From burned-out light bulbs, to popped-out nails, to everything in between, all sorts of scenarios will creep up on a regular basis in your home that will require your handiwork. Even things like hanging a picture on the wall or measuring rooms for furniture require some type of tool to get the job done.
Unless you plan on calling the local handyman every time you need something done, you’d be well-advised to get yourself a set of tools so you don’t have to break the bank paying someone else to do something you easily can accomplish with the right gadget.
Here are 10 must-have tools that you should have at your disposal when you become a homeowner.
You can’t get away with maintaining a home without a trusty hammer. Driving nails in, pulling nails out, and just tapping things into place can all be done a lot easier with a hammer than with the heel of your shoe. The one you get should feel well-balanced and allow you to grip the handle firmly and securely. You might even be able to get away with a smaller and lighter claw hammer if your hands are petite, though these versions aren’t as efficient as full-sized hammers.
A screwdriver is another very common tool found in every toolbox. If you plan on assembling furniture together, for instance, a screwdriver is a necessity. Consider getting one that accommodates interchangeable tips so you can use all sorts of screw sizes and types. Those with magnetic tips make it that much easier to swap the tips. If your budget permits, consider getting a power screwdriver that will get the job done a lot faster without tiring your hands out.
3. Tape Measure
You’d be amazed at how many times you’ll be whipping out this tool at home. Buying new furniture? Installing some floating shelves? Hanging artwork? Then you’ll need measuring tape to make sure your furniture fits in your space and your shelves aren’t on a 45-degree angle. A standard 30-foot metal tape measure that locks in place should suffice.
Speaking of making sure your shelves and artwork aren’t crooked, a level is another necessary tool to have in your collection. Get yourself one that’s around 3 feet long, which you’ll get the most use of.
5. Putty Knife
If you’ve got any holes in the walls from where the previous owners hung their photos, or you simply made a mistake when hammering in your own nails and hooks, these holes will need to be filled and painted over. The way to fix them is by filling them with some spackle or putty, but you can’t apply this goopy stuff with just any tool.
A putty knife will let you evenly spread the material to ensure a smooth finish that you won’t even notice after you’ve painted over the area. Consider getting yourself a couple of different sizes – wider ones are good for spreading, and narrower ones are ideal for scraping.
This handy tool is essential for tightening or loosening up just about every type of hardware, such as plumbing pipes. You can choose from a variety of options, including grove-joint pliers that are adjustable to grasp large or small items, and needle-nose pliers are great when you’re dealing with any type of wire. Get yourself a pair or two that lock, which make them a lot easier to work with.
7. Adjustable Wrench
While pliers are great for gripping pipes and wires, wrenches are necessary to loosen and tighten nuts and bolt. The easiest ones to use are those that adjust to the size you need, and hold its opening once you’ve set it.
8. Utility Knife
Imagine trying to cut through cardboard boxes or old wallpaper with a regular kitchen knife. Without a high-caliber tool, jobs like these are a lot more tedious. With a standard-size utility knife, cutting through tough material is a breeze.
You’ll appreciate having a flashlight handy when the power goes out, or when you’re working in tight spaces where light isn’t readily accessible (such as under the sink). While you’re at it, get yourself a stock of batteries so your flashlight doesn’t die on you when you need it the most.
Unless you’re 8 feet tall, you’ll probably find it a lot easier to change light bulbs, paint up to the ceiling, or fetch something from the attic using a ladder to get you up there. At the very least, a step stool can work, especially when you’re trying to reach the top shelves in your kitchen.
You don’t have to be all that handy to deal with minor issues in the home. If the job is large in scale or even dangerous, by all means, call a professional. But for all other scenarios, sometimes all you need is the right tool and a little patience.