Tools Tips

Read these 4 Tools Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Improvement tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I get rust off my tools?


To clean rust off tools (or anything else), soak the rusted part in hot vinegar. For large surfaces like a hand saw, wrap the metal in paper towels soaked with vinegar.

How do I know my level is really level?

Is your level really level?

To check your level for accuracy, mark a plumb line on a wall with your level. Then turn your level to the opposite side of the same bubble and check it against the line. If it doesn't match, you need to recalibrate the level.

What do I need in my home tool box?

Home tool kit

Every home needs a tool kit, but what to buy first? It is hard to imagine how one would get along without these tools:
Buy the fancy one with several different tips stored in the handle. Make sure the handle is large enough to get a good, comfortable grip.
A pair of quality adjustable pliers is a a must. Buy a couple of sizes of Channel-lock type pliers. A pair of needle-nosed Vise-grips is invaluable.
Buy a quality claw hammer. 12 ounces is a good starter size.
By all means, buy several flashlights, but keep a small one in your toolbox. Throw some extra batteries in there, too.
Tool box
It is tempting to throw your tools in the junk drawer in the kitchen, but have you looked in there lately? There is stuff in there that you thought you lost long ago. Buy a small tool box and keep your tools in it. You will always know where they are.
Fair warning
Once you discover the tool department at your DIY store, expect to become addicted. Each time you enter, you will see the neatest thing that you just can't live without. The clerk in the tool department is a good person to know. He (she) can recommend the right tool for the job.

Why do I get low readings with my volt meter?

What does a volt meter measure?

Don't be fooled into believing that a volt meter measures voltage: it doesn't. It measures the DIFFERENCE in voltage between the probes. If one probe is on a hot ground or hot neutral, the reading you get is not the actual voltage present, but the difference between the hot lead and the hot neutral. You may need to run a ground wire from a water line to the work area to get correct readings.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran