Even if you're not a handyman, at some point you’re going to have to do some work around your home. You’ll want to hang some pictures or stop a dripping faucet, so you’re going to need some basic tools. Creating a well stocked tool box isn’t expensive and while this basic tool collection won’t allow you to build an addition to your house, it will give you the tools necessary to do most routine fix ups around your home.
The Things You Need
Claw Hammer - A claw hammer is just about the most basic and essential tool there is. Get a 14 or 16 ounce one that feels comfortable in your hand. The handle can be wood, fiberglass, or metal, just be sure the head is made from drop forged steel that won’t chip.
Crescent Wrench - An adjustable, or crescent, wrench with a thumbscrew that adjusts the jaws so it can fit different sized nuts is handy for all kinds of plumbing jobs such as changing a tap washer. They’re available in various sizes, but a medium sized one will handle most jobs around the home.
Screwdrivers - You need at least two different types of screwdrivers, straight (blade) and Phillips (cross) heads in a couple of different sizes. Robertson (square) heads are also becoming more common, and it’s good to have two different sizes here as well. You can often find sets of screwdrivers containing a range of sizes and different type heads inexpensively at home stores.
Pliers - Different types of pliers are also a requirement. Needle nose (long sharp pointed nose) pliers are great for reaching into narrow openings or twisting wire, while slip joint pliers (with a pair of holes near the base of the jaws so the pivot point can be moved to widen or narrow the opening) are adjustable and handy for tightening and holding different sized nuts. Although you can cut wire with needle nose pliers, a pair of wire cutting pliers will definitely make the job easier.
Drill Driver - A hand drill or power drill is a necessity for drilling holes. A variable speed battery operated drill will not only drill holes, but can also be used as a power screw driver, making “put together” projects much easier on your hands and arms.
Hand Saw - A hand saw allows you to cut small pieces of wood or molding, but a power saw will do the same things as well as allow you to cut larger pieces of wood like 2x4’s to size.
Tape Measure - Invest in a good quality tape measure and it will last you forever. Look for one that’s 25 feet long and at least ½-inch wide (wider is better) with contrasting, easy to read markings.
Level - Don’t forget a level of some kind. Standard building levels are 24 or 30 inches long, but if you just want to be sure your pictures are hanging level you can get a small “torpedo” level that’s only about a foot long. (It’s shaped something like a torpedo, hence the name).
Tool Box - Finally, get yourself a tool box (or better yet a strong nylon too bag) to keep your tools together. Sure you can store them in a drawer but over time tools will be scattered around your home and nothing is more frustrating than trying to start a job and not being able to find your tools