I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess you’re new.

Maybe you’ve completed a few simple home repair jobs and want to try your hand at some more complex projects.

Maybe you’ve started a restoration project and you aren’t sure if you’re doing it correctly.

Needless to say, you’re reading an article about the MUST HAVE tools necessary for a restoration project.


You COULD read through various ‘expert’ opinions on various message boards.


You could turn to the experts in the home restoration industry, Architecture Restoration.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered together the absolute MOST VITAL tools a home restorer simply cannot live without.

Without further ado, let’s dig into these tools and exactly why you need them.

Oscillating Multi Tool

Oscillating Multi Tool

Rockwell Sonicrafter Oscillating Multi Tool © Rockwell

When my wife first bought the Sonicrafter for me, I wasn’t sure I would actually use it. That was until I first gave it a shot. This cordless god-send can do it all!

  • cutting
  • scraping
  • sanding

At one point when I needed to cut a 2×4 straight on and kept messing up with my outdated table saw, the Rockwell saved the day. From that day on, I became a HUGE proponent of the Rockwell. Basically, multi-tools offer numerous interchangeable accessories that perform so many of your most common home improvement tasks more efficiently than the tools originally designated for them. Furthermore, multi-tools can do so much more than your more common power tools can. Do yourself a favor – pick up an oscillating multi-tool (Sonicrafter or any other brand) at once!

Cordless Powerdrill

Cordless Screwdriver


Definitely an essential for any DIY home restorer or renovation enthusiast. The concept is so simple:

  • drill bits create the initial hole in material
  • drivers screw and unscrew from said holes

A powerdril can do so much!

  • Drill screws into the wall
  • Screw and unscrew from preexisting holes
  • Neatly anchor a screw evenly
  • Save your arm from feeling like it will fall off

Seriously, these things are a lifesaver. Most cordless drills have led lights to help see in dark spaces. What’s more, the batteries in today’s drills charge faster, hold a charge longer, and store more energy at cheaper prices than ever before.

Stud Finder

Stud finder

Zircon e50-FFP Stud Finder © Zircon

NOTHING will kill your renovation/restoration quicker than hitting an electric line with a nail. And, what will you do when your beautiful custom shelf completely tears out of the wall spilling all of your books and pictures frames to the floor?? Don’t worry. Take all of the guesswork out of hanging shelves with a quality stud finder. They’re both easy and accurate. Best of all, they save time.

Cordless Jigsaw

Cordless Jigsaw

PORTER CABLE PCC650B 20-volt Cordless Jigsaw © PORTER CABLE

Another must-have – a cordless jigsaw saves you from the arm busting manual labor of a hand saw. Seriously, don’t bother with a hand saw. They’re the worst. Jigsaws produce a smooth, even cut and are so much more efficient. You’ll cut through plywood and pine with ease. They’re also perfect when you need an even cut but don’t need to go to all of the trouble of setting up a table saw. And, now that these saws are wireless, you’ll never have to worry about cables getting in the way. We recommend going with a high-quality brand such as Porter Cable.

Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating Saw

While a reciprocating saw may be considered a luxury for beginners, if you plan to undertake more advanced projects, this saw is indispensable. Need to cut through wall studs or nails? NOTHING will do so quicker than a reciprocating saw. If you’re demoing a room or ‘blowing out’ a wall to change the floor layout, you need this tool. What’s more, a cordless reciprocating saw can easily trim tree branches and unruly bushes on your property. Let’s sum up all of the ways a reciprocating saw can make your life better:

  • cut through 2×4’s
  • speed up demo projects
  • trim trees/bushes

All in all, this is a very useful tool that you may want to ‘spring for’ if plan to do any advanced renovating projects.


Hand Blower

Greenworks 24012 Blower © Greenworks

A hand blower may seem unnecessary for a home renovation or restoration. But, the first time you purchase a quick sale will completely change your tone. If you need to quickly remove debris from a fixer upper or are maintaining the lawn of your restoration home, blowers can be a serious time-saver. The model pictured above is electric, so you’ll never have to worry about noxious fumes.

Circular Saw

Circular Saw

Need to cut lumber efficiently and evenly but don’t have space for a full blown table saw? Say hello to your new best friend. The table saw may overlap with the reciprocating saw. But, this type of saw will cut much more evenly. Remember to exercise caution when using this tool. These saws can help you with the following projects:

  • walls
  • decks
  • sheds
  • shelves
  • various other home projects

Some of the more advanced saws offer advanced features such as laser sights and electric brakes.



Vaughan B215 Original SuperBar © Vaughan

Do you need to remove larger nails and/or staples from a wall? Or tear drywall off when changing the floor plan of your kitchen? You’re going to want a prybar or crowbar. Purchase a prybar if you need to fit between two unyielding objects. The crowbar is perfect for all other projects. These bars can serve multiple purposes. Use them for activities besides demolition such as popping up a slab door.

Voltage Tester

Voltage Tester

AstroAI Digital Multimeter Voltage Tester © AstroAI

When you’re ripping into a wall in an older fixer-upper, you need to know whether ‘you should stay or you should go’. Much like the Clash song, this is an important question that must be answered. If a current is present, the tester detects it and tells you that it’s not safe. If no current is detected, the tester remains silent.

Trust me, folks. When you’re digging around in the wall and encounter a wire, you’re going to want to know if it’s live or not.

So no, you don’t have to ‘be an electrician’ to use a voltage tester. This is especially true considering how affordable these tools are.

Lineman's Pliers

Lineman's Pliers

IRWIN VISE-GRIP North American Lineman’s Pliers © IRWIN Tools

If you DO end up having to do some electric work on your property, you’ll be happy to have these tools in your toolbox. Here are some tasks where lineman’s pliers excel:

  • Cutting – these pliers have a cutting edge that easily cut through electric wire to small pipes
  • Gripping – The large jaws of these pliers are designed with large teeth to grip almost anything

There you have it – my all time favorite MUST HAVE tools for your renovation and restoration projects.

Did I miss something important?

Please tell me about it in the comment section below.

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