Couple doing DIY work around the house

Going about your daily life can be difficult, easy, or outright cool depending on the approaches that you take. Some tricks can not only simplify your tasks but can also save time, money and energy when solving problems. To do this, you need tools and a little of do-it-yourself knowledge. 

Tools can range from the mechanical to the digital kind, all designed to make it easy and fun to clean, cook, travel, get discounts, do laundry, read and basically navigate every aspect of your life. We have compiled a list of new and old gadgets, and awesome DIY tips that will surely make your daily activities more efficient. 

Read on for 16 life hack tools you never knew about.

Wall and Pipe Inspection Cameras

Who wouldn’t like to see inside a wall, water pipe, or an exhaust vent before tearing it out? 

Home repairs call for checking for mould inside walls, removing blockages and replacement of leaking sections in utility pipes. This can be made easier by first taking a quick peek. How? A camera fitted with an extension cable and a monitor.

One such tool is the Ridgid Camera. It’s a composite tool made up of a waterproof miniature camera, a 3-foot flexible cable and a 3.5″ LCD color monitor. The camera can fit inside tiny holes and transmit live video to the monitor. The tool is made more effective in the dark by having LED lights fitted at the tip.   

Multi-Tool Swiss Knife

Whether you are into adventure, travel, exploration or DIY home improvement, a multi tool can be very handy. This is a pocket-size tool that has been in production since the 1890s. This mind blowing contraption comes with a main blade plus other various tools, all which fold into a handle. Each tool can be retrieved swiftly through a pivot mechanism. 

The original model was used by Swiss soldiers to open canned food and disassemble rifles. Current models have seen many changes that have increased functionality and improved adaptability to today’s needs. You can now get one with blades, nail files, wood saw, scissors, wire scrapper, USB stick, LED light, ruler, corkscrew, digital thermometer and so on; simply put it’s a complete toolbox that fits in your palm.   

Digital Highlighter and Reader

How cool would it be to type a printed document without touching a single keystroke? 

This is no longer a fantasy but a reality. You can use a digital highlighter pen that reads text and transmits it to your computer or phone screen. This technological marvel scans characters 30 times faster than manual typing and transmits remotely via Bluetooth; so no cables! 

This pen-sized scanner also comes with a ‘translate’ feature which helps you to master over 50 foreign languages. It also has a ‘read aloud’ capability which allows you to hear the text as its being scanned. Other features that you will find useful include black and white small image scanning (for signatures and clipart) and a barcode reader.          

Damaged Screw Extractor Set

A stripped screw can lead to a botched job. When a fastener or a screw gets damaged either by bending or the head snapping off, the remaining piece can be difficult to remove. This can destroy the workplace that it’s fastened to and even make it impossible for another screw to occupy the same space. 

A screw extractor kit makes it possible to remove the damaged piece and creating a new hole. The tool is a 2 in 1 bit that is used with a drill: One end puts a hole in the screw. The opposite end is threaded and shaped like a screw head; for backing out the screw. The kit works with different drill sizes and can remove any screw or bolt.

Shop Vacuum as an Air Pump 

If you own an air mattress then an air compressor is a must have. It will keep your bed comfy and your pool toys inflated. In the off chance that the air pump is faulty or you don’t have one at all, turn your eyes to a vacuum cleaner. The suction and exhaust mechanism basically mimics an air pump. 

Make a nozzle out of plastic squeeze bottle by popping off the top. Fasten the ‘nozzle’ on to the vacuum’s hose; use duct tape to avoid loss of pressure. Once the nozzle is secure, attach the hose to the exhaust port. Run the vacuum and use it to blow up any inflatable. The same contraption can be used to deflate by simply attaching the hose to the vacuum port. 

Picture Frame Bumpers

Hanging a picture frame sounds simple right? 

Sure, until keeping it upright becomes a full day’s job. A little draft is enough to keep the frame slipping out of place. Apart from making your picture or painting looking crooked, the movement will leave scratches on the wall and on the frame itself. 

This can be remedied by using hot glue: Put small dots of the glue on the back corners and stick the frame strategically on the wall. Your frame will be secured and away from the wall, while giving your picture a floating illusion at the same time. 

Baby Shower Cap

Getting your hair wet is usually a no, unless it can’t be avoided. This however does not apply to babies and toddlers who have to be cleaned regularly; from head to toe. This can however be a noisy and unpleasant affair especially when shampoo, soap and water get into the young one’s eyes, mouth and ears.

With a couple of bucks, you can make baths more fun you and your baby; buy a baby shower cap. It comes with an adjustable visor hat that shields the face. Some versions also come with earmuffs. Since the caps are adjustable, they can be used through the years as the baby grows or for siblings of different ages.         

Pool Noodles as Car Door Stoppers

It’s almost impossible to keep car doors from slamming against the garage wall. The little dents can lead to costly body works, misalignment of hinges not to mention paint chipping off the wall. 

