What Tools Do You Really Need Around the House?

Everyone knows that it’s important to have a toolkit lying around somewhere, just in case. You just never know when you’re going to need to fix something, break something, or help someone else do one of the two. You can always just buy a pre-made toolkit from Walmart or Costco, but these aren’t always stocked with the right tools, and they can cut pretty deeply into your wallet. Putting together your own toolkit for working around the house is easy once you know what you need. So what tools should you have lying around for all of those ‘just in case’ moments?

Quality Over Quantity

Usually, when someone puts together their first tool kit or tool box, they go out and buy the cheapest tools to make sure they have a full kit as soon as possible. This is understandable of course, it makes sense to want to have a fully stocked toolkit if you’re going to have one at all. Unfortunately, this is probably the best possible way to make sure that you’re never done buying tools.

Cheap tools are cheap for a reason, they’re simply not as good. When you’re putting together a toolkit for your home, the keyword is reliability. You don’t want to have a pipe go from leaking to bursting just because your cheap tools weren’t working correctly. Remember, the goal of a good toolbox is to make less work, not more. Save up the money to buy good quality tools that you can use for the rest of your life, tools that you can depend on.  It’s okay to only buy one or two tools at a time. In fact, many pros recommend that you only buy a tool once you need it, to prevent having tools that you never use cluttering up your workspace. When a problem arises that requires a certain tool you don’t yet have, view it as an opportunity shop around for that tool and to buy one that will be dependable so that you won’t have to shop for it ever again.

What Tools Do You Need?

  • Screwdrivers (Flathead and Phillips)

You’ll want to have a couple different screwdrivers laying around. First off, you need to have both Phillips screwdrivers and Flathead screwdrivers. Flatheads have a long flat blade that fits into a simple slot on screws, whereas Phillips have a four-point star end that fit into screws with a cross-shaped cut. You’ll want both types in multiple sizes to account for screws of different sizes.

  • Tape Measure

Unless you have the greatest spatial awareness ever recorded, you’re going to want a tape measure around the house. A simple retractable tape measure should work fine, it’s hard to go wrong with a tape measure.

  • Claw Hammer

You absolutely need a solid hammer, and a claw hammer is the best choice. Claw hammers are great for driving in nails, small demolition jobs, and basic home repair. You’ll want one with a decent amount of heft, but which is not too heavy or large to carry around easily. You’ll probably be tempted by the classic look of wood handled hammers, but a synthetic grip is your best bet for durability.

  • Wrenches

You’ll certainly want to have a crescent wrench and a socket wrench set lying around. The crescent wrench is super useful because it’s adjustable, and it is often one of the most used tools in a set. The socket wrench can save you tons of time on large amounts of nuts and bolts that you have to tighten or loosen quickly.

  • Cordless Drill and Bits

Even if you don’t have a single another power tool, you absolutely must own a cordless drill. Whether you’re drilling holes or driving in screws, a good cordless drill is indispensable. Make sure you buy one that has different power levels and a reversible function for removing screws. For your drill bits, you’ll want to make sure that you get a set that is reliable and won’t break off. For some of the best sets on the market, check out some reviews and guides from the drill professionals over at Drill Bit Best. 

Once you’ve got these basics, you’ll want to slowly build up your toolset from there. Next, you might start looking at a good utility knife, or a crosscut saw and a level. It all depends on you and what type of work you want to do. Just build your tool box slowly, and remember: always go for quality over quantity.