Few things are more satisfying than being able to attend to basic home repairs and improvements yourself. Because of this, every homeowner should have at least a basic tool set that can help them get through after-hours emergency repairs or fixes that are small enough that you don't need to call in a professional. However, once you have the basics down, an advanced tool kit can be a highly rewarding investment. Not sure what to include? We have some suggestions that can take you from basic to wow.
First, the Basics
Whether you are very handy or whether you have never changed a washer on a sink, you should at least have a few elementary tools in your homeowner's tool set. These can take you through basic tasks like hanging a picture, or help you cope with a surprise leaky pipe until the plumber arrives. Among the must have tools for homeowners:
- Tape measure: For decorating, one about 16 feet long is sufficient. If your needs extend to construction, a tape measure up to 35 feet is ideal.
- Adjustable wrench: This allows you to have the versatility of a full set of wrenches with a single tool, instead.
- Level: Your family photos and other wall art will look much better when you know they are hung absolutely straight.
- Flashlight: You should have at least one in an easy to access space.
- Screwdriver set: At the very least, you should have at least one flat head and one Phillips.
- Claw hammer: Everyone should own this versatile tool.
- Pair of pliers: If you only buy one pair, make it a versatile one like self-adjusting or all-purpose slip-joint pliers.
- Electric drill
- Duct tape
- Work gloves
The Advanced Tool Set
Once you've tackled the basics and have gotten some use out of your tool set, you will probably be ready to add some specialty tools to your collection. A few of the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck:
- Socket wrench: This wrench has detachable sockets to fit a range of sizes of nuts and bolts. Having one in your kit means an easier time tightening and loosening these fasteners, even in tight spaces.
- Allen wrench set: If you've ever made a piece of IKEA furniture, you've used an Allen wrench. Do yourself a favor and get a full set of good quality ones so that you are never stuck dealing with the economy models that come with self-assembled furniture, bikes and other items.
- Automatic nailer: Save time and get nails cleanly through any surface.
- Table saw: This is a tool that opens up your potential to complete woodworking projects from birdhouses to full sized furniture. There are free plans online for people of any ability to get started.
- Circular saw: This tool has a huge amount of overlap in purpose with a table saw. However, once you have become more skilled, a circular saw can be the ideal tool for a wide range of uses.
- a staple gun. This tool is essential for quick re-upholstery jobs. If you like the look of updated custom kitchen chairs, benches for your entryway, or a padded headboard for your bedroom, a staple gun will make those far easier to complete with professional quality.
- Workbench: Once you have all these great tools together, you need an effective place to use them. A good workbench will be heavily built enough to stand up to a range of tasks, have conveniently located vises and grips, and will be the right height for you. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even custom build your own bench with the tools above.