In soapmaking, you can use almost anything for a mold and almost any pot (not aluminum or tin) or spoon. You need a scale. None of those items needs to be fancy.
But, you might really benefit from a tool to open those 5 gallon buckets. I rejoiced for days when I got mine a few years ago. Long gone is the feeling that I might lose my fingernails entirely as I tried to pry the lid off my base oils. This site has a lot of them. I picked mine up at the local Cash & Carry (Smart & Final for some of you).
My latest "OMG!! Why didn't I get this before!?!? I should just kill myself for being an idiot and not buying this earlier but I won't because I love it!!!!" purchase is the For Crafts Sake QuickCut Soap Cutter. What an incredible time and frustration saver. Not to mention, nice even width bars!!
(photo from For Crafts Sake)
I love my soap cutter. I love my pail opener. I love my DishDrawer and my Tivo.
The soap cutter allowed me to cut 180 bars in 20-25% of the time it used to take giving me more time to watch the TiVo. :)
What is your favorite "right" tool? Talk about it in the Comments section.