Every home, no matter how new, needs small repairs now and again. For new homeowners and beginning DIYers, it's hard to know what tools are needed to get the job done. The hardware store is so full of great options, browsing the aisles can feel overwhelming. The following are the ten essential tools every homeowner needs to be prepared for everyday fixes.
A smooth-faced hammer with a comfortable grip is ideal for a variety of uses, such as hanging pictures and assembling furniture. A curved claw is handy for pulling out bent nails, while a straight claw works for occasional demolition.
2. Screwdriver Set
Light fixtures, cabinets, switch plates, doorknobs: homes are full of items requiring screws. A mixed-set of screwdrivers with a variety of flat head and Philips head sizes is an excellent investment and will be used time and time again. Magnetic heads are a helpful feature, as are comfortable no-slip rubber grips.
3. Duct Tape
The be-all and end-all of home repair tools, duct tape is a quick, easy fix for rips, tears, holes, and leaks. Super sticky and thick, duct tape is great for patching, and the hardware store now carries a variety of colors and designs. It is also a great temporary solution for plumbing issues. It stops leaks long enough for professional help to arrive.
4. Tape Measure
Available in a variety of sizes, 16' will get you through most household projects. An easy-locking, 3/4in wide design is sturdy enough to stay in place without being too bulky. Look for one with a nice hook at the end for easy gripping.
5. Set of Pliers
Tough enough to pinch and bend metal, yet flexible enough to hold tiny objects steady, pliers are necessary for getting a firm grip on just about anything. Look for a set that includes long-nose, tongue-and-groove, and side-cutting pliers.
6. Long and Short Adjustable Wrenches
Needed for manipulating hex nuts and bolts, both a long and short adjustable wrench will see you through many home repairs. For sticky nuts, use the longer handle wrench for more leverage. When space is tight, the shorter handle wrench is needed. The adjustable feature ensures they will fit around bolts of all sizes.
7. Utility Knife
This extremely versatile tool has a multitude of uses including opening boxes, cutting through carpet, scraping paint, and shaving wood. Invest in a high-quality model with a comfortable rubber handle. Blade storage is also a convenient feature, and increases safety, since it makes changing the blade quick and easy.
A must-have for keeping things straight and even, the hardware store has a wide range when it comes to levels. There are high-tech laser levels, but for most household projects a good old-fashioned bubble level is accurate, easy to use, and gets the job done.
9. Cordless Drill and Drill bit Set
Power drills make a lot of household projects quicker and easier. Cordless options are very convenient and guarantee no hunting for wall outlets. A drill bit set with a variety with metal, wood, and universal options ensures you have the right bit for all needs.
For the vertically challenged, a stepladder is an invaluable tool. Changing light bulbs, putting up curtains, changing smoke detector batteries- stepladders make all height-based tasks easier and safer.
All of these options (and much more) are available at the local hardware store. With these ten tools on hand, basic repairs and projects will be a breeze!