If you’re looking for a list of the top 10 must have tools, you’ve come to the right place. One of my favorite sites, lists the top ten tools for any home, and I can’t say I’d change much. You’ll need the basics, listed here, for most of your projects. The lists involved will include those with the most “uses” in a DIY project.
1) Duct Tape
Duct tape is used for quick fixes of nearly anything. And if you’re on a budget, this might just get you by until you can afford a real fix. You can make quick patches, hold things in place, make a duct tape wallet, or, if you’re like my dad, pretty much fix anything in the house. You can get duct tape in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can even look cool while using it.
Everybody knows they need a hammer, right? Well if you didn’t, now you do. A hammer is useful for a limitless agenda: put up trim, assemble your “ready to assemble” furniture, hang pictures, fix a fence board that fell down, etc. I have multiple hammers, and you can get a variety of different sizes and weights, depending on what feels right to you.
Some people refer to them as pry bar, some as a cat’s paw, but at any rate, you’re sure to run into a project that you need one of these bad boys. Sometimes the claw end of a hammer just isn’t enough to get those two chunks of wood apart. Again, these come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but a good middle sized one should suffice for most of your needs.
This one is a catch-all for different types of pliers. You’ll need a pair of needle nose pliers, probably some wire cutters (I know, these aren’t pliers, but they’re close), and some with a decent grip on them, just a standard pair of pliers. With these, you’ll be able to do things like change your bike tires, unbolt those nasty bolts on furniture, and many more projects.
You’ll need a few of these as well, depending on the size, but a good set will have a few. Get a large one for those pipes, and a medium one for most everything else. Smaller ones will also assist with many projects, especially things on your car or bike.
6) Screwdriver Set
Get a set with both phillips and flat-head screwdrivers of varying sizes. Do I really need to explain more? I think we all know about screwdrivers.
7) Utility Knife (Box Knife)
Whether it’s opening boxes or packages, cutting the paint from trim, installing flooring or carpets, or really any other project around the house, you’ll need a box knife. These are inexpensive tools with incredible use.
You’ll need a level for hanging those pictures, building those shelves, or really anything else that you want to make sure things don’t roll off of. Get a medium sized one for greatest versatility.
A handsaw will be your most versatile saw until you can get a “Compound Miter Saw” for those nice finish cuts. You’ll be able to cut anything to size, which is a cornerstone of building anything with wood.
10) Tape Measure
We use our tape measure at least a few times a week. We measure where our couch will fit better, where our bedside table should go, and where the desk should sit. Then I use it to measure things, like cutting the wood with my saw, building shelves, and many more things.
This list is certainly not all encompassing, but these would be the “Basics” of the tool set. I’ll give a next ten later, with the essential power tools, but for now, these should get you started. Again, please read the full article over at How Stuff Works so you can get a better description of each of the tools.