When it comes to having a household tool kit, it is all about getting started and starting with quality.
Unless you are a self-certified handyman around the house, and if you are this discussion is probably of no value, you are interested in doing that list of little things, or handling an emergency until the cavalry arrives. The big things, planned or unplanned, you’ll have the professional or that trusted family/friend handle! So what tools do you need to start with?
I assume you have a flashlight. So, first, always have a metal, retractable measuring tape of at least 6-foot. The old saying is measure twice and cut once; for beginners, it is measure twice and know that the drapes or furniture or carpet you are buying will fit.
Next, get a set of screwdrivers and a standard claw hammer, for getting screws and nails into and out of things. Make the hammer a solid metal head with a grip-covered shaft; if it is too big or heavy for you to take a 6-inch swing and hit a desired point, it is too big or heavy for you to handle. With the screwdrivers, buy individually or get a set that has at least half a dozen including very small Phillips (four-pronged), small enough for use with eyeglasses, and then two or three different sizes of Phillips and flat.
From there, different people will tell you different things. I say a single needle-nose pliers and both a small and a large adjustable locking wrench are next. Make sure they have rubber grip handles. The needle-nose are for getting into tight areas where your figures are too big, or to grab or hold things … like nails you want to hammer in somewhere. The small and large locking wrenches are the only thing with moving parts or a learning curve – you have to eyeball measure what you want to grab, lock the wrench closed, and then adjust it to fit what you want to grab. You cannot go wrong with Vise-Grip locking wrenches with rubberized handles; get one small enough to clamp down on a pencil and one large enough to fit around the pipe under your kitchen sink.
To start, get a shoe box and put everything in it and place it under your sink. As you get more tools, think about a tool box. And as you think about home improvement and accessories, remember Custom Service Hardware!
Thanks, as always.
Ken, for CSHardware