Tools Every Homeowner Needs

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Tools Every Homeowner Needs

Homeowner Tools

These 15 tools are the basic list of tools every homeowner needs in their toolbox.


1. Toolbox
Today tools boxes years ago were all metal, now there are plastic versions and even soft canvas bags with lots of pockets.
2. Hammer:
Choose a vibration-dampening rubber grip. A 16-ounce steel- or fiberglass-shaft hammer.
3. Pry bar:

“A 12- to 15-inch pry bar is an absolute necessity.
4. Vise grips:
Craftsman make a decent pair.
5. Needle-nose pliers:
The long, tapering, forged head that gives needle-nose pliers their name is particularly useful in electrical work where spaces can get tight. Get a pair with a wire-cutting blade near the hinge.
6. Screwdrivers (mixed set):
Get a good-quality mixed set that includes 1/4- and 3/8-inch flat heads and No. 1 and No. 2 Phillips head drivers. Get a bit that fits your drill to for power driving.

7. Wire cutter/stripper:
8. Tape measure (16-foot min):

You’ll thank yourself for getting a good-quality, easy-locking, 3/4-inch-wide model. The half-inches just don’t stay in place when extended; the one-inches are overkill.
9. Electrical tester: $20
Before working on any wiring you should be testing to make sure the electrical current is NOT present. the tester can also be used to see if an outlet or switch is working.
10. Reversible drill with bit set:

This 3/8th-inch reversible drill is a super important tool to have. We’ve all seen the cordless varieties but if you only use tools periodically you need a corded too.  First of all their less expensive and they always have power.  Cordless tools need to be charged and often times the batteries are dead when you need them.
11. Utility knife: $4
I use my utility knife more than my hammer.  Having a utility knife with replaceable blades is also another necessity.
12. Handsaw: $15
If you invest in a circular saw, you may find few situations in which you’ll still need a handsaw.  A good utility saw is the 12-inch Stanley FatMAX.
13. A 9-inch torpedo level: $9
Torpedo levels with the bubble that floats to center are essential to leveling everything from shelving, picture frames to kitchen cabinets.  A 24″ level and a 48″ level are also useful for larger DIY projects such as deck building and door and window work.
14. Safety glasses: $6
There simply is no substitute for effective eye protection.
15.  Work gloves:  $8
A quality pair of leather gloves will protect your hands from cuts and dirt.
16. Electronic stud finder: $10
A stud finder helps you locate framing material and pipe behind a wall.

17. Carpenter’s speed square: $6
This square is triangular shaped and helps you to cut squarely when you use it to measure and mark a straight line at a right (90-degree) angle ad a 45 degree angle.  Framing squares, in the shape of an “L” are also useful on larger DIY projects for ensuring 90 degree corners..

18. Random orbital sander: $55
This tool is indispensable to the DIYer.  It quickly removes material with out leaving alot of scratches on the material.  A random orbital sander can be used on indoor bookcase and furniture projects as well as interior and exterior house trim.


19. Staple gun: $17
A staple gun comes in handy for a variety of home projects that require fast tacking, such as house wrap, insulation, carpet and upholstery.
20. Clamps: $2-$40
Having a few clamps of varying sizes is always useful when you need to hold something down or clamp something for gluing.  I recommend a pair at 12,” and 24″ to start.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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