Here are some of my favorite tools for hanging cabinets. These aren’t the best tools for the jobs, or at least they’re not exactly the tools I would generally recommend first. But, I like ’em and they provided a good experience.
Some of the tools are my warm favorites, such as the Hitachi 18V Triple Hammer impact driver, and others are my go-to’s because they’re reliable and consistent, such as the power tool accessories.
I chose these tools based on preference or convenience, rather than say the need to get more testing time in for a review.
After writing about my dream of a Lista workshop and oodles of cabinet space the other day, I mounted some wall cabinets that I had purchased earlier this month.
About the IKEA Sektion Cabinets
The cabinets are basic IKEA kitchen cabinets, 30″ long x 20″ tall x 15″ deep, and with two doors.
I have steel garage-style wall cabinets in another part of the basement, and will have to make some decisions in coming months as I strive to finalize the space for better work and storage organization.
IKEA’s Sektion kitchen cabinets, or at least these, are made in the USA, and the doors in Portugal.
The Blum door hinges were pretty sweet, and installed nearly tool-free. They install tool-free into the doors, and mounting brackets pop into adjustable hole slots in the frame before being screwed in. You’re not actually screwing the hinge mounting bracket to the cabinet, it mounts via a sort of expanding plastic anchor fastener.
I digress, but the point is these are some basic wall cabinets. It’s not like I installed a kitchen’s worth of cabinets.
Still, cabinets are cabinets, and they require tools to go up.
Here are the tools I used, and a couple of words about them:
Stanley FatMax Tape Measure
This was the first tape measure I found when I started collecting my tools and supplies. It’s not my favorite tape measure, but it was a good value when I bought it (buy two for the price of one). I had a defective one a long time ago, but this one has been a reliable companion.
I’m sure we’ll see more promo displays for the 2019 holiday shopping season.
RevMark Marker: I still have a couple of samples from my review two years ago. Honestly, I use RevMark, Sharpie, and Milwaukee Inkzall markers interchangeably, and most of the time they work equally well.
Stabila 48″ Level
I bought a Stabila 4pc level set a few months ago, and have been getting a feel for the levels. They’re… okay. These are value-priced basic levels either meant for homeowners/DIYers or as an inexpensive introduction to the brand. You can still buy this set at promo pricing.
The lighting in my basement is rather dim and directional, and it was hard to see the bubble when I used the level used to set the steel rail into position.
The way these cabinets can be hung, there’s a steel mounting rail that you cut to size and fastener to the wall. Then you also level the cabinets when screwing them together.
Hitachi 18V Triple Hammer Impact Driver
I really like my Hitachi/Metabo HPT triple hammer impact driver. It’s got oodles of power, adjustable torque and speed settings, and is really comfortable to use. After a couple of years, it’s still their premium brushless impact.
It’s premium-priced, but I snagged one for personal use during last year’s holiday shopping season. The deal last year was crazy – buy the impact for $139 and get a free (2) battery and charger starter kit.
There are more premium and more powerful brushless impacts, but I really like this one.
Milwaukee RedHelix Drill Bits
I hit wood studs in 4 spots but needed to secure the end of the steel mounting rail to the wall. I pulled a hollow wall anchor from a pack I bought last month, and needed to drill a 1/2″ hole.
So, I grabbed a pack of Red Helix bits from my stockpile (I resupply every holiday season and in between with promo sets). I used a 1/4″ bit and then a 1/2″ bit, but with the Hitachi impact.
I had a Dewalt 12V Max Xtreme SubCompact drill/driver on-hand that I intended to use, but my twist drills were in a different room and I was hesitant to use the 1/2″ bit in the small drill. I had no doubt the drill could do it, but it just seemed like an awkward combination.
These drill bits are fine for general purpose use. I still don’t like using impact drivers for drilling holes, but it was easier than going up to get a twist drill bit set.
Bosch T20 Impact Screwdriver Bit
I have a box of Bosch T20 screwdriver bits, but seem to have misplaced it. Can you see why I’m really trying to improve my storage and organizational situation? I have a couple of bit sets I bought on sale, and grabbed a T20 bit from there.
If you’re interested in trying these bits, the 24pc set is on sale for $10 again.
Dewalt Max Impact Phillips #2 Screwdriver Bit
Dewalt Max Impact are longer-sized impact-rated screwdriver bits that are said to last longer than FlexTorq bits. I bought some and are giving them a try. Dewalt Max Impact bits are exclusive to Home Depot.
I posted about these bits recently to Instagram:
Fasteners: Spax Screws and Strap Toggle Bolt Anchor
I love Spax screws. The choice was between Spax #10 2-1/2″ screws and GRK screws #8 2-1/2″. The Spax were a hair too wide for the metal rail mounting brackets, but they fit with only some leveling imperfections. #8 seemed a little too light so I went with the Spax #10.
IKEA recommends fasteners every 12″. I placed the cabinets to hit four studs and thought that was a better idea than spacing the fasteners closer together and secured to drywall. I used a strap toggle fastener at an end where the rail was too short to reach a fifth wall stud.
I don’t anticipate loading these cabinets too heavily, but if I do, I’ll a couple more wall anchors between stud locations. I have 4 direct-to-stud fastener locations and 1 wall anchor. The 12″ spacing they recommend would have resulted in 2 direct-to-stud fastener placements and 4 wall anchors.
The cabinets are at the foot of the basement stairs and will be for “quick access” tools and supplies.
Bessey GearKlamp Bar Clamps
Dear Bessey, thank you so much for review samples of these GearKlamp bar clamps, I’m loving them so far!!
No, they’re not the end-all solution to all clamping needs, but they’re pretty swell. Yes, I just used the word swell.
We’ll talk more about these Bessey GearKlamps soon.
Wera Pozidriv Screwdriver
I did say that Wera Pozidriv screwdrivers are perfect for assembling Ikea furniture. I used this for assembling the cabinets and installing the hinge mounting brackets.
I also grabbed an unremarkable slotted screwdriver for the cabinet-to-rail connector.
Buy Wera 6pc Set via Amazon – this doesn’t have a Pozidriv driver, but has more commonly used Phillips and slotted sizes
I needed a awl to start screw holes to fasten these cabinets together. I used a spare screw and hammered it in with the tape measure. Please don’t think less of me. I have two awls, one was upstairs, one was in the garage – I think. So I improvised.
What do you think about this kind of post, where I discuss which tools are in play for a given task or project and why those tools in particular?
I snapped the topmost photo after cleaning up and preparing to return the tools to their former storage spots, figuring it might be interesting for social media. But then this morning I thought – why not go into more detail in a ToolGuyd post?
Plus, maybe you have some questions about these particular tools?
It’s something different, and so I figured I’d ask for your opinions. Thank you, and happy Friday!