It doesn’t matter if you know how to build a deck or raise a barn — we all need tools. When you’re gearing up for a DIY project or preparing for simple maintenance around your apartment, you can’t go wrong stocking your toolbox with these items.
The screwdriver is perhaps the most important tool you should always have on hand. There is virtually no end to the number of everyday circumstances under which you may need one, from putting batteries in your child’s toy to hanging up some new blinds. Even an inexpensive screwdriver will serve you perfectly. If possible, buy a set that has a Phillips head, a flat head and a hex head. That way, you won’t have to make an impromptu run to the hardware store before you can use your TV remote.
The hammer is vital to any complete toolkit. It’s one of the most versatile tools in the world, helping you hang up pictures, complete simple DIY projects and remove errant nails. Trying to prepare a toolbox without a hammer is like trying to launch a rocket without fuel.
Yet another piece of equipment with endless potential, everybody needs a tape measure. It’s the easiest way to figure out a room’s dimensions, track your child’s height and everything in between.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Measure twice; cut once.” One of the most important things you can have in your toolbox is a reliable set of pencils. The scope of your next project doesn’t matter; an easily erasable writing implement is something you should always have at the ready.
If you’ve ever hung up a picture only to stand back and realize that it’s sitting crooked on the wall, you could have benefited from a level. A level uses a small air bubble to show you when the surface it’s placed against is sitting evenly so you can avoid putting holes in your wall in the wrong places.
There’s no such thing as a well-stocked toolkit without a good set of pliers. Needle nose pliers are perfect for grabbing objects in tough-to-reach places, slip-joint pliers are ideal for bending wires and thin pipes and locking pliers are the best way to loosen lug nuts and bolts. No matter what you’re planning to build or fix, the value of pliers cannot be overstated.
Wrenches come in many shapes and sizes, but there are three types that are essential to any proper toolbox. The most immediately recognizable version is the adjustable wrench, which allows you to increase or decrease the diameter of the tool to fit the bolt or nut you need to adjust. The next is the combination wrench, which comes in multiple sizes to fit most bolts, and is normally sold in a multi-pack that offers a variety of gauges. The last is the ratchet — or socket — wrench, which lets you crank the bolt down, turn the tool back and ratchet again without needing to reset like you would with a screwdriver or a traditional wrench.
By filling your toolbox with these simple items, you will be able to create something new and maintain what you already have with ease.