(Spoiler Alert) The Equalizer’s Top 12 Tools for Killing Bad Guys at the Home Depot


This is in heavy rotation on cable now, so if you turn on your TV you’ll see it. The original Equalizer was a retired spy with no day job. But Denzel Washington steps into this reboot as a retired spy working at a very thinly disguised Home Depot, because retirement isn’t what it used to be. This works to his advantage though, as the Equalizer doesn’t like to use a gun, and the Home Depot is just full of alternatives. Let’s do this.

Gladys Knight and the Pips

Gladys Knight and the Pips

As with all projects, good prep is essential. Though this isn’t a tool in the traditional sense, don’t skip this step – Play “Midnight Train to Georgia” over the PA system. Bad guys hate soul. When Bad Guy#1 turns it off, kill him.

(This is also not the only item you can’t really acquire at a Home Depot.)

Fire Extinguisher

fire extinguisher

Every DIYer should have one of these. When Bad Guy#2 comes to see how Bad Guy#1 is doing, beat him to death with the extinguisher. There are so many other options when it comes to a simple bludgeon at Home Depot, but it’s hard to overstate how important it is to have a fire extinguisher around.

Gravel, Barbed Wire and a Concrete Counterweight


Gravel is good for drainage and can be an attractive alternative to mulch. In this case, spread it on the floor to distract Bad Guy#3. Bad guys don’t like stepping in things and they will always pause when doing so. When he looks at his feet in the gravel, lasso him with the bobwire. Maybe it’s a regional thing, but I’ve never seen this on the shelf at a Home Depot. You can get on line though. I have used beautifully rusted old strands of it to make picture frames and jewelry (which everyone refused to wear).

Now drop your bags of concrete tied to the other end of the wire, lifting and choking the bad guy.

Pruning Pole

pruning pole

Your gravel is good for multiple distractions. When Bad Guy#4 steps in it he naturally looks up, exposing his neck. Shove your pruning pole through that neck from the next aisle over. These poles come in different lengths depending on the job at hand, and even come with a chainsaw instead of the traditional curved blade, but that would be too loud for this application.

Blowtorch and Doorknob


Choose a blowtorch that has an automatic starter trigger so you don’t have to use a sparker to light it. Just like the brass nozzle of the torch, your brass doorknob will heat quickly and evenly. Heat the knob, being careful not to burn your fingers holding the other end. Cauterize your wounds with the searing hot knob. Though you didn’t kill any bad guys in this step, workshop safety should never be overlooked.

Cordless Drill Driver with 3/8-inch Bit

drill driver

Leave the burning blowtorch in an aisle, illuminating a tripwire. Bad guys hate tripwires. When Bad Guy#5 backs away from it, use the drill driver to bore a 3/8-inch hole where the back of the skull meets the top of the spine. You’re in a hurry now, but don’t leave your dirty tools sitting out. You’ll never be able to use that bit again if you don’t clean it. When a bit is gummed up, a quick way to clean it is drive it through a peace of scrap wood, leaving the residue behind in the sawdust.

Mirror Shard


Bad guys hate their reflections, so wait for Bad Guy#6 to shoot out a mirror display and acquire a shard. Beat him up. When he goes for his knife, stab him with the shard exactly where Bad Guy#5 got the drill. Mirrors are also a good way to add depth to a small space, but don’t forget to use them outside too. A well placed mirror in a small garden can appear to double its size.

Gas Bottles

mapp gas

Gas bottles are color-coded. Your blowtorch had a blue bottle, indicating is was propane. Now grab 2 red bottles (oxygen) and 1 yellow bottle (MAPP gas). You’ll often find plumbers using MAPP gas for sweating copper pipe because it burns hotter than propane and you can solder faster. But it’s more expensive, so unless you have fittings to solder every day, propane will do.

In this case, place your bottles in the microwave and lure Bad Guy#7 to the break room. Somehow, rig the microwave to start when the power comes back on. (A very old oven with a mechanical timer would be helpful here.) In approximately 10 seconds it will be hot enough to explode.

Powder Actuated Fastening Tool

pa gun

When you have to secure a bottom plate to a concrete slab, you could drill through with a hammer drill and then drive a masonry screw, but it’s faster to use a powder actuated tool. Often simply called a nail gun, these tools use a .22 caliber blank charge to drive a steel pin through the material.

Select a model that has a trigger fire (some you have to hit with a hammer) and that carries multiple charges and drive pins. The tool will not fire unless the tip is securely pressed against the material to be fastened, but you’ve had time to disable all safety features. Use the tool to annoy Bad Guy#8 with tiny wounds until he can’t take it any longer and he lets you nail him in the throat.

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