8 Under-$100 Tools an Experienced Home Repair Taskrabbit Swears By

published Jul 6, 2023
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Girl holding a DeWALT power drill on the table next to screws
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Just as a hairstylist might be the best person to recommend the best curling iron to use, and a chef might be most trustworthy person to tell you to buy a certain knife, and a marathoner would likely have great sneaker recommendations, the best person to get the inside scoop on home repair tools would be someone who makes home repairs. Like, a lot of home repairs, with varied wall textures and pipes and outlets and floors and more — and, ideally, in lots of different homes. So who better to ask than a Taskrabbit? Taskers for the app Taskrabbit make home visits for all sorts of things — organization, cleaning, moving furniture, laundry pickup, and more — but some of the most commonly booked tasks on the app are home projects like mounting, light installation, painting, repairs, and yard work. 

We asked Lindsay, a Brooklyn-based tasker for Taskrabbit (and also a licensed contractor with her own business) for her recommendations. Since joining the platform in 2020, she’s completed about 140 tasks (and many more through her own business) to repair, install, assemble, mount — you name it. Our question: Are there any under-$100 tools you swear by for these jobs? Lindsay’s response: “Oh my god, so many. I’ll break it down by category.” Find her expert recommendations (in her own words!) below. And yes, they’re broken down by category.

Basic Repairs

Although I could go on and on about so many tools here, I have to go with an obvious choice: my DeWalt cordless power drill. It is definitely the most essential tool in my workshop, and Dewalt is my favorite brand. Their tools are powerful and reliable enough for commercial work, light enough for DIYers and high-enough quality that with proper care you’ll be able to hand down your tools to your kid after decades of use. DeWalt is also consistently listed as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ folks, and supporting my community is important to me — especially in a field like construction.

Okay, I really need to put two in this category. I just can’t choose. First, a self-leveling cross hair laser level. You mount it to the wall (I use removable adhesive strips when metal isn’t nearby to use the magnet attachment), and it puts a perfectly level line, with a perfectly plumb center line on the opposing wall. It will save you literally hours when it comes to hanging artwork and will make it super simple to align two side by side frames, or to ensure an entire room has all the artwork centered at the same height. Seriously one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. 

Second, a picture frame hanger tool (like this) — for about $15 bucks, you can take away the headache of working with wire-hung artwork. You hang the picture on the tool’s hook, use the handle on the tool to position the artwork where you want it, keep the tool in place and remove the artwork, then use the little push knob to put a small mark on the wall exactly where you should insert the nail. One of the hardest things to get right in hanging artwork is getting side-by-side frames to line up exactly; add wire backs (which are never exactly the same length on both frames) to the mix and you’re looking at some serious trial-and-error adjustments, even with careful measuring. With this tool (and especially paired with the laser level above) you can hang a perfectly aligned pair of frames in minutes.


A 4.5″ electric compact circular saw. If you’re not someone who needs a full-sized circular saw, but want to be able to cut wood quickly and accurately when paired with a proper straight edge and quick square, then you can’t beat a mini electric saw. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, its motor is a little less powerful so you really feel in control of the tool, and it’s versatile for both cross and plunge cuts.


A contactless voltage tester. You can get a reliable, easy one for about $20. Do not attempt any electrical work without one of these in your pocket. Using one just might save your life.


A basin wrench. For about $20, you can have a wrench that allows you to get a proper grip and great leverage at any angle for basic projects like replacing a faucet or tightening a tub drain. It’s truly an irreplaceable tool when it comes to working in tight spaces at awkward angles.


A small electric paint spray gun. For about $60, you can turn painting small- to medium-sized objects into an easy task with very professional results. It’s especially useful when it comes to irregular shapes like furniture or anything that has lots of nooks and crannies that would be difficult to paint with a brush or roller (think: crown molding). This little gun isn’t for painting full walls, though. (Well, I guess it could, but I wouldn’t advise it over a roller.) For full walls, you’d need an airless spray gun; a quality one runs about $300.


A 5-Gallon Vacmaster Beast wet-dry shop-vac. It’s small enough to easily bring on jobs, but offers an incredible amount of suction. It’s priced at just under $100, but offers suction equivalent to much more expensive shop-vacs. It also converts to a blower, and it’s my most-used tool for keeping our Brooklyn backyard tidy in the spring and fall. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy when they see me vacuuming the artificial grass in my backyard, but my yard is beautiful, and I love hosting BBQs so I am not ashamed about keeping it looking its best.