Every homeowner needs a supply of basic tools for maintaining and making improvements around the house. While this list of tools gets me through most home maintenance chores it is by no means complete. I’m not including yard, lawn and garden equipment on this post. I’ll save the outdoor equipment for another post.
Standard and Phillips Screw Drivers
Screw drivers are the most basic of tools and therefore a good place to start. There are screws in everything. Just look around at your furniture, cabinets, wall switches and outlets. The list is endless. You’re going to need a variety of standard and phillips screw drivers. I’ve always been a fan of Craftsman for hand tools because of their no questions asked lifetime warranty. I haven’t had to return anything in several years and with Sears Holding Corp. teetering financially, you may want to ask about the warranty before you buy.
There are many different types of pliers for different applications such as side cutter pliers, needle nose pliers, crimping pliers, etc. I’m addressing the pliers that I use the most and it’s not the standard slip joint pliers that comes to mind first. I prefer a tongue and groove pliers over a slip joint pliers simply because of the design. With the tongue and groove pliers, you get a better grip and more leverage. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Tongue and groove Slip Joint
Standard and Metric Sockets and Wrenches
A nice set of sockets and wrenches are handy to have for working on cars and equipment. I can’t think of too many uses for a socket or wrench inside the house unless you’re doing a plumbing install or repair which usually is not that frequent. I’ve been through my share of beat up cars and you’ll always have a need for sockets and wrenches when owning older cars, but hopefully, I’m past that. Now I use my sockets and wrenches more on our lawn mower and snow blower than on anything else and it’s usually for changing a blade or a wheel. Sockets and wrenches come in standard and metric sizes and you’ll probably need both. I’m taking you back to Sears and Craftsman again because of the warranty. If something happens that causes Sears to fold, I believe the Craftsman brand will live on. Ask about the warranty before you make the purchase. It’s always more economical to buy sockets and wrenches in a set and, if you’re patient, wait for them to go on sale.
3 Saws – Drywall Saw, Circular Saw and Miter Saw
I keep 3 saws on hand, a drywall saw, circular saw and miter saw.. A drywall saw is just a rough cut straight blade that comes to a point with a handle on it for cutting into drywall for installing an outlet or switch box. The same can be accomplished with a razor knife. The job is just easier with a drywall saw. A circular saw is for straight cutting lumber. I don’t use my circular saw very much because I don’t build things. I use my miter saw more than the other two and mostly for trim work. Again, Craftsman sells all 3 saws. The drywall saw is sold as a 3-n-1 Multi Saw.
I’d be lost without 3 very necessary ladders. I have 6 and 10 foot step ladders and a 28 foot aluminum extension ladder. The 6 foot step ladder is wooden and not that heavy. I use the 6 foot step ladder mostly for painting around the house inside. The 10 foot step ladder is fiberglass because a wooden one is just to heavy to move around. I use the 10 foot step ladder mostly for changing the front porch ceiling light bulb and for working around the cathedral ceiling in the kitchen. We have two skylights in the kitchen that need cleaning every so often so the 10 footer comes in handy for that and for washing a couple of windows in the kitchen that don’t tilt. Finally, I use the 28 foot aluminum extension ladder for cleaning gutters mostly. I used to use the extension ladder for painting but since the house was sided, those high painting jobs ended.
The above list of basic tools will get the average homeowner through most household tasks. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on yard, lawn and garden tools.