What Tools To Have In Your Toolbox

What tools to have in your toolbox. Having the basic necessary tools will result in successful building projects.

For a number of years I worked for a company that manufactured tools. Over the course of those years I pretty much learned what should go into a homeowners' toolbox. By having the proper tools on hand to work with will certainly make it easier to get whatever project must be completed done efficiently and most importantly correctly. The following is a "basic" list of those tools that should be a part of every homeowner's toolbox.

Screwdrivers: Having the right one will alleviate some or a lot of frustration. The toolbox should contain both the Phillips type screwdriver for cross-slotted screws and the flat type screwdriver for the slotted screws. These can come in a 1/8-inch blade, ΒΌ-inch blade, 5/16-inch blade, and a 3/8-inch blade. When choosing a screwdriver to use, it should be no wider than the screw head and of course fit the screw slot. These screwdrivers can come long and thin or short and stubby, and having both styles on hand is a definite plus.

Pliers: The most common are your slip-joint pliers. There are also needle-nosed pliers for tight, hard-to-reach places, and mechanic's pliers used by plumbers as this tool provides good leverage.

Wrenches: Adjustable crescent wrenches, good for loosening or tightening nuts and bolts. Open-ended wrenches will allow for flexibility in reaching hard-to-reach areas. Pipe wrenches are good for plumbing needs.

Hammers: One really needs basically two styles - one for removing nails, which is the claw type hammer, a.k.a. curved claw nail hammer, and a lighter weight hammer called a ball peen hammer. But for more specific jobs a Machinist's Riveting hammer, Upholsterer's hammer, an Engineer's hammer can be added to the toolbox selection.

Saws: A hack saw is a fine-tooth saw used for cutting into metal and good for shortening nails, or making a piece of piping fit a particular job. A coping saw, which is a saw blade set into a steel frame, a.k.a. jig saw is perfect for those interior jobs or any job requiring the cutting of thin wood. A crosscut saw, which is used to cut across the grain of a piece of wood, is used for cutting the larger pieces of wood. A toolbox containing all three will offer a good enough selection for just about any home building or repair project.



Drills: Whether cordless or electric, a nice portable drill will allow you to start that hole before inserting the screw. This tool will make life much more simple when doing most building and repair projects.

This toolbox should also contain a variety or assortment of screws, both slotted and Phillips in a variety of diameters and lengths. (Round head, flat head, oval head, wood screws, lag screws, metal screws to name a few.) Also, nails (flatheads, common, casing, box, finishing, and brads, again to name a few.) By getting familiar with the variety of screws and nails available and their specific function will certainly help cover most home building and repair projects. Also washers (flat, split lock, shake proof) and nuts (square, hexagonal, jam, castellated) and bolts (carriage, machine, and stove.) These common fasteners kept on hand will alleviate unnecessary trips to the hardware store.

A utility knife, preferably one with a retractable blade is a must to have inside the toolbox since this is a tool that will come in handy for many jobs, such as cutting dry wall, scoring tile, trimming. The list for his particular tool can be endless. This along with putty knife for either applying the putty (or plastic wood) or for those jobs that require any amount of scraping.

Another handy item to keep in a toolbox is a bottle of glue for those quick fix me ups, and along with that bottle of glue a small selection of clamps to hold together those things that require gluing. Masking tape, which will probably be used for interior paint jobs, i.e. painting around doorknobs, moldings, windowsills and other tight areas should be included. Also, sandpaper in the various grades. And spackling compound, electrical tape, and steel wool should also be included into the toolbox inventory.

And of course a ruler a.k.a. a yardstick and/or steel 12-foot tape measure to ensure that everything is being properly measured. Also a level to ensure that everything is perfectly leveled.

This is just a basic list that I feel will cover most homeowner's toolbox needs and help make that next project not only a little bit easier to get through, but also help it turn out successful.

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