Whether you are buying a new home or just renting an apartment, occasionally there are going to be small fix-it jobs that you need to do yourself. So every home needs to have a basic set of simple tools so they will be there when you need them.
Don’t Spend a Fortune
It’s easy to spend a fortune in the tool department of your local hardware or home improvement store. But most homeowners don’t really need costly tools for specialized jobs, like electric power saws or drill presses. Instead, you can perform 99% of the small jobs you will encounter around your home if you have these top 10 essential tools:
Instead, you can perform 99% of the small jobs you will encounter around your home if you have these top 10 essential yet affordable tools:
1. Phillips-Head Screwdriver — A Phillips-head screwdriver is probably the tool you will use the most to perform simple household repairs. It’s the screwdriver that has the X shape on its head. You can buy an inexpensive set that features several different sizes for very little money.
2. Flathead Screwdriver — The flathead screwdriver can be used for most other jobs that don’t require the Phillips-head screwdriver. As the name implies, it has a flat head and can be used to remove most standard light switch plates or outlet covers.
3. Tape Measure — The tape measure is one of those tools that you will find yourself using all the time. Look for the kind that can be clipped on your belt and has a retractable tape, rather than the old-school wooden type that folds up.
4. Level — The level is essential when you are hanging pictures or bolting the frame for your flatscreen TV to the wall. You don’t need a very big one. Look for a level that is small enough to fit into your toolbox but big enough so you can see the little bubble.
5. Utility Knife — This is another one of those tools that you will find yourself using all the time. Utility knives are handy for opening boxes or bags of dog food, trimming snags from carpets, and even more technical jobs like scoring drywall.
6. Hammer — A hammer is one of those tools you need but you probably won’t use as often as you might think. Obviously, it’s used for hammering and removing nails. But it’s also handy for tapping things into place, such as stuck drawers or cabinet doors.
7. Putty Knife — You probably get most of your use out of your putty knife before you move into your new home. It’s used to scrape dry glue and paints from walls, smoothing spackle, and spreading putty.
8. Pliers — A good set of pliers are something you will use frequently to hold objects firmly, usually when you work with other tools such as screwdrivers.
9. Wire Cutters — You will need a pair of wire cutters to cut wire to the right length and to strip the insulation from electrical wiring so you can make electrical connections.
10. Ladder — Get yourself a sturdy ladder that’s tall enough to reach ceilings, ceiling fans, lighting fixtures and other high jobs.
These 10 essential tools will get you started so you can perform most fix-it jobs around your home. Keep them all in one place by adding an inexpensive toolbox or tool bag to your shopping cart and you are ready to go.