While we certainly are not tool experts (we’ll leave that title to Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor), we do like to get our hands dirty when DIY’ing projects over on our blog. Over the years our tool collection has slowly grown, but we had to start somewhere!
If you’ve ever walked into a home improvement store and were overwhelmed by the task of starting your own home tool collection, we’ve got your back. Today we’re diving into the seven basic tools that we firmly believe every homeowner should have. These tools really are the most essential, so they’ll always come in handy when you fix common issues around the house.
A flashlight is an important item to have when doing DIY projects (try fixing anything underneath your sink without one…not easy!), but it’s also an essential item in case of emergency. If your power goes out, you’ll need to have access to a working flashlight. We recommend buying a heavy duty flashlight (not one of those small free ones you sometimes get), along with extra batteries. Be sure to keep it in an easy to access spot so you don’t have to dig around to find it when the lights are out.
2. Tape Measure
You know the saying, “measure twice, cut once”? When it comes to home projects, that’s a very wise saying. A tape measure is a great tool to add to your toolbox and it will come in handy when you’re buying new items or hanging art on the walls. We recommend upgrading to a 25 ft. tape measure with a locking mechanism so you can measure large areas all by yourself. You can then use your smaller tape measure as a portable one when you’re out shopping!
A claw hammer is an essential tool for every carpenter, but we think it’s pretty darn important for regular ol’ homeowners too. There are many hammers to choose from, but a moderately sized hammer (under 16 ounces in weight) should do the trick for general household repairs and basic projects.
4. Screwdriver (Phillips & Flat head)
Now that you’re a homeowner, it’s time to finally understand the difference between the 2 main screwdrivers. A flat head is, you guessed it, flat with a single blade. A Phillips Head has 2 blades crisscrossed. You’ll constantly run into both types of screws, so be sure you have both screwdrivers on-hand. Some even have changeable heads so you can have 1 screwdriver for all situations.
5. Adjustable Wrench
If you’ve ever had a leaky faucet before, then you’re probably familiar with the basic wrench. (And if you haven’t, you probably will.) Adjustable wrenches come in handy for just about every plumbing project, so you’ll certainly want to add this hardworking tool to your kit. In fact, you can’t do much without one.
We’ll admit that we used to always use the “eyeball” method when it came to hanging art and shelves on the wall. But all it takes is for one shelf to be completely (and totally) off for you to finally grab a level. If you’re hanging a gallery wall, adding art to your space, or hanging really anything anywhere…you’ll definitely want a level nearby.
7. Utility Knife
Even if you have sharp and perfectly acceptable kitchen knives, you’ll still want a designated utility knife. It’s a must-have for opening packages, removing peeling paint, and cutting drywall. You’ll never go back. Plus, you can super easily change out the blade on a utility knife when it gets dull from overuse.
Extra Credit: Cordless Drill
Okay, so we did say that we were only highlighting the BASIC tools you should own. But if you’re looking for some “extra credit”, you may want to add a cordless drill to your list. It’s the most hardworking tool in each of our homes and comes in handy for every.single.project. We promise it’s worth the higher price point to add a cordless drill to your tool arsenal.
So there you have it…the basic tools everyone should own. Once you stock up on these goodies, you’ll be ready to tackle just about any DIY thrown your way.