • When the spindle is turned down, the washer or disk attached to its lower end is pressed tightly against a smoothly finished ring or ground-seat that surrounds the flow opening to shut off the water flow. If the washer and seat do not make a firm contact at all points, water will leak. This usually happens when the washer becomes worn.
  • Seats in faucets that are not removable may be reground with reseating tools.

Airtight Wood Stove

  • Has a sealed firebox and a tight-fitting door
  • An air intake damper allows air to circulate around the firebox and controls the rate of fuel consumed. It can be manually or thermostatically controlled.
  • Provides slow-burning heat for a long period of time with little attention.
  • Prone to heavy creosote buildup in the chimney and pipes because it is slow burning.

Angel Level

  • Locates angles and pitches (slopes) from 0 to 90 degrees.
  • Commonly used when installing drain lines to check for proper fall of pipe.
  • Generally reads slope or pitch with inches per foot rise scale.

Foam Extinguisher

  • Extinguishes Class A and B fires.
  • Class A fires are the most common type. They involve ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber and many plastics.
  • Not effective on flammable liquids or gases escaping under pressure.

Reed-Sedge Peat

  • Also known as Michigan-type peat.
  • Has similar characteristics and soil benefits to Sphangnum Peat Moss.
  • Includes the remains of a variety of swamp plants such as sedge grasses and reeds.
  • A velvety dark brown product that does not need extensive soaking.
  • Available in 25- and 50-lb. bags as well as smaller quantities.
  • Not a plant food. Fertilizers must still be added.

Graining Comb

  • Tool used to achieve striated effect, which involves covering a wall with regular paint, applying a glaze and then running the comb through the glaze to remove glaze.
  • Combing tends to darken the color of the wall and it can be done in any direction.
  • Cross-hatching is when the wall is combed once straight down and once horizontally.

Tubing Cutter

  • Primarily used to cut copper pipe.
  • Easier to use than an ordinary hacksaw, and it makes a cleaner cut.
  • Has a single cutting wheel and two rollers that make smooth right-angle cuts.
  • Some have a triangular blade-type reamer that folds out of the way when not in use.
  • Sized to cut material with outside diameters ranging from 1/8″ through 4-1/2″.
  • Major points of wear are rollers, wheels and pins on which they are mounted. When cutter wheels are worn out, they should be replaced; sharpening them is not advisable.
  • Separate cutting wheels for plastic pipe are also available.

Power Ventilator

  • Turbine vents that consist of a turbine mounted on a sheet metal cylinder.
  • Installed like roof line vents along the face of the roof.
  • When the wind blows, it spins the turbine, which in turn draws air up out of the attic.
  • Their effectiveness depends on whether the wind is blowing or not.


  • Usually constructed of nylon. Polyester, wool, acrylic and polypropylene are also used.
  • Styles include level loop pile (Berber), multi-level loop pile, cut and loop pile, cut pile and sisal.
  • Quality of carpet depends on the density of construction (the denser the better) and the twist, or how many fibers have been intertwined to make the yarn (the tighter the twist, the better the carpet).
  • Use with carpet padding to extend the life of the carpet.
  • Installation products will include tack strips, a sharp razor-type knife, a chalk line and a straight edge.
  • Usually comes in 12’ widths.

Folding Sawhorse

  • Made of either construction-grade tubular aluminum or steel or fabricated steel.
  • Most require a wooden cross-beam (Generally a 2×4 or 2×6) be added. With a metal cross-beam there is danger of ruining saw teeth.
  • Most steel models have adjustable legs that fold up into the unit for easy storage.
  • Plastic units generally fold flat for easy storage. Some also are equipped with a lower shelf.
  • Most non-adjustable units are between 24” and 27”, which is considered a comfortable working height.

Clevis Hook

  • Attaches directly to a welded chain.
  • Used as a temporary chain connector.
  • Eliminates the need for an additional attachment or fitting.
  • The Slip Hook type looks like a large fishhook.
  • The Grab Hook type has a narrower opening.

Weeding Hoe

  • Has a pointed blade for lifting out weeds.
  • May be single or double pronged.

Fireplace Insert

  • Airtight fireboxes that can be inserted into fireplaces and mimic some of the effects of a wood-burning stove.
  • Most types draw air from the room, circulate it around the insert and return warmed air to the room.
  • Some units have blowers to help distribute the heat.

Self-Tapping Concrete Screw

  • Hardened steel screws designed to cut threads in pre-drilled holes.
  • Holes can be drilled through the item to be fastened without moving the fixture.
  • Head styles are Phillips, flat or hex-washer.
  • Used in poured concrete, concrete block or masonry.
  • Pull-out resistance of concrete screws is much greater than in plastic screw anchors because they bite directly into the concrete.

Painter’s Tool

  • Also called 5-in-1, 6-in-1 or 8-in-1 Tool or a Glazier’s Tool.
  • Can be used for a variety of tasks, as a scraper, spreader, crack cleaner, roller squeegee and even a can opener.
  • Half-round cutout helps remove paint from rollers during cleaning.
  • Blade is fixed to handle.
  • Many models have ergonomic handles for enhanced comfort.

Profile Sander

  • Used for sanding details and profiles, not general sanding tasks.
  • The head can accept a variety of attachments for a variety of tasks.
  • Good for sanding moldings, shaped wood edges and panels.

Home Networking

  • Home networks connect multiple computers in the home, satellite dishes, cable TV, sophisticated audio systems and home.
  • The heart of these systems is the networking hub. Usually thought of in conjunction with computers, the home network hub differs in that it provides central control of computers, peripherals, phones, TVs and audio components. This is the unit where most of the wiring from different locations comes together to meet.
  • Most home networks use coaxial, Category 3 and Category 5 cable. Coaxial cable is used for TVs, VCRs and satellite equipment. Category 3 cable is used for telephones while Category 5 is used for telephone, fax and computer systems. Some cables combine different functions into one cable.
  • “Structured” wiring refers to a bundle of cables that runs from the networking hub to meet a home’s future information-carrying needs. This wire bundle may consist of some combination of Category 5 cables, fiber-optic lines, Category 3 cables and coaxial lines.
  • Jacks are used to terminate the cable. There are different jacks for telephones, computers, satellite, audio and video equipment. Many of these jacks and cable connectors require special tools for installation.
  • Patch cords are used to connect different computer and audio/video devices with one another or with a central networking device such as a hub.
  • Binding posts are used to connect bare speaker wire, while F-Connectors are used with coaxial cable.

Soft Face Hammer

  • Used for assembling furniture, setting dowels and wood projects that require non-marring blows.
  • Available in weights ranging from 4 oz. to 22 oz.
  • Feature replaceable heads, typically one soft and one hard.


Disc-Type Faucet

  • A washerless faucet.
  • Water is controlled by openings in the two discs. When the discs are rotated to align, the water flows. When the discs are misaligned, the water shuts off.
  • May have one or two handles.
  • Fix by replacing the O-rings or, better yet, replace the whole disc.

Pellet-Fed Wood Stove

  • Burns a processed wood pellet fed electronically into the stove’s combustion chamber.
  • The advantage of this type of stove is it has a steady and controlled fuel source.
  • Disadvantage is the electronic controls will not operate if the power is out.

Post Level

  • Used to set and plumb posts and columns
  • Attaches to post and displays level in two directions.
  • Also available in magnetic models for positioning waste lines in plumbing applications.

Fire Safe

  • Protects valuables and documents exposed to fire.
  • According to UL, a fire safe should maintain an inside temperature below 350º for an hour or more.
  • The safe should also be resistant to rupture and explosion at these temperatures.
  • Some safes can be mounted in walls, floors and other areas.


  • A brown or black organic substance consisting of decayed vegetable matter that provides nutrients for plants and improves the water retention of soil.

Glazing Paint

  • Interior latex paint that is ready to use, with no mixing of additional glazes required.
  • For use on walls, ceilings, furniture and crafts.
  • Available in a variety of effects, including metallic, distressed wood, lime wash, sand texture, etc.

Pipe Threader

  • Uses a die head to create threads on unthreaded pipe ends
  • The hand tool type revolves around a stationary pipe. It is good for threading pipe on the job.
  • With the powered type, the tool stays stationary while the pipe revolves into the die.
  • Always use thread cutting oil for best results.

Foundation Vent

  • Used to ventilate basements and crawl spaces.
  • May be constructed of steel, aluminum or plastic.
  • Used with brick, block or frame construction.

Socket (Hinge Handle) Wrench

  • Combines an offset handle with a male drive piece that has a spring-loaded bearing to lock on various size sockets. They can be used at almost any angle since handles may be attached to the head by a jointed hinge device.
  • The most common type is the detachable socket wrench, with square drive for hand use. Common square drive sizes are 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″, and these are normally used in conjunction with a ratchet wrench.
  • Sockets are available with 6-, 8- and 12-point gripping ends, in a full range of inch and metric sizes.


Repair Link

  • Used to temporarily link chain and couple light attachments.
  • Do not use for securing loads.
  • One type is the Lap Link.
  • Another type is the Quick Link, which is similar to the lap link, but not as strong.

Scuffle Hoe

  • Cuts with both edges of its sharp, steel blade and works in both the push and pull motions.
  • Blade shifts back and forth to keep the angle right in either direction.

Chimney Cleaner

  • Cleans creosote, a potential fire hazard, out of chimneys.
  • Soot destroyers can be used in wood- gas- coal or oil-burning fireplaces. They come in a powdered form, cylindrical sticks or aerosol spray cans. They are sprinkled on hot fires.
  • Creosote removers, a second type, crystallize creosote in wood-burning stoves or fireplaces. They are available in powder form and are to be sprinkled on cool fires.
  • Round wire brushes are another type of cleaner. Use them in wood burning, airtight stoves and fireplace chimneys.

Glass Paint Scraper

  • Used to scrape excess paint off windows.
  • Can accommodate either single- or double-edge razor blades.
  • The most popular type has a retractable blade that slides out of the handle and back in for safety purposes when not in use.

Rotary Tool

  • Often called a Dremel, after a manufacturer of a popular version of the tool.
  • Available in corded or cordless versions. Some have variable speed settings.
  • Small tool that is highly versatile and can be used with a variety of attachments.
  • Attachments can be used to sand, drill, grind, cut and carve on a small scale.
  • Bits used with these tools include a variety of grinders, sanders, cutters, routers, cleaners and polishers.

Extension Cord

  • Indoor extension cords come in two-wire cords in lengths from 6′ to 15′. White and brown are the basic colors.
  • Outdoor extension cords are used for outdoor power tools and exterior lighting. They come in 16/3, 14/3 and 12/3 wire, and the most common lengths are from 25′ to 100′. Heavy-duty extension cords should be used with high-wattage appliances.
  • Any UL-listed cord will carry a UL label near the female end. Many companies are now using an alternative method of labeling allowed by UL, which permits the UL markings to be molded into the cord ends. This ensures a permanent marking that cannot be provided with a label. It is important to check for this UL insignia, whether it is a label or a permanent marking. Non-listed cords can be similar in appearance to listed ones.
  • To be UL-listed for outdoor use, three-wire round cords must have connector and cap molded to the cord and a lip on the end of the connector to prevent misuse. Beginning in 1998, UL-listed outdoor cords began appearing with the “SJTW” marking on the cord, not “SJTW-A” as was previously used. For a period of time, either marking will be acceptable for outdoor use.
  • Grounding cords are available in both heavyweight and heavy-duty construction differing from standard cords, because they have three conductors instead of two and are equipped with a three-prong grounding plug and connector.
  • Step-saver cords have built-in pendant switches to control appliances and lamps across the room.
  • Wind-up reels keep tangled, foot-catching cords off the floor.

Carpet Padding

  • Installed underneath the carpet.
  • Prolongs the life of the carpet and adds to comfort.
  • Usually made from felted cushion, urethane, foam rubber or sponge rubber.
  • Weight, density and thickness vary by type and the amount of traffic in the area to be carpeted.
  • Typically available in 36”, 54”, 72”, 108” and 144” widths.

Gas Stove

  • Ideal for those with little space to store wood or with the time to maintain a wood stove. Also better for heating smaller areas.
  • Uses natural gas so it is a reliable heat source when the power goes out.
  • Flame height and heat intensity is easily adjustable.
  • The direct vent type is ideal for homes without an existing chimney.

Tub & Shower Faucet

  • Usually combination style, where hot and cold mix in a single arm.
  • Available in different patterns, they can be built into the wall or flush mounted on the wall above the bathtub.
  • In three-valve bath and shower faucets, two valves control water and a third diverts water either through the spout or to the showerhead.
  • Two-valve tub and shower faucets have an automatic device on the spout that, when activated, diverts water to the showerhead.
  • Two-valve tub fillers and shower fittings fill either the tub or control water in the shower, as do the tub and shower faucets.

Fire Safety Ladder

  • Used to escape from an upper story window.
  • Comes in varying lengths, but most are sold for second-story rooms.
  • Features include tangle-free designs, compactness and strength ratings of the lines and footsteps.

Compost Bin

  • A bin used to make compost.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. Should use at least a 27 cu. ft. in size to ensure it retains enough heat to spur the compost development.
  • Compost is the process of converting waste material into a type of synthetic manure.
  • Compost may contain leaves, grass clippings, prunings, straw, spoiled hay, coffee grounds, eggshells, paper and wood ash that decompose through bacterial action.
  • Due to its fertilizing value, compost can be spread on the lawn in the fall or on the garden at any time during the growing season.

Tintable Glaze

  • Mixed with latex paint to create a translucent color that provides a multi-dimensional look.
  • Dries to the touch in between 10 and 30 minutes.

Seat Dresser

  • Also known as a faucet seat reamer or valve seat-grinding tool.
  • Used to smooth a faucet seat. Seats may not operate properly if they collect corrosion or calcium deposits or become rough with wear.
  • Inexpensive ones often have 1/2″ and 5/8″ cutters.

Rotary Laser Level

  • Rotates 360º and projects a level reference point on all vertical surfaces within range
  • Most units come with either a self leveling or manual leveling  base as well as floor and wall mounts.
  • Generally accurate to 1/4 ” at 100’ for manual leveling units and 1/8” at 100’ for self-leveling units.

Drop-In Anchor

  • Expandable concrete anchors set in pre-drilled holes.
  • Accepts standard coarse thread bolts or threaded rod.
  • Drop-in style anchors do not require patching after sinking.
  • Comes in sizes to fit 1/4” to 3/4”.

Cold Shut

  • A permanent solution to linking two chains.
  • An open-ended link designed to be hammered shut.
  • Use one size larger than the proof coil chain with which it is to be used.
  • Do not use for securing loads.

Mortar Hoe

  • Used to mix mortar, concrete, plaster and spackling.
  • Can have plain or perforated blades.
  • Handles can be 48” to 66” long.


  • Holds burning logs off the hearth.
  • Prevents logs from rolling forward.
  • Using a grate and andiron allow air to circulate and feed the fire, while ashes fall away from burning logs.


  • Also known as a force cup or a plumber’s friend.
  • Used to clear blockages in toilets sinks and tubs.
  • Combination plungers (usually black in color) consist of two cups, one inside the other.
  • Recommend combination plungers for clearing toilets.

Roof Louver

  • Used for bathroom fan exhausts, kitchen duct outlets and attic ventilation.
  • Usually made of aluminum or plastic.
  • One type, wall louver, has louvered vanes and can be flush or recessed mounted.
  • Another type, the midget louver, helps contain moisture in sidewall construction or other areas.

Outdoor Fireplace

  • Portable, wood or wood-pellet burning heat source that can be used at home, on the patio or on the camping trip.
  • Some can also be used as a grill.
  • Some styles are enclosed and vent through the sides while others may include a chimney.
  • Another variation is the firepit, which is bowl-shaped.

Hex Key Wrench

  • Hex-key wrenches are short, L-shaped tools designed to turn bolts or screws with hexagonal heads.
  • They generally come in sets of different sized wrenches.


Spackling Compound

  • Is used for patching cracked plaster, filling nail holes, repairing wallboard and smoothing surface imperfections on unprimed wood.
  • Lightweight vinyl spackling is the easiest to use—it resists shrinking, cracking and sagging and requires little sanding.
  • One type of spackling changes color when optimum drying time is achieved. It goes on pink and turns white when dry to signal time for sanding and painting.
  • While some are formulated specifically for either interior or exterior applications, many can be used in either situation.
  • Available in 8 oz., pint, quart and gallon buckets as well as 6 oz. tubes.

Sanding Belt

  • Used with belt sanders.
  • Available in a variety of grits and weights.
  • Good quality belts should resist tearing and stretching.

Appliance Cords

  • Combine cord and connector. The difference between cord sets can be in type of connector and/or cord used.
  • Free-end attachment cord sets without connectors are used in re-wiring direct attachment irons, toasters and similar small appliances. They have pre-tinned ends to speed up wiring.

Vinyl Flooring

  • Generally available in large, 12’ rolls in varying lengths, or in square tiles.
  • Available in a variety of patterns and colors.
  • Most floors have a no-wax surface, although most manufacturers recommend specially formulated floor finish to enhance or restore shine and provide added protection.
  • Quality depends on the thickness of the material. In general, urethane floors last longer than vinyl.
  • Installed by gluing to the subfloor with an adhesive made for the material.
  • The square tile type often has an adhesive backing that makes for easier installation.

Lavatory & Kitchen Faucets

  • Often come in a combination style, where hot and cold mix in a single arm.
  • Are available in several different patterns.
  • A Ledge-Mounted faucet is mounted in a horizontal position.
  • Standard lavatory faucets are made with 4″ centers.
  • Wide Spread faucets (see image in next window) are made with adjustable center measurements up to 12″.
  • The Wall-Mounted unit is connected to pipes coming through the wall above the sink. It is mounted vertically.
  • The most common size in kitchen sink faucets is 8″ center, but 6″ and 4″ are also available.
  • Concealed faucets are mounted underneath the sink, with only handle flanges and spout visible.
  • Exposed faucets are mounted on top of the sink, with or without sprays.
  • A mixing faucet, known generally as single lever, is produced by a number of manufacturers as swing spout kitchen faucets, lavatory faucets and bath faucets. They ordinarily operate by pushing the upright lever straight backward for a 50-50 opening of hot and cold water, back and to the right for cold, and back and to the left for hot water. They have the advantage of being quick-opening and closing, and nearly all have complete repair kits.
  • An Over-The-Counter faucet is easier to install because there is no need to crawl under the sink and reach behind the basin to secure the faucet. It comes with factory-installed flexible supply lines and a spring-loaded toggle, with the screw head concealed by the escutcheon.

