Every homeowner needs a basic set of tools. From hanging pictures to hanging blinds, homeownership involves a lot of DIY and home improvement projects. Whether you’re a new homeowner or a homeowner of many years, the following tools can come in handy in basic home improvement projects.
Hammer, Wrench, Nails and Screws
Hammers come in different sizes, weights and types. Claw hammers are the most common and useful in most homes, as they can be used to pound nails into various surfaces, remove nails from walls and pry apart materials that are stuck together. A typical hammer weigh be between 16 and 20 ounces, but many homeowners also keep an 8 ounce hammer on hand in the junk drawer. Hammers are often included in small tool kits, which are great for homes, condos or apartments.
Some wrenches are non-adjustable and come in different sizes, but most homeowners settle for one or two adjustable wrenches of different widths. Larger wrenches tend to have larger handles, which can be difficult to wield in tight spaces, so it’s a good idea to have a wrench with a short handle on hand. Homeowners who have galvanized pipes will also want a plumber’s wrench on hand for rotating plumbing pipes.
The Allen wrench is the weird L-shaped wrench that often comes with furniture requiring assembly. Keep Allen wrenches of various sizes on hand for tightening plumbing fixtures, handles and light fixtures.
Nails and screws are important as well. You’ll want them in all sizes, so buy a range and keep them on hand. When you buy furniture that requires assembly, save the extra nails and screws that come with the kits. It’s also a good idea to buy a range of anchors in different sizes. This is for holding screws in the wall without stripping the hole.
Screwdriver (Phillips and Flat Head) and Drill
Every homeowner needs a Phillips and flat head screwdriver. These are used for inserting and removing screws in walls, wood, appliances and so on. Since screws come in different sizes, it’s helpful to have screwdrivers of different sizes as well. When looking for a screwdriver set, choose one that includes larger and smaller flat head and Phillips head screwdrivers.
Drills come in handy for building and attaching screws. Drills can be battery powered or electric, but electric drills tend to be more powerful and versatile. Once you own a drill, you’ll start collecting a variety of drill bits in different sizes. You’ll need this tool for everything from building basic structures out of wood to inserting plant hangers in the ceiling.
Needle-nose Pliers, Bolt and Wire-Cutters
Needle-nose pliers can be used when it’s time to remove staples from the floor and nails from the wall. Look for pliers that have the serrated edge to help with gripping smooth surfaces.
Bolt and wire cutters are useful for home improvement projects and art and craft projects. You’ll need this tool primarily in outdoor projects like working with wire fences and hanging decorations outside.
Once you have these tools, the last thing you’ll need to buy to make your tool set complete is a tool box. Look for a tool box with drawers where you can contain your nails, screws and miscellaneous items like wall anchors. Once you own a tool box full of tools, you’ll be able to complete a variety of home improvement projects without running to the hardware store.