10 Necessary Tools That Every Homeowner Should Have
So, you’re becoming a homeowner soon, but you aren’t sure what to get when it comes to tools. If that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place.
We know that becoming a homeowner, especially a young one, can be pretty daunting. This is a one-time experience that could change your life forever. But it’s also an experience filled with responsibilities and tons of work.
And among the responsibilities and work, you need to consider reparations and construction on your new home. For that, there’s nothing better than having a complete and reliable toolbox with every useful piece ready for any emergency or fix to do.
Want to learn more about these tools and how to pick the right ones for your home? Then keep reading and find out!
Why Build a Complete Toolbox?
If you’re expecting to become a fully functional homeowner, you need to have tools.
Just imagine trying to nail a portrait on a wall without a hammer, or trying to fix a pipe without a wrench, or unscrewing the remote control to add some batteries without a screwdriver.
All these situations are common and could happen at any time. And if you don’t have the right tools, how can you get it all done?
Then you’ll have to either use whatever you have on hand or just call an expert or handyman to do it for you. And that will be much more expensive than buying a complete set of tools.
You won’t need to spend a fortune really. With just a few hundreds, you’ll be able to buy a complete and reliable set that comes with everything you need to become your own handyman.
Over time, you’ll learn to use each tool well and probably even get the most complicated ones to use when needed. But first, you should focus on a small yet fully functional box, with tools to help you in the simplest tasks that would otherwise be really tough to do.
So, without going into unnecessary places, here you have all the necessary tools to consider when building a toolbox as a homeowner:
1. Drill and Driver
This is not the most common of all instruments for a homeowner but can certainly be among the most useful.
When you have a multipurpose electric drill, you’ll have thousands of things to fix and make without much effort. You just need to find the wall or place to drill through, and that’s it.
For the driver, you just need to find different heads, including a slotted, Philips, and square heads, and that’s it. You’ll have a drill and driver completely ready to tackle any basic job.
Wrenches will open and close everything for you. They are probably among the most useful things you can have at home. Here you’ll find the three most practical types:
Crescent or Adjustable Wrench
When you go to the bicycle job, this is the wrench you’re most likely to see. It also helps to assemble furniture, working with car mechanics, and much more.
It mostly works with small nuts and bolts, but it all depends on its size. The good thing about the crescent wrench is that they are simple and don’t need much figuring out. You just need to place the wrench in the nut or bolt and screw, unscrew, or just hold.
Then you’ll have SAE wrenches. These mostly come in sets of different sizes. We recommend going for those that come from 1/4 to 3/4 sizes for the best functionality.
These are way less versatile than adjustable wrenches but tend to last a lot more. The best of all is that you won’t have to adjust them, you just have to pick the right size for your needs directly from the box, and that’s it.
Finally, you have the famous pipe wrench. This is the most functional for working with pipes. And it will be a critical tool in some cases, especially when your kitchen faucet gets clogged or the toilet doesn’t want to flux.
If you don’t have a pipe wrench, you may don’t find an option to fix piping issues at home. And then you’ll end up calling a plumber. With a plumber, surely, you’ll have to spend a lot of money. So, a pipe wrench can save you a lot of that.
Everyone needs a hammer. That’s probably the most useful and common tool to have at home. It doesn’t matter if it is for hanging nails on walls or just hitting metal to shape it. A hammer is critical, and here are two of the best types to have:
This is the one almost everyone has, the traditional claw hammer. It has a hitting head that can be used to nail things on the walls, and a claw head that attaches to those nails to get them off.
Just try to pick at least two different sizes, you don’t know when a small or large one will be useful. For that, you could also go for a pin hammer. They are often the smallest of all, helpful in fastening pins and tacks in panels or windows that would otherwise become a headache with larger options.
With two claw hammers, it will be enough to tackle at least half of all situations.
Then you’ll find mallet hammers. These are not as useful as a claw hammer but will probably become crucial in some cases.
Most mallets are made of rubber or hardwood, which means they are softer than conventional iron claw hammers. And that’s because they are most useful to hit wooden or metal things without doing any damage.
But the most common application is to either cut or carve stuff with a chisel. Thanks to the soft head, a mallet works as a perfect leverage tool for chisels.
4. Cutting Tools
There are thousands of cutting tools to consider. However, nothing will do the job better than a hacksaw for pieces of wood and a utility knife for pieces of paper and cardboard. Here’s what you should know about each:
You can virtually cut any type of material with a hacksaw as long as it isn’t too thick or sturdy. For example, you can always cut plastic pipes, wooden planks, and logs, and sometimes even metal pipes or laminates.
