Guidebolt

Utility Tools

Revised 2018.02.14

Fire Extinguisher - Recommendation: Standard ABC Fire Extinguisher. Handles small to medium household fires. Normally lasts a lifetime as long as the air pressure holds in without leakage. Understand how to operate the extinguisher then place it at a widely visible position. A larger residence may need multiple extinguishers.

First Aid Kit - Prioritize commonly used items to deal with cuts, slivers, stings, burns, and bruises. Common items include small adhesive bandages, basic ointment for cuts and scrapes, disinfecting wipes, distilled water, rubbing alcohol, tweezers, compact scissors, sting wipes, burn gel, and instant-action ice packs. Other items include large bandages, medical tape, sterile gloves, gauze, air-activated heat pads, compression pads. Store first aid items in a clearly marked container. Keep your primary first aid kit at home, and bring a more portable secondary kit in your car or personal bag.

Power Strip - Recommendation: Tripp Lite Isobar. Highly durable power strip with metal frame, integrated surge protector, overheat detection, and isolated outlet filters. Lasts decades while protecting against over-current risks such as fires and meltdowns.

Screwdriver - Recommendation: Picquic Super 8 Plus. Durable multi-bit screwdriver with a strong unified design. Strong handle-to-bit mechanical frame can handle high torque operations. Integrated single-bit holding slots reduces risk of drops and part juggling while changing bits.

Precision Screwdriver Set - Handy for repairing electronics and accessing small compartments to configure settings or replace batteries (ex. on car keys).

Retractable Utility Knife - Recommendation: Stanley Classic 99. Simple, cheap, all-metal construction. Utility knives are excellent for general-purpose needs such as opening boxes, cutting cardboard, and removing clothing tags. A retractable blade adds safety in use and in storage.

Adjustable Wrench - An adjustable wrench works for most situations. Avoid getting a fixed wrench set unless you absolutely need their speed and reach.

Headset - Recommendation: Logitech G433. Highly durable and easy to use with moderate sound quality. See Headsets.

Printer - Recommendation: Compact All-in-One Laser Printer (includes scan and copy functions). Greyscale laser printing is fast, cost-effective, and suits most professional needs. Scanning and copying are essential for proper digitization and duplication of key documents. For any printing tasks requiring high production value, just place an order at a commercial print shop. Keep this simple.

Tool Bag - A single tool bag is a convenient holder to store and carry your tools. High-strength fabric tool bags are durable, light-weight (unlike metal), and works well across a wide temperature range (unlike plastic). They are less noisy because they rustle and don't clang. They are compact because you can fold them down to fit tight places. They cause less damage because they bump your legs softly and bristle walls without leaving streaks or indents. I advise that you get a tool bag with a fully zippered main compartment and small enough to fit in a single seat of a car.

Tongue-and-Groove Pliers - Extremely versatile for large-diameter grip and turning applications. Necessary for most kitchen and washroom home repair/installation tasks.

Hammer - Get a flat-head hammer. Depending on the application you will hold the hammer in different places. Standard strikes will use the upper handle. Heavy strikes will use the lower handle. Soft strikes will use the neck (between handle and hammerhead). Other uses may require holding with two hands at the head and handle. So look for a design that gives you a firm grip across the whole hammer. One-piece metal design offers the most durability, but adds a bit of fatigue.

Measuring Tape - Look for a durable frame and accurate measurement marks. A good measuring tape will resist breaking when dropped on a concrete floor; retain tape pull-back force over its extended use; tolerate small bits of dirt and water on its opening without malfunctioning.

Electrical Tape - Versatile. Opaque, stretchy, removes easily without leaving residue. Cover electrical connections at home and obtrusive lights on electronics.

Caulk and Filler - Recommendation: Pure Silicone Caulk and Wood-based Filler. Pure silicone lasts decades and produces tight water-proof seals, excellent for kitchen and washroom applications. Water-based wood filler cleans easily and cures without solvent fumes, good for sealing up to medium size openings. Close cracks and openings to defend against water penetration, air penetration, and insect invasions. Water penetration can weaken structural strength and enable mold growth. Air penetration can bring heat during the summer and eject heat during the winter.

Fixed Blade Knife - Recommendation: Benchmade Fixed Blade Adamas. The rigidity of a fixed blade knife is excellent for heavy duty applications. The rigidity allows a firm grip to drive high forces into the motion while avoiding sideways deflection. One-piece designs are the easiest to clean and the strongest across different applications. Paracord handles are versatile and easy to replace, though their grip is slightly less tight than solid handles.

Jumper Cables - Handy emergency tool for battery boosting your car, especially during cold weather conditions. You want to get long ones; sometimes the other car will be unable to get close to your car easily.

Military Ammo Cans - Durable, all-purpose containers with a stackable design and sealing lid. Advisable to have a couple of new-condition cans for preserving important small items.

Smoke and Gas Alarms - Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are essential, often already included in modern home regulations. The AA battery-powered alarms are the easiest to install and maintain. Be sure to install the alarms at the correct locations and test/maintain them on a regular schedule.

Emergency Supplies - In case of natural disaster or major infrastructure outage, you want to have enough food, water, and supplies to survive until the relief effort matures. Prioritize food cans and pouches, water bottles and tanks, cutlery and food containers, paper towels and rolls, soap and sanitizer, blankets and towels, garbage bags for disposal, sealable plastic bags for utility, flashlights and batteries. Prepare portable carry containers or boxes that you can use to easily haul the supplies to your car if ever necessary.

Lightbulbs - Recommendation: LED Lightbulbs. Long life, durable, and nowadays amazingly cost-effective with ROI as short as 1 month. See Lightbulbs.

Electric Kettle. Fastest safe water-boiling residential appliance. ~5 minute boiling time of 1L water at room temperature. Convenient automatic turn-off. Versatile option to set temperature threshold. Boil water with this then pour into pot for rapid cooking.

Kitchen Utensils - Stainless steel spoons with rounded handles are ergonomic, easy-to-clean. Wooden cooking utensils avoid the clanky noise, weight, and heat transfer of metal, so they are effective as spatulas and stirring tools.

Vinegar. Mildly acidic, cheap, versatile. All-purpose cleaning, rust removal, flavoring, food preservation, odor removal, soil pH balancing.

Electric Toothbrush - An electric toothbrush improves the ease and consistency of brushing teeth properly. It offers convenience features such as a built-in automatic 3-minute timer. Charging is safe and simple with wireless induction technology. Replacement brush heads cost about the same as a manual toothbrush.

Folding Tables - Recommendation: Lifetime Folding Tables. Light-weight, compact, robust, and versatile.

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Guerilla Mail - Disposable email provider. Use to avoid spam for anonymous but insecure registrations.

Ubuntu - Popular Linux operating system with massive community, frequent updates, and versions with long-term support. Excellent for new Linux users.