The Well-Stocked ToolboxYour first dorm room, your first apartment, your first house; whatever your situation, one of the most essential items you’ll find yourself going to over and over again is your toolbox. Hanging pictures, assembling furniture and putting up window treatments all require tools, so even if you don’t consider yourself handy, these essentials will help anyone through most situations.
- General rule of thumb: Buy the best you can afford. Skimping on quality will only lead to additional replacement purchases in the future and possibly injury. Reasonably priced and well constructed tools are widely available, as are well informed salespeople to answer your questions and to make suggestions.
- A good claw hammer. One that is heavy enough to get the job done, but comfortable for you to handle. The “claw” will be a saving grace when you hit those nails sideways.
- Several sizes of flat-head and Phillips-head screwdrivers. Cordless screwdrivers usually have a few interchangeable driver heads and can save your wrist some anguish. Just remember to keep your cordless charged.
- Needle-nose, slip-joint and wire cutting pliers.
- A medium size adjustable wrench or combination wrench.
- A ratchet set with assorted sockets.
- A utility knife that either “breaks away” when the point gets dull, or has replaceable blades.
- A torpedo level. Takes the guesswork out of hanging things straight and is compact to store easily.
- A retractable tape measure, preferably one that locks.
- A set of Allen wrenches. These unassuming looking tools do wonders when required.
- An assortment of screws, nails and wall anchors.
- Electrical, masking and duct tape.
- Assorted wire ties to keep your electronic wiring at bay.
- A toolbox! A standard sturdy one should do the trick. As tempted as you may be to throw everything in a bucket, organization really is the key and will take the frustration out of searching and digging for something when you need it immediately. Even better if has a removable tray.
- A home repair manual. This doesn’t literally need to be in the toolbox, but it’s a great reference tool for all sorts of scenarios.
- A chisel.
- A small handsaw.
- A stud finder. (No, this is not a dating service).
- A cordless drill. This is a surprisingly simple and easy tool.
- Safety goggles – especially if you’re springing for that cordless drill.
- A box of disposable latex gloves. You’ll be shocked at how many times you reach for these.
- A flashlight. There should already be one (or several) in your home for emergencies, however it’s good to have a small one in your toolbox in case you’re working on something and require one – it will be within arm’s reach.
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