11 Essential Tools Every Homeowner Needs for Repairs

Having the right tools for home repairs can save you time and money, and make your DIY projects more convenient. Whether you’re a beginner, or a veteran who likes to do things on your own, these tools will help you tackle common maintenance tasks like tightening loose screws and hanging pictures. 

A basic tool kit should include hex keys, a hammer, and utility knife. Also consider adding pliers to your collection for tightening wires and removing nails. Keep in mind that these tips bode well for simple tasks around the house. For larger projects, like replacing appliances, a home warranty can save you the hassles of repairing on your own. “Are home warranties worth it?” Many homeowners who have invested in a home warranty have been satisfied with knowing they can get an appliance repaired without worrying about the hiring of contractors and or replacing things on their own. 

  1. Tape Measure 

Tape measuring is essential when you’re hanging a picture, putting up shelving, or centering a TV. It also helps with larger DIY projects like refinishing furniture. 

The most popular tape measure design houses the metal or fiberglass measuring strip in a plastic or metal case that can be easily stowed in your pocket or clipped to your belt. Some models have a nail grab or scribing tool on the end of the blade hook. 

  1. Hammer 

A hammer can do just about everything, from pounding nails to removing paint. Pick a standard claw-style hammer and avoid models that are too heavy for everyday use. 

Also get a screwdriver set with both flat-head and Phillips-head screwdrivers in different sizes. A battery-powered drill is a great multipurpose power tool and it makes driving screws into walls and wood much easier. 

  1. Adjustable Wrench 

An adjustable wrench (also known as a crescent wrench) is a versatile tool that eliminates the need to carry multiple wrenches for different fastener heads. You simply adjust the jaw size to match the nut or bolt head. 

Use this handy tool for adjusting water valves, loosening pipes and assembling furniture. Just be sure to leave the jaws open a bit larger than the nut so they don’t slip off. 

  1. Pliers 

Pliers are an important tool for tackling a wide range of repairs and DIY projects. For example, needle-nose pliers are great for fishing dropped screws out of tight spaces or performing precise tasks like bending metal components. 

When choosing pliers, look for one that offers both gripping and cutting capabilities. This model by IRWIN features grooved jaws for easy gripping and a comfortable handle.

  1. Utility Knife 

A utility knife is a can’t-do-without implement that can cut through countless materials. Choose one with a retractable blade for safety and convenience. 

If you’re removing old shingles, a utility knife can be handy to slice off any excess shingle tar and cement that’s stuck to the wood. This allows you to remove the old caulk much more quickly. 

Also consider a screwdriver set. They’ll come in handy for a variety of tasks, including tightening loose screws. 

  1. Flashlight 

Flashlights are a handy tool in any situation, from searching a dark basement for damage to signaling for help during a natural disaster. They can also save lives if used with a whistle to attract attention and sound the alarm. 

Choose a flashlight with adjustable controls to meet your specific needs. You may want a model with zooming capabilities to illuminate tight spaces or a precise beam for maintenance work. 

  1. Power Drill 

A power drill is one of the most versatile hand-held power tools. It’s great for drilling holes into wood and drywall, or even driving screws. 

No home DIYer should be without this handy tool. However, it’s important to use it properly so that you don’t hurt yourself or damage your property. That means using proper safety procedures and following the instructions for each tool. 

  1. Handsaw 

When you need a cut that’s too big for a power saw but too small to use a jigsaw, hand tools are perfect. They come with a variety of blades to trim protruding pipes, remove old grout or make clean rectangles in drywall. 

These handheld tools are easy to maneuver and less expensive than power tools. You can find models that cut wood, metal and drywall. 

  1. Socket Set 

A socket set is a key tool for many home repairs. Look for a set with both standard and metric sizes, along with a variety of accessories to help you reach hard-to-reach fasteners. 

Some sets also include crow’s foot adapters, which have an open end for a socket and ratchet and can reach into tight spaces that a regular wrench wouldn’t fit. 

  1. Level

No home tool kit is complete without a level. This inexpensive DIY tool helps ensure that shelves, picture frames and other items are hanging straight on walls. Levels are available in a variety of lengths, but two-foot models work for most projects. Some include stud finders to help locate wall studs when hanging heavy items. Many also come with chalk lines to mark a line on surfaces.

Updated: November 18, 2023 — 10:20 am

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