5-in-1 Tool: An inexpensive and priceless must-have tool.

By: Mark Clement , Contributing Writer
In: Uncategorized, Home Improvement Tips

When I bought my first 5-in-1 tool years ago I’m not entirely sure why I got it.

Purdy 5-in-1 tool with wood handle.

Purdy 5-in-1 tool with wood handle.

I knew it was for “painting” but other than that, well…

A 5-in-1 is a painters tool and lots of people have them but have no idea what this oddly-shaped item is designed for. The sharp point is a gouge, as in gouging out caulk and paint. The radius cut-out in the blade is for removing paint-saturated roller-covers from the frame. The semi-sharp blade is for both scraping and applying putty/nail hole filler (though I rarely use it for that–the blade is too stiff). You can use it as a screwdriver in a pinch, too. The square end of the blade opposite the gouge is for removing paint can covers. Trust me, it works way better than a screwdriver for paint can lids. You can even use the butt end of the handle to dimple drywall (like where you removed a screw that missed the stud and left a mushroomed hole; I press down hard with a twisting motion…works great.)

But where the rubber really hits the road for me with a 5-in-1 is all the places other than painting that it’s perfect. Its so perfect, in fact, for so many things I carry one in my tool pouch all the time. Here’s a short list:

> The wide, flat blade works great as a shim/lever for moving crown molding into position for nailing.

> The gouge and blade work great together for cutting off/knocking down/scraping off excess spray foam insulation.

> I’ve used it to remove grout and bust out thin-set replacing a broken tile.

> As a wedge, it’ll hold a door open.

> I’ve knocked out hunks of stucco.

> I also use it to back out screws that spin in drywall or while hanging cabinets. Use the blade and a little pressure under the screw-head then use your drill/driver to back the screw out. Works every time.

> Split or cut off shims.

> Scrape up spilled glue.

I re-sharpen the blade periodically, but that’s about all it takes to keep this inexpensive yet priceless tool by my side.


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  1. 3 Responses  to “5-in-1 Tool: An inexpensive and priceless must-have tool.”

  2. Aug 29, 2011
    5-in-1s are inexpensive...anywhere from 5 bucks to 15 bucks give or take...I even scrape the caked on grass from the bottom of my lawn mower with an old one I have.
  3. Jeremy
    Aug 29, 2011
    It can also be used for self-defense it looks like. That corner looks pretty sharp and could do some damage. Pretty handy tool, how much do they cost at your local hardware store?
  4. Jonny
    Aug 29, 2011
    I have had one of these tools in my shed for many years, not sure where it came from either. I never new about the other 4 features of the tool....good post.