Even if you’re not a weekend DIY warrior, your home should be equipped with some basic tools. There will always be times when you need to do repairs or other projects that require a specific tool. Whether you want to hang a picture or tighten a dresser knob, you can be prepared for many household tasks by having these five must-have tools in your toolkit.
5 Household Tools You Should Have
1. Screwdriver set
From tightening loose knobs and changing a switchplate cover to unscrewing toy battery compartments and prying open paint cans, you’ll find an infinite amount of uses for screwdrivers.
Get a set that includes both flathead (slotted) and Phillips-head screwdrivers in a variety of tip head and handle sizes. Look for comfortable grip handles, magnetic heads and a design that is built for heavy duty use.
2. Tape measure
Be ready to take accurate measurements anytime, anywhere with a tape measure. A tape measure packs a lot of performance into one handy, portable, compact tool. There are many types of tape measures. For basic home use, some features to consider include a Mylar-coated stainless steel blade, lock mechanism, and depending on your needs, a length of 16’ or 25’. Watch this video from Lowes for some basics on how to use and read a tape measure.
3. Claw hammer
The classic claw hammer is a toolbox basic for driving and extracting nails and performing light demolition jobs. Claw hammers with fiberglass, composite or steel handles offer more comfort and durability than those with wooden handles. A 16 to 20 oz. hammer is a good choice for most everyday household jobs.
Tackle many home repair tasks with a set of three pliers: slip-joint, needle (or long nose) and lock-joint. Each type has different functions which is why it is recommended that you have all three in your toolbox.
- Slip-joint pliers have handles that open and close. These types of pliers are used to grip, loosen and tighten nuts and pull small nails.
- Needle nose pliers allow you to grip wire, small nails, brads, and other fine objects. The jaws also have cutting edges to cut small gauge wire. Long nose pliers allow you to work in tight spaces and are commonly used for electrical work and jewelry making.
- Lock-joint pliers are typically made of steel and are adjusted by turning a knob at the back of the pliers. Similar to a wrench, they clamp an object with a strong, vise-like grip.
5. Adjustable wrench
An adjustable wrench will enable you to turn nuts, bolts and other fasteners. It offers torque, leverage, a good grip, and the flexibility to adjust to different sized fasteners. Adjustable wrenches are most commonly used for plumbing, auto and bike repairs, and assembling furniture. Having two wrenches is a good idea: one with a longer handle for extra leverage and one with a shorter handle to fit into tight or awkward spaces.
Kick-start your toolkit with these basic household tools and add to it as your needs and skill-level grow. Another tip: Invest in good quality tools. If you need to repair a leaking pipe or have an anxious child waiting for you to put their swing set together, the last thing you want is to have a tool that breaks while you are using it. Good quality tools last longer and help you stay safer.