Tool Kit Essentials: 10 Tools You Should Have

Occasionally, every homeowner is required to do small fix-it job around their home.  Not every homeowner is a full-fledged “handyman,” but it’s still important to have a small tool kit that is clean, organized, and in a good state of repair.  Here are the top 10 tools that every homeowner’s tool kit ought to contain:

1. Hammer
A hammer is required to drive brads or nails.  Hammers come in various sizes, generally sized by ounces of the head.  A 12 ounce hammer is fairly light and will drive a brad for hanging a picture, but if you have nail that needs to be driven into a piece of wood, a 16 ounce hammer is much more useful.

2. Flat Head Screwdriver
You’ll need one with a mid-range slot about 1/4 inch across the head.  The end of the screwdriver should be good and square for safety reasons.  If you can afford it, purchase a small set of 3 or 4 different size screwdrivers.

3. Philips Head Screwdriver
For the average homeowner, a #2 point screwdriver will be most useful because it will fit the majority of screws.  If using an older screwdriver, be sure to inspect the condition of the tip.  It should have good, crisp points.

4. Adjustable Wrench
An adjustable wrench (often incorrectly referred to as a crescent wrench) is a critical part of any tool kit.  It fits square and hex nuts ranging from 1/4 inch usually up to 1 inch.  If you wish, you can also purchase an adjustable wrench that will fit nuts larger than 1 inch across.

5. Slip Joint Pliers
The hole in one side of a pair of slip joint pliers will look like a figure 8.  This is so the pliers can accommodate two different sizes of grips, small and large.  Remember that if you use a pair of pliers to hold or turn a tap, it’s important to first get a very good grip.  If the pliers slip, the head of the tap or nut will be damaged and a wrench will never fit it again.

6. Alligator Pliers
This tool is often found in a plumber’s tool kit, but can be useful for the average homeowner, as well.  Alligator pliers allow you to grasp larger items, usually ranging from 1/4 inch up to perhaps 1-1/2 inches square.

7. Scissors
Every homeowner’s tool kit should have one set of good quality scissors.

8. Side Cutters
Side cutters look like a pair of pliers with cutter jaws.  They will cut through rope or metal wire much easier than scissors will.

9. Tape Assortment
An assortment of different tapes will also come in handy.  Some good types to include are duct tape, masking tape, and clear packing tape.

10. Hardware Kit
A small hardware kit is a critical part of your tool kit, and can be easily purchased at most hardware stores.  A hardware kit will contain an assortment of items: brads for hanging pictures and taps, nuts and bolts, wood screws, and even some sheet metal screws for repairing many household items.