If you are one of the few and fortunate to buy a house, congratulations! You are now part of one of the few privileged to own a special place to call your refuge, your castle, your shelter. A house is the single best investment you will ever make in life, and as such, you should do everything in your power to keep it in great condition.
After getting the keys, everyone is crazy-nut to fill the place with furniture and appliances. While that’s not a bad idea, there is something else that takes priority for your home, something that can be left out, especially if you are a man: a well-equipped toolbox. Now, we are not talking here about high-end equipment, on this list, we are offering the necessary tools you need to take of everyday issues in your new home.
You might not be a handyman yourself, but that is no excuse to have the right equipment to fix things on your own. A little intuitive and some curiosity can take you real far and save you a lot of money, especially in this time where a lot of people love to posts video tutorials about how to fix things at home. For what it’s worth, having the right tools can lead to increase your curiosity and craftsmanship to help you do new things.
How do you begin to build this perfect toolbox? What do you need? It’s not that hard to figure out and not expensive at all since budget tools are reasonably priced these days. The first thing you need to notice is the build of your place. Is your house made of wood or concrete? Is it a new property or an old one? This list is not especially aimed at apartment owners, but they can help themselves to some suggestions in here.
If you are ready to embrace this challenge browse through this list, go to your hardware store and pick all of these. We don’t mention in the list the size of toolbox since it’s a given that this is what you are building, but we can tell you right off the bat that the best option is always the biggest one if your home has a lot of room. If you have a garage, that’s where your tools will rest and also the place where you can mess with them whenever you feel curious about the possibilities.
Let’s begin our list with the most obvious choice:
1. Claw Hammer
Need to drive a nail to the wall? Need to break a rock? Need to break some ice? You need a claw hammer, a strong, powerful one that can help you with all these tasks and many more that will come your way. Since man learned to a tool, hammers have been present, and they are one of the most useful tools ever conceived. The claw hammer is a variation of the original with a side that allows you to hit things and another that helps you get nailed items out of a surface. It’s the prime essence of a multipurpose tool that can be used for anything your mind comes up with. There are many sizes of hammers, but the best choice of the claw hammer in a toolbox should be one weighing around 16 ounces. It should be sufficiently heavy for any repairing needs in a house, yet light enough to be lifted and carried without a problem. Make sure to buy one with a steel handle, or you run the risk of having it break down on you.
Spatulas are also known as a putty knife. While their shape is flat, the blade it’s not meant to pierce anything (no spatula has edged points). The purpose of these tools is to spread mastic or the special putty pate that is used to fix holes in a wall. Spatulas are also used to smooth out surfaces and leave them clean and unscathed before applying a fresh coat of paint.
3. Set of Phillips Screwdrivers
Have you ever wondered just how many devices out there use four headed screws to be assembled? We did, and one quart of the list can fill this whole article, so we won’t be doing that. These screwdrivers are one of the most useful tools you’ll ever buy in life. They can be used to take apart and put together anything, from cars to home appliances, to other tech devices. They are some of the most multipurpose tools you can have at home. You better make sure to buy a set that includes various options since four headed screws are not standard sized. As the name implies this special screwdriver was created by a man named Henry Phillips in 1936, that’s why it bears his namesake. They are easily identifiable for having a four-point head with different types of depth.
4. Crescent Wrench Set
Crescent Wrenches are used to adjust pieces according to their size. They can either loosen or fasten nuts and bolts in place with a couple of turns. They are pretty useful to work mechanics and plumbing. A basic set includes nearly 50 different sizes of wrenches. Smaller ones are considered precision tools, while the largest ones can help you hold anything in place.
5. Vise-Grip Plier
This tool bears its particular name because they can be placed and locked in one position. They are very handy when you are handling tasks on your own and need an extra pair of hands. The locking mechanism itself may require both your hands to unlock the pliers. The main purpose of good pliers is to clamp something, be used as a wire cutter, a pipe wrench, a ratchet, as an adjustable wrench, or simply as pliers to adjust anything.
6. Adjustable Wrench
Didn’t we just go over this already? Of course, but this tool plays a whole different game. Adjustable wrenches are better suited for people living in small homes or apartments, they have the same great features as the whole set, but they are more versatile since they have an adjustable spanner. The tool works fast, and it’s very convenient, but it can be a pain to work in narrow spaces, especially if you handling delicate plumbing or internal mechanics on a vehicle.