A hacksaw also works with small things such as rods, screws, conduits, doors, metal bars, and much more. Just remember to have at least two sizes of hacksaws, one medium and one small for your needs. A large hacksaw can also be useful, but less so than the former two.
A utility knife needs not much presentation. Almost everyone needs one of these. It is perfect for cutting paper, cardboard, getting tips off bottles, and more, with high precision and safety.
The blade on these knives’ locks depending on your needs while covering the rest of the edge. You won’t have to fear about cuts or making imprecise cuts, as it makes all the work pretty easy.
5. Measuring Tools
Apart from cutting, hitting stuff, and screwing or holding – you need tools to measure. Here you’ll find those that will help you tackle accurate projects at home or just fix things more effectively. Among them there are:
If you can get a retractable tape measure with a locking system, you’ll have probably the most practical tool for measuring things at home. This can be useful to use on large walls, rugs or furniture, windows, floors, and much more.
We recommend going for tape measures that are at least 30 feet. You don’t know when you’ll need to measure all across your house. But with a 20 feet long tape measure you’ll have enough.
Then you can get a framing square. This is not as useful as a tape measure but can be pretty handy when it comes to doing woodwork or working with walls without much effort.
You can make marks with a square more quickly than with any other measuring tools. So, if you need to make drafts or markings in your house or objects to cut them or simply modify them, then a square will be useful. You can get two different sizes for the best results.
Sometimes you just need a tool that helps you keep things in place while you do cut, screw, tighten, or just handle something else. And for that, nothing helps more than grips and pliers. We recommend having at least two of the following three types:
Vise Grip Pliers
First, we have the vise grip plier. They are also known as locking pliers, and they are handy to keep things in place without having to continually grab the tool.
This is a very common tool in places where assembly and screwing/unscrewing are everyday things. Thanks to the locking mechanism, they offer great practicality and can even work alone.
Needle Nose Pliers
Then you’ll have the long needle nose pliers. They are the most useful of all for reaching difficult places or handling smaller things without problems.
If you need to grab small objects or get into tiny places, then a needle nose plier will be your best choice. Electricians tend to have at least two different needle nose pliers for their needs.
Most of them come with a cutting mouth in the middle, useful to cut wires and other things when gripping. This way, you won’t have to get an additional wire cutter inside your tools.
Nose Grip Pliers
These are similar to both needle nose and vise grip pliers. This means they have the same broad design of the needle nose, but with the locking mechanism of a vise grip. You can then use these for both purposes without problems.
Just consider the fact that nose grip pliers are often large and heavy. So, they won’t do the job of the other too forcefully, but can still be pretty useful in some cases.
7. Screwing and Bolting Tools
Trying to fix your remote control after it fell? Looking to open a fastened device? Then you need either a screwdriver to get screws off, or a ratchet to properly fasten bolts. Here we explain both:
You can always pick one screwdriver, and that’s it. But the real advantage comes from having different types and of various sizes for the best results.
For example, screwdrivers come in Phillips, flat, and Torx heads. The first two are very popular, so you should have at least two different sizes of each type of each if you want to have complete functionality at home.
Some screwdrivers come with interchangeable heads, and those can be pretty useful too, so you don’t have to get a full set.
Like hammers, screwdrivers are essential to have at home, so you can’t overlook them.
When we talk about ratchet, we need to also consider socket sets. They work together to get bolts or fasteners off their place more easily. You can also use them to screw things firmly.
We recommend at least two ratchets, one small and one large. This is a more complicated tool to choose, but with a small and a large set that would be enough. You will probably have everything you need with two of them and at least five sockets for each.
8. Testing Tools
These tools will help you in different ways, but they are the most useful for both constructions, doing small jobs, or just repairing common issues at home. Among the most useful testing tools, you’ll find:
Before handling any electrical wire or connection, you need to make sure it doesn’t have any current. Similarly, if you want to check that an outlet emits electricity or not.
This is the best tool for testing electricity. It can be useful for both knowing if something works or if it is safe to handle. An electrical tester is an essential tool to have at home.
This is not as useful as other tools but can be practical if you want to make sure things are correctly leveled. You could use it for floors, portraits, walls, furniture, and much more.
It is a simple tool that usually doesn’t demand much effort to use. Just be careful about what type you pick, as there are traditional levels, vertical levels, laser levels, and many others. For the best results, go for a traditional one.
This is the perfect tool to find things behind walls. Among the many things you can use a stud finder for, is with pipes, studs, frames, conduits, wiring, and much more. They use a magnetic sensor that tells you where metal and sometimes wooden things are located.
Having one of these can be useful, especially if you want to make repairs or modifications. And still, they are easy to use and affordable.
