These Tools Should Be In Your Home Tool Kit
Whether you're a rookie or a veteran handyman, these staples should be in your tool kit
There’s no such a thing as a perfect home—there’s always something or somewhere in every home which requires repair, upkeep, or improvement. But you don’t always need to call a handyman; with the right tools, you can tackle the simplest home repairs yourself. But if you are uncertain of what types, sizes, and brands to get, ask a professional for advice. Engineer Bimbo Mislang recommends 10 essential tools that every homeowner must possess, to get you through the most basic home repair and handiwork projects.
Retractable tape measure
This item is necessary for pre-construction and pre-installation. Bimbo says, “A 1-inch, 25-foot tape should be sufficient. Select one that has a locking feature.”
These are the immediate fixes for emergency situations such as leaky roofs and pipes, exposed electrical wires, peeling edges, and chipped ceramics. “A bottle of carpenter’s glue, sealants such as Epoxy and Vulcaseal, instant glue like Mighty Bond, and rolls of electrical, masking, duct, and Teflon pipe thread tape [are necessary],” Bimbo shares.
Utility knife/cutter with a retractable blade
This tool is useful for cutting various materials, from paper to thin plastics to wooden sticks. Bimbo regards this as more of a model-maker’s tool, “but it’s handy nonetheless.” Don’t get the cheapest option as the blade retractor can slip due to poor quality and therefore risk your hands and your work. Also, make sure to retract the blade after use.
This tool is necessary for handling parts. Bimbo enumerates the three most necessary types: ordinary pliers for clamping smaller fixtures and for fitting; needle-nosed pliers for tinier objects and spaces; and a wire cutter. “Pliers tend to scar fixtures that you use them on due to their jagged jaws… Wrap the fixture with tape to protect it before using the pliers on it.”
You never know when emergencies like wobbly chair legs or busted lamps may occur, so it’s best to keep spare items in your kit. “Keep an assortment of screws, hooks and nails, socket replacement, and a spare bulb,” Bimbo says.
This tool will be efficient when it comes to clearing clogged drains. Bimbo says, “It won’t hurt to use the plunger every time you clean your toilet and bath even when there are no visible clogs.”
The claw hammer is a must-have for driving and removing nails. Bimbo advises, “Buy one that weighs comfortably in your hand and has a good fitting grip; otherwise, you won’t be able to use it properly.”
For plumbing works such as dismantling clogged plumbing traps, the pipe wrench is the most efficient tool. An adjustable wrench will eliminate the need for an entire set of socket wrenches. “If you are only going to buy one size of a given adjustable tool, get a larger one,” Bimbo suggests. “It can operate on small parts, however clumsily, but it will get you through a wide range of jobs.” Just remember to turn off your water valves before doing any plumbing work.
This will serve as your main assembly tool. There are different bits for screwdrivers, but the most essential and most commonly-used gripping points as the flat blade and the Philips-head.
This carpentry tool is another necessary addition to your starter kit. Bimbo says that a small handsaw with a 12-inch blade should be able to do whatever lumber or plywood sawing job might come up. “You won’t get a smooth edge with it, but it does the work. Just even out the cut by sanding the wood.” However, if you are really serious about your woodwork, he recommends purchasing an electric circular saw instead.
This article originally appeared as “The DIY Starter Kit: Don’t stay home without it” in the August 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine.
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