Homeownership is a responsibility. From leaky pipes to setting up cabinets, there’s always something to do. And while the list of tools you need may seem expensive, there are six items that we are absolutely convinced you need the most.
Some of these tools may seem obvious, but bear with us. Each one has a very important reason for being part of this super exclusive list. These tools are the most hopeful, most diverse, or are the most “don’t think you need, but you really do” tools, broken down into a top 6 list. Let’s begin.
We know what many of you are thinking. You think you don’t need a level. Save yourself the money, don’t get one. You can eyeball it well enough. If you’re unsure, you can measure how far from the floor something is to ensure its level. YOU ARE WRONG. You’ll be hanging things all the time in a house, whether it’s paintings, posters, shelves, or TV mounts. And every single time, it will be uneven. Unless you use a level that is. Phone apps claim to work as levels, they lie. Nothing makes the process easier and quicker than just using a level. Do not skip the level. It will do wonders for wall hanging.
A Stud Finder
This one is a powerful partner with the level. When hanging things on the wall, heavier items often need secured to a wall stud. Or if you’re using drywall hooks, you need to avoid the stud. You can trial and error, and that would work, but it’s annoying having to repeat until success. We didn’t have a stud finder when putting up a replacement cupboard after ours fell off. And man was it a hassle. It would have been much easier if we had a stud finder. Simplify the struggle, get a stud finder.
A Hammer and a Saw
Mankind is all too powerful with as little as a hammer and saw. With this, there is nothing man cannot build. Using just those items, a bunch of wood, and a box of nails, I managed to build an 8ft dining table, a new office desk, a foot stool, a garden box, and even small decorations for a session of Dungeon and Dragons. It can be more than that though. You can cut and replace broken floorboards, construct new wall supports, size and replace door frames, you name it. While power tools are the most effective, you can find a rather affordable pull saw that does wonders for home projects.
We’re not saying that you don’t have extension cords. We’re saying you need more. You might think you have enough. But when you suddenly need to use an electric hedge trimmer on the bushes 60ft deep into your backyard, you have a very inconvenient problem. At the minimum, we recommend a total of four extension cords. Two of them should be rated for outdoor use and run the length of your yard. The other two should be rated for indoor use and run the length of the largest room in the house. We honestly recommend keeping 3 or 4 cords at 10ft around for general surprises, but we realize that everyone has their limits.
A Wrecking Bar
Tools of destruction may seem unnecessary, until they are needed. Maybe water damage from a leaky bathtub has rotten your floorboards and they need replaced. Maybe you’re breaking down a wall to make a more open floor plan. Maybe the deck needs broken down to build a new one. A wrecking bar will help make quick work of the task. You can improvise with a normal hammer or sledgehammer, but they’re not going to be very effective. Why damage the good tools anyway? Wrecking bars can bash, pry, pull, and otherwise reduce to rubble as needed. It’s what they’re made for.
These are easily our favorite DIY tools of all time. Clamps serve a single purpose: to hold something in place. From casual woodworking, to home repair, to making sure that whatever you’re doing doesn’t keep falling over while you go find the screws you misplaced, clamps are the unsung hero of home projects. Our favorite are bar clamps, but there are tons of other varieties that help your needs. Spring clamps are the most common and are cheaper. Bar clamps can hold things together at impressive lengths, though. If you’ve ever been mad about something not staying still, then you need more clamps.