The Best Cabinet Installation Tools

The Best Cabinet Installation Tools

Depending on your level of carpentry skills and how many home improvement projects you do, you may already own some of the tools in this list. Not all items will be needed but many will be helpful depending if you are working alone or have assistance.

It is also important for your budget to consider the cost of the needed tools over hiring a professional. If the rate to hire is less than or equal to the cost of new tools, it may be worth it to leave the job to the pros.

Investing in the right tools will enhance the quality of your installation, reduce debris, and save you money. All of which every DIYer is looking for.

In this chart, you will see we categorized each tool by its purpose, if it is required for installation, or just nice to have on hand for installing cabinets.

ToolPurpose/Reason for ToolRequired for InstallNice to Have
Cabinet claw/clampsA cabinet clamp is a helpful tool that will hold the face frame together securely while you are assembling your cabinet. It also keeps everything in place while screws are installed. 
Tape MeasureA tape measure will be needed to identify several measurements for your installation including where the cabinets will be hung, openings for appliances, distances between structures, locations of outlets, etc.  
PencilA pencil will be needed to mark measurements taken while installing, and maybe to take notes as you go.  
Printed layoutPrint your Prime Cabinetry design, provided by our design team, for ease of installation. Having the layout to work from will ensure you remember exactly where each cabinet is meant to be installed while you are working. 
Power DrillA power drill is commonly used for assembling cabinets, hanging cabinets, installing knobs and pulls on cabinet doors, etc. 
Laser Level or standard 72” levelA level or laser level is a control tool that provides a reference for ensuring your cabinets are perfectly horizontal to the floor. This is needed for countertop installation to run smoothly as well. 
Stud finderAs the name implies, this handheld device helps you locate the framing studs behind the drywall. It can also help you locate plumbing and electric lines in some cases so you avoid running into those. 
JigsawA jig saw is ideal for cutting curves and complex shapes into wood or drywall. For cabinet installation it is commonly used for cutting outlet and plumbing holes, modifying universal cabinets, making short crosscuts on a board, etc. 
Cabinet JackA cabinet jack is made for holding upper cabinets in place while hanging. This is an ideal tool to have on hand if you are limited on manpower or are working alone. If you have a crew installing the cabinets one may not be needed. 
Touch Up Kit/PuttyA touch up kit can be purchased from Prime Cabinetry when you order your cabinets. It is used to cover any small dings that occur during assembly and install and nail holes. 
Cabinet hardware jigA cabinet hardware jig is a great tool that helps you install your cabinet knobs or pulls to the doors perfectly every time. This tool is not required as there are other tricks out there to install your cabinet hardware but it is certainly useful. 
Trim nailerA trim nailer is most often used to install crown moulding, toe kick, scribe moulding, light rail moulding, base mouldings, etc. You could use brads and a hammer but most installers would say this tool is a necessity for cabinet installation. 
Miter sawA miter saw is required to cut cabinet trim and crown moulding at precise angles. It is also used to cut filler strips and some skin panels. 
Hearing protectionAvoid ear damage from saws and nailers. Noise reducing headphones or earplugs are nice to have because construction sites are always loud. 
Wood blockA wood block is used for installing crown moulding. When working with full overlay cabinets the ¼” reveal of the face frame is not enough for the crown to be nailed to. The wood block is installed first, then the crown is nailed to the block. 
Shop vacAnytime you are removing cabinets and sawing wood there is bound to be dust. A shop-vac is simply more durable for this type of use and with its five gallon size tends to clean debris best. 
Wood glueWood glue is a great option for assembling your cabinets. However, it is not required for assembly because our cabinets are sold with the needed brackets and screws. 
Staple GunStaples and a staple gun is another great option for assembling your cabinets. However, it is also not required for assembly because our cabinets are sold with the needed brackets and screws. 
Crown Moulding JigA crown moulding jig is used to simplify difficult inside and outside crown moulding cuts. Angles are tough so this handy tool really helps you master mitered corners and other angles. 
Multitool/Oscillating ToolA multitool is a power tool that oscillates allowing you to sand, saw, and cut different materials. It is helpful for a number of tasks with cabinet assembly and installation including trim cutting, grout removal, cabinet modifications, drywall cutouts, etc. 
Table SawA table saw is an electric woodworking tool with a circular blade mounted on an axel. The blade protrudes through the top of a table and provides support for the wood being cut. 
Phillip ScrewdriverA screwdriver designed to to be used with a phillips-head screw. This type of screw has an X shaped top and is what we use most in our cabinet assembly.  
ShimsCabinet shims are slender pieces of wood, cut into a wedge shape, that are used as a solution for things like leveling base cabinets on an uneven floor or flushing side panels for decorative door application. 

Overall, we believe a DIY kitchen remodel is easier when you invest in the right tools up front compared to paying for setbacks on installation day. Consider budgeting these tools into your remodel estimate for the best planning results.