Keeping your home in good condition requires the right tools. If your home maintenance and renovation are more involved than painting and planting new flower beds, you need proper toolkit to handle home chores faster and with precision and avoiding the annoyance of waiting around for the repairman. Buy only the best tools; cheap ones can be more difficult to use and may need to be replace often. Your home toolkit will grow as your skills and your confident grows. Always use proper protective gears with each tool. The following tools will take care of most simple home repairs and do-it-yourself projects.
- Hammer. If you own just one tool, this should be it. Look for a-15 to-20 oz. one that has a cushioned grip and tempered steel head, even though it may cost more. A wooden handle is fine, but make sure it is hickory or another hardwood. The clawed end is for removing nails.
- Screw driver. A staple in anyone’s tool box, screw driver is used to tighten screw. Look for a set that accommodates different head screw types such as star-head (Phillips), square-head (Robertson), or flat-head (slotted).
- Crescent wrench. An adjustable wrench is designed to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts of all sizes with its moveable jaw. A smaller wrench will come in handy when loosening small nuts in hard-to-reach places. The larger one will tackle most nuts and other fasteners.
- Allen wrench. These hexagonally shaped bars also known as Allen keys or hex keys usually come in a set and used in assemble furniture, repairing faucets and bathroom fixtures.
- Adjustable pliers. Pliers are a great all-around fix-it tool. They grab on to almost anything and can unscrew, bend, or manipulate things in many different ways. Buy pliers that are tempered steel and have cushioned rubber grips.
- Needle-nose pliers. They can reach tight spot or hold on to the end of wire and are useful also for holding nails when you start hammering. Make sure they are made from tempered steel and have rubber grips for comfort.
- Utility knife. Buy one with retractable blade. Choose one with a snap-off blade that can be removed once the edge has dulled (a.k.a a box-cutter).
- Measuring tape. Buy an Auto tape measuring tool which can be operated entirely one-handed; it is battery-operated and it is extended and retracted slowly with a button (about $20). 20 to 25 feet is long enough to do most household tasks.
- Drill. A power drill is a common tool for the weekend handyman or handywoman. Corded versions are inexpensive (less than $20), but spend a little more (less than $100) and get the cordless one. It will help you drill holes and drive screws faster than with manual tools.
- Level. A 2-foot metal multipurpose level should be all you need for most jobs such as hanging pictures, mirrors, and shelves.
- Caulking gun. It is an ideal tool for sealing windows, bathtubs, sinks, and floorboards.
- Saw. Saws come in many shapes and sizes. If you don’t do much cutting, then a hand saw may be all you need. Hack-saws are designed for cutting metal, chain, nails, etc. A power circular saw can be purchased for as little as $20 or $30 and is very versatile. Look for a 7 1/4-inch size with a wide base for stability.
- Safety goggles. Keep your eyes protected from wood and metal shavings and toxic solvents and it is a must for using with all power tools.
- Miscellaneous must-haves. Pick up an assortment of nails and screws for spare. Flashlight is good to light dark corner. A bucket is a must for minor plumbing repairs and leaks. Disposable mask will help keep you from breathing in dust when you sand or drill. Old toothbrushes are useful for cleaning crevices and applying grout sealant to small areas. Old T-shirts are good for putting on or wiping off various liquids, gels, powders, and dusts.
Every homeowner should have at least a basic toolkit to do minor household repair. Visit your local hardware stores and start assembles your own tools. When in doubt, consider hiring a professional tradesperson. To get self confident with tools, enroll in trades’ course at a local college to strengthen your skills and safety awareness of power tools. Learn to use power tools; they might give you a charge.