What to Include in a Beginner’s Toolkit
Whether you’re moving into your first home or simply trying to become more handy, a well-stocked toolkit can be essential. Having basic tools available can help you respond to a variety of home maintenance tasks, furniture assembly projects and emergency repairs that may come your way.
This slideshow includes a selection of important tools you may want to include in your toolkit. Remember that you may need additional tools for specific projects. That said, consider these items for your first toolkit:
ToolboxFirst things first: the toolbox itself. When selecting one, make sure it’s big and sturdy enough to fit all your tools, DIY Network says. Whether it’s made of steel, aluminum or plastic, you may want to find one that contains an inside compartment or removable tray to contain odds and ends, such as spare nails.
Safety EquipmentDon’t forget to include safety essentials in your toolkit. Work gloves, safety goggles or glasses will help protect your hands and eyes while working on projects around the house, DIY Network says. You may also invest in a dust mask to help prevent you from inhaling harmful substances.
Claw HammerA cornerstone of any toolkit, a claw hammer will come in handy when you need to hang anything on your walls or put together ready-to-assemble furniture, This Old House says. The curved claw will help you pull out nails when they bend.
Adjustable WrenchAlso known as a crescent wrench, this is a useful addition to any kit, the Handyguys say. Since the jaws of the opening can be adjusted, you’ll be able to tighten nuts and bolts of various sizes, according to the Handyguys.
Screwdriver SetA screwdriver set — or one screwdriver with multiple bits — will help you complete a number of projects, from installing light switches to opening up a paint can lid, This Old House says. A set containing a variety of sizes in both flathead and Phillips-head models will give you the most versatility, no matter what type of screws you’re working with.
PliersThe Handyguys suggest you include locking pliers in your toolkit. These will allow you to grip everything from fixtures to nuts, DIY Network says.
Utility KnifeA utility knife can come in handy for a wide range of tasks, from shaving wood to opening boxes, This Old House notes.
Putty KnifeThe putty knife is dual-purpose. First, it can smooth over putty or mend plaster, according to Martha Stewart. Second, it can come in handy as a scraper to remove loose or flaky surfaces, such as peeling paint, or decorative coverings, DIY Network says.
Measuring TapeMeasuring tape is a must-have in order to get accurate measurements. DIY Network recommends a measuring tape that’s lockable and retractable.
LevelA level is necessary whenever you need to make sure something’s straight, whether you’re hanging pictures or installing a shelf. This Old House suggests you pick a sturdy metal level, rather than one made of plastic, to help prevent it from being damaged too easily.
Nails and ScrewsInclude a selection of nails and screws in various sizes so you’re prepared for a variety of projects, DIY Network advises. Keep your hardware organized by storing your collection in a flat tray separated out by compartments.
Cordless DrillWhether you’re drilling pilot holes or screws, a drill can be useful. A cordless option allows you to take your drill anywhere you need to use it, This Old House notes. When picking out a cordless drill, there are a couple things to consider. First is power: The higher the voltage, the more powerful it is, This Old House says, but it will also make for a heavier drill. You’ll also want to look at the grip. If possible, look at several options at your local hardware store, comparing how they feel in your hand. Take note of their weight and how balanced they seem, This Old House recommends.