Sawhorse Brackets

  • Generally made of steel or high-impact polystyrene and convert dimensional lumber into a sturdy wooden sawhorse.
  • Brackets allow user to construct a sawhorse of any height and length.
  • Brackets are generally secured to wood with screws, nails or wing nuts. Other types provide flanged nail holes for easy nail removal with a claw hammer.
  • Selling features include ease of assembly since miter cuts are not necessary and sturdiness and convenient storage since most brackets allow legs to fold together.

Pivot Hinge

  • Mounts at the top and bottom of the door leaving a small wafer of metal exposed.
  • Commonly used on furniture doors or where doors are intended to be inconspicuous.

Organic Mulch

  • A ground cover that protects ground temperature, reduces evaporation, prevents erosion, controls weeds, attracts earthworms and enriches the soil.
  • Good mulch should allow water to pass through it quickly but not be easily washed away by the rain.
  • Keeps soil surface as much as 10° cooler than exposed soil.
  • Thick applications of mulch will stop weeds, but it will need to be refreshed every year.
  • Types include bark, pine nuggets, cypress, hardwood, peat moss and pine mulch.

Crackle Paste

  • Also called aging glaze.
  • Used to create rustic, antique designs that resemble the look of cracked oil varnish.
  • Can be applied over any painted surface, including furniture, woodwork, trim, lamps and decorative accessories.
  • Sometimes comes in a three-part system, with base coat, top coat and either light or dark enhancer.

Flaring Tool

  • Use to flare the end of a pipe before joining it with a flared fitting.
  • The two flat bars of the tool (the yoke) clamp around the pipe at the appropriate sized hole. Then the cone-shape, powered by the drive screw, forces its way into the pipe and creates a flare.

Star (Torx®) Tip Screwdriver

  • Designed for use with star head screws and bolts to reduce slippage.
  • Tips have six lobular drive surfaces to provide additional contact surface with the screw head.
  • Vertical sides transmit torque perpendicularly to the driven element so there is no slipping or cam-out.

Bricklayer’s Hammer

  • Used for setting or splitting bricks, and chipping mortar from bricks.
  • Features a curved, chisel-like pick and a small, square striking surface.



  • Used to connect the stove with the chimney. Never use in place of a chimney.
  • Should be 24-gauge metal or thicker (the smaller the number, the thicker the metal).
  • Should be as short as possible and turns kept to a minimum.
  • Inspect stovepipe regularly and replace every two or three years.

Box-Joint Pliers

• General utility tool with up to eight adjustments, allowing for jaw openings up to 4-1/2″.

• Either multiple hole or tongue-and-groove designs available.

• Straight and curved jaws are available.

• Most common type of box-joint (multiple slip-joint) is 10″ water pump pliers.


Load Binder

  • Provides more control in binding and releasing two chains.
  • Has two hooks, each of which attaches to a chain. The user uses the central lever to tighten the chains and secure the load.
  • Can be either a ratchet type or a lever type, which determines how the chain is tightened.

Rubber Hose

  • Reinforced with tire cord fiber.
  • Resists weathering, cracking and kinks.
  • Heaviest and most durable of hoses.
  • Use with full-flow couplings.
  • Can be used with hot water.


  • The andiron is a pair of metal bars with decorative front shafts that hold the logs.
  • Using a grate and andiron allow air to circulate and feed the fire, while ashes fall away from burning logs.


  • Also known as a snake.
  • Consists of a coiled spiral cable, usually 1/4î thick and of varying lengths.
  • The most basic type has a z-shaped handle used to crank the cable as it snakes through the drain.
  • Another type uses a funnel-shaped container to store the cable and then to spin it as it works its way through the drain.
  • Professionals use an auger attached to a drill or other device that spins the cable. Usually these versions can maneuver a much longer cable.

Dryer Vent

  • Provides an exhaust for the dryer.
  • Most models feature flaps or louvers that remain closed when not in use.
  • Available in a kit that includes the vent, ductwork and dryer attachment.

Laser Plumb Line

  • A self-leveling device that projects a vertical laser line onto any surface
  • The laser line is always visible because it is not covered up with a pencil mark and it is not affected by wind like a plumb bob.

Impact-Expansion Concrete Anchor

  • Diameter sizes range from 1/4” to 3/4” and lengths from 1-3/4” to 6”.
  • The drill size used should be the same as the anchor diameter.
  • Setting the anchor requires driving the center pin down to the top of the anchor, which expands the sides of the anchor against the walls of the hole.
  • The hole can be drilled through the item to be fastened without moving the fixture.
  • Anchor can be plated hardened steel or stainless steel.

Glazing Compound

  • Is a long-lasting material used for glazing wood or metal sash.
  • It remains semi-elastic under a smooth, firm, wrinkle-free film that forms when the material sets.
  • It does not dry rock-hard and is easier to remove when reglazing.
  • It resists cold, heat and moisture and is used for patching or sealing small openings or cracks.
  • Glazing can be tinted with oil color.

Sanding Disc

  • Most often used with disc sanders and random orbit sanders.
  • Available in a variety of grits and weights.
  • One style is PSA. PSA stands for pressure sensitive adhesive, so sandpapers of this type have a sticky backing. Generally, this type is used for sanding jobs where you will use the sandpaper until it is worn out. Not for tasks where you will be changing sandpaper frequently.
  • Another style is hook and loop, which attaches to the sander like Velcro. It is removable and good for jobs that require frequent changing of the sandpaper.
  • Holes in the sandpaper enable dust extraction to reduce buildup of dust on the abrasive.

Range and Dryer Cords

  • Range and dryer cords are free-end types, commonly called “pigtails,” attached directly to the appliance. Free ends are fitted with cable terminals that connect to screw terminals of the appliance to assure positive connections. A metal clamp attached to the cable serves as a strain relief at the point where the cable enters an appliance and a cord protector.
  • Heavy-duty attachment plugs for ranges and dryers are much larger than standard attachment plugs. Most are “L” shaped with a power cord feeding out the side of the plug.
  • Sizes range from 30 to 50 amps for dryers and ranges. The different amperage attachment plugs are not interchangeable because of a difference in their configuration.
  • A recent change in the National Electrical Code requires new range and dryer receptacle installations to be 3-pole, 4-wire grounding receptacles. The neutral (grounded circuit conductor) can no longer be used to ground the frames of electrical ranges and dryers.

Hardwood Flooring

  • Available in planks or parquet tiles.
  • Some types install with nails, others with glue.
  • Popular types of wood are oak, maple, beech, birch and pecan.
  • Has tongue and groove joints for a tight installation.

Ratchet (Socket) Wrench

  • Available in a variety of handle shapes and lengths and used with sockets to make turning nuts and bolts easier than with a conventional wrench.
  • Available in 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ drive sizes and are used with socket wrenches.
  • Available with a round or teardrop-shaped head and contains a reversing mechanism to facilitate tightening or loosening a fastener.
  • Popular accessories include flex handles, speeder handles, T-handles, extensions of various lengths and universal joints to work on fasteners in hard-to-reach locations.


Stove Paint

  • Uses to touch up or completely refinish a stove.
  • Specifically designed for wood- or coal-burning stoves and can withstand temperatures up to 1,200°F.
  • Common colors include green, brown, blue, maroon and black, in gegular and metallic finishes.
  • To maximize radiant heat from the stove, use a flat black paint. It will radiate 90-98 percent of radiant heat. Shiny metallic finishes are less efficient.

Rubber Mulch

  • Made from non-toxic, environmentally friendly, recycled materials that can be used indoors or outdoors.
  • Like organic mulch, it inhibits weed growth while retaining soil moisture.
  • Natural shape allows airflow into the ground.
  • Looks like organic mulch but doesn’t rot, dissolve into the ground, wash away from rain or loose its color as easily as regular mulch.
  • Available in a variety of colors.

Venetian Plaster

  • Used to achieve a polished marble-like effect.
  • Gives the look and feel of natural stone.
  • Can be tinted and applied to any flat, smooth surface.
  • Surface must be primed or have a matte finish.

Laundry Faucet

  • Mounts either on laundry tubs or on the wall above the tub. Most fiberglass tubs require a ledge faucet with 4″ centers.
  • Sometimes furnished with a standard 3-3/4″ hose thread outlet on the spout. Most codes require the use of a vacuum breaker attachment if the outlet contains threads to prevent water contamination.

Glass Enclosure

  • Improves fireplace performance by controlling air intake, making the wood burn more slowly and retaining more heat in the firebox. Additionally, the fireplace pulls less warm air from the house.
  • Allows user to leave the fire unattended.
  • Allows a clear view of the fire while keeping smoke and sparks out of the room.
  • Most have a built-in draft at the base to direct air to the bottom of the fireplace opening. This allows the user to easily start and control the fire.
  • Mounts securely against the face of the fireplace and overlaps the opening.

Closet Auger

  • Also known as a toilet auger.
  • Used for clearing toilets. Better than a regular auger because it is more rigid.
  • Consists of a short cable with a crank.
  • The handle is covered with a rubber sleeve to protect the porcelain in a toilet bowl.

Mounting Block

  • Offers a waterproof surface for installing outlets, lighting and plumbing fixtures with new siding.
  • Used with wood, aluminum, vinyl, stucco, brick or shake siding.

Crimping Pliers

• Used for crimping sheet metal or metal duct work.

• Used in HVAC work to reduce one end of a metal pipe, gutter or duct so two pieces of the same size will fit together.

• May have a straight or angled head.


Wedge Anchor

  • Has a shank similar to a sleeve anchor—a solid shank, threaded at the top and with a cone-shaped plug at the bottom.
  • Shank is grooved on opposite sides.
  • As the nut on top is tightened, the washer pushes the rectangular shank down and spreads the wedges over the plug.

Rubber-Vinyl Hose

  • Combines the strength and durability of rubber with the lightness of vinyl.
  • Easiest hose to use.
  • Reinforced with tire cord fiber.
  • The type with an expanded or foamed cover is easy to handle and has better kink resistance.
  • The type with an extruded or non-foamed cover had good flexibility and has better abrasion resistance.

Drywall Joint Compound

  • Is used in drywall construction as a bedding compound for the joint tape and to finish seams between drywall.
  • It is available in powder or ready-mixed form and comes in quarts, gallons and 5-gallon pails. Some ready-mixed types may also be used as texture paint.
  • One pound is sufficient for four lineal yards of joint surfaces.

Sanding Sheets

  • Most often used with orbital sanders and other types of profile and finishing sanders.
  • Square or triangular in shape, depending on the type of sander they are to be used with.
  • Available in a variety of grits and weights.
  • One style is PSA. PSA stands for pressure sensitive adhesive, so sandpapers of this type have a sticky backing. Generally, this type is used for sanding jobs where you will use the sandpaper until it is worn out. Not for tasks where you will be changing sandpaper frequently.
  • Another style is hook and loop, which attaches to the sander like Velcro. It is removable and good for jobs that require frequent changing of the sandpaper.
  • Another, more economical alternative to PSA and hook and loop sandpaper are sanders that use clamps to hold the sandpaper to the sanding pad. In this style, standard sheet sandpaper can be used. A paper punch tool is usually included with the sander to poke the holes in the paper to aid in dust extraction.

Thin-Wall Conduit

  • Also known as EMT (electric metallic tubing).
  • Steel pipe used to carry house wiring in places where it is exposed.
  • Comes in inside diameters of 1/2” to 4”. 1/2” is most common.
  • Do not use underground.

Engineered Flooring

  • A popular alternative to solid hardwood flooring.
  • The surface veneer is made of hardwood such as maple or oak, while tongue-and-groove strips underneath are constructed of plywood.
  • Easy to install because it can be installed without a subfloor and requires no sanding or finishing.
  • Usually installed by gluing to the subfloor, although some types snap together and do not require glue.
  • The size of the veneer will determine the floor’s durability. High-quality engineered floors feature surface veneer of 5/32” to 1/8”.

Loose-Fill Insulation

  • Comes compacted in bags and is poured or blown into walls and between joists of the attic floor.
  • Good for retrofitting insulation into previously uninsulated homes.
  • Each bag is labeled according to federal specifications for both mineral wool and cellulose. Left column lists the R-value, second column tells how many bags are needed to cover 1,000 square feet of attic floor area, the third column gives the minimum thickness after completing the job.
  • Some manufacturers have two columns on thickness for loose-fill and cellulose insulation. The second of these is labeled “settled density”. This is important since cellulose settles quickly.
  • Types include fiberglass rock wool and cellulose. Cellulose is made from waste paper that has been treated to be fire retardant. It is also less likely to cause skin irritation.

Single-Bit Axe

  • Most popular style of axe, the single-bit axe is used to fell, trim or prune trees, to split or cut wood.
  • The easiest and safest axe for inexperienced woodcutters to use because it only has one cutting edge.
  • The other end of the head, the poll, forms a hammer for driving wooden or plastic stakes. It should never be used to strike splitting wedges, steel posts, stone or any hard object.
  • Handles for single-bit axes are curved to help increase leverage. Axe handles are made of hickory and range from 20″ to 36″ long. The most common is 36″.
  • Common head patterns include Michigan, Dayton, Kentucky, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Wrecking Bar

  • Also known as ripping bars or crowbars, these tools are used in construction, demolition and where pulling nails, ripping wood and similar tasks are done.
  • Those with curved ends are also known as gooseneck bars.
  • Because of their length, usually 24″ or 30″, they have more leverage than hammers, enabling them to pull much larger and longer nails.


  • Consists of metal wheels with grooved edges.
  • Aids in lifting loads.
  • Can be used with chain or rope.

Locking Wrench

  • Through a locking action, jaws can be locked in a holding position with pressure up to 1 ton.
  • Can also be used as hand vises, holding clamps, pipe wrenches and hand vise pliers.
  • Available with both curved and straight jaws.


Landscape Stones

  • Low-maintenance mulch that retains its look and does not decompose or erode.
  • Types include lava rocks, marble chips, limestone chips, river pebbles and brick nuggets.
  • Apply them 1” to 4” deep.
  • Lava rocks are lightweight and are more likely to be washed away by the rain.

Clear Coat

  • Clear acrylic protective finish for painted walls.
  • Particularly recommended for crackled walls and walls where sand tones have been applied.
  • Gives an ultra flat finish.

Sill Cock

  • Is a faucet located on the outside wall of the house that easily hooks to garden hoses.
  • The best type is a frost-proof sill cock, made of heavy red brass, that looks and works like any ordinary faucet. However, water flow valves are located inside the building where it is warm.
  • The anti-siphon frost-proof sill cock employs integral back-siphon and back-flow devices. These serve to prevent potential back-siphonage, which, if unchecked, could compromise the safe potable water supply to the home. Hose-attached garden sprays and other pressurized canisters can potentially link a cross-connection if a pressure charge occurs when the frostproof is in the open position.
  • The anti-siphon frostproof sillcock allows for outside spigot usage in freezing climates. The closing member (seat washer) is located inside the heated building.

Fireplace Set

  • A set containing the tools usually needed around a fire.
  • Contains a stand, fire poker, ash shovel and broom.
  • Available in many different styles for a variety of décor options.

Sewer Tape

  • An alternative to the auger, but not as effective in difficult blockages.
  • A flat metal band with a hook on one end.

Range Hood

  • Comes in many styles and is used to draw grease, heat, steam, smoke, odor and hazardous gasses away from the stove and out of the kitchen.
  • A complete system consists of a hood, a blower system and ducting.
  • Downdraft models are built into the stove of surrounding counter and are less efficient than updraft hoods.
  • Updraft hoods hang above the cooktop and easily vent air outdoors.
  • An island range hood is used for stoves that are part of cabinet islands. They are suspended from the ceiling.

Roll Insulation

  • Comes in continuous rolls that vary in width and thickness.
  • Usually installed between open ceiling joists and wall studs.
  • Has a vapor barrier that should be installed with the vapor barrier toward the interior or heated area. Mend torn vapor barriers with tape.
  • Available in R-values of R-11, R-13, R-19 and R-25. Thicknesses range from 3-1/2” to 8”.

Sleeve Anchor

  • Has a steel sleeve on the shank, split at the bottom so it can expand.
  • The bolt has a cone-shaped plug at the base and a nut at the top.
  • When the user places the anchor in the hole and tightens the nut, it draws the bolt upward, pulling the plug into the sleeve and expanding it against the hole.

Vinyl Hose

  • Most common type of hose and functions for most applications.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • The most common size garden hose sold is 5/8” and 50’.
  • The two-ply type is typically used as a promotional item and is susceptible to sun damage and deteriorates more rapidly than a rubber hose. It is lightweight and tends to kink easily.
  • The non-reinforced vinyl type is adequate for “open service” only, which means it is suitable for use with rotary or oscillating sprinklers, but is not recommended for use with any accessory featuring an integrated shut-off valve.

Patching Plaster

  • Is a fast-setting powder ready to use by adding water.
  • It dries hard to uniform, white color.
  • It repairs and covers large holes and deep cracks in plaster walls and ceilings.
  • Patching plaster may be drilled, sanded and painted and can be textured to match existing surface.

Fixed Base Router

  • Used for beading, routing, grooving, fluting and many types of decorative carving that could take hours to do by hand. Achieve different shapes of cuts by using different shaped bits.
  • Has a motor that raises and lowers with a rack and pinion and a bit that protrudes at a set depth.
  • Most economical type of router and highly portable.
  • Standard and light-duty routers have 1/3 to 1/2 hp motors; commercial heavy-duty routers are 3/4 hp and higher.

Heavy-Wall Conduit

  • Also known as rigid conduit.
  • Comes in the same sizes as EMT but has thicker walls.
  • Has threaded ends for connections.
  • Use for carrying wire outdoors and underground.

Laminated Flooring

  • Consists of thin layers of wood or paper products adhered to a resilient foam core.
  • Designed to look like wood, stone or marble.
  • A coating of aluminum oxide provides hardness for the flooring.
  • Easy to maintain and resists scratching, denting or staining.
  • A glueless, interlocking design offered by some manufacturers makes it easy to install.
  • Not recommended for bathrooms since it can swell when exposed to water.

