The hammer is easily the most important of the tools that every homeowner should own. It unlocks the most basic of all tasks that you can do at home: hanging pictures on the wall. In order to do that correctly, you need to make sure that your nails are driven into the drywall or wood in a secure manner, and there’s no better tool for that than a hammer.
2. Screwdriver Set
If you’re going to attempt any kind of repair task, you’re probably going to need a screwdriver. Whether it’s replacing the batteries in a child’s toy or putting together store-bought furniture, a screwdriver is probably going to come in handy. Getting a set of eight to ten screwdrivers in a mix of the Philips and flathead variety will give you the screwdrivers you need for most common tasks.
3. Wrench Set
While most household items are held together with screws, most car parts use nuts and bolts instead. If you want to save money and do some simple car repair tasks at home, then you’ll need a good set of wrenches. Replacing your own battery or headlights can save you a lot of money versus getting it installed at a shop, and both tasks can be done in a half-hour or less if you have the right tools.
4. Socket Set and Ratchet
Sockets and ratchets are useful for when you need to tighten or loosen a nut or bolt but don’t have enough space to use a wrench. The good news is that there are a ton of great socket sets out there, and most aren’t terribly expensive. Just make sure you get the set that’s right for your country, as both Metric and Customary sets exist.
Tape measures are an even more valuable tool given how much shopping is done online today. It can be hard to tell if a piece of furniture or other purchase will fit in your house by looking at pictures online, but a tape measure can let you know what you have space for. It’s also a necessary tool for any job where you’ll be building something yourself, as you can’t guesstimate cuts with good results.
Once you have all these tools, you’ll need a way to carry them around. You may not need a massive toolbox like the one your grandfather carried around, so you might check out the tons of lightweight but sturdy models on the market today. You can also invest in a toolbag, which is made from canvass and features pockets designed to protect and store different tools.
7. Duct Tape
Duct tape puts all other tapes to shame. It uses a woven backing which provides a lot of strength but remains easy to tear down to size, and the tape’s great grip makes it good for places where moisture or humidity would defeat other tapes. You may not know when you’ll need this product, but you’ll be happy you have it on hand when you do.
8. Utility Knife
Opening boxes with scissors is a cumbersome, and sometimes dangerous operation, and it can be hard to control the depth of the cut with blades that are that long. The utility knife features a short, but sharp blade which can make short work of a sealed package without threating its contents. It’s also useful for sharpening pencils and other cutting tasks, and since these tools tend to be cheap, it tends to be a very low-cost, high-value buy.
If you’re new to using tools or trying to build a collection, the handsaw is the first tool you should buy. It’s inexpensive relative to power saws, and it’s easy enough to use that it’s unlikely to be dangerous. You can perform just about any cut with a handsaw if you’re willing to put a little grit and elbow grease into the job. Keep in mind that saws with bigger teeth cut faster and those with smaller teeth are more precise.
Like duct tape, pliers are one of those tools that don’t come in handy for long stretches of time, and then become invaluable for a few minutes. If you’re trying to tighten a nut, but the bolt keeps turning, a pair of pliers can make the job go far faster. If something small falls down in something else, then a pair of needle nose pliers will allow you to get it out. You can also use them to bend small objects back into shape.
If you want to hang pictures that look great, you’re going to need a level. It’s very hard to hang pictures level on your first try with your unaided eye, but a level can make the job easy and prevent you from having to constantly get back up on your ladder to finish the job. Today, you can use an inexpensive bubble level, or invest in a high-tech laser level which allows you to level multiple objects at once.
Of course, every home needs a flashlight. It’s a tool that’s indispensable, but if you’re a new homeowner, you may be surprised at how many tasks that need doing take you into the darker nooks and crannies in your house. Whether you’re looking for a lost toy under a bed or working on the plumbing under your sink, you’ll be glad you have a flashlight.
This post was written by Adam Harris from HealthyHandyman.com. He loves to fish, play the guitar, and his all-time favorite thing to do is to work on his home improvement, DIY and woodworking projects that he publicly blogs about on his website. Feel free to reach out to him if you have any cool ideas for his content and work, but do know that he recently got himself a new 3D printer, so he may be a bit busy!