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Surprisingly Useful Tools

We would not have been able to get anywhere as far with The Container House Project without some useful tools. Thankfully, Louis and Kevin have collected some brilliant tools over the last few decades and these are some of Kevin’s favourite ones.

Many of the tools we use are electric, but some are not. I asked Kevin a hypothetical question: If he was only allowed one electrical tool with which to build our house and the rest had to be hand tools, what tool would he choose? The look of horror and the silence that followed says it all. Our electrical tools have been invaluable.

Kevin did eventually choose a tool. The tool we could not live without would have to be the battery drill, but Kevin did ask for an additional power tool for the hypothetical situation: his grinder.

grinder battery drill bosch useful tools
The ever valuable battery drill and grinder

Here are some other useful tools we have been using:

Useful Tools


We use the shear for cutting long strips of metal. It works like an extra-heavy duty pair of scissors. We are using aluminium angle around the windows to help make them watertight. In some sections, a standard aluminium angle has been a little too wide. The shear has worked amazingly well for trimming off the excess material. We have also used it to help fabricate flashings, for areas where we need rain water directed elsewhere.

metal shear metalworking
Kevin with the shear. Note the long handle for leverage.

Cut-Off Saw and Compound Mitre Saw

The cut-off saw has been used to cut lengths of steel to the correct size. The grinder type blade makes short work of steel beams, angles, tube, etc. This has made preparing steel for the house a quick and easy job.

We use the compound mitre saw in a similar manner to the cut-off saw, but for lengths of wood. The compound mitre saw can be adjusted and set to make cuts of different angles. This is very useful for corners where you want an angled cut. We can also use this saw for cutting aluminium; all it needs is a blade change. We cannot use this machine for steel as the blade spins too fast for steel. As it is not designed to cut steel, the machine would also be damaged by the flying sparks from cutting steel.

cut off saw and compound mitre saw metalwork and woodwork
Cut-off saw on the left. Compound mitre saw on the right

Lock Mortise Attachment for a Drill

New doors do not arrive with the section cut out where the lock is to fit. If you’re fitting one door, it’s okay to create the cavity with a hammer and a set of chisels. If you’re fitting several doors, this contraption makes light work of fitting locks. A drill fits into the lock mortise attachment, which is then bolted to the door. The drill quickly hollows out the cavity for the door lock and handle set, saving us much time and energy.

Mortise drill door lock attachment

Of course, there are always more tools that could be purchased and used (see our post on our concrete mixer). We wouldn’t have to think too hard to put together a wish list of other tools that we don’t have that would be very useful to have around!

PS: Despite appearances, this is not a sponsored post, but here is Bosch’s website, should you wish to see their other tools on the market.

4 thoughts on “Surprisingly Useful Tools

  1. Tools are an amazing help, but it is the skill of the user that makes them truly worthwhile. I’m glad you have a variety to assist in your project. What an incredible number of skills are needed for this project! Well done!

    1. Yes, you do have a point there! Tools are useless if you don’t know how to use them 💚

  2. Some of those are so specialised and obscure it never would have occurred to me they might exist. In a few weeks’ time you could have a quiz on your blog to see if we can identify any of them!

    1. That’s actually a brilliant idea…. hmmm 🤔💚

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