Appliance Receptical

  • Used for heavy-duty plugs and appliances.
  • Contains vertical and slanted slots in various configurations.
  • Configurations are different, so make sure to bring the plug with you if you don’t know the exact configuration you need.

Shingler’s Hammer

  • Drives roofing nails, assures proper shingle spacing, trims composition and fiberglass shingles.
  • Typically includes slotted, replaceable cutting blade.


Cutting Pliers

• Can be side, end or diagonal types.

• Side cutters have a cutting blade on one side only and are available in long-, curved- and short-nose types.

• End cutting nippers have cutting blades on the end and are used to make sharp, clean cuts close to the surface on wires, bolts and rivets.

• Diagonal cutters have two cutting blades set diagonally to the handle. They offer leverage when pulling cotter pins and are used by mechanics and electricians for general cutting.

• Some cutting pliers are made with a spring in the handle to open automatically after each cut.


Double-Bit Axe

  • Performs the same function as single-bit axe, but has two cutting edges—one on each end of the head.
  • Generally used by professional lumbermen.
  • Double-bit axes have straight handles because the handle must be symmetrical with the double-edge head.
  • Common head patterns include Western, Michigan, Swamping and Reversible.

Aluminum Screening

  • Resilient, rustproof, fire resistant and melt-proof.
  • Comes in three standard finishes: bright aluminum, charcoal and black.
  • The black finish offers the best outward visibility and is recommended for decks, patios, porches or other applications.
  • Standard mesh is 18×16 (the number or strands per square inch). It is small enough to screen out most insects.
  • Standard widths are 24” and 48”, with many manufacturers offering 54”, 60” and 72” as special order.

Pry Bar

  • Smaller and flatter than a wrecking bar and not designed for heavy-duty prying.
  • Features beveled notches in each chisel-like end and ranges in size from 6″ to 21″.
  • Useful for removing nails with exposed heads and for prying paneling or molding without marring the surface.
  • One type of pry bar features an extra curve, which makes it useful for lifting and holding such things as drywall panels in place.
  • Double claw models provide equal force on push or pull.

Landscape Fabric

  • A type of ground cover used to prevent weeds from growing while allowing moisture to penetrate.
  • User cuts holes in fabric to enable plants to grow.
  • Usually covered with mulch or decorative stone when used in landscaped areas.
  • Can be used on newly seeded lawns to prevent seeds from blowing or washing away and to spur germination.
  • Can be organic or synthetic, woven or unwoven.
  • Available in various colors.
  • Sizes range from 3’ to 6’ wide to 15’ and 50’ long.

Sculpture Paint

  • Thick paste material for creating raised designs.
  • Commonly used with stencils.
  • Porous nature accepts additional glaze well and can be blended with glaze to created tinted designs.
  • Can be used on walls, furniture, cabinets and crafts.

Batt Insulation

  • Sold in either pre-cut or perforated into shorter lengths.
  • Use is similar to roll insulation, but best for use where there are many cross beams or other obstructions.
  • Available in R-values of R-11, R-13, R-15, R-19, R-21, R-22, R-30 and R-38. Thicknesses range from 3-1/2” to 12”.
  • Batts installed in wall should not be compressed to fit. Also, do not stuff behind wires. Rather, cut to fit around them.

Torque Wrench

  • Designed to permit an operator to determine applied torque on bolts, nuts and other fasteners.
  • Torque value (generally measured in foot pounds) is set to a micrometer scale on the handle or preset by an adjusting screw in the handle.
  • Typically has square drives to use standard detachable 3/8” and 3/4” sockets.
  • Available with audible signal (clicking sound) or visual display.
  • Many torque wrenches are available with dual scales for conventional and metric measurements.

Electric Heater

  • Plugs directly into a wall unit.
  • One type uses black heat, where heating elements have the heating wire wound around a porcelain insulator.
  • Another type is the more popular instant heat that uses a ribbon element.
  • Some models have small fans to force heated air into the room.
  • Heating capacity is rated in BTUs. Wattage ratings of heaters can be converted to BTUs consumed per hour my multiplying the number of watts by 3.413 (the number of BTUs equaling one watt.)


  • Used to clear stopped-up drains by chemical action.
  • Most liquid drain cleaners are heavier than water and will seek out the stoppage, even if the sink, tub or bowl is full of water.
  • Cleaners are typically a combination of potassium hydroxide, which turns grease to soft soap, and thioglycolic acid, that dissolves hair. Others may contain sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid or lye.
  • Toxic liquids should carry warnings and must be used with caution.

Drywall Hammer

  • Drywall HammerUsed to score, sheet and set nails for drywall work.
  • Features a scored head and a notched blade instead of a claw.
  • Notch in the blade is used to remove exposed nails.


Lag Screw Shield

  • Used inside drilled holes to provide anchors in the hole for lag bolts as they are wrenched into the shield.
  • As the screw enters the shield, the shield expands and grips the interior.
  • Horizontal fins prevent the shield from turning in the hole while tapered ribs ease insertion and ensure against slips.

Flat Hose

  • Lies flat until water pressure rounds it into a 5/8” hose.
  • Stores more easily and compactly than a conventional hose.
  • Must be completely extended before water will pass through and completely drained before storing.
  • Because it is drained after use, it is less susceptible to freezing and cracking and will not wear on edges.
  • Weight is one-third that of a conventional hose but delivers same amount of water.
  • One type is made with a polyurethane liner and a tightly woven polyester jacket. The liner is bonded to the jacket to reduce kinking and leaking. Another type has a construction similar to a conventional, reinforced vinyl hose.

Plunge Router

  • Similar to a fixed-base router, but the motor is mounted on two posts and can be retracted from and lowered into the workpiece.
  • Required depth of cut can be set so it’s the same every time.
  • Versatile and good for use in joinery.
  • Plunge depth is the deepest cut that can be made by a router.

Plastic Conduit

  • Easy to use.
  • Use inside and outside.
  • Best for burying underground as it will not corrode with water.

Ceramic Tile

  • More durable and easier to maintain than vinyl or wood flooring.
  • Glazed tile is made of clay that has been single fired at a high temperature, a process that makes color and shape permanent and a surface that is resistant to stains, burns and scratches.
  • Comes with a durability rating from 1 to 4+. Class 1 is the least durable, while 4+ is intended for commercial applications with heavy traffic.
  • Available in a variety of colors and patterns.
  • Comes in sizes 12” x 12”, and accent pieces can be 2”x 2”, 4” x 4” or 6” x 6”.

Fiberglass Screening

  • Rustproof, corrosion proof and flame retardant.
  • Available in a variety of colors and meshes, with silver gray and charcoal and 18×16 mesh being the most popular.
  • A fine-woven 20×20 mesh is used primarily in coastal areas where very tiny flying insects are a problem.
  • Large areas such as a pool enclosure may use a 18×14 mesh.
  • Standard widths are 24” and 48”, with many manufacturers offering 54”, 60” and 72” as special order.

Plaster of Paris

  • Is a quick-setting white powder used to repair wallboard, plaster walls and ceilings, set bathroom wall fixtures—towel racks, soap dishes, etc.—and for art projects.
  • It usually hardens within 30 minutes.
  • No more water than necessary should be added; when water evaporates, the plaster shrinks.

Encapsulated Insulation

  • Batt and roll insulation encapsulated for easier handling.
  • Encapsulation enables the insulation to breathe and prevents condensation build-up.
  • Easier to handle by reducing dust and other irritants associated with insulation installation.
  • The non-woven type tends to stay in place better than plastic-wrap insulation. This product must meet all building code requirements for flame spread resistance, as it is flammable.

Carpenter’s Hatchet

  • Also called a half hatchet.
  • For general use of felling and trimming trees or notching wood.
  • Other popular hatchet models include Hunter’s Hatchets, Broad Hatchets, and Camping Hatchets.

All-Purpose Potting Soil

  • Designed for gardeners who want to add ingredients to customize their mix with plant food.

Cat’s Paw

  • Tool used to pull nails when nail heads are buried beneath the wood’s surface.
  • Forked chisel end is hammered into wood surrounding nail head until the nail head is positioned between notches. It can then be pulled from below the wood surface.

Radiant Heater

  • Directs infrared heat to the objects or people to be warmed.
  • For short periods of time, these heaters are more energy-efficient than convection heaters.
  • Usually has a wattage rating of 1,500.
  • The heating element is encased in quartz or a metal sheath and has a reflector panel behind it to direct the heat.
  • The quartz rods will periodically need to be replaced.

Chain Wrench

  • A pipe wrench used for tightening and loosening odd-shaped objects, such as pipes and square objects.
  • Has an adjustable chain that wraps around the object, with ends that connect teeth of chain to engage and turn the object.
  • Some models feature a locking mechanism with ratcheting action for turning in either direction.


Expansion Shield

  • Also known as lead shield.
  • Used with lag and machine bolts.
  • As the bolt is tightened, the cone draws up through a slotted sleeve and expands against the interior of the drilled hole with great force.
  • Requires no caulking and is excellent for heavy holding of problem material such as cement, cinder blocks, hollow tile and other concrete mixes.
  • Requires a large hole. Use a power drill and masonry bit.
  • Use short lengths in good-grade concrete or where thickness limits the length. Use long lengths in poorer-grade concrete where extra anchorage is required.

Butt Hinge

  • Fits between the butt of the door and the frame.
  • Only the hinge pin is exposed on the inside of the door.
  • The most common type is the loose pin hinge that has a removable pin for easy removal of the door.

Soaker Hose

  • Uses thousands of tiny holes to allow water to seep out slowly over its entire length.
  • Saves water compared to sprinklers.
  • May be made of canvas, vinyl, plastic or rubber.
  • Can be run on top of the ground, under mulch or buried.
  • If buried, wrap the end of the hose in plastic to prevent dirt clogging it.
  • Generally, vinyl and rubber hoses are the most durable because they do not decay when buried.

Coloring Tint

  • Tint used to change color of glazes when faux finishing.
  • Available in a variety of colors.
  • Generally comes in 12 oz or 1 oz. bottles and tubes.

Greenfield Conduit

  • Also known as flex conduit.
  • A hollow spiral metal jacket that resembles BX cable.
  • Use for installing wiring in the home.

Marble Tile

  • Made of natural marble.
  • Slick and easily scratched, although scratches can be buffed out.
  • Tiles should be sealed after installation.
  • Types include travertine (for exterior use), while (translucent) and green (usually installed with water-free epoxy mortars.

Rigid Insulation

  • Can be used on the interior or exterior of the house, or on basement walls.
  • Usually comes in board form in a variety of sizes ranging from 8” squares to 4’ x 12’ sheets.
  • Some types are made of fiberboard and are popular because of their durability and low cost. Fiberboard repels water, while the asphalt coating eliminates the need for building paper.
  • Another type is made of extruded polystyrene. It is very resistant to moisture and is most highly recommended for below-ground use.
  • Molded polystyrene board is another type that dissipates water well.
  • Another type is polyisocyanurate sheathing that is available with aluminum foil or glass fiber mat facers. This type has the highest R-value per inch of thickness of all insulation products.

Painter’s Putty

  • Available in either dry or pliable form.
  • Repairs cracks, dents, breaks and holes in furniture, wood and concrete floors, woodwork, metal and other interior surfaces.
  • In dry form (known as water putty because water must be added), it dries to the shade of new wood but can be tinted with dry color. It sets rapidly, cannot be reworked, dries hard and can be sanded, tooled and finished like wood.
  • Pliable Putty (also known as wood putty because it is made from hardwood) is rubbed on wood surfaces before painting to close pores in certain woods such as oak, mahogany, walnut, chestnut, elm, butternut, hickory, ash, rosewood and satinwood. It is not synonymous with patching materials, which fill holes or cracks in finished or unfinished surfaces.
  • Most wood putties come in paste form and must be thinned; the container label tells which thinner to use. Putty is brushed on, rubbed, sanded and sealed before finishing.
  • Wood putties are available in water-based form, allowing greater safety, rapid drying and less shrinkage. All wood putty patches must be sanded flush with the old surface. Patches can be stained, painted or varnished.

Production Router

  • High horsepower router for heavy-duty work or hours of router table work.
  • Available in fixed base and plunge models.
  • Somewhat heavy and awkward for topside routing.
  • Adjustable speed is a common feature.

Shingling Hatchet

  • Generally used for installing wood shakes and shingles made of wood, fiberglass and composition.
  • Some models have a replaceable adjustable gauge that helps installer determine the exposed length of a shingle.
  • Many models also include nail slots and draw knives built into the head.
  • Handles can be made of hickory, fiberglass, tubular steel or solid steel.

Professional Potting Soil

  • Features additives such as sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, composted bark finds and a wetting agent.

Kitchen Sink

  • Undermounted Sinks (See bottom image) mount below the countertop.
  • Self-Rimming Sinks feature a rolled edge that mounts directly over the countertop. They are the most common and easiest to install.
  • Double sinks are the most common in new construction, with one bowl available for washing and one for rinsing dishes.
  • Single bowls are necessary in small kitchens with little counter space or can function as a second sink for meal preparation.
  • In triple sinks, the middle bowl is designed for the garbage disposal.
  • Shapes are rectangular or square; custom sinks can be round, oval or other shapes.
  • Standard size is 8″ deep; low-end sinks are only 5-7″ deep and top-quality sinks can go 10″ deep.
  • Sinks are constructed of many different materials including enameled steel, stainless steel, cast iron, brass, stone and composites such as quartz or granite combined with resin.
  • Enameled steel has a tendency to chip and is less durable than cast iron or stainless steel.
  • Stainless steel comes in different gauges; the lower the number, the thicker the steel. Thicker steel is less noisy, and undercoating can help dampen noise. Satin finish is the easiest to clean.
  • Other accessories for kitchen sinks include sliding cutting boards, clip-on colanders and custom dish drainers.

Nail Set

  • Used to countersink nails before filling with putty, plastic, wood or other filling materials for a smooth surface.
  • Nail sets are sized by 1/32″ and range from 1/32″ to 5/32″.
  • It is important that the correct size set be used for each size nail to prevent enlarging of a small nail hole by too large a set.
  • The pointed end of the nail set should be cupped or hollowed out to avoid splitting the nail head. Self-centering nail sets are available.

Bronze Screening

  • Offers a nostalgic look for accenting old homes.
  • Made of 90 percent copper and 10 percent zinc.
  • Screen weathers to a dark finish.

Baseboard Heater

  • A convection-type heater.
  • The heating elements are completely enclosed, so they are safe for use around small children, but they do not give off as much heat as other types of heaters.
  • Has protective grills removable for easy cleaning.
  • Available with or without a thermostat.

Foam Insulation

  • Comes in a liquid spray form that quickly foams and hardens.
  • May have a higher insulating value than blown-in materials, but is more expensive and still subject to shrinking.
  • For use only on closed, properly vented exterior wall cavities. It should be sealed from exposure to the interior with vapor- and fume-resistant paints.
  • Also suited for sealing cracks around windows, doors and constructions seams.
  • Best for professional installation.

Wood Chisel

  • Comes in a variety of sizes and styles. The butt chisel has a short blade that ranges from about 2-1/2″-3″ long. It is used by pattern makers, cabinetmakers, carpenters and do-it-yourselfers for carving and paring, particularly in tight spots. It can be used with hard-faced hammers.
  • A firmer chisel is square-sided, medium-duty chisel and has a longer blade, usually from 3-1/2″-6″ and is used mainly for cutting deeply into wood. It should be used with soft-faced hammers.
  • Paring chisels are for light-duty, detailed work such as trimming cabinets.


Drive Anchor

  • Made of high-strength spring steel or of aluminum with a stainless steel pin for use in hard materials.
  • Driven into a hole where it is compressed and forced against the walls of the hole.
  • Comes in three head styles: round, countersunk and stud. The stud type provides temporary attachment of items that must later be removed.

Roller Tray

  • A container that holds paint when using a paint roller.
  • Most trays have ribbed bottoms to remove excess paint from a roller cover after filling it.
  • Ladder-lock legs permit them to snap onto a stepladder.
  • A good quality tray can last indefinitely if cleaned after each use.
  • Plastic tray liners are also available.
  • Some trays features a lid that closes and seals paint, roller or brush inside the tray. This eliminates the need to clean the painting equipment after each use. It also saves paint.

Conduit Connectors

  • Used to connect lengths of conduit.
  • Can make straight or bent connections.
  • Conduit can also be bent to a 90º curve using a conduit bender.

Granite Tile

  • Made of solid granite.
  • Similar to marble, but harder, denser and more durable.
  • Must be sealed after installation.
  • Commonly used on countertops.
  • More difficult to harm than marble, but also more difficult to restore when damaged.

Coil Hose

  • Shaped like a coil or a spring, this hose rebounds gently after each use for convenient storage.
  • Withstands sun and rain and has solid brass or nylon fittings for drip-free connections.
  • Usually made of nylon or polyurethane and is available in a variety of colors.

Vinyl Patching Kit

  • Contains a patching material that forms a permanent patch over holes, tears, etc., in vinyl.
  • Some kits require heat, while other patching material cures in air and requires no heat.
  • Also included in these kits is an assortment of “graining paper,” used to reproduce any design in the vinyl.
  • With a backing behind the hole in the vinyl, patching material is brushed over the hole and proper graining paper is laid over the patch.
  • With material that requires heat, an iron is then pressed over the graining paper to apply the proper heat to the patching material, causing it to take on the pattern of the vinyl and to set properly.
  • An assortment of touch-up colors is available to blend the patch into the color of the vinyl.

Laminate Trimmer

  • A lightweight mini router.
  • Designed for trimming thin plastic countertop materials, but also useful for small routing jobs.
  • Highly portable and can be used with one hand.

Fence Pliers

• Used to pull and cut staples in fencing and other work involving wire.

• Only tool needed for work on wood posts.

• Feature flat, heavy head for hammering, staple-pulling hook, wire cutters on each side and pliers jaws to pull wire.


Splitting Maul

  • Similar to a sledgehammer, but one end of the head is wedge-shaped.
  • Used to make a starting notch in wood.
  • A wedge is then inserted and struck with the hammer end of the maul head to finish splitting the wood.

