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The best tools and gadgets to help with home improvement projects while you’re stuck at home

Go ahead, hang those shelves.

home improvement tech tools and gadgets
Image: Unsplash

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So you’re in voluntary lockdown right now to help flatten the curve. What better time to clear off the growing list of home improvement projects that have been piling up over the last few months?

Whether it’s home repairs or improvements; a garden that needs a bit of TLC or any number of things that you’ve said “oh, I’ll do that next week” to – there’s a ton of handy tech that can help make those tasks easier.

From shelving to gardening to everything in between, we’ve got a gadget (or two) to get you finished in no time. Well, once they’re shipped to your home, but we can’t do anything about that…

Measure up!

Image: TackLife

Okay, you might know that there’s an old adage that goes something like “measure once, cut twice”… oh, wait it’s the other way around. Measure twice, cut once. Take all the pain out of doing those measurements with a TackLife laser measuring tape. It’s got a laser that can measure up to 131 feet away, plus a 16 ft measuring tape for extra accuracy.

Oh, and when you start to hang those shelves? Make sure you don’t have a live wire, or a pipe beneath your drill bit. Grab the Walabot DIY Plus and you’ll feel like a real stud, wait I mean you’ll be able to find all the studs in your wall with ease. It’ll even be able to see if you’ve got rodents scurrying their way through your home… Nice, I guess? Just remember you’ll need an Android phone to use it.

That’ll get your measurements correct, but for level shelving, you’ll need a level. Ignore the tried and tested bubble levels and grab another TackLife gizmo, the self-leveling laser level. Look, everything is better when it has lasers, it’s scientifically proven (note: possibly not proven by science). Laying tiles but not sure where you should start? Put the crosshair from this on the floor and go to town. Just remember to work from the center of the room to the edges.

The right tools for the job

Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

Okay, now that you know how to measure in a straight line, you’ll need something to actually drive those screws into your drywall to put that shelf up. You’ll also need something to do some drilling.

Fix both of those issues with the WORX Switchdriver. There are so many cordless drills on the market that it’s usually hard to make a choice, but this one is different. How? It’s got a dual chuck that rotates, letting you switch from drilling to screwing in literally seconds.

I love this functionality so much, never mind the extra time it saves. Have you ever tried changing a keyless chuck quickly from a tiny drill bit to a screwdriver bit? “Quickly” never works out. With the Switchdriver, it’s a matter of holding a button to swivel the chuck you need into position. Magic.

Oh, and get the 67 piece kit. It just makes things so much easier, as the Switchdriver has toolless 1/4″ hex quick-change chucks so your existing drill bits and other hardware won’t work without adapters. It’s also got WORX’s 20V Power Share battery, so it’s compatible with any of their other power tools when you want to expand your collection. Nifty.

Image: Micaton

Now you’ve got a capable drill and driver to put up anything that needs it, what about fixing the worst part about hanging anything on the wall. No, I don’t mean hitting a wire, I’m talking about dropped screws. Grab this Magnet Driver Screw-Holder by Micaton and kiss dropped screws goodbye. Oh, and if you get the larger kit, you’ll also get a nail holder so you’ll drastically reduce the chance of hitting your thumb.

Then it’s time to get some other tools, just in case you need to do other odd jobs. We’re big fans of Stanley tools here, and this 65 piece DIY kit has pretty much every hand tool you could need around the home. Well, except a cordless drill but we’ve already covered that one.

If you don’t want a full toolkit, or want one you can carry around easily, grab a Leatherman Wave Plus. It’s got 18 tools including Leatherman’s tough pliers so you can fix things on the go.

If you’ve decided to repaint during these times, good luck to ya. I mean, those fumes are gonna get gnarly. Still, if you’re determined or can deal with living in one side of your house for a bit, grab the Color Muse which will let you find exactly the shade of paint you want. Just scan any object, and you’ll be able to color match it to paint from some of the biggest names in paint.

Gardening, KnowTechie style

Image: Worx

Okay, so we’re supposed to stay home, right? Does that include staying inside the house? Is mowing your lawn an “essential service?” While your HOA might disagree, it’s not, not really. What if you could mow your lawn without having to actually mow your lawn?

Enter the WORX Landroid, an electric robomower that will do to your lawn what your robovac does for your carpets. Just like any robovac, plug in the charging station, throw down some boundary wire so the Landroid doesn’t think your neighbor’s lawn is lunch, and let it get on with trimming your grass. Sweet.

You can also get it with a GPS module, which LoJacks the Landroid so if it’s taken off your property you’ll get an alert and then updates on its location. Oh, and it also works with the 20V Power Share batteries from your Switchdriver.

Maybe watering the garden is your pet peeve. You’ve now got the time to put in that automatic sprinkler system that you always wanted. This one also has WiFi so you’ll always know the local weather, and be able to adjust the watering schedule from anywhere you might be. Just, you know you’re not supposed to be anywhere else, right?

What do you think? Have you been tackling any projects while spending more time at your house? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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