Tools can sometimes be intimidating, however it’s necessary to be familiar with the essential tools for basic home maintenance. It’s always surprising how many situations can be fixed if you only had the right tools. There’s also that great sense of accomplishment when one has completed a small project or repaired a minor problem. To ensure you are prepared for any basic home maintenance situation, here are necessary items that should be in your toolbox:
There is no need to invest in a large, expensive set of multiple screwdrivers, simply look for an all-in-one tool. It should contain multiple, interchangeable bit heads and meet North American torque specifications. Look for a unit where the bits extend out of the handle with the touch of a button versus having to screw on the bits; this prevents dropping and potentially losing or damaging the pieces.
When looking for a claw hammer pay particular attention to the materials the tool is made of. Specifically you want the head of the hammer to be made of hardened steel for increased durability and the handle to be a soft ergonomic grip for increased comfort and enhanced shock absorption.
Whether it is opening boxes, cutting scrapbook items, or scoring drywall, this tool is handy to have around. Look for a tool with a rubber grip to prevent slipping, a multi-position blade slide and an interlocking nose to hold blade securely.
This is a great tool for when you need to hammer and prevent scratching or damaging surfaces. Search for a non-slip grip and urethane-tipped head.
Use this to ensure that big screen TV fits in your space. Standard length for measuring tapes are 25 ft, however larger ones can be purchased. Look for a tape measure that has a toggle lock to secure the blade length, as well as a built-in blade brake to slow the blade upon return.
Lock Jaw Pliers
This tool will save your hands when trying to remove a stubborn bolt or valve. Ideally the tool will have a wire cutter and hardened teeth for maximum durability.
Cordless Power Drill
The cordless power drill is another tool that you will find endless uses for around the home. Key specs to search for in a power drill are: keyless chuck to make changing bits easy; variable speeds; and reverse option. There are units on the market that have built-in bit storage, a stud sensor and a flashlight.
This tool will help hold small objects in hard to reach areas and/or for extended periods of time. Look for a tool that’s rust protected.
There may be a need to cut through small metal, plastic, wood or rubber items. This small saw can get the job done. Comfort grip and adjustable blade length are the main details to look for when purchasing.
Use this tool to ensure your pictures and wall shelves are straight. A good level will have a v-groove working edge, along with vial reads for plumb, level and 45°.
This is one tool no household should be without! There is so much that goes down a home’s plumbing pipes that unfortunately clogs are unpredictable. There are 2 types of plungers available: standard wooden handle with rubber nose or molded plastic model with accordion-style nose. The latter claims to have a nose design that prevents slippage and splash back. This tool will not fit in your toolbox, therefore it’s recommended to store the item under the bathroom/kitchen sink—closest to the area where an emergency may occur.
Box of wall anchors
To hang mirrors and large frames from walls, it’s highly recommended to use wall anchors to further secure the screws. These help cut deeper into the wall material for an even tighter bond. They look similar to screws but have a hole in them. Wall anchors are either made of plastic or metal, and are distinguished by lightweight and medium-heavy weight categories based on wall material (i.e. drywall versus hollow or solid wall).
Various screws and nails
There is no need to buy boxes of screws and nails, unless you are working on a specific project. What’s recommended is when you come across extra screws and nails that you store them in a small sandwich bag in your tool box, there just may come a time when that spare part is needed.