No matter what your painting project entails, having the right tools is essential for getting the job done quickly and efficiently. But with so many different types of painters tools on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for you. In this post, we will explore the different types of painters tools from some of the major manufactures. So whether you are a beginner or a pro, stay tuned to learn more about the best painters tool!
My oldest son recently got engaged and we were hosting a big party at our house. You know what that means….cleaning and painting! That was the inspiration for this article, I myself just went through patching walls, scraping loose paint, opening cans and cleaning rollers. The funniest thing was I never used a painters multitool before to clean a roller. I just threw them out and never thought about it again. This is where a painter’s tool really comes in handy.
On top of being a great tool for painting, a 5-in-1 or 8-in-1 painter’s tool also makes a great self defense weapon and one that stays under the radar. I never realized just how sharp the blades are on these things.
For this article, we enlisted a few helpers. Besides doing my own project of repainting the kitchen trim and fixing the sheetrock where my kids put their foot through it, we got in touch with a few folks who were doing their own DIY projects.
Let’s look at what a painter’s tool is.
You most likely have seen them at your last visit to Home Depot or hardware store right next to all the scrapers and putty knives. A painter’s tool is designed for assisting in a painting project to pry open a can, scrape off paint, clean a paint roller and so much more. A painters multitool can also be used to scrape excess caulk and clean brushes without damaging the bristles.
What Can You Do With A Painter’s Tool:
-Hammer a paint lid back on with the handle.
-Unscrew wall plate switches with the flat end.
-Scrap paint on curved moldings.
-Spread spackle and putty.
-Open a paint can.
-Clean a paint roller.
-Use it as a bottle opener.
-Use it as a pry tool.
-Light demolition work.
-Use it to protect surfaces when cutting materials.
Just browsing the hardware aisle or internet it can be confusing at which painters tool to buy. Do I need a 4-in-1, do I need a 7-in-1? Should I buy an all metal or do I want a rubber handle? All of these choices will factor into how long it will last and what you can accomplish with it.
In my opinion any tool that has more than 5 or 7 functions is just advertising or a novelty. I tried to use a painter’s tool to unscrew a nut and it was very difficult. How the heck can one of these scrapers really do 14 things? Nonetheless, that didn’t stop us from trying them out in different scenarios.
Why Listen To Us?
Before we get to our top picks, know that the round up of testers included hardcore weekend warriors, professional painters and myself. I have worked in construction, flipped houses and can make major home repairs all on my own. I am also a self professed tool junkie who can use any tool and build just about anything.
Level 5 9-In-1 – Overall Winner
The LEVEL5 9-in-1 Multi-tool is capable of being used as a compound scraper, screwdriver, roller cleaner, bottle opener, and more. This is your “go-to” hand tool with a polished carbon steel blade for longer durability.
It is always at the top of every “best painter tool” list and with good reason, it gets the job done at a fair price. Once you get over the $10 mark, I am starting to expect more from a tool. The Level5 delivers. This device is truly a game-changer. It does everything that it is supposed to do, and then some.
I found this one when scrolling through YouTube and saw a video from The Honest Carpenter. He loved it and so do I. I have started to include these in my EDC and Bugout bags.
One standout feature is the larger hang hole. This may sound insignificant but I am a super organized guy and hand many tools on a pegboard. The handle hole will fit over a traditional curved peg and slide all the way to the back.
Some users on Amazon complained that it wasn’t as stiff or strong as it should be. I am not sure what they mean because I have pried on stubborn nails with this and didn’t think it flexed more than any other painter tool in the test.
Bates Classic 10-in-1 – The Runner Up
Of all the painters tools this one was my favorite but I was voted down to make it the top winner. What made it the clear winner to me was the sharp curved blade on the back. This is a super useful option and you can use it to cut way more stuff than just calk and a few boxes. The Bates Classic even has the ability to be used as a can opener. I didn’t try that but in a pinch it would seem possible that it could be done. For $6 you get great construction and some heritage. The Bates Classic has been around for over 50 years.
The handle of the Rustproof steel blade is made of wood, and it may be used for several things at once. This is a multi-purpose tool that may be utilized for a variety of home renovation activities such as applying joint compound, puttying windows, scraping paint, removing loose putty, removing loose paint, removing vinyl or paper wall covering, patching dents and cracks in plaster.
Red Devil 19-in-1 6295 EZ Grip
The EZ GRIP Series of putty knives, wall scrapers, and taping knives were created with an ergonomically contoured handle to minimize hand fatigue. The handles are made out of extra robust, high carbon steel and the blades are resistant to rust and extend through them for maximum strength and longevity. The tough brass-plated solid steel nailing head can be used for nail setting and other hammering tasks. The only downside I see is the blade is not a “full-tang” meaning it doesn’t run all the way through the handle. I don’t think this guy will hold up to severe prying.
Amazon Basics 14-IN-1
One of the cheapest 14-in1 painter’s tool around. This one has a soft handle so it’s better for long periods of scraping but not as good for hammering. This equipment is perfect for all painting and related tasks. One tool with well-considered characteristics. Versatile and useful tool.
The feel and appearance of this one is fantastic. The tiny screw bits sit firmly, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they fall out at some point. A magnet in the bit holder on top of the grip keeps them in place.
