As time goes by, as a homeowner, you’ll start experiencing more a more small repairs that need to be done around the house. Hopefully, you will learn how to take care of these issues and become more comfortable problem solving. Once you start trying to tackle more complicated repairs or bigger remodels, you will want to add some more advanced tools to your toolkit.
Impact Driver: This tool is a lot like a drill, but it is specifically used to drive screws and lags. It has a hammering effect that helps drive screws without stripping the head. They typically take a quick drive bit and they do make drill bits for them, but they aren’t generally made for drilling holes.
Circular Saw: This tool which you might have heard called a Skil Saw (Skil is actually a brand like Band Aid), is a standard saw for cutting wood. Cutting lumber down to a specific length or making straight cuts in plywood is the basic function of a circular saw.
Reciprocating Saw: This tool is also commonly called a Sawzall or a Tiger Saw, depending where you live. This device takes a straight saw blade at one end and pulls it back and forth like a robot arm sawing a log. These are great for demolition and cutting areas that you can’t get to with a circular saw.
Jig Saw: A jig saw is an essential tool if you are going to be cutting any shapes out of wood. If you want to make a custom headboard for your daughters bed with little flowers cut into it, you will need a jig saw. It takes a smaller straight blade that is thin enough to allow the saw to be turned as you cut.
2′ And 4′ Level: Once you get past hanging pictures and shelves around your home, you’ll probably want to tackle some projects that require a longer level. Most home remodels require framing, door installation, deck framing and all of these things will need a 2′ or even 4′ level. You can get fancy and get a laser level as well, but we’ll get in to those a little later.
Diagonal Cutters: When you dig into most aspects of home remodel and repair, you will undoubtedly need to clip something metal. If you need to replace some wiring or you might find a nail that missed it’s target. The diagonal cutter, also called dykes for short (stop giggling), is the right tool for the job.
Vice Grips: This tool is like a pair of pliers, but it is designed to lock into place. You set it for a certain size and then you can lock it onto whatever it is you are trying to tighten or loosen. They are pretty handy to have. You can use them to remove a stripped screw. You can lock them onto something and then hammer on the vice grips to loosen it. One time our garage door opener broke, so I just clamped a pair of vice grip onto the track to keep the garage door locked shut until I could get a new opener.
Large Hammer: A smaller hammer like a finish hammer is great for small projects and decorating, but you’ll eventually need something bigger. Home remodels and upgrades will usually call for something bigger like a framing hammer. This hammer will have a waffle head which helps hit bigger nails without slipping off the nail and will have more weight which will allow you to drive bigger nails.
Rubber Mallet: There are a lot of things that might need some hammering but would get damaged if you took your framing hammer to it. Leveling tile during installation or tapping flooring into place are a couple of upgrade items that you definitely want to have a rubber mallet for.
Socket Set: A basic socket set can be a very handy thing to have around the house. There will be many instances on the interior and exterior of your house where there are lag screws or bolts that will need to be tightened or loosened. Your fence, deck, appliances and cabinets could all have lags and bolts that you’ll need to grab a socket and ratchet to work on. And it couldn’t hurt if you own a car as well.
Allen Wrench Set: If you’ve ever assembled a piece of furniture from Ikea, you are familiar with the allen wrench. Even though Ikea gets the most jokes about their use of allen wrenches, most furniture assembly requires at least one. Also, you will find you need them for bicycle repair, musical instruments and other electronics. You can buy them in sets of metric sizes and standard sizes and each set is only about $10.
Especially when it comes to problem solving, the more tools you have at your disposal, the better chance you will have at coming up with a way to fix whatever it is that’s broken.
If you have any suggestions for tools that a homeowner should add to their set, leave them in the comments!