8 Tools That Should be in Every Homeowner’s Tool Bag

Posted by on June 7, 2012

There are a few tools that every homeowner should have in their bag to perform basic repairs and maintenance. The 8 tools listed below will allow you to complete almost any basic task.

Cordless Drill/Driver
If you only buy one power tool, make it a cordless drill. Accessories like drill bits, hole saws, and  screwdriver bits make the drill very versatile. Cordless drills are run off rechargable batteries and eliminate the need for an extension cord. Drills are differentiated primarily by their voltage. If all you need to do is small projects like assembling furniture a 9.6 volt to 12 volt drill is suitable. On larger projects like drilling holes through wood, a 14.4 volt or larger drill will be needed. Keep in mind, higher voltage drills weigh more, but have more power and last longer.

Multi-Bit Screwdriver
A multi-bit screwdriver takes the place of the traditional screwdriver set. Most 5-in-1 screwdrivers contain Phillips bits, flat head bits and handy nut driver bits. Cheaper than a traditional set of screwdrivers, this tool also saves space in your tool bag. The 5-in-1 is perfect for most projects, but if specialty bits are needed combination screwdrivers up to 11-in-1 are available.

One of the first tools invented, the hammer and is essential to any tool bag. A basic claw hammer can set and remove nails quickly. Heavier hammers are more effective at driving nails, but the additional weight makes them more difficult to use. Hammers are available with handles made of vibration absorbing wood or a more durable composite material. Weights can vary from 10 oz. to more than 20 oz. A 16 oz. hammer is ideal for projects like hanging pictures and removing old nails.

Adjustable Pliers
Adjustable pliers enable the user to tighten or grip objects of different size, shape, and thickness. Great for tightening those pesky toilet bolts or assembling furniture. These pliers come in sizes ranging from 6” to 20” in length depending on how large of objects need to be gripped.

Tape Measure
One of the most universal tools out there, the tape measure has thousands of applications. It’s a great reference tool when checking to see if a TV will fit on the wall or if a couch will fit through the doorway. Tape measures are available from 12′ to 30′ in length. A 20′ tape measure is a very popular size for the average consumer.

The hacksaw is a multipurpose saw that can cut materials like metal, plastic and wood. Great for cutting off rusted nuts, drain pipes and other materials. Hacksaws come in full size and compact.

Bubble Level
When hanging something on a wall, a level will ensure that the object is straight. A standard three-bubble level can be used on a vertical, horizontal or 45-degree angle surface. Levels are available in lengths of 9” up to 12’. Longer levels will give a more accurate reading, but are difficult to keep steady on smaller surfaces.

In dimly lit places nothing comes in handy more than a flashlight. Newer models are equipped with L.E.D. bulbs that last longer and use less power. Flashlights are also available in combo kits with a drill that use the same batteries for convenience. New flashlights are much improved over the traditional design that was popular for so many years. These new designs feature longer run time, increased brightness and adjustable positioning.

4 Responses to 8 Tools That Should be in Every Homeowner’s Tool Bag

  1. Joe Helms

    Not a bad list… I’m a sucker for these things!

    I’d add a pencil and a utility knife.

    Being able to mark stuff down seems pretty important to me. I guess they are so ubiquitous it’s easy to leave off the list – but I can’t even count the number of times I’ve needed a pencil or other marker and there’s nothing nearby. Usually it’s after I’ve maneuvered some part in place when I realize I’m missing one…

    A knife comes in handy in a million different ways – from cutting cardboard or string to trimming carpet scraps or cutting a hose to length. You can even use it to make a mark if you broke your pencil…

    • Asmee

      I have been using this for about six months and have alosmt retired my 110v drill. With two batteries, I never get a break between jobs and this drill has power to spare. I have been putting up a wooden fence on top of a concrete block wall and this thing outperforms my expensive 110v B&D. After only three 3/8 x 2 1/4 deep holes in the concrete, the AC drill was getting hot. The Skil worked right through without a complaint. The Bosch masonry bit isn’t bad either. Additionally, I was drilling 1/2 holes in redwood plate and 1/4 holes in eighth inch metal strap as part of the masonry drilling. When drilling the metal and the bit first pokes through, the drill alosmt torques out of your hand. I did three battery changes for a day’s work. The batteries charge quickly but, as a hint, fully drain the battery before recharging and let it cool off before putting in the charger. This applies to all DC tool batteries. The on-board bit carrier isn’t much of a feature but its there if you need it. The drill is lighter than most DC tools costing much more, is well balanced and, at the highest torque setting will drive 3 1/2 screws into studs without maxing the clutch. EDIT: Five years since I bought this and the tool works fine but the batteries are toast. They won’t hold a charge so I’m glad it came with a replacement.

  2. Jeffzx9r

    I might also suggest a cheapo headlamp (flashlight) from your local big box store. They’re indispensable for plumbing and electrical in dark places…..aren’t they all? I find the headlamp to be typically more useful than a hand-held flashlight, for actual “hands-free” work with light where you need it. I keep mine in the truck toolbox all the time.

  3. headlamps

    The most common and often used steel nail or screws must also be kept in tool kit because when hanging any thing on wall we need them badly.i also like your mentioned components of toolkit.