7. Some Slides of Sandpaper
Sandpaper is considered as one of the most useful tools in every industry that works releasing finished products or handles construction contracts. You can use sandpaper to smooth surfaces in any work made with metal, wood, and concrete. Pretty much every handyman task can look better after using sandpaper on it. Most sandpaper is sold with different grits to work on diverse surfaces, plus they are insanely cheap.
8. Needle Nose Pliers
Needle nose pliers are a precision tool, by all means, they have nearly the same functionality of vise grip pliers, but they are suited to handle smaller tasks that need tools to work in accordance. They are mostly used by homeowners to get a grip of wires or to cut, bend and strip them down of their plastic cover when new connections must be made. These pliers can also be efficient to reach the nooks and crannies that are hard to access by conventional means.
9. Double-Faced Soft Mallet
As we stated above claw hammers are great for driving nails to the wall, but if you have a home with a lot of wood and drywall you probably need a more delicate tool to pull off the job. The double-faced soft mallet is up to the task. Generally speaking, this mallet is not used for much other than avoiding dents or scraps on certain surfaces, so if you are planning to hang a frame, or if you need to do some work on delicate surfaces this tool is right up your alley. You get the striking power of a traditional hammer, but you won’t leave any trace of hitting the surface. Make sure to pick something that is not cheap on the side. The rubber can wear off easily and stain the surface you are trying to salvage.
10. Wire Cutters
Wire cutters are a bit tricky: no one seems to believe they need one until they do. As their namesake implies this tool is best suited to cut wires, but it can help you out to cut other materials that might prove to be resistant to the strength of your hand alone. They are commonly used for simple tasks around the house. They are often used to build anything that requires electrical power. Like most of the tools on this list, you will need one at some point. Avoid the frustration of realizing you need and buy it when you pack your first toolbox.
11. Cordless Drill with a Set of Bits
A cordless drill is certainly pretty useful if you are a tad craftier than the average guy. These drills are mostly used to handle simple tasks such as driving screws or placing shelves on the wall. Their efficacy is closely tied to the amount of battery power they have so the best thing you can do is to take notice of this feature before buying one. It’s also important to make sure the number of bits is enough. Some of the options come with seven different sizes, and that’s considered the standard, but the truth is that the more you have, the merrier. Also take into account other qualities to factor your purchase: a voltage rating of 18V to perform regular tasks, reverse mechanism features and multi-speed options.
There is nothing more embarrassing than going out of your way to frame something good you want in your wall and handling the task of hanging it by yourself to have your display crooked and unbalanced. It also happens when you try out your craftsmanship for the first time: the experience will have a higher chance of being successful if you have the right tools at hand and a level is just the right tool to tell you when things are in place. Levels are designed with the sole purpose of offering accuracy to a task that requires balance. The classic option looks a lot like a school ruler with an air bubble marker in place to let you know when things are even, but there is also a lot of electronic options out there as well as some apps that can do the job.
13. Lot of Duct Tape
Duct tape is the quintessential tool of any toolbox. You probably have heard in many films out there how duct tape can nearly fix everything, and that holds true to some extent. Mostly considered a temporary solution to hold together something that breaks, duct tape is used on every level of handcraft or handyman work. There are way too many variations out there to recommend just one, but since this list of tools is aimed at house owners, you will need a brand that proves to be resistant to outside conditions and doesn’t lose its capabilities by being exposed to UV light or extreme cold.
14. Crosscut Saw
If you live in a house where you have a functional fireplace you probably will want the wood to warm your house in winter. Having a crosscut saw in your toolkit is a risk-free policy that you will always have wood at your disposal. Even if your place doesn’t have a fireplace, it can be used for many tasks related to maintenance at home if you live in a zone near the woods, such as keeping branches trimmed or dealing with wood grains to cut them down to pieces.
15. Utility Knife
Have you ever wondered why the military makes utility knifes standard equipment? They are a tool made for survival that can help solve any problem in a matter of moments in the wild. Since we are talking house tasks here, your utility knife will be used mostly for minor scrapping, a few cutting tasks, and some precise trimming. Make sure to keep it sharp at all moments.
16. Metal File
Just in the same way as chisels and sandpaper are used to smooth out the imperfections of wood, a metal file can do the same on any metal surface with more precision and better finishes. The tool comes presented in various forms and sizes, but the utility is always the same: they can be used to smooth sharp angles or to clean up a soldering job gone wrong. Metal files can also be used as sharpeners if you lack the proper tooling for that.