The other downside to the bit holder is that the grip end can’t be used to knock (e.g. to close paint cans) as if it would be solid. It’s a personal preference if that’s something to have or not. I don’t think I really need it.
My biggest complaint, however, is that the rubber grip isn’t oil resistant. After cleaning my tools, I frequently wipe them with WD40 and the rubber quickly becomes soft and sticky. Being a tool for painters it should be able to stand up to some chemicals and harsher environments. But again, it’s one of the cheapest ones out there.
Warner Pro Grip 8-in-1
From personal experience, I can tell you that there are many different types of 5 in 1s. This is far and above my favorite. Rubberized handle, hard plastic pommel. Unlike other brands, the pommel does not/will not come off or fall off when struck with a fist. With acetone, the rubber handle cleans up nicely and does not harm the plastic. I enjoy using it every day and decided to purchase another for my home as a result of my positive experience. I work in many settings where polyurethanes and other solvents are used.
Obliviously all these multitools do the same thing. What sets them apart is the build quality. I was partial to the Hyde because of how stiff it was compared to some others. The cushioned grip fit well in my hand. When it comes to scraping paint, the grip is quite pleasant and the hammerhead design is ideal for nailing head pops. This is a very useful and high-quality multi-tool. This one is stainless steel, which is preferable since most of the multi-tools that you see are not stainless steel and will quickly rust. The pointed edge will serve as a philips head screwdriver. Overall, this is a really useful gadget to have on hand.
This product surprised me; it performs exceptionally well if you have only one layer (two coats) of flaky, fragile paint. That’s when it shines. With this, I was able to quickly remove paint down to the wood on most of my siding. This tool will & has saved me hours as I scrape & repaint windows and trim. I am able to get down to the bare wood on most of my siding with two passes.
It does what it says! It’s lightweight enough that you won’t work up a sweat doing trim, but sturdy enough that you’re going to get your money’s worth out of it.. I did a lot of research before buying this tool and am pleased with its results.
The Purdy brand in general is considered a premium line of painting tools so expect to pay a little more compared to similar painter’s tools.
Edward Tools 6 in 1
The Edwards 6-in-1 is a budget option. It’s perfect for my needs. Today I used it to clean my mixer truck’s concrete built-up for two hours. Despite the low price, I was hesitant because of the high quality. It looked so beautiful that I didn’t want to use it, but now it has scratches all over it, and the end plate is scratched as well, yet not even a dent was caused. The hardest-working tool in my collection! To say I’m delighted with this gadget is a huge understatement.
Toughest Tools 6-in-1
I love these multi use tools. They just come in so handy. I found these on Amazon and bought the three pack, so I can always find one when I misplace the others. Another budget option, these do what they say and have lasted through several large demo jobs. I like them because they are cheap and if I bend the blade or loose them it’s no big deal. I tend to be much harder on cheap tools since I think of them as disposable, but these do stand up to some heavy abuse.
Amazon Basics 6-in-1
Over the last several years I have come to trust the Amazon Basics brand name. It’s funny because as much as I wish I could not shop on Amazon it really is just too convenient. Same goes for their brand name stuff. I am sure it’s just another manufacturer’s product rebranded for Amazon, but they are usually priced very aggressively. So, with this painters multitool you get a no frills solid tool. Like the others it handles all the basic functions of scraping, prying, cleaning and opening cans with ease. Definitely on the lighter weight side so I don’t think it will handle super hard use and I didn’t use it for anything more than the basics.
Chili Tools 5-in-1: Our Pick For The Best 5 in 1
The guy above is a multi-purpose tool. He can be used to scrape paint, remove screws, pop open paint cans, break up crown molding, and even clear rust stains. He’s also a screwdriver, can opener, hammer, crown molding remover, putty knife, box opener (among other things). He’s also made from Japanese 420J2 stainless steel.
This is, without a doubt, the greatest 5-in-1 tool I’ve ever used. I’ve always found a 5 in 1 to be beneficial outside of its basic paint functions as a full-time carpenter. This 5-in-1 knife is absolutely ideal. It’s stainless, which worried me because stainless is a more malleable metal, but it’s as solid as a rock. It’s also extremely durable, so keep an eye on it. This tool is designed to take a beating.
I use painters tools to dig and scrape at the beach sand, so they get hard use in a marine environment. It’s the first one I’ve owned that doesn’t rust. Wow! The hardwood handle is also nice; I treated it with a few applications of mineral oil for extra protection.
Hyde Heavy Duty 5-in-1
So the 5-in-1 painters tool is the most common version and most useful in my opinion. Hyde really steps it up here with the overall build. It does all the basics in a harder use package. The wood handle is a nice old school touch.
This particular one has a full tang blade and a laminated hardwood handle. The high carbon steel blade was individually ground, polished, and clear coated. The handles are attached to the blade with brass rivets and grommets.
A note about all these manufactures saying “made from high carbon steel”, that doesn’t really mean anything unless they mention the actual steel type, like 1095, etc. All of these tools will take a fair amount of abuse.
Everyone Needs A Good Painter’s Multitool
The usefulness of a painter’s tool goes well beyond just painting. These tools come in handy for a variety of tasks and are a good option to keep in a glove box, tool box or even on a boat or trailer. I think they make perfect tools that don’t attract a lot of attention.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his clients websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.