Spring Hinge

  • Closes the door automatically.
  • Double acting types are commonly used on café doors that swing in both directions.

Countertop Lavatory

  • Offers the advantage of storage space under and next to the sink.
  • The mounting for vanity sinks can be self-rimming, flush-mounted, undermounted or integral. Integral sink basins are typically made of solid surfacing or cultured stone, and any damage to the sink will mean replacing the entire unit.
  • In addition to cultured stone and solid surfacing, bath sinks are made of enameled steel, vitreous china, glass, cast iron and stainless steel. Vitreous china is the most common material, since it provides a high-gloss finish and is durable and sanitary.
  • For bath vanities, 34″-36″ is a more comfortable height for adults than the typical height of 30″-32″.


  • Aluminum is the most popular type of guttering and used on most homes today.
  • Galvanized guttering is sturdy, but is unpainted and requires some type of finish. This type must also be cleaned regularly if it is to last.
  • Vinyl guttering is easy to install and is manufactured specifically with the do-it-yourselfer in mind.
  • Plastic guttering is the least expensive option but not very durable.
  • Prolonged cold and hot weather can cause plastic guttering to be damaged.
  • K-style is the most popular, while a half-round style is also available.
  • Popular sizes of gutters are 4”, 5” and 6”. Larger sizes may be available.
  • Available in a variety of colors.
  • Uses a variety of fittings and connectors.
  • Continuous guttering is popular and avoids joints in the gutter, but is usually installed by a professional.

Foam Sealant

  • Installs similar to foam insulation, but comes in an aerosol can and is best for do-it-yourself use.
  • Best used for permanently sealing irregular gaps around the home, such as plumbing feed-thrus, electrical outlets, vents, etc.
  • After curing, it can be trimmed, sanded and painted.
  • When installing, only fill the area about 33 percent and the expanding foam will fill and seal the rest of the area.
  • Formulations include triple-expanding for general-purpose sealing and insulating; minimal-expanding for windows and door frames; and fast drying for multi-step projects such as filling a crack before painting.
  • Wear gloves and eye protection when applying.
  • Remove wet foam with acetone or acetone-based nail polish remover. Cured foam is difficult to remove from skin and clothes.

Pin Punch

  • Used for driving or removing bushings, pins and keys that have been loosened.
  • Also called a drive pin punch.
  • Shaft has a long taper to the tip, which is flat.

Screening Tool

  • Used when installing door or window screening.
  • Has a cylindrical handle and bladed wheels on each end.
  • One end is tapered at the edge to help push the screening and spline into the proper slot of the frame.

Premium Potting Soil

  • Includes perlite and vermiculite, which aid in water drainage and aeration.
  • Features a wetting agent that provides more uniform water distribution in the soil.
  • Some mixes contain fertilizer in either water-soluble or slow-release granular form.

Ceramic Heater

  • A convection-type heater.
  • Uses a ceramic disk heating element.
  • Ideal for spot heating.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Safe alternative to other heating sources as they operate at temperatures below the combustion point of paper.
  • Includes a washable filter to reduce air pollutants.

Box Nail

  • Lighter and smaller than common nails with a larger head.
  • Used for framing and applications where shifting is minimal, such as nailing subfloor to floor joists and attaching roof base to rafters.

Paint Bucket

  • Rectangular plastic bucket used for painting.
  • Common sizes range from 1 to 5 gallons.
  • Can be equipped with accessories such as a bucket grid or screen to help clean paint from brushes and rollers when in use.
  • Generally has a handle for easy carrying.
  • Some buckets feature a lid that closes and seals paint, roller or brush inside the tray.

LB Fitting

  • Connects at a 90º angle.
  • Has thick gaskets to make it impervious to moisture.
  • Generally, an LB fitting is placed outside at the point where the conduit leaves the house.
  • This fitting should not be used to make wire connections.

Slate Tile

  • Made of shale with a natural cleft finish.
  • Must be sealed after installation.

Hose Hanger

  • Provides compact and efficient hose storage.
  • Mounts easily to the side of a house or garage.
  • Hose is simply draped over hanger brackets for easy storage.

Router Bit

  • Attaches to a router to create a variety of shapes and cuts.
  • Use carbide bits for cutting laminates and harder composite materials.
  • Use high speed steel bits for general purpose cutting in wood and aluminum.
  • Generally grouped into three types: grooving bits, edging bits and specialty bits.
  • The standard d-i-y bit uses a 1/4” shank.
  • Available in an anti-kick-back or chip-limiting design that helps protect the piece of work where the router is being used by preventing the bit from lurching forward and biting into the material.


  • Is closed on one end and fits over end of pipe run to seal a run of pipe or a fitting.
  • Either has female threads (for galvanized pipe) or no threads (for copper, PVC and other solvent welded pipe).

Cold Chisel

  • Also comes in a variety of styles, including flat (the most widely used), cape, diamond-point and round-nose.
  • A cold chisel should be used only for cutting and chipping cold metal (unhardened steel, cast and wrought iron, aluminum, brass and copper), never masonry.


Splitting Wedge

  • Tool used to finish splitting wood when struck with splitting maul after a starting notch is made.
  • Made of steel, aluminum and plastic.
  • Steel wedges are forged from a solid piece of high-carbon steel and may be heat-treated.
  • Aluminum and plastic wedges are designed primarily for use with chain saws and crosscut saws to hold the kerf apart to prevent binding.
  • Wedges should be struck with a sledge or woodchopper’s maul having a larger striking face than the head of the wedge.
  • Never strike the steel wedge with the cutting edge of the maul.

Strap Hinge

  • Specifically designed for surface applications.
  • Provides greater support for wide doors.
  • Since they may be exposed, they are available in ornamental style.

Fiberglass Repair Kit

  • Contains fiberglass fabric for patching and waterproofing.
  • It remains flexible after application, preventing reappearance of the same crack.
  • Kits includes fiberglass tape and oil-based mastic.
  • After the tape is applied over the crack, the mastic is brushed over the tape.
  • The edges are then feathered to blend with the surface being repaired.
  • Recommended for repairing rain gutters, roofing, interior walls and wood surfaces.

Pedestal Lavatory

  • The bowl rests on a pedestal and does not have storage space underneath.
  • The most common type of pedestal is made of vitreous china, but manufacturers offer other high-end types as well.
  • More difficult to install than countertop vanities.


  • Attaches to the gutter to carry water down the side of the house.
  • Rainfall capacity of a guttering system is largely dependent on the size and number of downspouts rather than strictly gutter size.
  • Downspouts are usually rectangular in shape and come in 10’ lengths.
  • Popular sizes of downspouts are 2”x3”, 3”x4” and 4”x5”.


  • Has rubber, plastic, wooden or rawhide head.
  • Used to drive chisels or hammer joints together.
  • Sizes are specified in head weight or diameter with the exception of wooden mallets, which are specified by head diameter only.
  • Comes in variety of shapes and sizes for specific tasks.
  • Carpentry mallet features angled head to reduce fatigue; shop mallet with octagonal head is used for flat strikes; rawhide mallet is used in furniture assembly.


Reflective Foil Insulation

  • Radiant BarrierOne type is made of foil and poly to trap air between the sheets of foil, generally using bubble pack.
  • A second type expands when installed between stud spaces. The resistance to heat flow depends on the heat flow direction. This type of insulation is most effective in reducing downward heat flow.
  • Comes in long rolls of various widths.
  • May be used in conjunction with many different building materials and cut to fit any shape.
  • Typically installed between roof rafters, floor joists or wall studs.
  • When a single reflective surface is used alone and faces an open space such as an attic, then it is called a radiant barrier.

Prick Punch

  • Used to make a very light starter mark that can then be enlarged by a different type of punch (usually a center punch).
  • Also used to mark layout lines.
  • The point of a prick punch has a long bevel.

Screen Spline

  • Inserted into grooves in screen frame after screen is tucked in to hold screen in place.
  • Tightens screen onto frame by pulling screen tight.
  • Available in a variety of lengths and thicknesses to fit different size screen channels.

Natural Organic Fertilizer

  • One of three common types of fertilizer, the other two are inorganic and synthetic organic.
  • Does not dissolve in water.
  • Converted to usable forms by microorganisms in the soil.
  • Helps to create proper physical growing conditions, but can add disease or weeds to the lawn.
  • Usually does not contain a complete mix of the essential nutrients, making it necessary to apply additional types of fertilizer.
  • Less concentrated than synthetic fertilizer.
  • Slow-acting release.

Fan-Forced Heater

  • A convection-type heater.
  • Uses fuel and electricity to circulate hot air around the area to be heated.
  • Fans blow a gust of warm air that is able to heat an area that would normally be too open or drafty to heat with another type of heater.
  • Available in models that operate on fuel oil, kerosene or propane gas.
  • Can supply from 35,000 to 60,000 BTUs.
  • Use in work areas such as garages and barns and open areas such as construction sites.
  • Usually equipped with air and fuel filters to block contaminants.

Duplex Nail

  • Has a double head to allow for easy removal in temporary construction applications.
  • Used for concrete forming and scaffolding.

Bucket Grid

  • Placed in bucket to remove excess paint from applicators before applying to surface.
  • Generally used with smaller rollers.
  • Similar to a wire screen or grid in construction.
  • Has a flexible hanger that fastens over bucket rim.

Conduit Fasteners

  • Use to fasten conduit to a wall or other framing member.
  • Staples can be used to fasten conduit or bare cable.
  • Straps are another type. They can be either one-hole or two-hole.
  • Generally, staples are best used inside the house, straps are best used outside.

Propane Torch

  • Used to heat joints in copper pipe so solder can melt.
  • Also use to heat corroded fittings to loosen them.
  • Attaches to a cylinder containing the gas.

Quarry Tile

  • Has a shale body, extruded then cut to size with edges ground smooth.
  • Can be glazed, but is usually sold unglazed.
  • Must be sealed after installation.
  • Very durable, and often used in institutional settings.

Hose Reel

  • Provides compact and efficient hose storage.
  • Uses a rotary action to unroll and roll hose.
  • Some models can be mounted on the house or garage, others ride on a caddy or cart.
  • Usually incorporates a leader hose that attaches directly to the water supply.
  • Some models feature storage trays for accessories.
  • Typical capacity is 150’ for 5/8” hose. A large capacity reel basket holds 400’ for 5/8” hose.
  • Some feature a screw-sliding guide mechanism for keeping the hose neatly wrapped on the reel.

Router Table

  • A table built to accommodate a router mounted underneath.
  • Provides a smooth surface for routing, and a fence for guiding the material.
  • Another version is a horizontal table that holds the router horizontally.


  • Is closed on one end and either has male threads (for galvanized pipe) or no threads (for PVC and other solvent welded pipe.
  • Used to seal a run of pipe or fitting.
  • A Cleanout Plug can be added to a tee at the base of a vertical drain pipe. The plug is threaded for easy access to the drain. The threaded fitting for the plug can be added on, or some tee fittings have the threaded connection built-in.



Sheet Metal Screw

  • Fastens thin metal to thin metal.
  • Threaded its entire length.
  • Can have flat, oval, round or binding heads.
  • Typical lengths range from 1/8” to 2”.
  • Starting holes are either drilled or punched and should be slightly smaller than the screw diameter.


Pipe Insulation

  • For insulating water pipes from freezing in the winter. It also helps control heat loss when pipes carry hot water and controls condensation and dripping.
  • Available in preformed insulating tubes that fit over the pipe.
  • Another type comes in batt form, which can be wrapped around the pipe.

Masonry Chisel

  • Used when cutting masonry, such as concrete block and brick.
  • Some models available with teeth for cutting soft stone.
  • One variation is the star drill, used for making holes in masonry to anchor fasteners.



  • Shaped like the letter T.
  • Because it is exposed, some are available in ornamental styles.
  • The vertical strap is secured to the frame while the horizontal strap is secured to the door.
  • Commonly used on gates and cabinet lids.

Heat Gun

  • Aids in removal of paint and varnish, as well as flooring, adhesives and frozen nuts and bolts.
  • Either comes in one setting (generally 750 degrees F or variable heat settings ranging from 200 degrees F to 1,100 degrees F.
  • Higher heat settings are for removing paint and varnish.
  • Lower heat settings are for removing flooring, adhesives and bending or molding plastics.
  • Resembles a hair dryer.

Utility Sink

  • Also called a laundry sink.
  • Provides an extra deep, multi-purpose single bowl for pre-washing laundry or washing out items like paint brushes not suitable or other more expensive sinks.
  • Sturdy, durable and often made of fiberglass.


  • Diverts the direction of the downspout by 45 degrees.
  • A square elbow is available in two different styles.
  • A square shoe style elbow is used at the bottom of the downspout to help divert water away from the house.

Rip Saw

  • Has large, chisel-shaped teeth, usually 5-1/2 teeth per inch, and is made to cut with the wood grain.
  • Blade lengths measure from 24″ to 28″. • Teeth are cross-filed to ensure that the chisel point is set square to the direction of cutting for best performance.
  • This saw is best held at a 60º angle to the surface of the board being cut. The ripping action of the saw produces a coarse, ragged cut that makes the saw unsatisfactory for finish work.

Inorganic Fertilizer

  • Dissolves in water to become readily available to plants.
  • Contains ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate.
  • Causes fast growth for a few weeks, but can also cause foliage burn if improperly applied.
  • May contain some synthetic organics, too.

Starter Punch

• Used to make a starter mark that can be enlarged with a pin punch.

• Generally ranges in length from 4” to 7”.


Casing Nail

  • Similar in appearance to a finishing nail, but is thicker and has a flat head.
  • Used to secure case molding.

Solar Screen

  • Used in place of regular insect screening and blocks out most of the sun’s heat while serving as an insect barrier.
  • Available in aluminum material or as fiberglass ribbed-weave mesh.
  • Helps save energy; aluminum screens can reduce incoming heat by as much as 87 percent and fiberglass solar screen can reduce incoming heat by 70 percent.
  • Available in the same widths and colors as regular screen.

Paint Shield

  • Also known as a trim guard.
  • Used to mask off areas not to be painted.
  • Used primarily in corners where wall meets ceiling or where twowalls meet that are not painted the same color.

Oil-Filled Heater

  • A convection-type heater that contains a factory sealed oil reservoir that never needs changing or replenishing.
  • A tubular heating element heats oil, which in turn heats the exterior of the heater.
  • Slow heating, but ale to provide uniform temperatures through out the space being heated.

Propane Fuel

  • Attaches to a propane torch.
  • Propane comes in bright blue tanks and MAPP welding gas comes in yellow tanks.
  • Propane is generally used to heat copper for flaring. However, sometimes there is water in the line that needs to be evaporated so the pipe will heat enough to sweat a joint. Use MAPP gas, but use caution as too much heat can melt the pipe.


  • Poured between the joints of a tile installation.
  • Must be sealed after installation.
  • Made of cement and is either sanded or non-sanded, some are polymer modified.
  • Pre-mixed grout is also available and is for repairs in dry areas only.
  • Color of the grout will coordinate with the color of the tile.

Felt Weather Strip

  • Least expensive type of weather stripping, but also has the shortest life.
  • Installs by gluing, nailing or stapling to the frame or molding around doors so the door will close snugly and quietly against it.
  • A good choice when appearance is no concern.
  • Available in a variety of widths, thicknesses and quality.
  • Reinforced felt weather strip is sturdier and designed to last longer.

Pistol Nozzle

  • Gun-type hose spray accessory constructed of metal or plastic.
  • Many have adjustable spray patterns from a fine mist to a solid stream to full flow by squeezing the handle or by turning an adjusting screw or using a multi-position clip.
  • Some models have a dial control for different spray patterns.

Plate Joiner

  • Also called a biscuit joiner.
  • Used for making strong plate joints, or biscuit joints, that join separate pieces of wood together.
  • The tool is plunged into the workpiece to cut a slot that accepts various size biscuits. Most models come with different blades to create various slot sizes. The slots of one piece of wood are then aligned with the slots of the other peice being joined. These slots share the same biscuit.
  • Has top-mounted or side-mounted sliding switches and comes with a dust bag or an adapter for hook-up to a shop vacuum.
  • Good joiners will have adjustable fences for making a joint at a variety of angles.

Machine Screw

  • Can have round, oval, flat and fillister heads.
  • Intended to be screwed into pre-threaded holes in metal.
  • May look like a bolt, but user drives it with a screwdriver instead of a wrench.
  • Comes in coarse (24 threads per inch) and fine (32 threads per inch) sizes.
  • They are sized according to diameter, thread and length. Example: a 6-32×3/4 means the screw has a 6-gauge diameter with 32 threads per inch and is 3/4” long.
  • The round head type is most commonly used. The flat head type is used when the top must be flush with the surface.
  • Oval heads are used in countersunk holes. Fillister heads are used in counter-bored holes.


Continuous Hinge

  • Also called piano hinges.
  • Comes in sizes up to 72” long.
  • Fits along the entire length of the door.
  • Provides protection against warping.
  • Frequently used on chest lids and cabinets.

Brush and Roller Cleaner

  • Restores hard brushes and washes away oil and latex paints as well as varnish.
  • Reduces cleaning effort and helps applicators last longer.
  • Most formulations will not harm either natural or nylon bristle brushes, but they can harm synthetic bristles. Synthetic brushes should be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Safer to use and less odor than paint thinner.
  • Can also be used to remove paint from hands.

Garbage Disposal

  • Uses a high-speed rotating table powered by a sealed motor, it flings kitchen waste against a stationary shredder, cutter or grinder.
  • This action, together with a full flow of cold running water that must be used while the disposal is operating, reduces the garbage to fine particles and flushes them down the drain to the sewage system.
  • Fits standard 3-1/2″ to 4″ sink drain openings and are installed under the sink drain.
  • Cold water congeals grease and prevents it from coating the drain line. Hard particles, such as bone and eggshell, actually scour the drain line as they whirl down and help keep it clean.
  • One type is the Continuous-Feed disposals. Garbage can be fed while the machine is in operation. These disposals are controlled by a wall switch and operated with a continuous flow of cold water.
  • A flexible splashguard at the disposal opening stops backsplash and helps to catch non-food items that may accidentally fall into the opening.
  • Batch-Feed disposals grind or pulverize food waste one load at a time. The hopper is filled and cold water added. When the cover is put in place, the unit begins operating. Some models have a magnetic switch control in the cover; others require a locking turn of the cover to activate the unit. No other switch is necessary. The safer design of batch-feed disposals makes them more attractive to homeowners with children.
  • A sealed motor requiring an electrical hook-up powers most garbage disposals.
  • The typical disposal has an overload switch that shuts off the motor if something is jammed.
  • Disposals will grind most garbage–from the sink and the dishwasher–but they are not intended for glass, crockery, leather, metal, newspaper, paper cartons, rubber or plastic.


