Recently, I have received many emails asking; “What are some tools that I should, and will, need for DIY and home improvement projects.” Well, I decided to make a list of essential tools for the home. Tools that every homeowner should have around, for any project or regular maintenance.
List of 22: (no particular order)
1. Hammer-It has a pretty obvious purpose. Driving and pulling nails. Also, combined with a piece of wood for padding, it is also perfect for knocking things into place in tight places and tightly together.
2. Nail Set-If your going to be using a hammer and driving a number of types of nails you will need a nail set to sink the nail heads under the surface of the wood. This is especially important with trim and finish work. Later you can putty, and hide them completely.
3. Flat Bar-A flat bar is basically a multi-nail-pulling-tool. It is a must have for any demolition work you may need to do before you begin your DIY project. Also, it is a great tool to use as a lever for lifting heavy objects or giving you the leverage you need in tight places. (Ex. lifting appliances to adjust its feet for level or reacheing a nail that you can’t get at with a hammer)
4. Cats Paw- Dig, pry and try as you might. Sometimes, you need a tool to pull nails that have been sunken below the surface of the wood. You won’t be able to pull these nails without a cats paw and hammer to dig down and under the nail head to pull out the nail.
5. 2ft Level- When you’re going to build anything or remodel anything, you’re going to need to make sure your work is level and plumb. You would hate to finish a beautiful job and find out its a few inches out of level and a complete eye sore.
6. Torpedo Level-Even the most basic of household tasks may require a small “torpedo” level. From hanging pictures and mirrors, to towel racks and toilet paper dispensers. No one wants to have to tilt their head to get a good look at that beautiful smile of yours!
7. Crescent Wrench- There are many types of bolts and fittings that require many sizes of wrenches. Having one crescent wrench can save you a lot of hassling. Although there are some instances where a crescent wrench will not hold tight enough to break free a bolt or fitting. For most other instances, they are exactly what you’ll need.
8. Channel Locks- Now, there are also times when you may have a rounded bolt, or maybe a fitting you don’t need to torque down crazy tight. That is where the channel lock pliers come in. They grip tight with their teeth backward facing and with various size options they are an essential tool for the home.
9. Dikes- These may be one of the most versatile tools in your arsenal. From pulling nails to stripping wire, as well as cutting hard materials, a pair of dikes are worth their salt.
10. Vice Grips- Also, another very versatile tool. You can use vice grips to pinch together metal for a weld or grip a stripped out bolt, tight enough, to be able to usually remove it. Vice grips come in many different sizes
11. Needle Nose Pliers- Sometimes, you won’t be able to get a big pair of pliers in an area where you’ll need the gripping power of one. From reaching into tight places with the tight grip of a pair of pliers, to its own small cutter toward the base of the working end, you’ll want to have these in your set.
12. Framing Square- You won’t be able to get a thing done without knowing whether or not, your work or your cuts and angles, are square or correct. There are many types of useful squares, but as a basic tool for angles, stairs, checking for square, and marking your cut lines square, the framing square is versatile enough to be the only square you’ll need.
13. Speed Square- This tool may not be as large or as versatile as the framing square, but its uses are helpful in many situations. If you need to make many cuts quickly, on 2×8 material or smaller, you can work much faster with the speed square. You can just slap it up on the board and the build in fence allows you to only worry about making sure it’s tight and your line is drawn where you have made your measured mark.
14. Chisel Set- Chisels come in handy quite often. When you need to cut away a small amount of material or set in hinges or hardware into a door. You may need to cut away something up underneath an obstacle where a utility knife won’t reach. An assortment of chisels, even simply the ones shown, can be a valuable tool to own.
15. Multi Driver- With so many types of screw heads around the home, it can be hard to tell whether or not, you will need a flat head or hex head, a #1 phillips or a larger #3 phillips. You can cut out the guess work with a multi driver, or 6-in-1 screwdriver. It becomes both small and large, phillips and flat head as well as a 1/4 and 5/16 inch drivers.
16. Assorted Driver Tips- Being a homeowner or professional alike, it’s not always as simple as a flat, phillip or hex head screw. Many times, they require star bits and allen keys. Sometimes screws are square or have a slot for a triangle. This is when an assortment of driver tips, in combination with a multi driver, comes in perfectly.
17. Hand Saw- Some jobs require a small cut, or a delicate one. You can’t always just bust out the power tools for simple or tight/delicate cut. Also, when using power tools for cutting, you may run into breakage and need to cut off a few splinters for a perfect cut. Anyone, and everyone, that is planning on, or is involved with DIY or home improvement, needs to have a hand saw at the ready.
18. “C” Clamp- Many jobs around the house or around the shop require some clamping. Although, clamps come in many forms; a generic, practical and must have clamp is the “C” Clamp
19. Allen Keys- From furniture to small electronics, various sizes of allen keys are another essential tool for the home. Make sure you pick up metric and standard sizes. It can be hard to determine, until you start trying different sizes, whether or not the size you need is one or the other.
20. Caulking Gun- Maybe you need to finish a job off with clean lines of caulking. Maybe you need to use construction adhesive on an application. Or, maybe you need to seal something off. You’re going to need a caulking gun to apply various types of sealant and adhesives.
21. Cordless Power Drill- Last, but certainly not the least! I know, I know, this isn’t a simple hand tool, like the rest listed. But, that doesn’t take away from its basic necessity around the house. From drilling holes to slapping in a driver bit for quickly securing and removing screws, a cordless power drill can save you time, energy, trouble and frustration with the pull of a trigger.
22. Assortment of Drill Bits- Many projects and home improvements will require drilling and pre-drilling for screws. Get yourself one set of bits, and as long as your careful and use them correctly, you’ll have them for years to come.
This is my list of essential tools for the home. This list covers all the basic to somewhat advanced tools that you will need for most DIY and home improvement projects. You don’t need to go out and buy all of these tools right this second. But, when you get to a project where you need any of these tools, you can rest assured, that purchasing any of these essential tool for the home, will be an investment that will pay off, time and time again.
And once you start to get yourself some tools you may want to get in their and get your hands dirty!
For a great list and deal on thousands of unique and quality plans on everything around the home, check out my blog barkerenterprisesllc.com and see Ted’s Woodworking!