You have just moved into your house and need to put together some furniture. If only you had the right tools for the job! Previous generations grew up seeing their fathers lug around a well-stocked toolbox. These days, however, most people will hire someone to secure a loose floorboard or fix a leaking pipe.
It’s important to be self-reliant, especially when you need to have some emergency repairs done. This is why we have come up with a list of a few basic tools and accessories that should go into the perfect toolbox.
Before You Buy
Consider a couple of things before you head over to the home improvement store and go on a shopping spree for toolbox supplies:
Spend on quality tools – You can go to Walmart and purchase a 102-piece set of toolbox supplies for $30. These shoddy tools will probably last a couple of jobs before they snap or break. Spend a bit more on quality, solid instruments that will last forever.
Buy one tool at a time – You don’t have to purchase a complete set of tools all at once. Buy one or two tools at a time to spread out the expense. A great way to assemble your toolbox is to buy specific items for specific jobs.
Essential Tools for a Well-equipped Toolbox
No toolbox is complete without a claw hammer.
A strong hammer can be used for driving nails into wood or for small demolition tasks. Go for the classic 16-ounce hammer. It might be heavy for most of your basic home repairs, but it’s light enough for you to carry around.
Your grandfather may have used a hammer with a wooden handle, but you shouldn’t. Wooden handles break easily. Choose a tool that has a strong fiberglass handle and make sure it fits well in your hand. Visit a tool shop and try holding a few different hammers before you decide on your purchase.
A flathead screwdriver has a wide, flat tip that fits into the straight slot of a flathead screw. Flathead screws are extremely common, so it’s quite possible your father had a few of these screwdrivers in his toolbox. While the Phillips screw has replaced the flathead screw in most jobs, it’s still sensible to have a couple of flathead screwdrivers in your tool arsenal.
A Phillips screwdriver has a pointed, cross-shaped tip that fits into the intersecting slots on the corresponding screwhead. The Phillips Screw Company was the original manufacturer of this type of screwdriver. The design allows you to apply more torque compared to the flathead screwdriver.
If you’re constructing an entertainment center and are measuring to make sure your flat-screen TV will fit into it, a dependable, retractable metal measuring tape is an absolute necessity. Go old-school with this tool and get a 16- or 25-foot tape. A 16-foot tape measure will be too short for a craftsman, but good for doing basic work around the house, and it’s much easier to handle than the 30- or 35-footer.
Pliers that have a locking jaw and sharp teeth, sometimes called vise grips, are best used for tearing apart something that is already heavily damaged. They should not be used on items that are in good shape. Locking pliers are adaptable instruments and are essential components of toolboxes.
They can be used to secure wires, pipes, and other materials so they can be moved or detached. Locking pliers are perfect, since they permit one-hand movement, making them easier to use than other designs. Pliers are a superb tool for making those little jobs around the house simpler.
A cordless drill is a must-have for your toolkit. Choose a cordless drill that has multiple power settings. Power corresponds to the voltage of the battery. Increased voltage, however, means a larger battery and more weight. An 18-volt drill weighs 10 pounds, while a 12-volt model weighs quite a bit less. Also, be sure that the drill you get has multiple speeds and is reversible. The reversible feature will prove useful for different kinds of work.
The adjustable wrench is an absolute necessity for a well-stocked toolbox! This instrument will probably see more action than all your other tools. It’s adjustable, so it can be made to fit the size of the pipe or funnel you are working with. Even if your house is held together with different sizes and shapes of nuts and bolts, there is no need to buy 10 different wrenches. The adjustable wrench will meet all your DIY needs.
Stocking your toolbox does not necessarily have to be an expensive affair. You don’t have to spend loads of cash on all kinds of tools, wondering if and when you might need them. Invest in quality toolbox supplies. They might be costlier, but they’ll be worth the money in the long run.
It’s important not to buy tools and accessories for your toolbox on impulse. Carefully select your tools by holding them and trying out different designs to see which one is most comfortable to work with.