Every home needs a well-stocked toolbox. From avid do-it-yourselfers to casual home repairmen, everyone has use for a complete collection of tools. However, given the wide variety available at any hardware store, it can be difficult to determine what is necessary for a well-stocked toolbox and what isn’t.
Here is an essential list of tools that will prepare you for any home repair you may find yourself in need of:
Toolbox Essential #1: Claw Hammer
A claw hammer is your standard tool. The head has a flat end for driving in nails and a claw for prying them out. The trick here is to get the right size for the jobs you need. A 16 oz option is usually a safe bet because it’s big enough to get you the leverage you will need for most home repairs, yet small enough to be easily portable.
You will want to be willing to fork over the cash for a high-quality version, as this will be the tool that is most likely to be used more than any other. A nice synthetic handle will last you much longer than the classic wood-handled versions.
Toolbox Essential #2: Tape Measure
A nice tape measure will be useful for almost any home repair or improvement job you can dream up. Resist the temptation to rely on your own sense and just “eyeball it.” This is unlikely to end up the way you hoped.
Tape measures come in many different sizes and widths. The wider the tape, the farther you will be able to extend it without anyone holding it on the other end. A 3/4-inch wide and 16-foot long tape is a good mid-sized option for most of your everyday projects.
Toolbox Essential #3: Screwdriver Set
Technically this one isn’t just one tool. However, given the number of different screw sizes and types you are likely to encounter, it is important to have a complete set of screwdrivers. These days it is possible to get a set that comes with one handle and a large assortment of attachable bits.
If you can’t bring yourself to get an entire set, spring for one really good Phillips head and one flat head model. Flathead and Phillips head are the most common types of screws you will encounter. The Phillips head (the screws with little cross-shaped notches) is quickly surpassing the flat head in popular usage but that doesn’t mean you won’t find any flathead holdouts.
Toolbox Essential #4: Adjustable Crescent Wrench
An adjustable crescent wrench is the ideal tool for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts of various sizes. Unlike the screwdriver, you only need one of these bad boys to address a wide range of different-sized projects. Opt for a solid metal version and there is a good chance that this little jack-of-all-trades will outlast every other item in your toolbox.
With just these four tools you will find yourself prepared to tackle a surprisingly long list of possible projects.