8 Essential Tools for Every Household
From hammers and drills, learn what hand and power tools should be in your tool box, what to look for when shopping, and how these tools work.
A 25-foot tape measure is a good basic model for your tool kit. When the blade is extended on a 25-footer, it'll stay stiff up to 6 feet. Why does that matter? Because when you're measuring up the side of something, like window casing, it's nice if the blade doesn't collapse down on you.
On most tape measures, 1 inch is divided into 1/16-inch increments. All those little lines make for tricky reading at first. Just know that the longest line dividing each inch is the 1/2-inch mark. The next longest lines are the 1/4-inch marks, then the 1/8-inch marks, then the wee, little, need-your-reading-glasses-to-see-them 1/16-inch marks. There are even some tape measures that go way down to 1/32-inch marks. Gimme a break! Anything that needs to be cut with that much precision can beat it.
There's an old carpenter's saying about measuring: measure twice, cut once. Take this to heart. If you've bought some fancy, expensive wood trim for a window or door, you don't want to waste a piece. Measure twice, cut once.
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