As any homeowner can tell you, a variety of problems crop up when running a household, including spur-of-the-moment repairs and regular maintenance. That’s why having the right tools in your toolbox can make the difference between getting a repair done quickly and successfully or not at all.
But what tools should your home toolkit contain? Here’s an overview of what your toolkit should include, as well as specifications for each tool.
You need to keep a variety of screwdrivers in your toolbox, including flathead and Philips-head varieties. In addition to both of these screwdriver types, you should keep a selection of sizes that range from small screwdrivers for working on electronics to larger screwdrivers that give you more torque when loosening or tightening screws.
A tape measure comes in handy when you need to measure the dimensions of a replacement part. Tape measures also come in various sizes, including small, 16-foot versions, standard 25-foot devices, and 35-foot tape measures meant for a job site.
A socket set usually comes with sockets of various sizes and a socket wrench. If you plan on using your toolkit when working on your car, make sure to get a set that has some metric sockets in it too.
While not as prevalent as standard screws, nuts, and bolts, an Allen screw is common on certain household fixtures, such as the handle on some kitchen faucets. You should have Allen wrenches in a variety of sizes on hand, especially since their small size does not take up much room in a toolkit.
Adjustable wrenches come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 1-inch to larger sizes. Adjustable wrenches come in handy when you do not have a socket or open-ended wrench in the appropriate size.
A utility knife comes in handy when you need to cut something, such as a cord, tape, or other item. Utility knives come in two basic types, the fold-out variety and the more common retractable blade.
Vice grips allow you to lock onto something with the tool and then keep it in place as you turn or remove the bolt, nut, or other part. The gripping surface of the jaws help a pair of vice grips stay in place.
You should also keep a variety of clamps in your toolkit. Clamps can hold two materials together, for instance, when you are trying to glue something. You should get clamps in a variety of sizes for different tasks.
A work light comes in handy when you must perform a repair in an area with low light or no light. You should look for a work light that allows you to hang it for easier use. Alternatively, you can use a flashlight instead.
You should also keep a variety of different types of pliers in your toolkit. The most common plier types include:
- Needle-nose pliers: Needle-nose pliers work well on a variety of tasks, including when working on electronics. The small nose of the pliers allows you to get into tight spots more easily.
Tongue-and-groove pliers: Tongue-and-groove pliers, also known as channel locks, adjust to a variety of sizes to accommodate larger objects, including nuts and bolts.
Having at least one good claw hammer is a must when building a toolkit. In addition, you should also consider getting a rubber mallet for more delicate work.
Used in conjunction with drill bits, a wired or wireless power drill allows you to drill holes when needed and comes in handy when installing various items around the house. In addition, you can get bits with Philips and flathead screwdrivers on them for easy removal and installation of screws.
Stainless steel putty knife
A stainless steel putty knife comes in handy when filling in holes with spackle or scraping away paint. You should keep at least one putty knife in your toolkit and make sure to clean it between uses.
In addition to tools, you need to keep some essential items in your toolkit. Other things to keep in your toolkit at home include:
- Duct tape and super glue, for making quick repairs
- WD-40 to help with stuck bolts or screws
- Electricians tape for quick electrical repairs
- 3-in-1 oil for lubrication
- A pencil for marking measurements
- A variety of sizes of nuts, bolts, and screws