As a homeowner, maybe you take particular joy in doing building projects and repairs on your own. Perhaps you can’t wait to grab your tool chest and get to work. Or maybe you don’t consider yourself to be a crafty person. Maybe you would prefer to refer any project more complicated than assembling a bookshelf to the professionals. That’s fine too!
Whether you are a master DIY-er or not, you should always be prepared to do a few simple things around the home. Simple projects require certain tools. Here are 10 tools we recommend every homeowner go out and get:
This one seems obvious, but we can’t stress the importance of having a good screwdriver enough. While there are dozens upon dozens of versions of this versatile tool you can purchase, including Posidriv screwdrivers, Robertson screwdrivers, Torx screwdrivers, and Hex screwdrivers, in every conceivable size for every imaginable job, you should start with a simple reversible slotted screwdriver and Phillips head. A #2 Phillips head will suit most projects and a slotted screwdriver can be used for many other things than simply screws. It can also be used as a chisel, paint scraper, and pick should you need one.
Here’s another very obvious pick, but the supreme utility of a regular claw hammer is exactly why it’s so high up on this list. Just like with screwdrivers, there are many different types of hammers you can purchase, and each one is suited to a specific job. For the vast majority of jobs, a simple 16 oz claw hammer is all you need. It can be used for hammering and removing nails, as well as any number of other things. Use it for demolition and removing drywall, straightening bent metal objects, splitting lumber and many other projects around the home.
As a homeowner, sooner or later you will need to saw something. Whether you simply need to shorten the legs on your new coffee table, or you are going all out and filling your home with building supplies for a costly DIY project, having a high quality saw on hand is a necessity. Here’s another tool that has quite a bit of versatility, but it may suit you to go out and purchase a few different types of the saw. A hybrid saw is perfect for cutting wood; while owning a hacksaw may come in handy should you ever need to cut pipes or other metal parts.
If you are ever going to attempt even the simplest plumbing job at home, you will need to have a crescent wrench on hand. When you are first supplying your home, start out with a good quality adjustable crescent wrench and a heavy monkey wrench. These should serve the vast majority of your plumbing needs. Monkey wrenches and crescent wrenches are both adjustable and higher quality versions will provide much more precision and much less frustration when trying to adjust the fit of your wrenches to your various nuts, bolts and pipes.
Pair of Pliers
Pliers are another tool you never want to be without. Look for a set that includes a pair of needlenose pliers, a pair of wire-cutting pliers, and a pair of channellock pliers. If you have these three sets, you will be at the ready for any sort of situation that requires great gripping, snipping wires, or making other smaller and more delicate repairs.
Here’s another tool that will be a workhorse in your new home. If you are undertaking a project that requires a lot of screws, a power drill can help immeasurably with that. If you are hanging a heavy painting or you are doing some serious remodeling, having a power drill on hand is an absolute necessity. There are many different sizes of power drill; for your first one, look to invest in a 12 to 18 volt cordless one with a battery that can be left on a charging station whenever it’s not in use.
To have any chance of making this top 10 list, a tool needs to be extremely versatile and there are none with more uses than a good utility knife. It can do everything from open your mail to scrape splattered paint off of your kitchen counter. Find one with a retractable blade and keep it with you anytime you’re doing housework. If the blade starts to dull, replace it right away for safety reasons.
This is definitely a tool you don’t ever want to be caught without. You might need to find out if your new table will fit in your living room. You may need to measure some building supplies when you’re remodeling your entire upstairs area. Either way, you will definitely need to measure something at some point so make sure you go out and buy a tape measure not long after you have bought your home.
Roll of Duct Tape
Perhaps we are stretching the definition of “tool” just a little bit here, but having a roll of duct tape ready in your home is a must. This one can be used for every type of project imaginable, from quick improvised plumbing fixes to sealing a bag of chips. Therefore, having a few rolls always on hand with your other essentials is a great idea.
With the items we’ve already mentioned, you will be more than equipped to do the majority of home repairs and DIY projects. As you learn more and you become more comfortable taking on ever larger and more complex projects, you will be able to fill your workspace with more and more tools.
However, one thing you should never skip out on, whether you are a beginner or a professional, is a good set of safety equipment. Eye protection, heavy leather gloves, and, possibly a breathing mask or hearing protection as well depending on the project. With any home repair, always remember safety first!