I always have projects going on in my home, from little home improvements to DIY projects to furniture that just needs a little tightening up. I try to make sure I have everything on-hand to fix the little problems that come up in every household or make little updates here and there when inspiration strikes. Naturally, my toolbox is a household MVP. There are 10 tools to keep in a home toolkit that I’d say are absolute, 100% must-haves, even if your handyman skills end at hanging framed pictures.
A Flathead Screwdriver
Although these aren’t used as much these days, they’re still great for dislodging things that are tightly packed. And of course for flat head screws.
You’ll need these for EVERYTHING, from the kitchen to kids toys, IKEA builds to general furniture maintenance (wiggly chair? Tighten that ish UP).
An Electric Drill
I know you’re wondering why you need a drill AND screwdrivers, but trust me: you do NOT want to hand-crank into a stud. A drill is a workhorse that will bore holes as needed (like pilot holes for drywall anchors), tighten up screws, and power through projects like a pro.
A Claw Hammer
This is the kind of hammer with a flat head and a long, forked tail. The long forked tail is for removing nails, and the head is obviously for driving nails. You’ll use this for hanging photos, art, putting together IKEA projects, you name it.
A Crescent Wrench
This is an adjustable wrench that can open wide or screw tightly, and it’s going to be your hero when you need to open up your U-bend if something falls down the drain.
A Pair of Pliers
There are lots of options as far as pliers go, from Vicegrips that lock in place to needle-nose pliers that are great for precision shaping. My recommendation is to find a combination plier that has both serrated teeth and a wirecutter, so you have the option of gripping or snipping as needed.
You already know to measure twice and cut once, but you’re gonna need measuring tape to do it. 16′ will cover most rooms, so the next time you hit up IKEA, you’ll know what will fit and what won’t.
If you have a good level app on your phone, then scratch this off your list, but if you’re hanging shelves, pictures, building anything, you need a level. Unless you’re into torturing yourself with lopsided frames, of course.
A Utility Knife
Open boxes, score wood, slice plastic or cork paneling.. this should be like an X-Acto knife on steroids.
You should have one of these in your house anyway, but I like to keep a mini light in my toolbox, too.
It’s one of those things that you’ll totally forget about or scramble to find, but when you need one, BAM! It’s already waiting for you in your toolbox.
The Black & Decker Drill and Project Kit is an excellent starter kit with everything but a level. It’s great because it includes a drill, but keep in mind that it’s a 7.2 volt drill. This means it’s not AS powerful (although it’s definitely going to be faster than going it manually).
The Stanley Homeowner’s Tool Kit is also a great choice for someone who intends to build on to their kit, rather than going for an all-in-one. To complete this kit, you’ll need to add on an Adjustable (or Crescent) Wrench and Drill/Driver Kit. The benefit of this? A more powerful drill will get you through bigger, heavier-duty projects without crapping out on you.
Keep in mind that you can find really great ready-made kits like these online for a great price, but remember: you get what you pay for. The cheaper the tools, the cheaper their construction. This means that you run the risk of broken tools mid-project, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
What’s in your toolkit?
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