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.