No matter where you live in, as a homeowner you always need a well-organized toolbox. Home repair is a certain thing; you must do it after a certain period and at many stages. Necessary tools may be required when you want to repair the bike of your child, put together your bed frame, or pass time on woodworking hobby. To arrange a well-stocked toolbox, the following is a list of must-have tools for you.
Essential Household Tools List for DIY Projects
1. Tape Measure
First, stay away from tape measures that combine both metric and English scales. Nothing against globalization, but looking at the two systems side by side is too confusing unless you cross international borders daily.
Though a 12-foot tape is handy for most household work, you should have a 25-footer for carpentry and other large-scale projects. Blades of most tapes show every foot, inch and fraction of an inch down to 1/32 inch. Most are also marked every 16 inches for common wall-stud spacing.
Tip from the pros: When you rewind your tape, don’t let its tab-end slam into the case; slow it with your thumb. And if your tape blade isn’t sliding smoothly, give it a shot of silicone spray.
2. Basic Hammer
The cordless drill is king; hardly anybody hammers anymore. But a hammer is still useful for tapping paint can lids shut, driving a flat bar under trim and opening the odd coconut. To begin, get a 16-ounce hammer with curved claws. Wood and fiberglass handles absorb shock better than metal handles.
3. Cordless Drill
We’ll say it again: cordless drills are king. So get one. They drive super-sharp drywall screws in softwood without predrilled pilot holes. They also drill holes up to 1-inch diameter in wood and 1/4-inch diameter in metal. These days, most feature a keyless chuck and an adjustable clutch. Start your drill bit collection with a set of high-speed steel twist drill bits. And treat yourself to a magnetic driver bit holder, which holds steel screws on the driver tip as you take aim.
4. Combination Square
We shy away from most combination tools: the more things they do, the less they do well. Yet here is a clear exception.
The square’s head, which slides along the length of its 12-inch blade, is shaped to check both 90-degree and 45-degree angles. The tool usually includes a small bubble level for quick checks of horizontal and vertical. The blade is also marked to serve as a fine measuring rule. The head locks anywhere along the blade’s length so you can mark a line parallel to a board’s edge by sliding the head along the board. When marking lines, slide the combination square to your mark, then complete the line with a sharp pencil or scribe.
5. Stud Finder
These high-tech marvels take much but not all of the guesswork out of finding the studs hidden behind drywall and plaster walls. Simply hold the tool against the wall, turn it on and slide it along until its lights indicate a change in density. It still helps to double check by traditional means, like rapping with your knuckles or measuring from a corner, but this tool will save you a lot of cussing.
Don’t use a wood saw to cut metal, you’ll destroy its teeth on the first cut. Hacksaws feature replaceable, hardened blades with fine teeth. Hacksaws vary in price from a few dollars up to $25 or more.
Rule of thumb: Choose a blade whose tooth size permits about three teeth to be in contact with whatever you’re cutting; thinner metal, finer teeth. Some can hold a blade at 45 degrees to facilitate flush cutting.
Tip from the pros: Choosing the right blade makes your work far easier and safer. Look for bimetal blades. For awkward jobs like cutting the mounting bolts off the base of a toilet, you can use a ‘mini’ or ‘flush-cut’ hacksaw, which clamps a hacksaw blade so that it projects straight out from the handle.
7. Hand or Circular Saw
For cutting wall studs and plywood, most people use a circular saw. Its motor does the work: you just guide the blade along the waste side of the cutting line. And its adjustable base ensures a consistent cutting angle tough for the beginner to match with a handsaw. A handsaw is the best answer where there isn’t room for a circular saw or when you’re far from a power source. These days, most carpenters rarely use a handsaw unless they have to.
Rule of thumb: The number of teeth per inch on a handsaw blade determines how fast and smooth the blade cuts. The fewer the teeth, the faster but rougher the cut. Your first handsaw should be an 8-point or 10-point combination saw, which cuts decently either with or across the wood’s grain.
8. Putty Knives
Smaller blades such as 1-inch putty knives are used primarily for applying glazing compound (also called window putty) to windows. Worth noting: Quality putty knives and taping knives are springy and flexible and hence should not be used as scrapers. Scrapers are much stiffer.
