A quick look at the many uses for my new 14-in-1 painter’s tool. Plus, why I keep buying multi-tools!
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I love multi-tools. I have a Swiss Army Knife, a Leatherman, and even one of those flat credit card sized tools that can do 12 different things but probably can’t be legally carried on an airplane.
Today I almost bought a cute little combination flashlight/bottle opener at the checkout at Lowe’s, before I realized I was already carrying both those tools on me at the time, in the form of other multi-tools.
Basically, if you can make my life easier and more efficient, you have my heart.
So when I was killing time at the hardware store the other evening, waiting for my hubby to choose between two different styles of light switch plates (this is what we do on our dates these days), I wandered into the paint aisle, my happy place.
Before long, a 14-in-1 painter’s tool made its way into my hands. It seemed like the perfect multi-tool, even if I didn’t have a clue about half its functions.
Some guys buy their wives flowers, mine buys me tools. They last longer, and he gets to enjoy them too. (For Mother’s Day, I’m getting a new chop-saw, but that’s a story for another day.)
Long story short, I batted my eyelashes at my date and a few minutes later we walked out with his light switches and my new multi-tool.
When I got home with my treasure, I realized there was nothing on the packaging to tell me how to use this miracle of efficiency. So I did what any savvy DIY-er would do, I googled it. I couldn’t believe how little information I found. I guess this is one of those things that, if you don’t know how to use it, you shouldn’t be buying it?
So I did a little more digging and found out what all the little pieces of this tool do, and I’m passing my research on to you so you won’t feel as left out as I did, if you decide you need one of these.
So what does a 14-in-1 painter’s tool do?
Everything except actually paint.
1. Hammer – perfect for pounding the lid back on the paint can. (I can’t tell you how much paint I’ve ruined because I forgot this crucial step.)
2. Flat Screw Bit – for unscrewing plate covers like light switches and plugs.
3. Philips Screw Bit – every time I paint a room, it never fails that one plate cover uses Philips instead of flat.
4. Large Hex Nut Wrench – supposedly the nut wrenches are sized to fit those commonly found on paint sprayers.
5. Small Hex Nut Wrench – same deal, just smaller.
6. Convex Scraper – great for scraping paint off curvy molding.
7. Concave Scraper – every curve has an equal and opposite reaction. Or something like that.
8. Nail Puller – there’s always that one nail you missed when you were prepping the room for paint.
9. Crack Opener – ever wondered how to get a clean edge around your ceiling, without taping? Simply run this end along the edge where the wall meets the ceiling, and you’ll create a little trench for your paint brush to safely follow, without overlapping onto the ceiling.
10. Chisel – this sharp edge is for scraping off flaking paint.
11. Spreader – flip the tool over to the dull side and this edge is great for applying spackle while prepping the walls.
12. Paint Can Opener – no more searching for a screwdriver or that little pry key when you’re itching to get started.
13. Roller Cleaner – you can save a lot of paint, and clean-up time, by scraping any remaining paint off your roller before washing it.
14. Bottle Opener – and last but certainly not least, this one’s pretty self explanatory at the end of a long day of painting.
There are probably plenty of other uses for this tool, but this is as far as I’ve gotten. Now it’s time for me to put this baby to work. I’ve got some scraping, screwing, hammering, cleaning, and (let’s not forget) painting to do!
Even More Painter’s Tools
For more painting tips, check out my post on making painting easier with the right tools!
p.s. I really didn’t write this post to convince you to buy one of these nifty tools, but it occurred to me that you might be wondering where you can get one. Here are a few options…
Sunday 15th of August 2021
I remember when I was working in a hardware store back in the 60’s , paint thinner came in a bottle you opened with a bottle opener (like a soft drink). Maybe that’s why #14 is an opener.
Wednesday 8th of September 2021
Oh that makes sense! Thanks for sharing!
Wednesday 5th of May 2021
Hahaha, what! You mean I can stop using my round part between my finger and thumb to clean paint rollers?! ! And no more lining up a row of Q-tips to clean the rim of paint cans. Fantastic! That's the neatest tool I've seen in a loooong time. Yes, I must own one of these. Appreciate your info. Thanks so much. Darlene
Wednesday 12th of May 2021
Yes you need one of these! And I'm impressed you've been cleaning your paint cans with Q-tips!
Thursday 1st of April 2021
I have a few decades of construction experience. Over time I have figured out most of those functions. It has always been one of those instinctual things, learn by experimenting, or something passed down from journeyman to apprentice. Something those in the trades don't realize is not common knowledge and we don't think to share. This is the first and only actual comprehensive description of the multi tool options I have seen. Option#9 was a new idea for me as well. Well done. Thank you.
Monday 5th of April 2021
Thank you Jacob, that makes my day to hear that!
Saturday 1st of February 2020
It's now a 15-in-1. Please update .
Wednesday 22nd of June 2022
@Tyler, 1 more use & a very important one, after opening your new paint can use the pointer to pierce 3 or 4 holes in the paint can ridge to allow the paint to drain back in the can, this allows the lid to an air tight seal instead of the paint curing in the ridge. a good lid seal important to preserving the unused paint from curing in the can....
Monday 6th of January 2020
This is obviously a very late reply. I came across your site while browsing around. I've been prepping and painting houses as well as cars for many years. May I offer some "corrections." You should never use the "hammer" end to close paint cans. In fact never use anything hard, such as hammers, because it damages the lid and can cause the seal area to leak. Always, use something soft, even the end of a "wood" hammer handle is better. The metal end is the tool is for "tapping" popped out nails beck into the wall as you're prepping it. Also, you should always try to use the paint can lid opener. The bent end slips under the lid and lifts it straight up to prevent damage to the lid seal area. Using a screw driver or the edge to the 14-in-1 tool can damage the seal area by deforming it. Otherwise, it was a very well written explanation of the tool.
Tuesday 7th of January 2020
Good insights Bob, thanks for sharing!