5 essential tools and items for avid DIYers: hammers...and analgesic gel?

Clockwise from top right: Palm sander, power drill, analgesic gel, hammer and nails, and jigsaw are Valerene's top five DIY tools. Photos: The Star/Faihan Ghani

Tools are much cherished possessions of DIY enthusiasts. And with the DIY trend gaining more popularity during the movement control orders, tools have never been more important.

Just ask avid DIYer and retiree Valerene Matthews, 62.

The sexagenarian refuses to stay idle during her free time. Whenever she isn’t busy with volunteer work or tending to her cosy house, she enjoys creating DIY projects.

"I’ve always been interested in craft work. As a child, my brothers and I used cardboard boxes to make playhouses. We used to paint and do different types of crafts to keep busy. That interest has never died down in me, ” said the mother of three during an interview in Subang Jaya, Selangor recently.

Valerene enjoys working on DIY projects as it allows her to explore her creativity further.

Since her retirement in 2014, the former administrative manager has been keeping busy with impressive DIY projects which include retiling her staircase, creating a wooden wheelbarrow, and fashioning decorative frames and a birdhouse out of wood pieces salvaged from dumpsites.

And to successfully carry out these projects, there are five must-have items in her toolkit:

Power drill

This is a tool driven by an electric motor used to drill holes and loosen and tighten screws and bolts. This indispensable equipment works well for drilling tiny holes for craft projects or in durable metal pieces.


A versatile tool, a jigsaw is used to cut curves in wood, ceramic tile, plastic or metal. With proper instruction and adult supervision, even kids can be taught to use a jigsaw safely.

Bird house can be built using basic DIY tools.


Did you know there are over 20 types of hammers in the market? They include nylon hammers, sledge hammers and upholstery hammers. Valerene’s favourite is the claw hammer because it is primarily used to drive nails or pull them out from other objects.

Palm sander

This tool is used to sand a large area at high speed. It is handy to resurface furniture or remove paint from plywood. Many DIYers say it is one of the most valuable items in their tool box.

Analgesic gel

After an arduous day, muscle relaxers can work wonders in relieving that tired and achy feeling.

Disclaimer: Do ensure extra care is taken when handling these tools to prevent serious injuries.

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