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Uncommon Handyman Tools

9 Not So Common Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed

Having the right tools not only makes a job easier, but it also makes you feel like a badass.

When customers give you that perplexed look like “how are you going to get that out?” or “I can’t figure it out, maybe you can get it.”  Then, you come in and by simply having the right tool, you complete the job with ease.  It’s impressive to the customer, and like I said above, it just feels good.

Most must-have tools are pretty obvious, but there are some less common tools that I think are just as important for a professional handy person.

Here are 9 of my favorite uncommon tools that I can’t live without.

#1Hook And Pick Set

This is the kind of tool you won’t think you need until you need it, then there is no other substitute.

Trying to get a snap on cover off without damaging it?  Trying to release a push in connection on a light switch?  Want to check the depth of a screw hole? This is what you need to use.

If you don’t have a set yet, I recommend picking them up right away.

#2Stanley 7-Inch Window Scraper

This one isn’t all that uncommon, but this particular one is.  I’ve looked all over town for it before finally finding it online.

Use it to scrape sticker residue off a window, clean a glass top stove, or scrape caulking or adhesive easily off of smooth surfaces.

I like this one because of the type of blade it uses.  Since this is the same type of blade I have in my razor knife, I only have to stock one type of blade and still have replacements.  Also, you can put a lot of muscle behind this without the blade getting pushed back into the mechanism like in other models.

Highly recommended.

#327″ Telescoping Mirror

I actually don’t own one of these, but have wished I had on several occasions. In fact, I’m going to buy one right after I write this post.

Use it for checking the wiring behind a wall mounted TV or seeing behind anything you can’t get your head around.  For only a couple of bucks, this is a no-brainer.

#4Telescoping Magnetic Pick-Up Tool

Typically used by mechanics trying to retrieve dropped screws under the hood, this can also come in handy when you drop that one of a kind screw down the drain.

Think of it as cheap insurance.

#5Tool Bucket Organizer

This is the best handyman tool box replacement ever invented, period. I pack mine with all of my most common tools and it goes on every single job with me.

In fact, I’ve got my so well stocked that I rarely need anything else. It eliminates a ton of trips to and from my truck allowing me to work much more efficiently.

#6Milwaukee Angle Driver

I first got exposed to this while working on car audio way back in the day and it’s been a must have ever since.

I like this model because it’s low profile, allowing you to access screws you otherwise wouldn’t have a chance at getting to.

It’s a little more expensive, but it’s something you’ll regret not having the next time you need it.


You only have two hands, why waste one on holding a flashlight?

No uncommon, but not always remembered.

Again, this is one of those tools that you’ll seriously regret not having when you need it. Anytime you enter a crawl space, work underneath sink, or go into the attic, it’s an absolute must have.

#83M Hand-Masker

This one is a little pricey, but saves an incredible amount of time. Even if you don’t do large painting jobs, it’s really nice to have even for those small touchup jobs.

There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with tape and paper and trying to get them to line up properly. Get used to this thing and it will change the way you look at prep work.

3M Hand-Masker 12-Inch Film Blade sold seperately.

#9Large Pick Tool

Last, but definitely not least, is a large angled pick tool.  This is one of my favorites. I still have one that I got way back when I installed car audio. I use it all of the time and there are millions of uses for it.

It’s actually called a cotter pin puller, but I’ve never pulled a cotter pin in my life with it.  Either way, it’s one of the least common and most useful tools I’ve ever come across.

Just buy one, you’ll be glad you did.

What uncommon and useful tools would you recommend I add to this list?  Let me know in the comments below!


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  • Dean November 2, 2013

    #5 the too bucket organizer is a must have.
    well worth whatever it costs.

    And i have a couple more 5 gal buckets for other misc. tools also, easy to carry.

    Thanks for the tool tips Big D !

    • Dan Perry November 3, 2013

      Ya, 5 gal buckets have so many uses. I’ve got about 5 additional as well that I use to store certain project specific tools and materials. That way I can just pick them up and know I have everything I need for a certain project.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Kenny November 4, 2013

    I would add in a 5 in 1 painter’s tool which makes a great scraper, moulding lifter, light pry bar, etc. It is also good for cleaning a roller. I also use a scratch awl just about every day. They work great for starting screwholes and marking in wood or metal as well as prying to make things fit. I like the construction grade one better than the screwdriver handled type.

