WRONG TOOL/RIGHT TOOL: Get great TV reception

WRONG TOOL: Coat Hanger and 2×4.

We said it before: Yes, you can use a coat hanger as an antenna. But given the makeup of most coat hangers, you’ll need a pretty big 2×4 to make it work as well as a compact antennas. A 2×4 filled with coat hangers isn’t anyone’s idea of modern art, and given the low amount of gain, you’ll probably want to put it outside where its very construction makes it a fire hazard. It won’t be any more durable than any other antenna out there and it’s sure to look a lot uglier than most antennas.


This one’s a no-brainer. Even our least expensive antenna will run rings around a homemade coat hanger contraption of similar size and it will do so in style. Why? Because coat hangers are made of iron which just doesn’t conduct electricity as well as silver or aluminum. Conducting electricity is what antennas are all about, right? There’s no question about it, even if you get the hangers and the 2×4 as scrap, you’ll still end up paying only a dollar for the first month and nothing for every month after that with a quality, purpose-made antenna.

Come on, everyone can afford that. If you can’t afford that you probably can’t afford the cost of the electricity to watch TV.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.