17. Regular Wood Saw
There are times where you can rely on electrically powered devices to handle task involving wood. Regular wood saws are smaller than crosscut saws, and they can handle the job just as effective if the measure is right. They are also very cheap on the side as long as they are made of stainless steel. Be mindful of the warranty, some manufacturers offer you a lifetime guarantee or a replacement, and that’s always a great way to save money.
18. Bench Vise
Working on mechanics can get a little tricky at times, especially if you are working with small pieces. Those are the ones prone to getting lost quickly. Mechanics involve a lot of precision at all times, that’s why bench vises can work out for you if you need to keep a part in place. Bench vises are also useful to hold glued pieces together while they dry, or you can just use them to hold something in place as you work on it with them.
19. Nail Gun
For simpler tasks such as hanging a picture on a wall, you can get away with a regular hammer and some nails. If you are doing more specialized work such as mounting drywall or building a cabinet or handling some construction, a nail gun is a lifesaver and something that will save you a lot of time. The functionality of this tool is both in precision and effectiveness. Beware though: this tool packs some punch depending on the size and voltage you buy it, so you need steady hands to handle it and avoid any injuries.
20. 120-Volt Jigsaw
All the types of saws recommended on this list so far have focused on the intensity of the task they are needed for. An electric jigsaw is one of the most precise tools among them. Jigsaws provide precise work in a matter of minutes if you are working wood. In households, they are the best choice to trim down a bushy garden if you are not picky about the plants you need to get rid of. And even if you do you can target just fine what you are looking to dispose of with this tool. Jigsaws are also less cumbersome when you need to haul them around.
21. Measuring Tape
Any work you handle at home will require measuring; this is a given. No even the craftier person on the world can work by eye alone. Your level of expertise usually determines how much you need to measure things and for how long. The best way to handle that is by using a professional measuring tape. The best ones usually can go as far as 8mts and have some sort of self-locking mechanism so it can be used easily and retract automatically. High-end options are lined with durable nylon and have a coated blade with clear numbering in four different measuring systems at least. They also are covered in a high-impact resistant case, because they fall off a lot.
22. Safety Tools
Protection is always a big issue when you are doing house chores or if you are working with tools, even if you are doing something simple as sanding a wall is best to avoid any particles getting in your eyes by using safety glasses. If you are working on something a bit more complex involving wood, the glasses are essential to avoid any splinters. If you have sensitive senses, you can also consider earplugs to deal with loud noises or a respirator if you are using chemicals such as thinner and oil paints.
Just as you use a proper wood saw to cut wooden pieces you also need the right tool to deal with small metal pieces such as pipes or metal sheets. A good modern hacksaw is a very effective tool, very light and easy to handle. Usually comes lined with a rubber grip, and a set of serrated blades that can be adapted according to the task, they are also less prone to disposal than wood saws since the blade can be replaced as many times as you need.
24. Wood Chisel Set
There is always a perfectionist inside all of us, especially when it comes to our own home. If you have wooden ends all over your place, they can get chipped after someone rough them up too much. A chisel is the right tool to fix it and make it look even again. Out of all the tools in the list, this one requires a little more training to be used with precision, so you might want to try and use them for a hobby first of carving figurines out of tree stumps. Chisels are usually very sharp, but they need strength to do the job so make sure you are packing what it takes to use them.
25. Socket Wrench
Socket wrenches are certainly power tools that should be handled with care. They are mainly used to loosening and tightening nuts without actually removing the wrench itself. It comes presented in various sizes, and the biggest ones are used for large-scale plumbing jobs or industrial settings, you need a smaller one that can fit in household installations. Most of these wrenches come with additional extenders and a few sockets that work perfectly with the most diverse sizes of nuts and bolts.
26. Flathead Screwdriver Set
A flathead screwdriver is an alternative to the four pointed option and also the oldest one that has been present in the market for a long time now. It has a single blade that fits perfectly into the single indent of a flathead screw. Flat-headed screws are commonly used in pieces of furniture and other objects that include wood since it’s given that they will be in place for a long time, unlike four pointed screws which are commonly used in plastic in metal because it doesn’t wear out these materials easily. Make sure to buy a whole set of them since they are also available in many sizes as well.
If you live in a spacious house, you need a crowbar. There is a mighty good chance that you buy a lot of appliances and equipment only and they usually are shipped in big crates that are not easily opened with your strength alone. You can also use this tool to pry off old crown molding or to crack open a door in case of an emergency. The best choice is to pick one made of tempered steel with exchangeable nail slots to take care of harsh labor.
