When you own your own home, repairs and maintenance become your full responsibility. While there might be some things it’s best to call a professional for, like electrical wiring, there are lots of home repairs that you can do yourself with the help of the right YouTube video. But you won’t get very far without a full set of tools. These are the tools that belong in every toolbox.
A claw hammer is useful both for driving nails and removing them. You can also use it for small-scale demolition. You can even use a claw hammer to assemble flat-pack furniture. To prevent damage to the surface you’re striking, place a small block of wood between the hammer and the surface you’re striking. That way you’ll dent the wood instead of your IKEA table.
Screwdrivers are essential for all kinds of jobs, large and small. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove glass light covers in order to change lightbulbs in your fixtures, or to assemble flat pack furniture, or even to hang hooks and hat racks. Buy a set of screwdrivers that includes both Phillips head and flathead screwdrivers of various sizes. The best screwdrivers to buy are ratcheting screwdrivers with interchangeable bits.
Pliers are essential for grasping and pulling. Needle-nose pliers are perfect for fiddly jobs, like replacing the cartridge in a leaky faucet. Combination pliers are good for cutting wire as well as grasping. Locking pliers are perfect for grabbing hold of plumbing pipes and fittings. Buy a set of pliers that includes all three.
Whenever you want to measure a room to buy new furniture, center a picture on the wall, or perform any carpentry or woodworking, you’ll need a tape measure. Buy a 25-foot tape measure for measuring entire rooms, and a 16-foot model for smaller woodworking jobs.
If you’re tall enough to reach things on the highest shelf, you don’t need a step ladder. But most people are going to need one from time to time. It’s much safer than using a chair. Buy a step ladder that can hold your weight, and get one with a handle on the top to help your balance.
Drywall Anchor Kit
Ideally, if you’re hanging something heavy, you should anchor it into a wall stud. But there’s not always going to be a stud in every place you want to hang something. Drywall anchors are easy to install and can allow you to hang heavy shelves, televisions, and objets d’art safely.
You can use a putty (or painter’s) knife to scrape up stuff that has become stuck to the floor, remove peeling paint, or patch small holes in drywall. Buy one with an angled blade.
Utility knives are perfect for opening packages, breaking down cardboard boxes, and cutting through thick materials like foam, carpet, rope, and heavy-duty tape. Buy one with a retractable blade that you can extend to its full length for big jobs, or retract to a small point for opening boxes. Make sure to pick up some extra blades for it, too.
When the power goes out and your phone is dead, you’ll be glad you have a flashlight in your toolbox. Headlamps are ideal for shedding light on your work while keeping your hands free. It’s a good idea to have a few different sizes and types of flashlights in your toolbox, both battery-operated and rechargeable.
You’ll need wrenches to do plumbing repair, assemble your kid’s new bike, or work on your own car. Choose a set of wrenches in various sizes, and throw in an adjustable wrench, too.
If there’s one power tool you definitely need, it’s a cordless drill. You can use a cordless drill to set drywall anchors and drive screws. A cordless drill will help you make quick work of assembling most flat-pack furniture. A small, 12-volt model will be robust enough for most household jobs, but if you’re planning to use your drill to do full-on home renovations, buy something more powerful.
Hex Key Set
Most things that require assembly these days have hex bolts, and while there might be a lone hex key in the package, it’s a good idea to have a set of your own. Buy a folding set so you can easily find the hex key you need, and you won’t risk losing any.
Every homeowner needs the right tools to tackle home repairs small and large. Make sure your toolbox is well stocked, so you can avoid emergency trips to the hardware store.