  • Changes the direction of a run of gutter.
  • An outside mitre is used for an inside turn of a gutter.
  • An inside mitre is used for an outside turn of a gutter.

Floor Chisel

  • Designed to remove flooring material
  • Larger head design, generally 3”, increases striking area.
  • Some models available with a target guard to protect against mishits.


Crosscut Saw

  • Designed for cutting across wood grain and produces a smoother cut than rip saws.
  • Has teeth shaped like knife points to crumble out wood between cuts.
  • The most commonly used crosscut saws are 10- to 12-point for fine work and 7- or 8-point for faster cutting. 10 teeth per inch is considered general purpose
  • Blade lengths range from 20″ to 28″, with 26″ the most popular.
  • Can also be used to cut plywood.
  • Best cutting angle for this saw is about 45º.

Synthetic Organic Fertilizer

  • Contains ureafoam and methylene urea.
  • Provides a combination of slow and fast release of nitrogen, combining the best of the other two kinds of fertilizer, inorganic and organic.
  • Easier to use than organic fertilizers because they are typically packaged for use with a specific application and are less bulky.

Center Punch

  • Also known as a nail punch, the point of a center punch has a short bevel.
  • Used for starting holes in wood or metal, or to align rivet or bolt holes.
  • Also used for driving rivets after rivet heads have been removed.
  • Good all-around punch that is useful for most jobs requiring a punch.

Common Nail

  • Used in general carpentry and wood framing.
  • Available in most sizes and finishes.
  • Use with harder woods.
  • Applications include house foundation, floor joists, rafters and internal studding.

Hardware Cloth

  • Has numerous uses, including attic ventilation, foundation vents, security screens and protective panels for screen doors.
  • Available in galvanized steel or aluminum.
  • Typical meshes are 2×2, 3×3, 4×4 and 8×8. Common widths are from 24” to 48” in 100’ rolls.
  • Also available in plastic, where typical mesh sizes range from 1/8×1/8 to 1×1. Plastic has no sharp edges, will not rust, rot or corrode and is available in dark green and crystal colors.

Paint Mixer

  • Propeller device used to mix paint.
  • Attaches to drills with either a ½” or 3/8” shaft, depending on model.
  • Also great for mixing sealers and other coatings.

Wire Channels

  • Use to fasten conduit to a wall or other framing member.
  • Staples can be used to fasten conduit or bare cable.
  • Straps are another type. They can be either one-hole or two-hole.
  • Generally, staples are best used inside the house, straps are best used outside.

Vented Gas Heater

  • Requires vents to the outside.c
  • Available in medium- or high-output models ranging from 25,000 to 65,000 BTUs/hr.
  • Includes an enclosed radiating circulator unit with tempered glass in front of a series of radiants.
  • Designed to take up medium space.
  • Popular with consumers seeking to trim heating bills.


  • Used to sweat a copper fitting.
  • Forms a bond between fitting and pipe.
  • Use lead-free solder if used on potable water lines.
  • Most common type is 95-5 tin-antimony solder. The first number is the percentage of tin in the solder. The more tin, the more workable the solder.

Adhesive-Backed Foam Tape

  • Installed by pressing into position and sticking permanently.
  • Requires no nails or tools.
  • One type, pressure-sensitive sponge rubber tape, is suited for larger problem areas.
  • Another type, pressure-sensitive vinyl foam or felt, is for average sealing.
  • Closed-cell PVC foam compresses to fill irregular gaps and can be used outdoors.
  • Open-cell foam is for inside use only.
  • High-density foam is extremely durable and long lasting.

Linemen’s Pliers

• Also called electrician’s pliers. Used by professionals engaged in electrical, communications and construction work.

• Used for cutting, holding, shaping and twisting wire.

• Heavy-duty, side-cutting pliers designed for all regular wire-cutting needs.

• Have gripping jaws in addition to cutting edges.

• High-leverage lineman’s pliers have rivet placed closer to the cutting edges to provide more leverage.

• Two head patterns are available: standard (bevel nose) and round nose, which is more streamlined.

• Sizes range from 6-1/4” to 9-1/4”.


Straight Nozzle

  • Usually constructed of brass, diecast zinc or plastic.
  • Better models use an o-ring to seal off the waterflow, protect the inside adjustment threads and allow for smoother and easier spray adjustment.

Rotary Cutting Tool

  • Uses a blade that looks similar to a drill bit. It rotates and cuts through material without the ripping motion of the sabre or jigsaw blade.
  • Allows user to plunge directly into the center of material and eliminates the need for pilot holes.
  • Can cut material up to 1” thick.
  • Many different bits are available for cutting in a variety of materials.
  • Lightweight and easy to control. The spinning motion of the blade reduces the ripping, binding and potential jumping of the tool.
  • Typically used to cut sink openings in countertops, for cutting and replacing ceramic wall tiles and cutting openings in drywall.

Door Closer

  • Closes the door at a controlled speed. Usually used on storm and screen doors.
  • Operates with a spring and piston. When the door is pulled open, the spring inside the cylinder is depressed, thus exerting pressure to pull the door closed automatically. The piston controls the speed. An adjusting screw allows the user to change the speed of the closing.
  • A closer made for the disabled has an automatic hold-open feature that engages when the door is opened about 90º. A wheelchair occupant can tap the door again in the opening direction to close it automatically.
  • Interior door closers have a canister-like apparatus mounted on the door and a knuckle-joint arm to push the door closed. A spring-loaded closer is another type that can be installed on existing door hinges.
  • Use closer reinforcements to attach to the frame to provide a stronger anchor.

Mineral Spirits

  • Also known as paint thinner.
  • A petroleum distillate solvent frequently used in the manufacturing and thinning of oil-based paints.
  • Odorless mineral spirits have been refined to remove some odorous components.
  • Excellent paint thinner and for cleaning brushes or rollers after painting.

End Cap

  • Used to stop a run of gutter.

Set Screw

  • Prevents bolts from loosening due to vibration.
  • The thumb screw type can be tightened by hand.
  • Headless set screws are tightened with a screwdriver.
  • Square head set screws are tightened with a wrench.
  • Socket set screws are tightened with a hex wrench.


Dry Fertilizer

  • Combines nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
  • With some types, there is a danger of burning the lawn if applied too heavily or not watered immediately.
  • Spreads with a lawn spreader.

V-Type Weather Strip

  • Once the door is closed, the open ends of the V shape close together, with one end of the V touching the door and the other adhered to the door.
  • Forms an airtight seal.
  • Spring-metal tension strips are more difficult to install than adhesive-backed tension strips made of vinyl, but are the best permanent type.

Retractable-Blade Utility Knife

  • General-use tool designed to cut materials such as drywall, cardboard cartons, laminates and plastic.
  • Blade retracts into body of knife for safer operation and storage.
  • Some models have up to 3 different blade positions for different cutting depths.
  • Higher-end models have rubber grips and ergonomic designs for better gripping.
  • Handle generally unscrews or swivels open to permit blade changes.
  • Many models have extra blade storage in handle.
  • Some models have spring-loaded blades that automatically retract when the knife is released.


  • Is a fine-toothed saw designed to cut metal or plastic. Hacksaws consist of a blade held in a steel frame with relatively high tension to hold the blade rigidly straight. High-tension models (with tension to 32,000 p.s.i.) are also available.
  • Blades come in coarse-, medium (18 tpi), fine (24 teeth per inch and very fine-toothed (32 tpi). Regular or standard blades are used for general-purpose cutting; high-speed or bi-metal blades for cutting hard, extra-tough steel.
  • Most models can be adjusted to hold various blade lengths. Some have both horizontal and vertical positions for blades. Others provide blade storage.
  • A close-quarter (or utility) hacksaw holds and positions a hacksaw blade so it can be used effectively in narrow spaces and slots.
  • Replacement blades include rod saw blades capable of cutting through most hard materials—spring and stainless steel, chain, brick, glass and tile.

Capped Nail

  • Has a plastic or metal flat cap at the head.
  • Used for installing foam insulation to exterior surfaces.
  • Some types are made for hammering into masonry.

Window Film

  • Plastic used as window film can be used to reduce heat, prevent heat loss to lower heating and cooling costs and to reduce fade and glare.
  • Can block up to 98 percent of UV radiation and about 80 percent of normal heat gain.
  • Film made of polyester is coated with water-activated or pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side and with a scratch-resistant coating on the other side.
  • Dyed films absorb heat and give a tinted appearance.
  • Metallic films can be clear or reflective. Use this type on double-glazed windows.

Masking Tape

  • Also called painter’s tape, it is a general-purpose, pressure-sensitive tape used to mask off areas not intended to be painted.
  • Commonly colored blue for painting applications.
  • All-purpose tapes are increasingly being replaced by tapes designed for specific tasks, such as specific tapes designed for baseboards and trim, glass, hard-to-stick surfaces, lacquer surfaces, brick and tile and delicate surfaces.

Non-Vented Gas Heater

  • Requires no outside vent.
  • Suitable for zone heating and is clean burning and inexpensive to operate.
  • Uses an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS). This device shuts off the heater and the flow of gas to the burner if the oxygen level in the room becomes inadequate. An ODS is required on all unvented heating equipment.
  • Infrared-type heaters of this type use a ceramic radiant or panel that is positioned above the gas burner. The ignited gas gives off a bright orange glow to produce heat. A screen-like guard protects the radiant plaques but they are not otherwise enclosed.
  • Convection-type heaters of this type first warm the air, which then warms the objects. Has burners enclosed within a painted or enamel-coated sheet metal housing that has air openings on the top, front and possibly the sides.


  • Helps prevent oxidation and allows solder to flow freely.
  • Comes in both liquid and paste.
  • Necessary whenever sweating a joint.

Automatic Center Punch

  • Punch that is not stuck by a hammer. It has a spring-actuated internal drive that pushes the attached punch point into the material to be center punched.
  • These punches are available in different sizes and with replaceable screw-on points.

Power Planer

  • Smooths and reduces the surface of wood to achieve a flat surface.
  • Operates with a pair of replaceable knives that can adjust to various depths.
  • Features include an edge fence for edge trimming.
  • Another feature on most models is a safety foot that prevents damaging a surface if the user sets down the tool before the cutter has stopped spinning. A safety foot drops down to raise the plate and keep the blade from cutting into the surface.

Plug Fuse

  • Also known as Edison base fuse, plug-in fuse or glass fuse.
  • A safety device that breaks an electrical circuit when it is overloaded.
  • The most commonly used fuse. Available in 5- to 30-amp sizes.
  • It has a threaded base like a light bulb and a small window to view a metal linkage. Electricity flows through the linkage. When the circuit is overloaded, the linkage melts and turns black, cutting off the flow of electricity through it. The fuse then must be replaced.

Wood Screw

  • Used to secure wood together.
  • Usually made of unhardened steel, stainless steel, aluminum or brass.
  • Steel screws can have a choice of several coatings: bright-finished, blued, or zinc-, cadmium- or chrome-plated.
  • Threads on this screw run from the point along three-fourths of the length and heads are slotted.



  • Has greater solvency than mineral spirits, causing it to work more quickly.
  • It also has a stronger odor and contains a small amount of resin.

Spike & Ferrule

  • Used to hold a gutter to the eave of the roof.
  • The spike is inserted through the ferrule.
  • The ferrule helps hold the width of the gutter constant throughout the run.

Locking Pliers

• Adjustable, vise-type locking pliers that can be locked on to a work piece and operate like a clamp.

• Features an adjustment screw that changes the jaw size to apply the correct clamping pressure.

• Available in various sizes and shapes: curved jaw puts pressure on any style nut or bolt head; curved jaw with wire cutter also allows user to cut wire; straight jaw provides maximum contact on flat, square or hex work; long nose provides easy access in hard-to-reach places; large jaw is used by plumbers, welders and mechanics working with large objects; and bent nose is for work in tight places.

• Some use a mechanism that allows one-handed release; others require two hands to disengage.

• Many locking pliers provide a wire-cutting function, some from a full range, others from a restricted range of jaw settings.


Hose Mender

  • Used to mend or connect hose.
  • Metal clincher couplings have metal cleats around a brass insert.
  • Can be used on rubber or plastic hoses. To install, push the hose over the insert and pound down the cleats with a hammer or crimp with pliers to hold the hose.
  • For plastic hoses, use a compression fitting with a threaded collar as it is less likely to puncture the outer covering.
  • Plastic menders include a barbed tubular insert and clam shell-shaped clamps used on either plastic or rubber hose.

Liquid Fertilizer

  • Spreads with a hose that attaches to a container holding the fertilizer. Other types may be used on plants and mixed in a watering can.
  • Fertilizer is in a concentrated form that is diluted with the water from the hose.
  • Nutrients are immediately available to the plants, which makes this the fastest response fertilizer.
  • May require user to fertilizer more frequently, since fertilizer is absorbed quickly.
  • Fertilizer must be spread evenly to avoid burning.

Caulking Cord

  • Temporarily fills large gaps around windows.
  • Consists of soft, rope-like strands of weather strip with the consistency of modeling clay.
  • Easily applied by hand and remains pliable so it can be removed when the weather warms.
  • Paintable and will not harden or dry out.

Cut Flooring Nail

  • Has a blunt tip to prevent splitting of flooring.
  • Used to attach wood to concrete.

Door Plates

  • Kick plates protect the bottom of the door from scuffing.
  • Push plates provide a non-marring surface where the user can push the door open.
  • Pull plates provide a handle to open doors.
  • Adds a decorative touch to doors.
  • Available in a variety of materials, including brass, stainless steel and anodized aluminum.

Lawn Fencing

  • Offers homeowners inexpensive protection for shrubs, trees and flowerbeds.
  • Vinyl-coated fence withstands harsh weather and does not need painting or other maintenance. Available in green or white.
  • Plastic fence is available in a 2” square mesh design and a 1” diamond mesh.
  • Available in white and green. Will not rot, rust or corrode and has no sharp edges.
  • Galvanized fence is available in 2”x4” mesh.
  • Typical fence stands 36” to 48” high.

Masking Machine

  • Offers automatic tape alignment for applying masking tape to film or paper.
  • Useful when masking off large areas.
  • Contains blade for easy tearing of tape end.
  • Many different types and styles available.

Kerosene Heater

  • Uses a wick rather than a pressure-fed fuel system.
  • Standard features include an automatic shut-off device to extinguish the flame if the heating unit is bumped or jarred, grills or guards to keep hands away from the surface and push-button battery-powered lighting devices.
  • Some areas do not allow the use of this type of heater. Check with local government agencies.
  • Only use K-1 clear kerosene fuel. Yellow or colored fuel will smoke, smell and hamper wick operation.


  • Connects two lengths of pipe.
  • Has female thread on both ends (for galvanized pipe) or no threads (for copper, PVC and other solvent-welded pipe).
  • A Reducer Coupling joins two different sizes of pipe.
  • An Adapter Coupling joins two different types of connection types, such as threaded and solvent weld.
  • A Repair Coupling, or mender coupling, has no center stop so two lengths of pipe can be fastened together. Use on unthreaded lengths of pipe.
  • A Fitting Trap Adapter adapts PVC to tubular traps used for sinks.

Flux Brush

  • Used to apply flux to a pipe.
  • About 6″ long.


  • The standard Drop-In tub installs within a tile or solid-surface surround within three walls of the bathroom, while the old-fashioned Clawfoot tubs are freestanding.
  • Standard size for tubs is 60″ wide, 30″ deep and 14″ high.
  • Whirlpool and deep tubs are designed for soaking and relaxation. These tubs can be separate or incorporate a shower combination.
  • Cast iron tubs are the most durable and do not stain or scratch easily.
  • Acrylic is a better insulating material so the water takes longer to cool, and its light weight and flexibility makes it a better choice for larger tubs.
  • Fiberglass tubs are easy to install, but are more apt to fade and scratch.
  • Tub and shower combinations are typically made of reinforced fiberglass with a polyester finish.

Compass or Keyhole Saw

  • Cuts curved or straight-sided holes.
  • Saw blades are narrow, tapered nearly to a point to fit into most spaces.
  • Blades come in three or four styles that can be changed to fit the job.
  • Some models have induction-hardened teeth for longer life without sharpening.
  • Keyhole saws are small compass saws with finer teeth that can cut metal.
  • Turret head keyhole blades can be rotated and locked in several positions for easier cutting in tight, awkward spots.


  • For picking up dirt, sawdust, metal shavings and other materials an ordinary vacuum cannot.
  • Wet/dry vacuums are designed for use anywhere and can suck up water as well as dirt.
  • Sizes range from 1 gal. to 50 gal., and motors can be 1 hp to 5 hp.
  • Many models incorporate a blower feature by attaching the hose to a separate blower port on the motor.
  • Newer designs include a backpack vacuum that is battery operated.

Type S Fuse

  • Also known as Fustats® or Nontamperable
  • Similar in design and use to a plug fuse. However, it prevents anyone from replacing a lower-rated fuse with a higher one.
  • Has two parts: the fuse and the adapter. The adapter has a different diameter for each fuse ampere rating. Once the adapter of a particular size fuse has been inserted into the fuse socket, it cannot be removed. Only fuses with the same rating can be used in that socket.

Dowel Screw

  • Threaded on both ends.
  • Used for assembling pieces of furniture end to end.


Fixed-Blade Utility Knife

  • Blade locks between the halves of the knife to provide more blade stability than retractable models.
  • Handle generally unscrews or swivels open to permit blade changes.
  • Higher-end models have rubber grips and ergonomic designs for better gripping.
  • Unlike retractable knives, accepts larger or special-purpose blades that can’t retract into the handle.


