Demolition work is always messy, usually fun and sometimes even therapeutic. However, getting the job done right means owning the correct tools. A lack of proper tools means harder, longer work and could even compromise your safety. Don’t forget these must-haves as you build your demolition arsenal.
1. Basic Safety Equipment
A demolition team without safety equipment not only sets itself up for injury but also looks unprofessional in the client’s eyes. Your safety equipment should contain four essential items: work gloves, goggles, hard hats, and respirators.
Start with work gloves that are thick enough to protect your hands while still allowing the mobility you need to complete your work. Depending on the type of demolition work you’re doing, you may want to purchase heat- or cut-resistant gloves as well. Next, you’ll want to purchase goggles. Look for goggles that fit snugly enough that debris can’t fly between them and your eyes.
The type of demolition work that you do determines how important hard hats and respirators are. Hard hats are essential if your demolition work includes high walls and ceilings where debris could easily fall on you.
Respirators protect you from the dust caused by demolishing drywall. Without respiration masks, you could suffer from persistent throat and sinus problems, difficulty breathing or even more serious problems caused by the dust.
Nearly any demolition job requires a crowbar at some point, making it an excellent place to start. Crowbars work best when you need to remove old tile, pull up old wood flooring or remove old nails. Purchase at least two of them in two different sizes. A medium-sized, S-shaped crowbar is up to two feet long and is useful for pulling up most interior framing. A smaller, flatter bar is best when you need to get into smaller spaces.
Your demolition toolbox isn’t complete without several different hammers. Like the flat pry bar, a claw hammer is useful for pulling framing out of smaller spaces. It is also good for creating smaller holes in drywall so that you don’t inadvertently damage the gas, water or power lines. A mini-sledgehammer is useful for knocking out interior framing and stubborn support beams. Finally, you need a full-sized sledgehammer if you intend to work on bricks or other extra-sturdy materials.
4. Oscillating Tool
An oscillating tool, also known as a multi-purpose tool, serves several purposes while lightening the load that you transport between jobs. These items feature several tools that can remove grout, cut through drywall or wood, sand, buff and more. These tools are on the small size, making them perfect for small, very precise jobs.
5. Cleanup Equipment
Painters’ plastic allows you to cover floors and furniture to prevent dust damage. It is also useful for blocking off other sections of the property so that people can go about their activities without entering the potentially hazardous work area. Avoid traditional trash bags that break easily. Instead, purchase contractors’ bags, which are made to hold up to 40 pounds without tearing.
Whether you’re just putting together your demolition tool collection or upgrading your current set, remember to pay for quality. In many cases, the cheapest tool is also the most ineffective. Search for demo tools that are in a competitive price range and have quality reviews for the best results.