28. Magnetic Level
The main difference with a regular level is the fact that this one can be placed sideways on any surface it can adhere on. You can make sure that whatever you are hanging or setting in place is perfectly balanced on every corner. This tool is also handy for contractors who need to do some precision work with plumbing in closed spaces.
29. Air-Blower Gun
If you live in a place that is surrounded by vegetation, you will need this one a few times in the year. Long gone is the day of using a rake to get the fallen leaves in a pile and get rid of them. This task used to take hours of your time, but if you use an air blower gun, you will get that done in a matter of minutes and use the free time to play with your kids by jumping on the pile as much as you want.
30. Multi-Purpose Tool
This one is the pocket version of everything we have listed in this guide. The most advanced ones resemble a utility knife, and they come packing at least 18+ tools that can make life easier at a moment’s notice. Only people who are craftier carry one around at all times, but you can have it stored safely in your toolbox if you need to do a quick job on the go that doesn’t require all your equipment.
31. Sledge Hammer
Very few people admit to this, but nothing is as satisfying on this earth as demolition, especially if you building something new. Since we can’t make-do and own our personal wrecking ball, a sledgehammer is the best we can aim for. This toll is perfect t for people who love to change the scenery of their house frequently or those who like to do constant remodeling on their own. A sledgehammer can help you tear down a wall and open up more space ion every corner of the house. You can even shatter concrete with it and prepare a surface to be lined with a fine-looking wood deck.
32. Stud Finder
Concrete and drywall can be sturdy if you want to hang something framed, but if you want to go for something heavier like a trophy, a statue or a figurine you will need a stud finder to make sure it stays in place. Nails and screws can lose their effectiveness with time and fall off. The stud finder will keep that prized possession you want to exhibit in place as long as you want to.
33. Cordless Rotary Dremel
This is also one of those tools that have multipurpose functionality. They are highly underrated in favor of standard solutions, but they work out great to get metal polished, sand down elaborate woodwork, achieve a precise metal cut, engrave certain surfaces, and many more. Your toolbox is not quite complete if you don’t have this one in place.
34. Quick-Grip Bar Clamps
Remember the bench vises we mentioned earlier? They have a major drawback: they are meant to be used in place with carry-on items. These particular bar clamps can fix that problem by working as a lightweight version of a portable bench vise that can distribute up to 150-pounds of force evenly. They’re practical and accommodating. You can hold something in place if you’re waiting for glue or any other bonding agent to set. Make sure to pick up a set that includes soft pads so they won’t leave marks on the surface of the items you’re clamping.
35. Round Point Shovel
At some point throughout your tenure at home, you will need to dig a hole, especially if you have a backyard and plumbing running through it. A round point shovel is the best tool for the job if you are planning to handle it by yourself. Whether you need to dig to find a leak in your sprinkler system or if you need to plant a tree, nothing gets the dirt out of the way like a good shovel. Shovels are by no means a precision tool, but it’s not meant to be. They are pretty useful if you need to move gravel or sand. Make sure to pick fiberglass handled one to manage the tasks easier.
36. Pair of Industrial Scissors
It’s amazing to realize how underrated are scissors in all toolboxes around the world. This brilliant device is something that everyone needs for any task requiring to chop or slice something with the kind of precision that a cutter and a knife can’t provide. You can use for something as basic as opening the packaging of your other essentials, to cut light wire, rope and other materials that are not sturdy.
37. Hex Wrench Set
Everyday Carry is certainly a thing when it comes to tools. Even if you are not a craftier person, you probably like to carry your multipurpose tool around in case of an emergency. One of the things you will quickly realize is that hex-bots are commonly found everywhere, especially when it comes to pocket gear. To perform maintenance on your EDC, you need a set of hex wrenches. If you don’t handle this tidbit periodically, your multipurpose pocket tool will become useless in no time.
38. Pocket Knife
This is the third knife-related item we recommend in this guide, and there is a good reason for this. A sharp knife can help you out in any situation. They can even make-do the job of other tools you might not have. Pocket knives can be used to peel off something that rubs off at the surface of your floors, and they are the best tool to carry in your vehicle if you get involved in an accident and remain mobile enough to cut down your safety belt. They can be used for almost anything with some imagination.