9. General Purpose Tools
Here we’ll explain some tools that can be useful for many different things, yet not many people tend to consider them for their home toolbox. Among them, you’ll find:
Want to piece something together fast and efficiently? Then use duct tape. You won’t have to waste your energy while using it, and it sticks to almost everything. You can use it to clamp two things for quick fixes, cover stuff, and more.
Sometimes you may even need its rubber alternative, the electrical tape. It is useful for piecing wires together without problems. Both are useful and should be on your tools rack at all times.
These are not the handiest of all tools. But still, clamps can be a second hand while doing woodwork or keeping stuff together for some time. Especially spring-loaded clamps are often among the most useful of all.
There are hundreds of things you can do with one of these. And they come in many different materials and sizes depending on your needs.
Lastly, you have putty knives. They are perfect for spreading things around, such as glaze, paste, and sometimes even paint. You could also use a putty knife for scrapping stuff from walls or furniture. Occasionally, you could even use them for mixing or as a spatula.
Just try to get a large-enough option. A putty knife with a 2-inches blade will be enough. You could also go for larger or smaller options if needed.
10. Safety Gear
The final set of tools to consider is all about protection. We know you want to become the handiest homeowner out there, but that won’t be possible if you end up damaging yourself. So here we talk about all the gear you can use for safety:
Among the many safety equipment items you can consider, there are work gloves. You could go for nitrile, plastic or leather gloves according to your needs. Leather gloves are useful for keeping nails and pointy things from harming you. It should also be resistant to chemicals and water.
Nitrile offers more dexterity and is pretty useful when handling electrical wiring and the like. And lastly, plastic gloves will be the ideal option for cleaning and doing things that demand getting a little dirty and wet.
These will keep things from flying off directly to your eyes. They are especially useful when you work with wood and metal. You won’t like a splinter or a metallic sparkle to harm your eyes.
Caustic solution goggles are also protective, mainly if you handle glass and similar materials.
To finish the list, there’s nothing more useful to keep yourself safe than a dust mask.
Especially if you are someone who’s starting to live in a really old house that needs cleaning, then you’ll need something to protect your lungs about harmful dust.
If you are doing woodwork, then one of these will be pretty helpful as well. Sawdust is one of the most damaging things you can breathe.
How to Choose the Best Tools
Not all tools will be reliable, useful, or worthy – so you’ll need to know which ones to go for. Here we have a small guide for that:
Don’t Get it If you Don’t Need It
First of all, make sure you need the tool before getting it. Yes, this guide is all about the necessary tools that everyone must have. But you don’t need three sets of screwdrivers and four different hammers at home. You could even fare well with one of each tool, so don’t buy what you don’t need.
And what’s even more important, it will save you a lot of storage space, money and time. Most people who buy more than they need end up with decks, boxes, and cabinets filled with pristine tools that they never use – so don’t do this.
Consider the Materials
All tools come in different materials and constructions. Some screwdrivers are made of titanium, others are made of iron, and the most common ones are made of steel. You should go for the ones you think are more long-lasting and useful, but also the ones you can afford.
More extravagant materials tend to be way more expensive. They are often worth what they cost, but sometimes it’s not worth to get them, especially if you are not going to use the tool much.
For example, getting a titanium tip utility knife can make more accurate and smooth cuts. But a titanium head screwdriver may not have that much practicality.
Size and Varieties
There are thousands of designs and applications for every tool on this list. You should go for the ones you need and the ones you think will be useful later. Similarly, to getting what you don’t need, you should also stick to only the sizes and varieties that will work for your needs.
Apart from that, you should go for as many sizes as needed to meet your demands. It’s also handy to have at least two different sizes of hammers or screwdrivers. But having two types of measure tapes or electrical testers may not be as useful.
Cheap Doesn’t Mean Better
Getting low-priced tools is always a great choice to save money. But it could also backfire, especially with heavy-duty tools such as hammers, wrenches, drills, and pliers.
You’ll want the best possible product at the best reasonable price. And this sometimes means going for slightly expensive options, as long as they look sturdier, more reliable, and durable than the cheapest ones.
Here you may need to also consider materials, designs, and overall functionality. Some tools are more expensive because they come with specific designs that make them more useful. Others are more expensive because they come with better materials, and so on.
Your focus should be on choosing something that you can rely on, and that’s it. But this also means not getting the cheapest Chinese-branded tools.
Build Your Home Toolbox Now!
Now that you are familiar with all the necessary tools to have at home, it’s time you start getting them.
Just remember to follow our advice in terms of picks and options, and you’ll have a completer and more functional toolbox.
You may think they are not useful at first, but once you start needing them, you’ll see why it’s crucial to have them.
It’s always better to have a tool and never need it than needing something and not having it.