My favorite stripper is Citristrip, you can find it at most hardware stores. It doesn't contain harsh chemicals like methylene chloride and because of this, is safe to use inside. It says it stays active for up to 24 hours, but this is rare. The citristrip needs to be wet to stay active, so if you're working in severe weather conditions, you'll need to continually reapply to allow it to work properly.
I use the same $3 brush to apply it on all my projects. Avoid using anything nice because it will most likely be ruined. Apply the Citristrip in thick coats for the best results. To contain the mess, I roll out plastic or butcher paper over my drop cloths so the mess can be easily disposed of when I'm finished.
It was 115 degrees outside while I applied stripper to this antique vanity. I was constantly reapplying thick layers to keep it wet enough to allow the product time to eat through the paint.
My favorite tool, is the in 5 in 1 painter's multi-tool. It's cheap, it works great for scraping paint, applying putty and getting into tight crevices. Get one! I promise you won't regret it.
Some people like steel wool for removing paint in detailed areas or get to the last of the paint off before sanding. I prefer a green scrubber from the kitchen. They're easy to get a handle on, they don't gum up as quickly and they don't come apart like steel wool often does. They work wonders when soaked in mineral spirits before scrubbing.
If you're really in a bind, struggling with stubborn paint in hard to reach nooks and crannies, then a steel wire brush can be your best friend, but I would be very careful because they can do a lot of damage on softer woods.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any other go-to tips, I'd love to hear them!