Brick Trowel

  • Punch that is not stuck by a hammer. It has a spring-actuated internal drive that pushes the attached punch point into the material to be center punched.
  • These punches are available in different sizes and with replaceable screw-on points.


  • Is available in denaturedwood isopropyl or methanol form.
  • Wood and methanol alcohols are extremely toxic and should not be recommended for do-it-yourselfers.
  • Denatured alcohol, a safer substance, is used for thinning and for cleaning shellac and pigmented shellac primer.
  • Alcohol is excellent for removing grease and oil spots, fingerprints and other smudges.


  • Used to attach the gutter downspout to the side of the house.

Vinyl Gasket Weather Strip

  • Weather stripping that cushions as it seals.
  • Can be used in places with warping or irregularities.

Hose Connector

  • Used to link garden hose and watering devices to the home water source, to connect sections of hose and to provide linkage for sprinkling devices.
  • Usually made of plastic or brass.
  • Some have a built-in shutoff valve.
  • A Y connector is another type that attaches to the water supply to control two hoses at the same time.

Pelletized Fertilizer

  • In the form of semi-rigid pellets or capsules.
  • This type does not ensure a steady release of nutrients unless slow-release sources are included in the pellets.

Drywall Nail

  • Ring-shanked nail used for attaching sheets of drywall gypsum board to interior wood wall studs.
  • Flat, slightly countersunk head permits driving just below the surface, forming a depression that can be covered with drywall joint compound or spackling.


  • A strip fastened to the floor beneath a door.
  • It usually covers the joint where two types of floor material meet.
  • Can be made of metal, aluminum or wood.
  • It may have a rubber strip in the center to aid in weatherproofing.
  • An astragal is a molding or strip that covers or closes the gap between the edges of a pair of doors. Some types overlap while others meet at the centerline of the gap.

Wire Fencing

  • Wires are welded together.
  • Can be taken down, rerolled and reused.
  • Stronger than woven fencing.
  • Used for fencing off children’s play areas, for protecting shrubs and young trees and for storing leaves for mulch.
  • Available as galvanized or vinyl-coated in heavy 14-gauge 2”x1” or 12-1/2-gauge 4”x2” mesh.
  • Typically sold in 50’ rolls, 36” or 48” high.


Paintbrush Comb

  • Used to clean paint and other coatings out of paintbrushes.
  • Simply run comb through paint brush filaments while running under warm water or while soaking in solvent-based cleaners for oil-based paints.

Duct Fan

  • Boosts the flow of air from the central heating system to areas in a house that are hard to heat or cool.
  • Overcomes the added resistance in long duct runs.
  • The prop fan type fits inside the duct.
  • The squirrel cage type fan has the motor mounted outside of the duct.
  • Most models vent about 200 cubic feet per minute in 6” to 8” diameter ducts.
  • Wired in series with the central furnace blower or operated by an auxiliary thermostat.

Copper Fitting Cleaning Brush

  • Use to clean copper fittings before soldering.

Tub Surround

  • Attaches to drywall, plaster or most any solid surface.
  • Comes in three or more pieces that snap or caulk together for a leak-free fit.
  • Inexpensive alternative to tile and good solution for keeping bathroom walls around the shower easy to clean.
  • Don’t forget the caulk!

Coping Saw

  • Used for cutting irregular shapes, curves and intricate decorative patterns.
  • Name comes from saw’s usefulness in coping back the joints of molding when fitting two pieces together.
  • Saw consists of a thin blade and a C-shaped steel tension frame.
  • The removable blade is typically 6-1/2″ long.

Cartridge Fuse

  • Cartridges fuses for circuits above 60 amps are also known as knife-blade cartridges. They look like rifle cartridges with metal caps and blades sticking out of each end.
  • Cartridges fuses for circuits 60 amps or less are also known as ferrule contact or round cartridge fuses. They look like rifle cartridges with plain, capped ends.
  • Used in high-current applications, such as in the main service box and in clamp- or bar-type fuse boxes that serve electric ranges, water heaters, clothes dryers and air conditioners.
  • Unlike plug fuses, you cannot tell if the fuse is blown by merely looking at it.
  • Use a special pair of pliers known as fuse pullers to remove these fuses.


  • Changes the direction of the pipe, usually at a 45∫, 90∫ or 22-1/2∫ angle.
  • Most common are elbows with female threads or solvent welds on both ends.
  • A Street Elbow has a female end on one end and a male end on the other. Also available for solvent welded products.
  • A Sweep is a type of elbow that has a longer curve for a more gradual bend. Available in long or short versions.
  • In two-piece toilets, a Closet Bend attaches a toilet tank to the bowl.
  • Reducing Elbows change the size of the pipe.
  • Adapter Elbows change from one type of joint to another, such as from a threaded connection to a solvent weld connection.

Interior Plywood

  • A laminate made from thin sheets of wood called veneers.
  • Layers are glued perpendicular to the next, creating a strong, stiff panel.
  • Varying thicknesses are available. The most common are 1/4” and 3/4”.
  • Sheets usually measure 4’x 8’. Other sizes may be available.
  • Most common wood type is Douglas fir and Southern pine.
  • Available in a wide range of grades, with the most common being C-D, Exposure 1 (usually called CDX or sheathing).
  • Another popular grade is A-D Exposure 1, which is suitable when only one paintable side is needed.

Lag Screw

  • Lag BoltAlso called a lag bolt.
  • Similar to wood screws but stronger.
  • Used when ordinary screws are too short or too lightweight and when increased gripping power is needed.
  • Used for wrenching into wood surfaces or for inserting into lag shields in masonry.
  • Has a hex head.


Snap-Blade Knife

  • Blade sections snap off (generally between 8 and 13 per blade) without having to open the tool to change blades.
  • Generally used for cutting light- and medium-duty materials such as wallpaper, rubber, vinyl and leather, or materials with adhesive backing that will stick to the blade and prevent sharp, accurate cutting.

Pointing Trowel

  • Used by bricklayers for pointing up their work.
  • Pointing and margin trowels are used for patch work and for cleaning other tools.
  • High-quality pointing and margin trowels are forged in one piece and constructed the same as a brick trowel.
  • The length of pointing trowels may be from 4-1/2″ to 7″. Best sellers are the 5″ and 6″ lengths.
  • A 5″ x 2″ is the most popular margin trowel size.


  • A portable source for electricity that runs on gasoline, diesel fuel, LP gas or natural gas.
  • Wattage outputs range from 1,850 to 8,000 watts.
  • To select the right generator for your needs, total the wattage of the items you need to run at the same time. This will be the minimum wattage needed in a generator.
  • Most models usually include two or three different outlets or receptacles to operate 12V DC and 115V AC current as well as 240V AC current.

Gutter Leaf Guard

  • Placed over the top of the gutter.
  • Used to keep leaves out of the gutter while letting rainwater in.
  • A variety of styles are available from different manufacturers.

Drywall Saw

  • Resembles a kitchen knife in design and is used to cut drywall and plasterboard in the same fashion as a keyhole saw, such as for sawing holes for electric outlets and switchplates.
  • The saw is self-starting with a sharp point for plunge cuts.
  • It may also have induction teeth for longer life without sharpening.

Watering Can

  • Available in a wide variety of styles in plastic and metal construction.
  • Effective for small lawn or garden areas.
  • Most portable watering device and easy to use indoors and in tight places.

Flower Seed

  • Sold in packages or in bulk.
  • Planting times and growing instructions will vary by plant. Read package instructions carefully.

Lacquer Thinner

  • Is available in many grades and degrees of solvency and in several speeds of evaporation.
  • An excellent cleaner for brushes and spray guns where lacquer has been used.
  • Since it leaves no residue, lacquer thinner does not require cleaned brushes to be washed with soap and water.
  • Highly flammable solvent that should be used with extreme caution.

Door Jamb Weather Strip

  • Used to seal the sides and top of a door to shut out drafts and insects.
  • Available in a variety of forms, including roll-formed and extruded aluminum with vinyl bulbs or flaps.

Finish Nail

  • Used around windows, finishing areas, trim and paneling where nails cannot show.
  • Small head size allows the nail to be driven beneath the wood surface so the hole can be filled and finished.
  • Similar to a casing nail, but the casing nail is heavier.

Screen Storm Door Hardware

  • Includes a variety of latches, strikes and pulls available as original or replacement hardware for screen and storm doors.
  • Some latches have keyed locks.
  • Most are designed for easy installation and are weather-resistant.
  • Most are designed for specific types of doors (wood vs. aluminum) and door thicknesses.

Garden Fencing

  • Designed to keep small predatory animals out of the garden.
  • A welded, galvanized fence with a large 4” square mesh at the top and a small 1” mesh extending 12” up form ground level.
  • The lower mesh can be buried several inches below ground to prevent digging under the fence.
  • Other specialty fencing is designed for use as a tomato cage, for protecting seedlings or as a flower trellis.

Tack Cloth

  • A varnish-impregnated, open-mesh cloth that picks up and holds loose dirt, lint, sand and other foreign particles adhering to wood, metal, plaster and other surfaces.
  • Used to clean surfaces immediately before applying each coat and between sanding.

Duct Insulation

  • Insulates ductwork to minimize heat loss and improve efficiency.
  • Available either as self-stick vinyl foam with aluminum foil backing or in handy rolls of 1-1/4” thick fiberglass combined with aluminum foil.

Emery Abrasive Cloth

  • Can also be used to clean the copper pipe before sweating a joint.

Shower Stall

  • Some units come in one piece, mainly for new construction or major remodels.
  • Some units come in multiple pieces that snap or caulk together to be a leak free.
  • Easy to clean and some manufacturers claim they will not chip, crack or peel.
  • Don’t forget caulk.

Drywall/Deck Screw

  • Use when installing drywall or decking material.
  • Coated to prevent rust.


Time Delay Fuse

  • Similar in appearance to a plug fuse.
  • Provides a minimum time delay for small household motors that cause an electrical surge when started. That surge would cause a regular fuse to blow needlessly.


  • Any length of pipe less than 12″ used to extend a run of pipe.
  • Usually available in increments of 1″, from “close” (the shortest length, where threads almost touch) to 12″
  • Longer lengths of pipe are considered “cut lengths” and are available in 24″ increments.


  • Is a thick-bladed saw with a stiff, reinforced back to provide the rigidity necessary in precision cutting.
  • It varies in length from 10″ to 30″ and is found in tooth counts from seven to 14 teeth per inch.
  • Used with miter boxes to cut miters.

Concrete Trowel

  • Also called a finishing trowel, this tool is used to compact and finish the surface of the concrete to the required smoothness.
  • Concrete trowels are narrower and longer than plastering trowels.
  • The blade is slightly convex.
  • Blades range in width from 3″-5″ and in length from 11″-20″. Most popular sizes are 14″ x 4″ and 16″ x 4″.


  • For the d-i-yer who wants to experiment with welding, there are several consumer-level welding setups available.
  • Arc welders are for welding iron to thin metals up to 1/4”.
  • Wire feed welders, also known as Mig welders, are used for hobby, workshop, home and farm repairs.

Splash Block

  • Diverts water away from the foundation of the house.
  • Only works if the grade of soil is already pitched away from the house’s foundation.

Hole Saw

  • Cup-shaped blade with a bit in the middle, called a mandrel.
  • Used for cutting holes in wood, plastic, plaster and light metals.
  • Available in a range of diameters.

Door Sweep

  • Seals the bottom of an exterior door, preventing drafts, water, noise, light and insects.
  • Usually made of aluminum extrusions with vinyl flaps.
  • Screws into the lower part of the door.
  • Some types lift automatically when the door is raised.
  • Another type is an aluminum extrusion with a rain-drip flange to prevent the flow of water off a door from collecting on a threshold and flowing under a door.
  • Another type is an adhesive-backed plastic door sweep.

Carpet Knife

  • Designed for trimming and cutting carpet and other flooring materials.
  • Angular design provides easier access to hard-to-reach places.
  • Many models feature retractable blades and blade storage in handle.


Stationary Sprinkler

  • Lowest cost sprinkler available.
  • Effective for small lawn or garden areas.
  • Sprays water in a fixed pattern of holes in the top of the sprinkler.
  • Size, shape and pattern of these holes, as well as water pressure, determine the area covered.
  • Available in a variety of designs and hole patterns.

Vegetable Seed

  • Sold in packages or in bulk.
  • Planting times and growing instructions will vary by plant. Read package instructions carefully.

Exterior Plywood

  • Plywood construction acceptable for outdoor use.
  • A popular grade is A-C EXT, which has one paintable surface and can be used outside.
  • Type A-A EXT is also available if both sides will be exposed.
  • Plywood siding is also available, and comes in standard patterns such as texture 1-11, reverse board and batten and others.
  • A “shop-grade” panel is one that, after its manufacturing process, failed to meet the specifications of a specific grade. The piece can still be used for some applications, but should not be recommended for structural applications.
  • A “mill certified” panel does not carry the approval of a quality control agency, but may be used for non-regulated projects such as storage sheds or shelves.

Flooring Nail

  • Screw-shanked.
  • Used for laying tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring.

Barn Door Hardware

  • Made of zinc or galvanized, heavy-gauge steel especially for barns and outbuildings where rough, heavy-duty use is required.
  • Consists of a hanger similar to a four-wheel trolley with a box-shaped track that acts as a guide.
  • Use either roll or ball bearings. Ball bearings are considered the superior choice.
  • Capable of supporting loads from 100 lbs. to 3,000 lbs.
  • The track is usually mounted to the building by brackets, although some track requires no brackets and is mounted directly to the building with screws.
  • Other hardware includes flush pulls, bow handles, stay rollers, bottom guides, bumper shoes and end stops.

Diamond Weave Fencing

  • Extra-strong fencing with close mesh spacing.
  • Used often in public areas because it is more expensive than ordinary fencing but lasts longer.
  • Similar in appearance to chain link fence.
  • Can be vinyl-coated or galvanized.
  • Typically available in 50’ rolls 36” or 48” high.

Paint and Varnish Remover

  • Are formulated to dissolve or soften old finishes for easy removal on metal, masonry, wood and fiberglass surfaces.
  • Available in gel, semi-paste, aerosol and spray-on formulas.
  • Some formulations contain methylene chloride as the primary solvent, but due to health concerns, “safe” non-meth strippers are available that are non toxic and non flammable.
  • While non-meth strippers are safer to use, they take longer to act and are more expensive than their meth counterparts. However, they stay active longer, which means they can remove more paint layers in a single application.
  • Some strippers change color to signal completion of the process, and some removers are formulated so that no after wash or neutralizing is required.

Drop Cloth

  • Can be made of a variety of materials, but is usually made of plastic.
  • Heavy-duty, professional-quality canvas drop cloths range in weight from 4 oz. to 12 oz.
  • Also used to protect furniture, fixtures and floors when painting.
  • Available in a variety of sizes for hallways or larger, open areas.

Plumber’s Putty

  • Used on sink rims, drain plugs and faucets before installation.
  • Ensures a good seal.

Towel Bar/Towel Ring

  • Often sold in a style that matches other bathroom accessories, and some manufacturers will match them to light fixtures.
  • Mount on the wall or shower door.
  • Fancier models are stand alone and heated.
  • Sold in a variety of finishes.

Extension Ladder

  • A non-self supporting type of ladder with two similar sections that are linked with internal guides on the bottom of base section and external guides on the top.
  • Sections are pulled apart to increase length.
  • Used for working in high areas and primarily for exterior applications.
  • Available in heights ranging from 16’ to 40’.
  • Smaller extension ladders are extended manually and secured with gravity spring lock brackets
  • that rest on the selected rung.
  • Larger extension ladders are extended by means of a rope and pulley running down the side of the ladder and secured with a cleat.
  • Generally available in all aluminum and fiberglass with aluminum rungs.
  • Rungs can be round or flat and are usually serrated for enhanced slip resistance.
  • Ladder shoes pivot to allow full contact with ground. Shoes can also be turned up to penetrate soft ground for extra stability.
  • Quality classifications include consumer (household), commercial (mechanic) and industrial grades.

Power Driver Fastener

  • Designed specifically for use with power equipment.
  • Several types are available. One type is a pneumatic fastener where nails, screws or staples are collated in strips or coils that are loaded into a pneumatic gun that drives them into the material.
  • Another type is the powder-actuated fastener, where the fastener is driven into the material, usually metal or concrete, by a small explosion, similar to the way a firearm works.


Circuit Breaker

  • Two styles are available: Push button (less common) and toggle.
  • Breakers can be single, double or thin.
  • Contains a bi-metal strip that breaks the circuit when a current exceeds a predetermined rating.
  • A breaker indicates a broken circuit when the switch is in the mid-point, or tripped, position.
  • Reset the circuit breaker after correcting the overload problem. Switch it to the off position, then to the on position.
  • Another type of circuit breaker is a screw-in type that looks similar to a fuse, but has a button on the top. The button pops out when the circuit is broken.


  • Male threaded on one end with a smaller diameter female thread on the other.
  • Inserted inside a coupling to reduce the size of the pipe.
  • With a Reducer Bushing, any number of reductions can be made to reduce and couple to another size of pipe.
  • As Adapter Bushing connects different types of pipe, such as PVC to CPVC.

Bow Saw

  • Consists of a tubular steel frame and a saw blade for fast cutting of all woods.
  • The bow saw’s frame is important, since the thin blade, usually 3/4″ wide, must be held under high tension for fast cutting.
  • Advantages of this general-purpose saw are its all-around utility and light weight.
  • Some bow saws are designed to hold hacksaw blades as well as standard bow saw blades. These multi-purpose saws can be used to cut wood, metal or plastic.

Corner Trowel

  • Used to form inside and outside corners.The most requested sizes are square and 1/2″ radius.

Air Compressors

  • Used to power pneumatic tools such as nailers, sprayers and pressure washers.
  • Rated on cubic feet per minute of air volume output (cfm), pounds per square inch of air pressure input (psi) and horsepower (hp). The higher the ratings on any of these, the more versatile the compressor.
  • The most important rating is the cfm, because it indicates the amount of air volume needed to operate various tools. Match the cfm rating on the compressor to the cfm rating on the tool when buying a compressor.
  • Compact or portable compressors use a diaphragm-type compression pump powered by an electric motor. They are best used for light applications such as inflation or light spray painting.
  • Piston-type compressors use an electric or gasoline motor to drive the pump unit. They offer durability and high work capacity.


