There are certain commonly used and practical tools that no household should ever be without. Male or female, renter or homeowner, things will occasionally break that you can easily fix with the right tools. Calling an expensive professional every time is unnecessary if you have a good selection of tools to help you do the job yourself.
Assembling a proper tool kit can take time and money, but if you take it slowly, one quality piece at a time, you can build a collection of which you can be proud. The following 5 tools form the solid backbone of any good tool box, and are great starter pieces for a beginning handy-person.
The hammer is the most essential tool in anyone's assortment, and can be used to hammer and remove nails, or for adjusting anything around the house that requires force beyond what the human hand can withstand. Great for hanging pictures, building and repairing structures, or even demolition, the hammer is a necessary part of any tool box.
Most experts recommend a 16-ounce hammer with a steel or fiberglass shaft, because wooden handles tend to break more easily. A smooth head is also recommended because one with texture can damage a flat surface.
2. Crescent Wrench
Any smart do-it-your-selfer knows that you need the right tool for the job, which is why pliers should never be used when a wrench is required. Pliers can strip nuts and bolts with too much pressure, but a crescent wrench is designed to hold them in place without stripping.
An adjustable crescent wrench with a sliding jaw is recommended for maximum versatility and strength.
This is a tool that can help you with more than home repairs, and that makes it a great one to have in your cache. Anytime you're having difficulty pulling something out, pliers can give you a way to tightly grip anything without hurting your hands. If you're crafty, they're also great for jewelry making, or anything electrical that involves the twisting of wire.
Needle-nose pliers are the most often recommended because they can fit into smaller spaces than regular pliers and often come with a wire cutter built into the base.
4. Flathead and Phillips Screwdriver
You will use both types of screwdrivers because there are no universal screws, so you'll need to be prepared for all kinds. Whether you are putting together furniture, taking light switch and electrical cover plates off to paint, or hanging towel bars, chances are good that you will frequently need these screwdrivers.
While the Phillips screwdriver is most commonly used because it allows for more pressure to be applied without damage, the flathead screw is still sometimes needed, so you'll want a set with different sizes of each screwdriver type, if possible.
5. Tape Measure
The tape measure will enhance the use of every other tool you own. Before you hammer a nail into your wall, use screwdrivers to mount a bracket, or even if you just need to know if that new couch you love will fit in your living room, you will find yourself getting out the tape measure before nearly everything you do that involves building or fixing.
Investing in a first-rate tape measure with both locking and retractable functions is money well spent for any household.
If you need a full selection now, and can't afford to buy top-of-the-line products individually, many tool companies sell affordable, good-quality tool kits, with some even offering lifetime warranties.
Whether you're using a hammer to put a nail in your wall to hang a picture, using your measuring tape and screwdrivers to mount shelving or tightening a dripping faucet with your crescent wrench or pliers, these five tools can help you carry out almost any simple do-it-yourself project around your home.
Jon McDonald has been writing about CNC machines for 15 years in Australia
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