Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Even if you aren’t particularly handy or don’t own a home, you still need to keep several tools in your toolbox. You never know when you’ll need to hang a picture or make minor repairs. Don’t be that person who tries to cut wire with scissors or hammer nails with a shoe. I probably use each of these tools on almost a daily basis. If you are missing some of them from your toolbox, most can be purchased for $10-$20. If you don’t have room in your budget, add them on your Christmas list this year.
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Needle nose pliers. Needle nose pliers help get a better grip and extra leverage. The narrow “needle nose” design helps them reach into tight spaces. They also feature a wire cutter for cutting thin wire. Get one for under $10 at both Home Depot and Amazon.
Screwdriver set. Used to tighten and loosen screws, screwdrivers are sometimes needed to change a light bulb or replace a battery in small electronics. You need both flat head and Philips head screwdrivers. Get a basic set at Home Depot for under $10. If you want to get a more complete set, check out this set from Amazon, which includes Torx screwdriver bits as well.
Socket wrench set. Socket wrenches are one of my favorite tools. They make tightening and loosening hex bolts so much faster and easier. They are extremely handy when performing basic car maintenance, like changing the oil or replacing the air filter. These basic sets from Home Depot and Amazon cost around $30, but they are definitely worth the money.
Adjustable wrench. An adjustable wrench (sometimes called an adjustable Crescent wrench) is used to tighten or loosen nuts or bolts, and comes in handy when a socket wrench can’t do the job. If you are just a beginner looking to stock a basic toolbox with essentials, there's not need to buy a set. You can buy one from Home Depot or Amazon for around $10.
Power Drill. If you only buy one power tool, make it a power drill. If you plan to hang heavier items on the wall, often hammering a nail into the wall is not good enough. To safely hang heavier items, you’ll need a power drill to drill a hole to install a drywall mount for a safer and more secure installation. Drills can be corded or cordless. The corded are usually cheaper, but the cordless are more convenient if an outlet isn't nearby. You can get a decent corded drill for under $30, and I recommend the Ryobi 5.5 Amp Corded 3/8 in. Variable Speed Compact Drill/Driver. I use mine for all my woodworking projects. You can get it at Amazon or Home Depot.
Level. A level is useful if you ever need to plumb up a leaning cabinet door or hang a picture. Wall hangings also need to be re-leveled regularly since bumps against the wall and doors closing can cause them shift and hang at an angle. You can get a basic level for under $10 at both Amazon and Home Depot.
Tape measure. If you ever need to make sure a piece of furniture you want to purchase (or build!) will fit in your home, using a tape measure to get dimensions before you head to the store will save you time and money. They come in all lengths, but if you're just using it for hanging pictures, this Stanley 10' tape measure will do the trick. If you plan to use it more extensively around the house, outdoors, and for wo0dworking, the Stanley 25' tape measure is more versatile.
Duct tape and WD-40. Okay, not technically tools, but these are still extremely useful to keep around. Duct tape can provide a temporary patch to prevent leaks, and WD-40 can keep your doors from squeaking.
Are there any other tools that you use on a regular basis that you consider essential? Let me know by commenting below!