9. Utility Knife
Because utility knives use razor-sharp replaceable blades, they’re a good choice for cutting jobs that would ruin a regular knife blade: scoring drywall, cutting stiff materials such as asphalt shingles or vinyl flooring, cutting insulation and so forth.
What to look for: A retractable blade permits you to put the tool in your pocket without skewering your clothes or your leg. Better still; choose a knife that doesn’t require a screwdriver for blade changes.
10. Mud Pan
A mud pan holds joint compound when you’re taping and smoothing joints. It’s also handy when you patch walls, which everyone has to do sooner or later. The straight edges of the pan provide a surface to clean your knife on between strokes.
11. Taping Knives
These knives look similar, but they do different things. The medium-size blades, such as the 6-inch taping knife, spread the initial coats of joint compound (‘mud’) over drywall joints and ‘bed’ the tape in it. The 12-inch blade lays up the final coats and helps achieve a smooth, flat surface.
12. Flat Bar
A flat bar is helpful for light-duty demolition and repair work. Its short length and thin, flat profile make it particularly well-suited for prying off trim. You can use the claws at both ends for pulling nails.
Tip from the pros: Lightly sharpen the ends of your flat bar and it will be easier to slip into tight places. To protect the surface you’re prying against and add leverage, place a block between the surface and the bar.
13. Adjustable Wrench
An adjustable wrench, often referred to by the trade name, Crescent wrench, is a household must. You can set its jaws to the size of the nut you need to turn.
An ideal size is a 10-inch wrench. It can span up to 1 1/8 inches. For larger plumbing fittings, you can substitute adjustable pliers, but they’ll leave teeth marks on fittings.
Tip from the pros: Always position the wrench so that force is absorbed by the fixed, not the adjustable, jaw.
14. Adjustable Pliers
Pliers handle a vast array of gripping, pinching and turning tasks. We reach for ours almost daily. The length of 10-inch is quite convenient. Best pliers have keen teeth that hold perfectly than inexpensive usual models.
15. Wood Chisel
A wood chisel fits into places a saw can’t reach and works particularly well for mortising hinges into doors or trim. Buy a set of three, with 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch and 1-inch wide blades. Most wood chisels are reasonably sharp when you buy them; take pains to keep them sharp. Cover their cutting edges with a sleeve when you put them away.
Tip from the pros: Keep an extra, ‘beater’ chisel handy for scraping and other rough work. Never use a chisel to pry open paint cans.
16. 4-in-1 Screwdriver
Even if you already own a few screwdrivers, these multibit drivers will save time otherwise spent looking for the right screwdriver. You always have the most often-used tips—two sizes each, slotted and Phillips—right inside the handle.
17. Extension Cord
Whether your first plug-in power tool is a circular saw or just a work lamp, you’re going to need an extension cord. Get a grounded, three-prong cord. A 25-foot, 16-gauge cord is a good start. A 50-foot cord should have heavier 12-gauge wire to protect power tool motors.
18. Allen Wrenches
Many fittings that once might have been fastened with screws or machine bolts now show up with Allen screws—bolts with recessed, hexagonal openings.
You’ll use these wrenches, also known as Hex keys and Allen keys, on everything from bathtubs to ready-to-assemble furniture. They’re inexpensive, so get a set with about a dozen sizes. Get a metric set for imported cars and most bicycles
The newer ball-type tips permit you to insert the wrench from a wider range of angles than the traditional straight wrenches.
19. Voltage Tester
This inexpensive tool can save your life. Make it the next electrical tool you purchase. Always test every outlet before you begin working on an existing circuit. Better still; always test your tester on a live circuit before you rely on it to ‘prove’ a dead one.
20. Long-Nose Pliers
It is great for working in tight quarters, gripping small items, precision work, cutting wire and bending wire to wrap a terminal. Better tools have jaws and cutting blades that meet evenly.
21. Clamp Light
Sooner or later, you’ll need to shed more light on your work. And the better you can see the safer and more accurate you’ll be. Clamp these lights to a ladder, door or tree branch and adjust it to illuminate your project.
Spend some time to ensure a perfect personalized setup. After managing a great toolset, make sure to keep them in a secure toolbox so that they stay safe. Don’t set the box away from your workspace. Set it near to your hand so you can get them easily when you need. If the box can glide, that is a plus for you.