  • Vinyl siding is available in a variety of colors, textures and profiles.
  • Benefits include easy installation and low maintenance. Color is solid throughout, so scratches don’t show. Available in widths up to 12” in lap.
  • Aluminum siding is used less frequently than vinyl siding. Has a baked-on enamel factory finish that fades over time and needs to be repainted. Can be installed over any structurally sound surface.
  • Must be grounded with a No. 8 or larger wire to the cold-water service or the electrical service ground.
  • Wood siding typically comes in redwood and cedar. Wood is a natural insulator and adds to the R-value of the wall. Not as popular as other types of siding as it is high maintenance. May be stained or painted.
  • Fiber cement siding looks, feels and installs similar to wood.
  • Created by mixing Portland cement, sand, clay and wood fiber and forming it into siding panels with various textures, including wood grain, smooth or stucco texture. Usually comes primed and ready to paint. Has a Class 1 (A) fire rating and resists rot and wood-boring insects.

Needle-Nose Pliers

• Also called long-nose pliers, they have a pointed nose for doing work in tight places.

• Used frequently for electrical and electronics work.

• Most have side cutters for cutting wire.

• The jaws and cutting blades meet evenly.


Precision Knife

  • A pencil-sized tool used for precision cutting of lightweight materials, such as paper or poster board.
  • Also called a hobby knife or X-Acto® knife.
  • Ultra-sharp blades made from surgical steel come in a variety of sizes in triangle and curved shapes.
  • Contains a built-in chuck to hold and secure blades.
  • Some models feature blade storage in the handle.


Oscillating Sprinklers

  • Sprays multiple streams of water out of openings in a spray tube that oscillates back and forth, watering a rectangular pattern.
  • Used for watering medium to large areas.
  • Traditional designs use curved aluminum tubes.
  • Other designs use corrosion-free, molded straight tubes with jets set at progressive angles.
  • Pattern adjustments are usually full sweep, left, right or center.
  • Place more water at the end of the spray pattern than in the middle.
  • Some models have built-in timers for automatic shutoff.


  • Fast-growing seed, frequently used by itself or in mixtures.
  • Available as an annual or perennial. The annual quickly germinates for temporary lawns.
  • Good for slopes because of its quick germination.
  • Perennial ryegrass is ideal for lawns in the cool-climate, northern half of the U.S.

Oriented Standboard

  • Known as OSB.
  • A structural-use panel used for roof sheathing, subfloors, underlayment, single-layer floors, exterior siding and wall sheathing.
  • Composed of elongated, thin strands of wood that are bonded with resin under intense heat and pressure.
  • A uniform panel free of knotholes that holds nails and screws securely.
  • Available in 4’ x 8’ panels in thicknesses of 3/8”, 7/16”, 15/32”, 19/32” and 23/32”.
  • Three grades are available: sheathing, single floor and siding.

Door Shoe

  • Made of extruded aluminum and vinyl.
  • Attached to the bottom of a door to help form a seal between the door and the threshold.
  • Used primarily in conjunction with a smooth top aluminum threshold to form a proper seal.
  • More durable and provides a better weather seal than a door sweep.

Masonry Nail

  • Made of hardened and tempered steel.
  • Shank comes round, flat, fluted or square.
  • Often used to fasten framing parts such as sills, furring strips,window and door trim to masonry and concrete.

Casement Operator

  • Limits and controls the swing of an unlatched casement.
  • Consists of a lever and a handle crank. Cranking the handle opens the window.
  • Certain models allow the casement to be opened outward without removing the screen.

Vinyl Fencing

  • Easy to install.
  • Sturdy enough to withstand the elements and requires little maintenance.
  • Fence posts can be made to slip over existing 4”x 4” posts. Boards and rails allow standard size limber to be inserted into them for added strength.
  • Available in a variety of post and rail, picket and privacy design styles.


  • Prepares surfaces before painting and assists paint and varnish in bonding to old finishes.
  • Available in water- or solvent-based formulations.
  • Concrete Cleaner is specifically designed to clean and degrease concrete and masonry surfaces and to prepare concrete basement floors to be painted.


  • Comes in five general types, including garnet, emery, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide and alumina zirconia. Of these, the first two are natural minerals or abrasives; the others are synthetic materials that are tougher and longer wearing than the natural abrasives.
  • All U.S.-manufactured sandpapers conform to the same numerical system for grading coarseness. The smaller the number, the coarser the grit.
  • Coarseness generally runs from 12 (extra coarse) to 1500 (ultra-fine). Grit finer than 600 is usually measured on the European FEPA scale, and identified with a “P” immediately before the number.
  • The back of each sandpaper sheet contains important labeling information, including product and lot number, abrasive type, grit size, whether it is open or closed coat and backing. The backing weight is rated by letter. “A” is the thinnest weight, while “C” and “D” are the best options for hand sanding of wood. “X” is effective for heavy-duty sanding.
  • Manufactured on a variety of backings, including paper, cloth and fiber.
  • Garnet is a reddish-brown natural abrasive. By special heat treatment, a tougher, sturdier grain is produced. Garnet is used almost exclusively in the woodworking field; it is not suitable for use on metal.
  • Emery is a black natural abrasive that can polish metal surfaces. Emery is typically used in conjunction with an oil lubricant.
  • Aluminum oxide is the most common general abrasive. It is a synthetic brown that is hard and long-wearing. It is used on wood, metal or painted surfaces and is well suited to finishing high-tensile materials such as steels and bronzes, as well as some hardwoods.
  • Silicon carbide is hard and sharp—effective in sanding low-tensile materials such as cast iron, aluminum, copper or plastic. It is also useful between coats of finish.
  • Alumina zirconia is harder than silicon carbide and tougher than aluminum oxide. It should be used for grinding and shaping metal and wood—not for polishing.
  • Sandpaper comes in two styles: open coat (OC) and closed coat. “Coat” refers to how densely the grain is adhered to the surface. “Closed coat” means 100 percent of the surface is covered with grain. Open-coat sandpaper has greater spacing between the grains, which prevents it from clogging up as quickly with sanding residue. Closed-coat sandpaper, however, fills more rapidly with the substance being sanded and must be discarded sooner.
  • Many styles available in sheets as well as sizes for various sanding power tools.

Flame Shield

  • Protects surrounding areas from the torch flame when sweating a joint.
  • Most popular type attaches to the torch.

Soap Dish

  • Often sold in a style that matches other bathroom accessories such as towel bars.
  • Comes either stand-alone or wall-mounted.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter

  • An arc fault occurs when the insulation surrounding wire and cable is damaged or deteriorates. The arc fault can flare at temperatures in excess of 10,000ºF and ignite surrounding combustible material.
  • Standard circuit breakers do not respond quickly enough to arc faults. An arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) recognizes an arcing fault and acts instantly.
  • The National Electrical Code® (NEC) requires AFCIs be used in new construction on all bedroom circuits, family rooms, dining rooms, closets and hallways.


  • Attaches directly to pipe threads to reduce pipe size.
  • Female threaded.
  • Can refer to couplings, tees, or elbows.



  • Used to tighten wire or for bracing doors.
  • Consists of a barrel-shaped metal device with a threaded rod inserted into each end.
  • Rods have eyes at both ends, or some types have a hook on one end and an eye on the other.



  • Available in different types according to the type of application, such as roofing, drywall, concrete, finish and framing.
  • Framing nailers can use stick nails or coil nails. Nail sizes range from 1-1/2” to 3-1/2”.
  • Roofing nailers can be used to fasten asphalt and fiberglass shingles, siding or insulation board.
  • Finish nailers can be used to install molding, trim, paneling, door and window casings and cabinets.
  • Brad nailers are for firing brads, which is a tapered nail with a small head or a slight side projection instead of a head. They range in size from 5/8” to 2”.
  • Palm nailers are for work in tight spaces. Instead of firing nails, it operates like a pneumatic hammer to drive conventional nails with a repetitive series of blows.
  • Available in pneumatic, electric and cordless versions.

Corner Post

  • Outside corner posts provide a more finished appearance at the outside corner of adjoined walls.
  • Inside corner posts provide a more finished appearance at the inside corner of adjoined walls.

Dovetail Saw

  • Similar to a backsaw, with stiff reinforced back, only smaller with finer teeth.
  • Used for fine finish cuts, such as cutting dovetail joints in woodworking.
  • Common saw for trimming molding and furniture repair.
  • Can also be used to cut plastics and laminates.

Tiling Trowel

  • Used for spreading mortar on substrate before laying tile.
  • Includes models that make both square and “V” notches.
  • Notch sizes range from 1/8” to ¼”.

Impulse Sprinklers

  • Also called pulsating sprinkler.
  • Will discharge more water in a given period and cover a greater area than other sprinklers.
  • A spring-loaded arm provides a strong spray that is close to the ground, making it more wind resistant.
  • A large orifice prevents clogging.
  • A baffle plate controls the height of the stream to allow sprinkling under low tree branches.
  • A diffuser pin adjusts water stream from full jet to fine mist.
  • Also offers part- or full-circle operation.

Kentucky Bluegrass

  • Forms a good sod when grown alone and thrives when included in a mixture.
  • Slow to germinate and become established.
  • Does not tolerate dense shade.
  • Responds well to fertilization and high mowing.
  • Grows well in lawns in the cool-climate, Northern half of the U.S., except in areas with mild winters, such as the maritime Pacific Northwest.


  • Also known as wood fiber substrate.
  • Made from wood chips that are mechanically reduced to wood fibers and then bonded together into panels through heat and pressure.
  • Panels are thin, grainless, dense, uniformly textured, strong and bone-dry.
  • Used as an exterior siding, interior paneling, as a garage door panel, perforated boards, for furniture, toys, cabinets, floor underlayment and many other items.
  • Can be sawed, shaped, routed and drilled and will accept paint and varnish.
  • Not recommended for use in areas with high temperature or humidity because warping can occur.

Roofing Nail

  • Has large heads and diamond points.
  • Galvanized to resist corrosion.
  • Barbed shank for greater holding power.
  • Nails for a new roof are typically 7/8” long with 7/16” head.
  • Carefully choose size to match the thickness of the roofing.
  • Sealing roofing nails have a plastic or rubber washer under the nail head for watertight seal.

Crescent Sash Lock

  • Tightly locks window sash to prevent opening them from the outside
  • Available in a variety of metals including wrought or cast brass, bronze, aluminum and steel.

Chain Link Fencing

  • Durable, trouble-free fencing that offers safety and security.
  • Another type is plastic chain link fence, available in a variety of colors, including white, orange and green.
  • Installation is difficult, so recommend a how-to booklet available from manufacturers.
  • Install using a fence stretcher.


  • Is available in solid, liquid and aerosol form.
  • Used to remove dirt, oil and grease from basement and garage floors, driveways, patios and sidewalks.
  • Some formulations are made for concrete only and should not be used on blacktop surfaces.

Sanding Sponge

  • A sponge coated with or made of an abrasive agent.
  • Lasts longer than sandpaper and can take the form of the item being sanded.
  • Great for sanding drywall joint compound or spackling.
  • Available in a variety of sizes and shapes for specific sanding applications.
  • Generally is coated on each side as well as edges.
  • Can be used in wet and dry sanding applications.
  • Simply wash clean for reuse.

Epoxy Repair

  • Repairs small leaks in pipes.
  • A two-part material that looks like clay.
  • Just before using, break off a piece and mix together by rubbing between your fingers.

Grab Bar

  • Installed for safety around tubs to help prevent falls.
  • Also used as a handrail to help anyone who may have trouble sitting down or standing up.
  • Never use a towel rod in place of a grab bar.
  • Never install diagonally, as a person’s hand might slide if footing isn’t secure.

Screw Eye/Hook

  • A screw eye consists of screw thread at one end and a ring at the other.
  • A screw hook consists of screw thread at one end and a hook at the other.
  • Used to hang tools or utensils or for holding them together.


Circuit Breaker Box

  • Also called the electrical house panel or service panel.
  • A metal cabinet used to hold a series of circuit breakers.
  • Usually found near the main service entrance of the house.


  • Three female openings in a T shape.
  • Straight tees have the same size openings.
  • Reducing Tees have two openings of the same size and one of a different size.
  • Sanitary Tees are used in waste lines. They have a curved branch designed for a cleanout plug and are designed to prevent obstruction of waste.
  • A Cross has four female openings of equal size.
  • A Wing Tee has lugs for fastening the fitting to a wall or stud.
  • A Compression Tee uses compression fittings on two or more ends.
  • A Test Tee has a threaded opening to be used in conjunction with a threaded plug for a cleanout opening on a drain pipe.

Straight Snips

  • Also called regular snips.
  • Used for all straight-line cutting jobs.
  • Cutting edges are sharpened at 78 degree to 85 degree angles.
  • Range in size from 7” to 16” in length.


Carbide-Tipped Saw Blade

  • Circular blade used for working with plywood or hardwood.
  • Lasts up to 10 times longer than regular blades.
  • Do not use on masonry or material with nails.

Soffit & Fascia Panel

  • Soffit panels enclose the underside of an eave.
  • Fascia panels enclose the front of an eave.

Rotary Sprinkler

  • Delivers water from the tips of two or three spray arms that spin like a pinwheel.
  • Spray arms may have fixed or adjustable tips.
  • For watering small- to medium-sized areas.


  • A hard, dense composition board made of very small particles of wood bonded together with resin under intense heat and pressure.
  • Comes in various thicknesses from 3/8” to 3/4” and in panels 4’ x 8’; 10’ and 12’lengths are also available.
  • Often used in non-structural applications such as interior construction in closets and as an underlayment because it does not warp.
  • Should be cut with a carbide blade.
  • May swell if it gets wet.

Carriage Bolt

  • Has a square shoulder under the head that pulls into soft materials such as wood and prevents the bolt from turning while the nut is tightened.
  • Has coarse, partial threads and a smooth, rounded head.


Toolbox Saw

  • Also called Panel Saw or Short Cut Saw.
  • Good for ripping, crosscutting and general cutting of lumber, plywood and particleboard and plastic materials.

Brick Jointer

  • Used to strike joints of brick walls for a finished appearance.
  • Because it receives hard wear, the tool is heat-treated.
  • Each end is a different size to make different size rounded joints.
  • The most popular combinations are 1/2″ x 5/8″ and 3/4″ x 7/8″.

Siding Nail

  • Galvanized or with some other non-staining finish.
  • For applying residential wood lap siding to plywood or fiberboard sheathing.

Cam Action Sash Lock

  • Uses a cam action and a lever to tightly lock window sash and prevent them from being opened on the outside.
  • Available in a variety of metals including wrought or cast brass, bronze, aluminum and steel.

Gate Hardware

  • A variety of latches, pulls, hinges and locking bolts are designed specifically for use on gates.
  • Types of latches include sliding bolt locks, magnetic, thumb action or padlock.
  • Hinges are usually reversible for use on left or right-swinging gates.
  • They come in tee, strap and hook-and-strap configurations.
  • Anti-sag kits are available that eliminate gate sag.
  • Usually constructed of heavy-gauge steel or with a tough polymer housing that is rust-free.
  • Ornamental hardware is often finished in black. Other types may be zinc-coated.

Rust Remover

  • Cuts through and dissolves rust from metal surfaces to form a metal shield that can be painted.
  • In jellied form, it clings well to vertical surfaces.
  • When brushed on, the rust dissolves quickly.
  • These products are extremely harsh on the skin; protective gloves should be worn.
  • The solution is applied with a stiff brush or aerosol spray and allowed to dry for 12 to 24 hours, depending on humidity (check manufacturer labeling and literature).

Sanding Screen

  • Special sanding device used for sanding drywall and plaster.
  • This abrasive screen cloth is durable and more resistant to fill from drywall compound and plaster.
  • Generally comes is 4”x11” sheets in 220 grit.

Pipe Joint Compound

  • Pipe DopeAlso known as pipe dope.
  • Thick oily paste brushed on pipe threads before joining.
  • Prevents leaks, corrosion and makes it easier to disassemble.

Tub Shower Door

  • An attractive alternative to shower curtains.
  • Usually easy to install and require few tools.
  • Door mounts on a frame that is adjustable to all standard bathtubs.
  • Don’t forget the caulk.


  • Good for shady areas.
  • Has finer blades than Kentucky bluegrass.
  • Usually the dominant seed found in mixes for shade.
  • Red fescue is well adapted to drought soils in both shady and sunny areas.
  • Tall fescue is coarse, but good for areas that need tough grass.

Wye Bend

  • Also called a Y Bend.
  • Has three female openings. Two are straight in a line; the third is at a 45∫ angle.
  • A Reducing Wye has two openings of the same size and the third Y opening of a different size.
  • A Double Wye has four openings.

Combination Snips

  • More versatile than regular snips.
  • Used for straight and moderately irregular cuts in either direction.
  • Range in size from 7” to 16” in length.


Combination Blade

  • Most commonly used circular blade.
  • Used for cross-cutting, ripping and mitering in hardwood, softwood, veneer and plywood.
  • Does not leave a smooth finish.

Single-Pole Switch

  • Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit.
  • Mounted in an electrical box.
  • Has two brass terminal screws.
  • Controls current from one circuit from one point.


  • Used to trim out the ends of siding panels where they meet a door or window.
  • Also used to cover cut edges of panels around windows and under the eaves.

Stove Bolt

  • Used to hold light metals or wood.
  • Heads can be flat, oval or round.
  • Heads are slotted for a screwdriver.
  • Usually supplied with a nut and is intended for use with a nut.


Traveling Sprinkler

  • Self-propelled sprinkler designed to cover large, irregular areas, some as large as 20,00 square feet.
  • One style is the wind-up type. It follows a cord laid out by a user, has two speeds and large hose capacities.
  • Another style is the tractor type. It drags the hose behind as it follows the hose pattern. Better units are heavier, allowing a larger range, and have two speeds.
  • Better models also have a shut-off valve.
  • Delivers water by two arms similar to a rotary sprinkler. Adjusting these arms can change width of coverage.

