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DIY is all about tools, and one enormously convenient tool is the iPhone, which is starting to do what previously required an entire toolbox and a very forgiving cohabitant to do professionally. But which apps are the most useful? Here we run down ten of the best…


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  • WikiHow: How to and DIY Survival Kit: this is an ultra-comprehensive, very useful app that teaches you all sorts, but importantly what to do in case of home disasters such as flooding from a broken pipe! It is so exhaustive, that no matter how much you know, you’re bound to learn something new from it.
  • iHandy Level: a vital part of DIY is making sure that shelves and joints are level. Forgot your ruler or spirit level? This app will take care of it.
  • Woodcraft: for the carpenters out there, this app is basic but good for envisaging aspects of designing things from wood before you build, thus saving you time and money – mistakes can be costly!
  • Home 3D: interior design can involve a lot of pencils, measurements, paper, and more measurements. Save time and lots of tape-measuring with this handy app that lets you test out how furniture, paint and other design features will look.
  • Smart Tools: this is a really clever app for measuring lots of things that a DIY expert may need to know about, such as distances, sound, and acoustics. Features include: a thread pitch, metal detector, LED light, and even a decibel meter.
  • Craftgawker: no matter how good your DIY expertise, you can always draw off inspiration to help you do new projects. Craftgawker is an app that provides you with loads of high-res images to fill you with crafty ideas.
  • Homesizer: essential to designing a new home is working out how big everything should be, how one room slots into another, and how much material you will need. Homesizer is a handy app that can help you estimate all this!
  • iHandy Carpenter: five tools, two hands. It’s a problem. But the iHandy Carpenter niftily manages to combine a ruler, protractor, bubble leveller, plumb bob and surface leveller all into one app. Plus it’s very reliable, and looks great, too!
  • IScrew: screws are crucial to DIY. Use the wrong screw, and a joint may come loose. Even worse, a badly-fitted screw may damage materials when the joint is forced. Never choose the wrong screw again with this app – it’s detailed and exhaustive without being over-complicated.
  • InchCALC: no matter how experienced you are with DIY, a simple miscalculation can throw your entire project into chaos. InchCALC allows you to convert using fractions, between metric and imperial, so that your DIY project remains spot on.

With these tools now at your fingertips, what will you design and make?

Owain is an enthusiastic writer who currently writes about scientific discoveries and technological solutions. He writes for Alert Electrical but also enjoys writing about the arts, food and anything else that comes to mind!

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