June 4th, 2017 12:58 PM by Jackie A. Graves
Just bought your first home? Fill your toolbox
with these essentials so you’ll be prepared for home improvement projects or
multipurpose, battery-powered drill and driver can be used for a large number
of tasks. Buy a pack of drill bits with a good selection of Phillips-head,
slotted and square-drive bits all in a variety sizes so you’ll be prepared for
whatever repair jobs comes your way. Get tips on how to use a drill >>
You probably don’t need a full
set of wrenches, just get one or two adjustable wrenches; since its jaws may be
adjusted to fit nuts and bolts of different sizes. Some self-adjusting wrenches
are self-ratcheting, meaning you don't have to remove them from the bolt to
Two hammers should be enough to
start your toolbox. Get one heavyweight and one lightweight. Rule of thumb: The
size of the hammer should correspond with the size of the nail. The bigger the
nail, the heavier the hammer should be. For outdoor projects and big
construction projects go for a basic claw hammer. A pin hammer is a lightweight
hammer used to drive in small fasteners such as panel pins and tacks.
Keep an electrical extension
cord around the house. They come in handy for outdoor parties, getting a little
extra light into a dark corner and of course, home improvement projects.
You should get at least one
cutting tool, bigger than a utility knife. For less than $20, a good
all-purpose hacksaw can be used for cutting plastic and metal pipes,
tubing, conduit, threaded rods, brackets, bolts and wood.
Keep a good selection and a
number of general-purpose nails and screws on hand so you’ll always have a
range of choices available. A box with compartments is helpful for separating
nail types and sizes.
A retractable, lockable tape
measure is a tiny tool with a ton of uses. You’ll find it indispensable when
you need to measure for window blinds, rugs, furniture or hanging artwork. Get
one that is at least 25’ in case you have to measure a room’s square footage or
need to do some measuring in the yard.
Use this for breaking down
boxes, making precision cuts, cutting the tops off glue bottles, scoring and
removing old chalk.
Yeah, you can just stand on a
chair, but you’ll find a sturdy step stool necessary for everything from
changing lightbulbs to dusting the cobwebs out of corners to hanging
Even if you have a
battery-operated drill/driver, get a set of manual screwdrivers for the simple
jobs like changing out a switch plate or tightening a cabinet knob. Get a
variety pack with different types of screwdrivers – Phillips, slotted, Pozidriv
– or get one screwdriver with interchangeable heads.
Putty knives are not just for
applying spackle. They are super useful for removing old decorative coverings
or scraping down loose, flaky surfaces.
Even if you’re a renter without
the need or desire to do any home improvement, you should own this tool for
Buy a set of pliers that has a
variety of types and sizes. Locking pliers are a good multipurpose gripping
tool. Get channel-lock pliers for larger pipes and valves. Small needle-nose
pliers are great for getting into tight spaces and also handy if you’re a
crafter. Electrician’s pliers have a fine point and can usually strip and cut
These are great for putting
together furniture (like anything from Ikea), hanging towel bars and for
bicycles and toys. One-piece sets are available as a unit like a Swiss army
knife for about $10, or you can splurge on a set with a self-ratcheting handle.
There are a few basic items you
should keep on hand to protect yourself. You should have plastic gloves for
cleaning or refinishing and leather-type work gloves for dirty work and
gardening. If you’re working with glass or any type of caustic solutions
goggles are a must. Ear protection is always a good idea when using power yard
tools like mowers and leaf blowers. And dust masks are good for all the
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