Laminated Veneer Lumber

  • Known as LVL.
  • Engineered to span longer distances and support heavier loads than ordinary lumber.
  • Common applications include headers, beams, columns and posts.
  • Made from veneers glued up to 1-3/4” thick, then sawed to the required size.
  • Beams range from 5-1/2” to 18” deep, in lengths up to 66”.
  • Will not shrink, twist or split like ordinary dimension lumber.
  • This type of lumber may cup when exposed to wetting on one side.


  • Is made of aluminum, magnesium, wood, cork or rubber.
  • The most popular with concrete finishers is wood and magnesium.
  • The best-selling sizes in wood are 12″ x 5″ and 16″ x 3-1/2″ while the popular magnesium float is 16″ x 3-1/8″.

Underlayment Nail

  • Bright-finished, ring-shanked.
  • For laying plywood or composition subflooring over existing wood floors or floor joists.

Garage Door Opener

  • Consists of a motor unit that raises and lowers overhead doors upon command of a control unit.
  • There are three types of drive mechanisms: bicycle-type chain and sprocket, plastic strip and worm-screw drive.
  • The control unit may be either key or wireless operated. If key operated, the user must leave the car to unlock the door. Wireless versions may be operated via a transmitter that starts the opener motor.
  • A safety feature is a device that automatically reverses the descent of the door when it encounters resistance when closing. All residential garage door openers must incorporate an optical sensor that will prevent the door from closing if it senses an obstruction.
  • Economy models have a 1/4-hp motor and heavy-duty units have a 1/3- or 1/2-hp motor.

Floral Snip

  • For pruning, shaping and maintaining houseplants.
  • Usually operates with a scissor action.

Wallpaper Removers

  • A liquid spray-on solution that uses enzymes to break down the paste and destroy its adhesive strength.
  • Also available in a water-based gel formulations that can be applied with a brush or roller.

Steel Wool

  • A popular accessory item. It should be used before painting on any glossy surface.
  • Uses include removing grime and sludge prior to refinishing, preparing new surfaces, removing old coatings on raw wood and for application in between coats of enamel, paint, shellac or varnish.
  • Also removes paint from glass, furniture, tile and other surfaces.
  • Comes in grades ranging from fine to coarse.
  • More water-based strippers and finishes have led to a man-made synthetic steel wool product. This product will not cause spotting in wood, as standard steel wool can when used with water-based finishes.
  • Bronze wool is a popular alternative to steel wool.

Teflon Tape

  • Does the same job as pipe joint compound, but is easier to use.
  • Thin tape applied to pipe threads before joining.
  • Do not use on gas pipes.

Standard Showerhead

  • Usually has full-range, adjustable sprays and features self-cleaning rims and swivel ball joints.
  • Is typically made of chrome-plated brass or plastic. Plastic models are less expensive but also less durable.
  • All new models must meet the federal standard flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, although some deliver a more satisfying shower than others.

Bermuda Grass

  • Spreads by fast-growing surface runners during warm periods.
  • Becomes brown and dormant from first frost until late spring.
  • Not recommended for northern areas.


  • A three-part fitting that connects any standard size pipe where it may be necessary to disconnectt later, such as on a water heater.
  • Connects to male threaded ends.
  • Also known as a ground joint union.
  • A Transition Union joins different types of tubing, such as CPVC to brass.

Duckbill Snips

  • Also called circular snips.
  • Feature long nose design.
  • Used for cutting tight circles or other curved designs in either direction.

Abrasive Cut-Off Wheel

  • Circular blade used for cutting ferrous metals, masonry, glazed materials and ceramic tile.
  • Must match the type of wheel to the type of material being cut.
  • Only use with saws that have an aluminum or magnesium guard.

Machine Bolt

  • Comes with regular, square, hex, button or countersunk heads.
  • Square heads fasten joints and materials where bolt requirements are not too severe.
  • Button heads work best where smooth surfaces are necessary.
  • Use countersunk heads for flush surfaces.


Sprinkler Timer

  • Attaches to a hose to control sprinkling.
  • Can be either electronic or mechanical.
  • User sets timer for the number of inches of water needed and turns off the sprinkler when the pre-set amount is reached.
  • Some timers can be pre-set to operate for a certain amount of time, regardless of the amount of water discharged.


  • Made from standard dimension lumber glued face to face.
  • Lengths are as long as 150’, using finger-jointed materials.
  • Frequently used as garage door headers and girders.
  • A recent development is a glulam that uses fiber-reinforced plastic in the lower part of the beam to create a lighter, stronger and less expensive timber.

Midget Pliers

• Include straight, chain, round, end-cutting, diagonal-cutting and flat-nose pliers in extra-small sizes.

• Used by professionals such as electronic technicians who work with small objects in confined areas.


Bull Float

  • Used by concrete finishers to float large areas of concrete.
  • The most popular sizes are between 42″ and 48″ long and are 8″ wide.
  • Handle sections either 5′ or 6′ long can be joined together so that a finisher can reach out 15′ to 20′ over a slab.

Upholstery Nail

  • Has ornamental or colored heads.
  • Used to fasten upholstery where nails will show.

Cabinet Hinge

  • The four basic cabinet door designs that determine the type of hinge required are: flush-mounted, lipped/inset, flush-overlay or reverse bevel.
  • For flush-mounted doors, use a full-mortise butt or full-surface hinge, an ornamental strap hinge or a concealed hinge.
  • For lipped doors, use semi-concealed cabinet hinges so the hinge leaf attached to the cabinet frame is exposed and the hinge leaf attached to the door is concealed. A surface hinge for this kind of cabinet door must be offset to match the outside of the door.
  • For flush-overlay doors, use a pivot hinge mortised into the top and bottom of the door. Also use a butt hinge or a semi-concealed hinge.
  • For reverse bevel doors, use a hinge that features a slant on the door wing that is compatible with the profile of the cabinet door.
  • Some hinges have a self-closing feature that closes the door automatically from about a 10° opening. These operate on a spring-loaded cam and are made from heavy-gauge steel.

Landscape Snip

  • Used in the garden or as a household tool.
  • Can cut through many types of material.
  • Has a serrated blade.


  • Fast acting thinner, cleaner and remover for resins, inks, adhesives and contact cement.
  • Also used for thinning and cleaning fiberglass.
  • A heavy degreaser, it can be used as a metal cleaner prior to painting.

Wallpaper Primer

  • Helps to ensure an ideal surface before hanging wallpaper to resist peeling.
  • Prevents damage to drywall by binding and sealing surface.
  • Also blocks dark colors and patters from showing through paper.
  • Has superior bonding properties so there is no need for deglossing previously painted surfaces.
  • Generally comes in a water-based acrylic formulation.

Double-Pole Switch

  • Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit.
  • Mounted in an electrical box.
  • Has four brass terminal screws

Pipe Solvent

  • Glue used to weld together two pieces of plastic pipe.
  • There are different types of solvent for PVC and CPVC.
  • Also available are one-step solvents that combine primer and solvent into one.

Massaging Showerhead

  • Uses water pressure forced through a diverting valve to create one or more pulsating water actions.
  • In most cases, users can vary the amount of pulsing pressure or force to their liking.
  • Available in hand-held or permanently mounted models. While all offer massaging action of one or more kinds, they can all be easily converted to conventional shower action.

Plywood Saw

  • Is specially designed for sawing plywood, veneers, laminates and moldings.
  • The blade, which cuts on the push stroke, is curved downward at the end to allow user to start cuts in the center of a board.
  • Not designed for cutting solid wood.
  • Standard saw lengths are 12″-13″, generally with 14 teeth per inch.

Centipede Grass

  • Good in moderate shade and infertile soil.
  • Has few insect or disease problems.
  • A good lawn for hot areas.


  • Connects a pipe to a wall, floor or any flat surface.
  • Flanges are threaded onto pipe and tightened. Four screw holes allow the flange rim to attach to a flat surface.
  • A Closet Flange is made to connect toilets to drain and vent systems.
  • Another type is the Offset Closet Flange that is used when the drain pipe has been incorrectly positioned.
  • The adjustable ring on some closet flanges allows for easier toilet alignment.

Diamond Blade

  • Circular steel disc with a diamond-bearing edge.
  • Used to cut tile, marble, slate, quarry tile, granite, stone, limestone and porcelain tile.
  • Can have either a segmented, continuous rim or turbo rim configuration.

Threaded Rod

  • Rod with continuous thread from one end to the other.
  • Available in different diameters.
  • Used where extra-long bolts are required.
  • Can be bent to make U-bolts, eye bolts and J-bolts.


Aviation Snips

  • Also called compound leverage snips.
  • Available in right-handed, left-handed or straight models corresponding to the various directions of the cut.
  • Cuts easier because of double fulcrum, compound leverage action.


Backflow Protector

  • An anti-siphoning device.
  • Prevents reverse flow of water and contaminants back into plumbing pipes through unprotected hoses.
  • Can be plastic or brass.
  • Fits between the threaded faucet and hose.
  • Most plumbing codes require that non-removable breakers be used.
  • Drain in winter to avoid freezing.


  • Composed of thin OSB or plywood web that is bonded to the top and bottom flanges of lumber or LVL.
  • Typically 9-1/4” to 30” deep and up to 60’ long.
  • Used as a structural component in roof and floor systems.
  • Some come with pre-drilled knockouts for easier plumbing and electrical installation.

Grout Float

  • Used to push grout into spaces between tile.
  • Consists of a handle with a thick foam rubber pad that is generally ¼” thick.

Wire Brad

  • Used for household jobs requiring small fasteners where heads will be concealed.

Cabinet Knob

  • Used on cabinet doors and drawers.
  • Basic consideration in choosing a knob will be style.
  • Backplates are decorative and provide additional support for hollow-core doors and drawers.
  • When replacing an old knob, remember to make sure the new knob will use or cover the holes left by the old one. Use a backplate to cover the second hole if replacing a pull with a knob.
  • Most knobs use one #8 screw for mounting.

Hedge Shear

  • Used to shape ornamental shrubs and clip soft, young growth.
  • Blades are typically 8” to 10” long.
  • Some types have a serrated edge.
  • Some types have notched positions for bulk cuts.
  • Do not use in place of lopping shears or hand shears.

Methyl Ethyl Ketone

  • MEKFast evaporating clear, colorless solvent.
  • Has solvent characteristics and strengths similar to acetone but is water soluble.
  • Primarily used to thin lacquers and vinyl acetate and vinyl chloride copolymers.

Wallpaper Activator Adhesive

  • Ready-to-use product that promotes adhesion and acts as a wetting agent.
  • Gives excellent slip for matching patterns.
  • Helps prevent seam pops.
  • Eliminates water trays.

Three-Way Switch

  • Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit.
  • Mounted in an electrical box.
  • Has three brass terminal screws.
  • Controls one circuit from two separate points. For example, a light that can be turned on in either the house or garage.
  • It may also include a green grounding screw.

Pipe Primer

  • Used in conjunction with pipe solvent.
  • Prepares plastic pipe for solvent by softening its surface.
  • Some primers also contain a cleaner that helps remove surface dirt and grease from the pipe.

Continental Shower

  • A versatile wall and hand shower combined.
  • Some brands feature on-off flow control built into the handle, which is a brass push-button diverter valve that permits instant switch from showerhead to hand shower and a 6′ flexible hose and hang-up bracket.
  • It can be easily attached to existing shower arms.

Pull Saw

  • Is similar to most traditional saws except the teeth are designed to cut with a pulling motion.
  • Pull saws cut wood faster and with less effort because of the thinner and more flexible blade.
  • The saws feature teeth diamond-ground on three cutting edges.
  • Because of the flexibility of the blade and the minimal set to the teeth, the saws are excellent for flush cutting.
  • Mini pull saws that cut sharply on the pull stroke are used for precision carpentry.

St. Augustine Grass

  • Recommended for Florida and Gulf Coast areas.
  • A coarse, tough grass that requires a power mower but little other maintenance.

Saddle Tee

  • Joins a smaller drainpipe to a larger one, such as a 1-1/2″ pipe to a 3″ pipe.
  • Used when installing a drain on existing plumbing. Saves the labor of cutting and rejoining the main pipe.
  • Some types are made for joining a PVC pipe to a cast iron drain.


  • Small metal circles that provide a hard surface against which you tighten a screw.
  • It matches the size of the screw it is being used with.
  • Comes in flat, countersunk or flush shapes.


Offset Snips

  • Have offset handles to keep hands above work.
  • Cut easier because of compound leverage.
  • Designed especially for long, inside cuts and are available for right or left cutting direction. However, both models will make straight cuts as well.

Plywood Blade

  • Circular blade used for cutting plywood.
  • Has small teeth to resist splintering and resist the abrasion of plywood glue.


  • Softwood paneling comes in either knotty grades (2 & Better Common and 3 Common) or clear grades (Superior, Prime, Select, C & Better Select or D Select).
  • Hardboard panelings have vinyl, printed or paper surfaces that make them look like genuine wood. Woodgrain finishes are the most popular, but other varieties are available in solid colors, marbleized patterns and novelty designs.
  • Another type is plywood wall paneling. On the back of these panels, a stamp will indicate information such as glue type, fire resistance, wood species used and structural description.
  • Comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets in thicknesses from 1/8” to 5/32”.
  • Have either smooth or V-grooved edges.
  • Perforated paneling is a hardboard that comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets in thicknesses of 1/8” or 1/4”. Thicker panels will support more weight.

Tuck Pointer

  • Also called a joint filler, these tools apply new mortar between old bricks.
  • They are usually 6-3/4″ long by 1/4″-1″ wide.
  • The best models are constructed in one piece.

Cabinet Pull

  • Used on cabinet doors and drawers.
  • Backplates are decorative and provide additional support for hollow-core doors and drawers.
  • Basic consideration when choosing will be style.
  • When replacing an old pull, remember to make sure the new knob will use or cover the holes left by the old one. Use a backplate to cover the hole if replacing a knob with a pull.
  • Pulls are generally on 3” mounting centers.

Bypass Pruning Shears

  • Has a hook and blade cutting mechanism.
  • Preferred by most professionals because they cut close to the stem and are ideal for cut flowers.
  • Usually used for stems less than 3/4″ in diameter.

Underground Sprinkler

  • Offers timed and pre-measured watering without hoses running through the yard.
  • A basic kit includes pipe and control tubing, valve assembly, sprinklers and electric control center.
  • The safest and most convenient type is the automatic pop-up sprinkler. It can have adjustable spray, bubbler and fixed spray heads for specific watering tasks.
  • Offers water savings as the sprinkler heads apply water at the rate of a gentle rain.
  • Reduces water loss from erosive run-off. System is freeze-proof and can be winterized quickly.
  • Sprinkler heads are mounted flush with the ground and out of the way of mowing equipment and children.
  • Control center runs from any 110V outlet.


  • High solvency thinner for oil based paint, lacquers, varnish and adhesives.
  • Also used to thin certain primers and topcoats.
  • Soluble in alcohol and insoluble in water.
  • Dries quickly.
  • Also used to clean tools and equipment.

Wallpaper Paste

  • Enables wallpaper to adhere to wall.
  • Water soluble, so cleans up with soap and water.
  • Special formulas designed for boarders where vinyl to vinyl adhesion is needed.
  • Some have tinting agent that ensures complete coverage.
  • Be sure to check the kind of paper before you buy paste. Some coverings require wheat paste, while others use liquid vinyl adhesive or a vinyl paste.

Four-Way Switch

  • Controls power to lights and devices by turning off the hot side of the circuit.
  • Mounted in an electrical box.
  • Has four brass terminal screws.
  • It may also include a green grounding screw.
  • Used in connection with three-way switches to control one circuit from three or more points.

Pipe Cleaner

  • Use in conjunction with pipe solvent and primer.
  • Removes surface dirt and grease from plastic pipe.

Cooking Grate

cooking grate

Cooking grates are used in grills. This is what the food is placed on so that it doesn’t fall into the fire/burners. Some grills have multiple shelving options for food that needs to be close to or away from the heat.


  • Screws onto the threaded end of a bolt to help tighten the bolt.
  • Most common are hex and square nuts, also called full nuts.
  • Wing and knurled nuts are used where frequent adjustment or disassembly is necessary.
  • The locknut type has a self-locking feature that allows it to be locked into position without additional lock washers, cotter pins or locking wire.


Retractable Saw

  • Comes in a variety of designs and is engineered for the blades to either retract or fold back into a plastic or wooden handle.
  • Also called a folding saw.
  • Some models have combination features, such as utility knives, on end opposite saw blade.

Passage Lockset

  • An interior lockset used inside the home in hallways or closets between rooms where privacy is not important.
  • Has two, non-locking knobs, one on each side of the door. Some models use levers instead of knobs.
  • Available in a wide variety of styles and finishes.

Zoysia Grass

  • Planted by plugs.
  • Adapted to sunny areas in warmer parts of the Midwest.
  • Surface runners make a dense mat, which reduces weeds and crabgrass.
  • Turns brown slowly in mid-fall and remains dormant until mid-spring.

Bolt Cutters

  • Are heavy-duty cutters that cut bolts, threaded rods, cables and other metals from 1/16″ to 5/8″ thick.
  • Made from drop-forged tool steel and range from 12″ to 36″ long. 24” and 30” are most common.
  • The longer cutters have greater strength.
  • Special leverage joints allow great pressure to be applied with minimum effort.
  • End-cut cutters operate similarly to end-cut pliers, with special jaws available to cut special metals.


Hollow-Core Wood Door

  • Has wooden or cardboard ribs inside for stability.
  • Primarily used as interior doors, as they will warp or disintegrate from weather.
  • Size is usually 1-3/8” to 1-3/4” thick, and usually 30”, 32″ or 36” wide.
  • Common height is 80”.

Cotter Pin

  • Versatile fastening device.
  • Made of ferrous and nonferrous wire.
  • Comes in various diameters and lengths ranging from 1/32” x 1/2” to 1/4” to 18”.
  • Inserts into a hole in a bolt, shaft or similar part. An eye on one end prevents the pin from going through while prongs at the other end are bent back to lock the pin in place.


Concrete Edger

  • Tool that produces a radius at the edge of a concrete slab to minimize chipping.

Anvil Pruning Shears

  • Has a straight edge blade that cuts against a soft metal anvil.
  • Good for cutting dead wood.
  • Lighter than bypass pruning shears and easier to sharpen.
  • Usually used for stems less than 3/4” in diameter.