Not everyone admits to actually being handy around the home. Sometimes people have a tendency to talk themselves out of doing anything simply because they think they can’t do it. Most of the time, however, people don’t make any attempts because they don’t have the right tools, much less know where to begin in purchasing tools. If you fall into the latter category, this article is for you. Here I will help you get started by walking you through your very own basic home tool kit list.
Why build a home tool kit?
I suppose one way of doing things yourself is to simply buy one tool at a time, only as you need them. This could end up being more of a chore with a result of just not doing the project altogether. Building a tool kit for around the home is and should be an essential for everyone out on their own – whether renting, leasing, or owning the home. Having a basic tool kit can empower you to be able to do most anything around the home, which could save you a small fortune over hiring a contractor to do the work for you.
Should I purchase single tools, or a tool kit?
When it comes to tool purchasing, you have a couple of options: single tools or a tool kit. The advantage of tool kits is that they usually come equipped with everything you need for a lot of basic projects and repairs. This makes an off the shelf tookit incredibly convenient! Not to mention, opting for a kit may save you some cash in comparison to buying each tool separately.
Purchasing tools individually, when you need them, gives you the opportunity to customize your tool collection to your specific needs. You can handpick the tools that you know will get the most use and bypass the ones that you won’t. This way, you can save some bucks by not acquiring tools that you won’t utilize.
So, whether you’re a keen DIY handyman or a seasoned contractor, there’s a tool-buying strategy that’s just right for you. Take into account your budget, how often you plan to use the tools, and the type of home projects on your list to determine whether a tool kit or single tools are the way to go. And don’t forget to consider storage – a tool kit with a carrying case or toolbox can make organizing and transporting your tools a snap!
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KingTool 325 Piece Home Repair Tool Kit
The KingTool 325 Piece Home Repair Tool Kit is an incredibly comprehensive tool set that comes in a sturdy storage case with drawers for easy organization. This kit is perfect for DIY enthusiasts, the home handyman, or anyone who needs a wide variety of tools for general household and auto repairs.
Common projects around the home
With a basic home tool kit, there are countless projects and fixes that you can do, ranging from the simplest tasks such as changing light bulbs and hanging pictures and wall art, to replacing light fixtures and clearing drain blockages. There are so many things that can be done with a little do-it-yourself know-how, there should be very little reason to have to hire anyone. This means saving money, and who doesn’t want to do that?
Did you know that to replace a light bulb, that some light fixtures require a Phillips head screwdriver?
What if you want to hang wall art or a shelf that requires more than one support? How do you know if you installed them level or not?
With a basic home tool kit, you will have the right tool for most jobs around the home.
The basic home tool kit list
If you have ever been to a department or hardware store and walked down the tool aisles, you may have gotten a bit overwhelmed with what you saw. Especially if you have little to no knowledge or experience with tools. You were perhaps intimidated at some of the prices as well! If you want to buy a pre-built kit, one can be purchased for less than $20. If you want to start building your own, one that you can customise to your liking, I will give you a small list of tools to get you started and explain what they can be used for.
Probably the most common of all the tools, the screwdrivers will be your go-to. There are two types, Phillips head, which has a 4-point tip, and a slotted, which has a flat head. Both styles come in different sizes. With Phillips’s head, the most common sizes range from 0 to 3, with 0 as the smallest, and 0 as the largest. For this kit, we will use sizes 1 and 2. The slotted screwdrivers come in different sizes as well. The most common sizes for these are 3/16″ (5 mm), 1/4″ (6 mm), and 5/16″ (8 mm). These measurements denote the width of the ‘blade’ or flat tip of the driver. If storage space is an issue, there are many options such as combination screwdrivers. One such item would be the Klein #32477 10-in-1 combination screwdriver, which includes 2 different sizes of slotted and Phillips head drivers, square head bits, Torx bits, as well as 2 sizes of nut drivers.
What can be a better explanation for a hammer than the thing that pounds other things? Hammers come on many sizes and shapes for many things. Most common around the home will be found a claw hammer and a ball-peen hammer. The claw hammer is so named due to the “claw” that it boasts, allowing the user to pry apart stubborn items or pull nails out of wood or whatever else they may be in. Ball peen hammers have a ball shape on the backside which can be used for different tasks such as finishing nails without damaging the finished surface. Hammers come in many weights as well. For our kit, we will include a 12 ounce (relatively small) claw hammer.
As with all the other tools, levels come in a myriad of sizes. Levels, for the most part, will have at least one flat edge (for keeping straight lines), and a viewing tube in the middle. When that bubble holds between the 2 lines, it is level! This is essential for hanging pictures and shelves. It is possibly one of the most important tools you will own.
Another versatile tool to own. Adjustable wrenches, or “knuckle busters”, can take the place of many sizes of wrenches, which makes it the perfect starter for your tool kit.
Allen wrenches Hex-key wrenches are worth their weight in gold (not in a literal sense). They are sets of “Allen Wrenches”, which are shaped as hexagons along the length of them. And yes, hex-keys come in a great many sizes. When you see screw heads that have a little hexagon-shaped hole where it should fit a Phillips head or slotted screwdriver, you know you have the right tool with the hex-keys.
You may not use these very often, but you will be glad they are in your tool kit when you need them. They are like pliers, only they have a small robust cutting head. Yes, these also come in many sizes. Instead of ruining your scissors, these can be used to cut the picture hanger wire, among many other things.
- #1 x 4″ Phillips Head Screwdriver
- #2 x 4″ Phillips Head Screwdriver
- 3/16″ x 4″ Slotted Screwdriver
- 1/4″ x 4″ Slotted Screwdriver
- 16′ x 3/4″ Tape Measure
- 9″ Torpedo Level
- 8″ Adjustable Wrench
- Standard Set Hex-key Wrenches
- Metric Set Hex-key Wrenches
- 8″ Diagonal Cutters, Straight Head
- LED Flashlight
- Safety Glasses
Addition Handyman Tools To Consider
Technology has brought revolutionary changes in tools like traditional chainsaws for example. Electric chainsaws have plenty of value-added features and convenient functionality that create more utility. Electric chainsaws are your best buddies in your home, yard or garden. You can use it for sprucing up trees, trimming limbs, cutting small logs, and other cutting tasks.
If you want to do DIY work, fine carpentry or high-strength constructions, wireless cordless drills are very useful because they make it easy to do a lot of work. The cordless drills are a tool that allows drilling on various materials and surfaces.
Its main feature is portability because when working with a battery and not wired, they can be used anywhere. Also, the cordless drill has an inverse operation function that allows you to attach several elements with screws and then remove them.
Tool kit storage
Although some folks could just designate a kitchen drawer to stow their tools, if you are like me, you don’t have that liberty. My suggestion is to purchase a toolbox. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or bulky, only enough to contain your tool kit and store it neatly wherever it is convenient for you to retrieve it when needed. Two important rules apply when choosing a toolbox:
- Make sure it is longer than your longest tool (this way the tools will lay flat inside it)
- Make sure the toolbox can hold twice as many tools as you have (this will allow for holding more tools that you will acquire over the years)
Are you ready?
Alright, you are now ready! Get your tool kit together and your next step will be to start having fun doing-it-yourself around your home!
Founder of HandymanGuides.com and self-proclaimed “Mr. Fix-It”, Mike has countless years of experience building and tinkering with everything under the sun. He works as a local repair guy near Santa Monica, CA and when he’s not spackling drywall, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 daughters.