5-in-1 Painter’s Tool


Cheap painter/roofer's multi-tool

I’d seen these scrapers for years and always figured them to be a gimmick, just a glorified putty knife. Then a friend helped me with a roofing project and brought one along. The more I used it, the more I came to see it as the single most handy, versatile and cheapest jobsite tool I’ve found. The basic functions: scraper, putty knife, chisel, pick, paint roll cleaner (squeegee).

I have probably a dozen of them floating around right now, always one or two on a jobsite. At a buck or so a piece, they are an incredible bargain. The pointy end does a great job of cleaning out crevices, scraping off excess glue or weld slag, prying up staples and getting into tight places. Makes a great little pry bar for wood trim. They can be used as a wedge and make a dandy temporary door stop/door hold open. The point can double as a Phillips screwdriver in a pinch. The flat side does a great job of opening cans. Sharpened up, the large flat blade can be used as a wood scraper or wood chisel. Great for those places where you may hit metal and don’t want to trash a good chisel.

You can also customize them for specific tasks easily by filing or grinding them down if, say, you’re refinishing and need a specific-sized scraper for the trim or you want to sharpen one side to a near-razor edge. I have seriously beat on these with a hammer and never had one shatter or snap. But they don’t bend like a cheap screwdriver when prying with them. The steel is high-quality enough to do the task — quite stiff and does not bend easily at all — but still relatively easy to work with, file, etc.

I’ve had more expensive versions and cheaper ones and there isn’t a noticeable amount of difference in the tools. I prefer the Dollar Store ones with the wood handle (great for hammering cans closed, etc.), but the scrapers with the nylon handle (below) are also sufficient.

-- Norman Bolser 01/5/09

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