39. Chalk Line Tracer
The first thing everyone has in their minds after reading this recommendation are ballparks. We don’t blame them since most media outlets have displayed them being used to tracing lines in a sports field. Clack line tracers certainly have a lot more uses than that. On one side they are the best option to hang drywall. They are also used to trace straight lines on surfaces to provide an accurate guide before a cut. They are also useful to lay tiles or leveling posts, and even to hang wallpaper in place. Chalk lines are also used as plumb-bobs to create straight lines.
40. Staple Gun
It’s been a long time since staples stopped being a paper-only appliance. Staples are used in household for many things today. The first thing you need to know is that there are diverse types of staple guns. Your choice depends on the type of tasks and materials you are planning to work with. If you feel confident about your strength, you can choose a muscle-powered stapler. If you need more precision, you can work with a compressed stapler gun or an electric powered version of the tool. As you probably expect, electric-powered staple guns are the most reliable of the bunch. You can get them cordless or corded. It’s important to pick the right type of staples given their shape to avoid getting them jammed. You can use your staple gun on carpentry projects, home repairs, setting carpet, upholstery, and any form of fastening.
41. Digital Caliper
A tool that has been perfectly conceived for people who love to work with measuring down to the letter. You can make sure that everything is fitted to the exact specifications and covering every single inch of your work with a stainless steel digital caliper. You can apply double checks quickly and measure twice to cut a single slice.
42. Straight Pipe Wrench
If you are handling the seams between water pipes tights, it will take a lot of torque to get it done. The worst part is that you will have to apply the same amount of strength to loosen them up again. Regular wrenches can’t do the job so you will need to be ready with a straight pipe wrench for heavy duties. This is but one case where you might need the tool, and there is bound to be re options out there, especially if you own a big house.
43. Hedge trimmer
This is essentially a gardening tool that can help you trim down the branches and even their looks. They are rather more efficient than chainsaws since they give you room to work with more precision and don’t tear apart the whole plant with the crudeness than chainsaws do.
44. Dust Mask
The quintessential tool to protect your mouth and nose from any shred or particles that fly off from the surface of the job you are doing. These little pieces of cardboard like material mixed with cotton are held in place in your face using a rubber band, and they are there to filter anything that could damage your lungs. They are especially necessary if you are working with any equipment that predates the ban on lead paints imposed in 1978.
45. Drywall Saw
Drywall saw, also known as a jab saw, is a tool used to cut holes for electric outlets or switches. They are commonly used to make holes in the right place. They are well-known for being a dull-tipped instrument, but they can be ground sharper to jab them through drywall will relative ease. The handles on these saws are made of wood, plastic, or rubber. They all work fine, but if you are using them day in and day out, you will need a cushioned rubberized handle.
An awl is a tool used to punch holes in the most diverse materials. It can also be used to enlarge existing holes or to sew heavy materials such as canvas or leather. It certainly looks a lot like an icepick, but it has a different type of functionality. Awls are usually presented as thin, tapered metal shafts that come to a sharp point. They are mostly offered with a straight point, but some of them can be slightly bent.
47. Steel Professional Framing Square
This tool is also called a steel square or a carpenter’s square. This tool is the best option to lay out rafters and stairs. A framing square is composed of two parts: a 2 x 24 inches segment as the body of the square, where the rafter tables and a ruler are attached. The thin, short section is called a tongue. It measures 16 inches from the top of the heel to the tip. It’s commonly used to mark a plumb or a cut.
48. Air Compressor
A general misconception has everyone thinking that this tool is only used to keep the tires of your car inflated. The device is useful for quite a few house tasks such as inflating a kiddie pool, handling inflatable toys and powering other tools such as nail guns, drills, impact wrenches, sanders, spray guns, and staplers. An air compressor is essentially the additional expense you make when you buy air powered tools that don’t need a mechanical motor. The single motor on the compressor converts electrical power into kinetic energy, thus allowing the use of light, compact, and easy-to-handle tools that run quietly and have fewer parts that get damaged.
49. Bow Rake
The bow rake is still one of the best devices ever created to rake heavy materials such as gravel or tangled meshes. The mechanics of the bow are very simple: they act as shock absorbers, to protect your arms as you handle the task. If you turn it over, the straight back can be used to level soil.
This particular tool can be used for anything, from hauling crushed stones to a creating a new batch of mulch. They are presented in almost every shape, size, and material. The one to buy for your household should be for light-duty work. The raised rims around the tray bolts prevent the edges of shovels and mortars from catching on them.