    • Dan Perry November 4, 2013

      Love it! I used my 5 in 1 painter’s tool all the time as well, but hardly ever for painting.

  • Kev November 14, 2013

    I’d add a Laminette cutter. I hang alot of doors & use a chizel for the hinges & locks. I just bought a laminette cutter (Like a Router) & have now hung 2 doors with it.
    I plan to buy or make a jig which will make my edges straighter.

  • Sean November 25, 2013

    Hi Dan,
    Great article! I am a big fan of the tool bucket organizer as well. I’ve been considering buying an oscillating tool set, but I have never used one. It seems like it would be a versitile addition to my tools collection. Do you have any thoughts or recommendations?

    • Dan Perry November 26, 2013

      Looking for one myself. I dunno, maybe I’ll write a post about it when after I research them.

      • Bob December 30, 2013

        Recently bought a Dremel Multi tool with case and I am loving it! Now, all of a sudden, I am seeing (and repairing) rotted lower door jambs! They say that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but with a Multi-Tool, everything needs to be cut or sanded or grout cleaned out or,or,or….

        • Dan Perry December 30, 2013

          Haha, nice! That is definitely my next tool purchase.

          • Don Germiquet September 3, 2016

            I love your tool selection of must haves. I have been in business for 8 years now and those are definitely some of my favorites. the oscillating tools are so handy. I keep one in my truck always and another in my cargo trailer. I also find a 3/4″ half round file comes in real handy for fixing striker plates that do not line up anymore.
            extension tools for the impact driver never hurts to have in that bucket too. the one tool that seems to end up in my hands daily is a small glazing bar it is very useful at pulling off trim, caulking pulling small nails. I normally have 2 of them the long one is about 12″ long and the small one is about 6″ long.
            Cheers Don

  • MRod November 28, 2013

    Hey thanks for the bucket suggestion. I LOVE IT!

    We also have medium and large bins for each trade (electrical, drywall, paint, indoor plumbing, sanding, etc).

    We just grab the few we need in the morning and we’re set for the job. You have to keep them organized thou which I hope to do this t-giving holiday weekend.

    Belle Creek Handymen

  • Caleb December 9, 2013

    There are many tools out there that you do not know that you need until that certain situation comes up when you have to have it. They are good investments for the few times that you will need them and they will make your life much easier.

  • James January 22, 2014

    Hey Dan, cant go past the makita radio, with the MP3 jack you can even listen to podcasts while you work 🙂

    Love the site mate, keep it up!

    Regard James

    • Dan Perry January 22, 2014

      Awesome James! Thanks for listening.

  • MikeG February 2, 2014


    One of the tools I can’t live without is a magnetic drive guide bit. It holds the screws for you and keeps them straight. Load the screw and go. They are very cheep, but save a ton of time and frustration. Hope this helps.


    I’d love to see a post of how you’ve packed your bucket or even your van. That may be a good series that we could help each other fine tune our organization ideas. Trucks, vans, trailers, tool boxes … Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned and allowing us to share too.

    • Dan Perry February 3, 2014

      Thanks for the tip mike! And thanks for the idea for a blog post, too.!

  • Gary Swaney February 4, 2014

    A drywall saw is a must along with a good assortment of screws, hardware ect.

  • Anthony Gonzales August 3, 2014

    Have you heard if the Mobile-Shop? They have a nice tool list on it.


    Thank you for the blog it’s been a great help and encouragement on getting my business set up.

  • Don Germiquet September 3, 2016

    Hi Dan I have just moved my business for the third time its like starting all over again. Except this time it is the same area code so no need to change phone numbers and stationary and vehicle signage. I find that it is quite a challenge getting known in a small community, but I do like a challenge. This weekend is is the 3rd week here in Gibsons on the Sunshine coast in BC.I have worked 8 full days and have the next 3 weeks booked up as well. I have no shame when it comes to networking. I carry a pocket full of cards and introduce myself to random strangers all the time. I look for bulletin boards to hang cards where ever I go. Thanks for you blogs as they are very informative.
    Cheers Don