The tab on the end of a tape measure—called a tang—has a little slot in the face. That hole is for hooking the tang over a nail or screw to get an accurate measurement. When measuring, if you don’t have a pencil handy you can use the tang to mark your cut line. Bonus tip: The body of a standard tape measure is 3” long. So, if you’re measuring, say, the length of a room and you have the tool butting against a wall, just add 3” to what you read on the tape.
A good quality multi-bit driver is handy for a couple more reasons than you might think. For one, you can use the bits in a power drill if you can’t find your bit set. Also, with the bits removed, the handle works as a nut driver.
Any good toolkit will have a variety of pliers in it, including needle-nose and locking (a.k.a. vice grips). In addition to their primary function, most will also have wire strippers and cutters where the jaws meet.
As the name suggests, a combination square combines multiple tools in one, primarily for marking 45-degree and 90-degree angles. But you can always remove the blade and use it as a short metal ruler or use the vial on the square to hang pictures if you don’t have a level handle. Finally, it’s got a marking scribe built in if you can’t find a pencil. Look for a little brass knob at the base of the handle and twist it to remove the scribe.
Sold under a variety of numeric names (6-in-1, 9-in-1, 15-in-1 etc.), painter’s tools are the original multi-tool, combining an array of different functions in one handy item. Common features include a scrapper, a paint can opener, a nail puller, a flat and Phillips screwdriver, and a paint roller cleaner—the latter is the half-circle built into the side of the blade.