Avoid all this by gluing pool noodles on to the wall. Cut the noodles lengthwise to increase the wall contact; this will also make them fit better in case there are utility pipes running along the wall. You can also increase the padding by gluing two haves together. 

Extra Tip: Pool noodles can also be used to make your tall boots last longer. Stuff each boot with noodle from the toes up; this will keep the shoe upright and free of creases.    

Thermal Leak Detectors

Among the monthly bills that can really inflate your budget is heating costs. Energy loss from air leaks significantly drive up your HVAC’s power usage. The losses can be curtailed by hiring professional help for a full energy audit. Another approach, which is simpler and cheaper, is using a thermal detector to find and plug the leaks yourself.

To do this you need a tool like Black and Decker Thermal Leak Detector. It uses infrared sensors to take temperature readings. By waving it across windows, walls, ceilings and pipes, you can identify spots that are warmer or cooler from a given baseline. The temperature is displayed out on a monitor and the light changes color for easy tracking of drafts; blue and red for cold and warm spots respectively. 

Tube Squeezer

Getting the last of the toothpaste from a tube can be downright treacherous; from hurting your fingers to biting on the tube. You can put an end to the waste and pain by using a simple toothpaste squeezer.

The tool rolls the tube tightly from the bottom end and folds as you continue dispensing. Operating the squeezer is made simple with a grip-tight wringer which requires little effort. It’s fun for kids and can also be used with other products that come in a tubes such as cosmetic creams, paints, glues, ointments etc. 

Drill Guides for Straight Holes

Drilling straight holes is not easy especially when a job requires perfection. To get the right angle for your drill you require a drill press which is quite costly and may not be so practical for repair works; this is where a little known tool comes into play; a drill guide.

Hold the tool on to your work surface and slip the drill bit into the guide’s hole and drill away. The guide comes with slip on bushings of various sizes. These are effective in ensuring that one guide can be used with a wide range of bit sizes. The tool also comes with centerlines for accurate alignment.   

Hand Winch / Power Puller

Whether you are into landscaping, construction or any other application that involves moving heavy stuff, you need a tool for moving heavy loads with minimal effort. Among the tools that will help you hack your way around these jobs is a winch also known as a power puller. These come in all sizes and can be electric or simple hand version.

Instead of using pliers to tighten your fence or even digging up a stump all the way to the ground, a simple hand winch can be all you need. Latch it to a post and attach the opposing end to the load and pull the wire with one handed effort. The tool comes with a self locking safety latch, which ensures the wire doesn’t slip off during operation.  

Gutter Cleaning Kit

Cleaning gutters the old fashioned way is tasking and outright dangerous. You have probably seen people falling of ladders just trying to reach that far corner. That’s not all; you could have debris getting into your eyes, crawlies climbing down on you and getting cuts on your hands.

A gutter blaster takes care of all this. The tool is composed of an extension wand and a high pressure nozzle. The wand fits on to a garden hose while the nozzle can be adjusted depending on the blasting power needed. To clean the inside of the gutters, the wand can be fitted with a carved neck and a radial water flow brush.  

Pizza Scissor Cutter

This is a multifunctional kitchen scissor designed to make it easy to cut and serve pizza. The scissors are almost a foot long; hence they can reach the center of any home-cooked pizza. They are made of stainless steel to avoid rusting and rubber handles for better grip.


The ingenious part of the design is a detachable spatula shovel. It makes serving equal portions much easier that when using a slicer. Additionally, the scissors are strong enough to be used for barbecue. 

Carpet Alarm Clock      

Waking up can be a bit of a struggle, especially after a hard day’s work or an eventful night. To start your day on the right foot, go for an alarm clock that is more demanding than the ‘tap to stop’ kind. A carpet alarm clock is an effective and minimalistic tool that ensures waking up is a must. 

The rug is made from slow-rebounding memory foam with pressure sensors. Once it goes off, it can only be stopped after sensing your weight for a given time. The snooze time can be prolonged from 3 to 30 seconds and some come with mp3 players just to make the experience more motivating. 

One Trip Shopping Grips

These are D-shaped grocery bag carrier handles. Each can carry several bags with a total weight of110 pounds. The handle is made from silicon which makes it soft on the hand and comfortable to hold. This beats carrying heavy bags that eat into your palms and makes them sweaty. 

The tool is small and can fit in your pocket or pulse to be used whenever you need it. At the same time, the handle is ergonomically designed to ensure that you don’t suffer from joint pains; this keeps arthritis away. The grips can also be used to carry paints or any product with strap handles.

Time is money. This proverbial term has never been more relevant than in the times we are living in. Every second that you can spare opens ups more opportunity for you to rest, be with your family or even set your eyes on new ideas. This however requires you to work faster and more efficiently. The above life hack tools might help you to do just that. Investing in one or several of them will leave you less tired as you go about your day and more importantly, you will look like a pro!