10 Must-Have Tools For Your Home
What maintenance equipment should make up your DIY toolkit? You’ll need the basics: think tape measures, hammers, pliers and screwdrivers.
Yes, that doesn’t sound overly complicated. The good news is that most of your home-maintenance and home-improvement duties can be tackled with affordable tools that you can easily find at your local hardware store.
And for the bigger jobs, such as roof repairs, plumbing fixes and new wiring? Those are jobs that you should probably leave to the professionals, no matter what tools you buy.
- Tape Measure
If you own a home, you need a tape measure to determine how much space you have for new furniture, how tall a bathroom cabinet can stand and how high you should hang new drapes or blinds.
You’ll probably use a tape measure for most home-improvement or maintenance projects. You’ll need it, too, when making sure that you have enough space in your laundry room for that new washer or dryer or that the new dishwasher you want will fit under your kitchen counter.
Standard tape measures are typically 15 feet to 50 feet, with the most common ones measuring 25 feet.
Equally as important as the tape measure is the hammer. You’ll need this tool when you’re installing shelving or cabinets, hanging pictures or putting together new furniture.
The most common type of hammer is the claw hammer, which has a face on its front used for pounding in nails and a claw on its other end that you can use to pull nails out of a wall.
Another popular type is the ball-peen hammer, which is mostly used for metal work. Instead of having a claw on one end, the ball-peen hammer has a rounded end and a flat end that you can use to pound surfaces.
There’s also the club hammer, which has two flat ends. This tool is used more like a mini sledgehammer.
- Screwdriver Set
You’ll need a screwdriver set, too, especially if you plan on installing shelves, putting together end tables, adding or removing light switches or assembling an entertainment center for your living room. Simply put, these tools allow you to screw things together, whether the legs of your new living room chairs or the handles on your kitchen cabinets.
There are two main screwdriver types: The flat head or slotted head screwdriver is used for screws that have a slot running down their middles. The Phillips screwdriver has a pointier end and is used for screws that have a type of “X” embedded in their tops.
Because screws still come in both varieties, you should have an assortment of both Phillips and flat head screwdrivers in your toolbox.
Need to grip something? Then you need pliers. This tool’s primary purpose is to grip items, whether you are trying to loosen a bolt inside your toilet’s tank or hold a nut in place as you’re fastening the front panel to your new TV stand. But that’s not the only purpose of pliers – you can also use them to bend wires, nails and sheet metal or to cut wire.
There are many types of pliers, with one of the most common being the slip-joint variety. You can adjust how wide these pliers open, giving you more flexibility when gripping, cutting or bending items.
Water-pump pliers have jaws with a curved shape and are used for gripping pipes. Linesman pliers, with a pointier nose, are especially useful for cutting wires.
- Cordless Drill
If you plan on hanging window treatments or assembling cabinetry or need to make any hole in any type of wall, you’ll need a cordless drill. This tool comes with several drill bits, which allow you to make holes of varying sizes in walls and other surfaces. You then can use anchors and screws to secure heavy items – such as drapes, blinds, mirrors or heavier clocks – to a wall using the holes you’ve drilled.
A cordless drill gives you more flexibility than one that must always be plugged into an electrical outlet. Once you charge it, you can drill wherever you need, regardless of whether you are near an outlet. Just be sure to charge your drill before you need to use it.