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16 Tools Every Homeowner Needs

Toolbox filled with tools

What tools does a new homeowner need? How about: What tools should every house have?

The majority of residencies need a few tools to survive, repair fixtures, hang decorations, and do whatever else that’s necessary. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, there are essential tools you should keep on hand to ensure you don’t get into a bind. Rather than needing to call a professional or have to go the extra mile by heading to the store each time you need a new tool, keep these tools… handy.

1. Hammer

Claw hammer with rubber handle
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Claw Hammer$5.97ANViL

Everyone knows that the hammer is useful for pounding in nails, but it’s one of the most essential tools of all time. There are a variety of hammers out on the market, each with a unique use. Claw hammers are also good for the removal of nails! The hammer you’ll definitely need is just a regular weighted fiberglass claw hammer with a comfortable grip. You’ll find that rubber handles are much easier on the palm of your hand with the shock absorption.

2. Nails, Screws, Hooks

Fasteners, screws, nails, and bolts
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Nails, Screws, Hooks$0.75+Grip-Rite

Buy a variety of fasteners. Fasteners refer to nails, screws, hooks, and bolts.

Nails are great for hanging up decorations like picture frames, clocks, and children’s drawings they made for mom and dad. Screws are for objects that need more reinforcement. Shelving, cabinets, and some other decorations need screws as they are less likely to fall out. Hooks are great for hanging anything but are especially useful for items that you’ll be hanging and removing often.

3. Tape Measure

Yellow and silver tape measure
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
25 ft. Tape Measure$9.88Stanley

A tape measure (not “measurer”) is useful for… measuring things. You’ll use a tape measure anytime you want to get specific with your measurements, such as when you’re remodeling. If you’re just eyeballing where the second picture frame should go, you’ll notice a few differences when you’re hanging them. If you are measuring, don’t use a pen, use a pencil so you can easily remove your marks with soap and water.

4. Screwdriver Set

Basic black and red screwdrivers
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Screwdriver Set$14.98CRAFTSMAN

There are many occasions when a screwdriver set will come in handy. If you’ve ever built IKEA furniture or ANY furniture yourself, you’ll understand that a screwdriver is so very important. You can get an entire screwdriver set, or get a set that is interchangeable in the heads. Multi-bit screwdrivers are cheap and useful for most circumstances.

5. Level

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
9 in. Level (Spirit Level, Bubble Level)$3.18Kapro

The tape measure can only measure distance, it doesn’t fully help with alignment. If you want a perfectly flat table or decorations that aren’t slanted (a major OCD for many of us) then get a level and never worry about the slanting again.

6. Extension Cord

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
15 ft. Extension Cord$9.99UltraPro

Many of the power tools in your home that you’ll acquire only come with a short cord. That’s no fun when your electrical unit is 12 feet across the room and your cord only reaches 6. Get a nice, long extension cord; preferably one that has three prongs rather than two since this can be used for both two and three-prong cords.

7. Drill Set

DEWALT power drill
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Drill Set$113.99DEWALT

A power drill set is so helpful in situations when you need more power! Essentially, think of a power drill set as an automatic screwdriver, just with way more power and much less effort. Go with a power drill set that is cordless and comes with multiple battery packs, extensions, and is 18-Volts or higher so you have more power.

8. Tape

Scotch duct tape roll
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
35 yd. Duct Tape$7.98Gorilla

Tape comes in handy when you need to patch something up or to keep things together. It’s less messy than glue, though it doesn’t look as pretty. Duct tape is very strong but should only be used for anything non-electric. If you need to keep wires together, use electrical tape.

9. Super Glue

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Super Glue$5.97Gorilla

Super glue is extremely useful for closing gaps and patching materials together. Be extra cautious as you don’t want the super glue to get on your skin, not only is it filled with chemicals, it’s also a nightmare to take off. It is very messy if you don’t have a steady hand.

10. Flashlight

LED high-lumen handheld flashlight
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
S1000 Lumen Flashlight$9.99Amuoc

Everyone needs a handheld flashlight. While many phones nowadays come with flashlights, that’s only good for immediate needs and isn’t preferable for all spaces. A typical flashlight will shine at 100 lumens (the brightness that the lightbulb emits). Get an LED flashlight that shines at 100 lumens or greater. We recommend 1,000 lumens for the best light that’s not too bright.

11. Pliers

Set of 3 pliers
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Pliers$12.97Stanley

Pliers are great for keeping small objects immobile or for the removal of small materials, such as nails. There are a variety of pliers to choose from and each is very useful. Long-nose pliers are great for reaching things that might be tucked away and are hard to get to. Combination pliers are great for gripping, bending, cutting, and removing materials. Locking pliers are useful when you need more torque with the addition of a better grip.

We suggest you get all three types of pliers.

12. Utility Knife

Red utility knife/box cutter
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Utility Knife (Box Cutter)$13.99Fancii

Utility knives (also known as boxcutters) are adjustable knives that are very sharp and are typically used for cutting through rough materials. They are particularly known for cutting through boxes, but there is a myriad of other materials they can cut through including drywall.

13. Wrenches

2 silver wrenches
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Wrenches$24.97Husky

Wrenches are great when it comes to tightening bolts and hex nuts. It’s always best to use a tool for its intended purpose instead of repurposing it for convenience’s sake. Meaning, don’t use a pair of pliers to do a wrench’s job. We suggest getting several wrenches of various sizes from small to large or purchasing an adjustable wrench.

14. Plunger

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Plunger$4.88E-Z Bellows

Get a plunger. Sometimes a plumber isn’t needed when it comes to a backed-up toilet and all you need is to put in a little bit of elbow grease yourself. Use a plunger for toilet drains as the powerful suction will aid in releasing the pressure caused by the materials clogging it.

15. Toolbox

Toolbox filled with tools
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Toolbox$42.99DEWALT

Well, you have to have a place to store all of your tools, right? Get yourself a handy-dandy toolbox that can contain all of your new tools included in this list. Get a big enough toolbox that has some extra space for more tools if you need them. You don’t need anything fancy, just something that you can carry around with a handle for transportation.

16. Ladder

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Ladder$79Werner

Finally, get yourself a ladder. Ladders are invaluable as you’ll likely need to use it for replacing light bulbs, cleaning appliances and cabinetry that’s out of reach, and replacing the smoke monitors’ batteries every now and then.

If there’s something in this list that we’re missing or a tool that you use regularly, go ahead and leave us a comment. Have fun with your new tools!