(ARA) - When it comes to basic home maintenance and home improvement projects, more and more women are doing it for themselves. Tapping this trend, many tool manufacturers now offer a range of products designed to appeal to this fastest-growing segment of the home improvement market.
"Market research shatters the stereotype of the husband's 'honey-do' list," says Terry Tuerk of power tool manufacturer Metabo. "Today, women are not intimidated by home repair and improvement. They know it can be cheaper and more satisfying to do it themselves, rather than always hire a professional."
Here are some female-friendly basic tools that are finding their way into handywomen's well-equipped toolboxes:
For most household tasks, the claw hammer gets the job done. The most popular weights have historically been 16 to 24 ounces. Lighter 8-ounce hammers, however, are also available. "These hammers are made with high-tech lightweight materials that make them easy to heft and balance," says Tuerk. Options include the Oxo Good Grips available at Lowe's, and Stanley, which offers a 13-ounce hammer.
Gone are the days when this critical tool came in one color - metal - and one weight - heavy. Today, tape measures are made of lightweight, colorful plastics that are as durable as they are eye-catching. A variety of casing sizes are available to fit every hand, no matter how small. Workforce Color Rules Tape Measure comes in a variety of colors and offers a soft grip handle. Or, you can opt for one of the new digital varieties. Black & Decker makes a device that is both a digital level and tape measure.
Basic flat head and Phillips head screw drivers are home repair essentials. A complete screwdriver set practically guarantees you'll never meet a screw head you can't handle. However, to get the most flexibility in a compact size, consider a screwdriver that offers interchangeable heads. Often, these light-weight designs house the heads in a compartment within the screwdriver's grip. Magnetized versions, that ensure the head stays in place during use, are also available. Most major tool manufacturers offer this type of screw driver.
Whether you are hanging a heavy piece of artwork, or putting together a piece of furniture, a power drill makes the job easy. Gone are the days when "powerful" meant a drill was heavy and hard to handle.
Protecting your eyes never looked better. Compact, attractive designs by AOSafety and Echo are a better fit for a woman's facial structure and sense of style than traditional heavy plastic goggles. Designer colors and tinted lenses make a fashion statement and safety sense. Most home improvement centers now carry a wide variety of styles.
"As more women enter the ranks of do-it-yourselfers, we will see an influx of products designed to women's needs and tastes," says Tuerk. Courtesy of ARA Content