February 29, 2008
When people talk about interior design, they rarely talk about tools. And yet, most of us get more stumped by HOW to hang a curtain than choosing WHICH one we want. Particularly in NYC, where walls, floors and ceilings can be so funky, simply knowing how to screw something into a wall so it will HOLD can be a challenge.
1. After the toolbox, the first thing you want to purchase - and which everyone should have - is a good cordless drill. Like your main cooking knife, your cordless drill will do everything for you, from actually drilling holes to screwing things into wall and assembling furniture.
On recommending a good cordless drill, I've found that women are particularly receptive to its charms. Good ones ooze power and possibility and the feeling that FOR THE FIRST TIME I can actually do things MYSELF and not rely on the boyfriend or the hired gun with all the fancy tools. They're not just for breakfast anymore.
Cordless drills didn't use to be so powerful, but have improved to the point where you can really rely on them to put holes in your brick walls and last a long time on a charge. Each one should come with a case, a charging station and one battery. I recommend buying an extra battery so that you never have to wait for a charge.
My favorite brands are Makita (GREEN) and the DeWalt (YELLOW), each of which have a number of models. I recommend getting a smaller model and one that fits into your hand comfortably. For light use, the smallest models will do just fine. Most hardware stores will stock these drills (to check them out) and you can always find competitive pricing online (if you want to price chop).
2. Drill bits are also important. You should have one box of assorted sizes and here I recommend the 13 pc DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set which is high quality and comes with a really nice box to keep these things safe and organized for a long time.
3. Additionally, if you are ever going to drill into brick or stone or anything really hard, you should get yourself a small MASONRY BIT set. These have reinforced tips and will allow you to deal with hard walls. Regular bits will only really deal with wood, metal and sheetrock.
4. Finally, this little thing will save your life: a magnetic finder driver (I like Makita). These things hold onto your screws while you place them and allow you to basically screw things in one handed. It's very frustrating to work without one of these.
So there you go. I'm going to run a survey online today to see which drills our readers prefer right now, so you can check that out on the front page between 2-3pm. If you don't have a cordless drill in your home, go get yourself one and get ready for your Spring Cure!
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