Regardless of where you live, chances are there will be times when you need to carry out some minor home repair jobs. From assembling a bed or a bicycle to fixing a dripping faucet, all require tools. Of course, you can call a plumber or a carpenter but remember they charge by the hour. Even if they come for a short time, you still need to pay minimum fixed charges.
To save money and valuable time, it is best to invest in some must-have home tools. Quality apparatus can help you get all the fundamental jobs done in minutes. Invest in tools that will serve you for decades to come, and you will end up saving a lot.
1. Storage of Tools
It does not matter if you are a beginner or a professional; before purchasing tools think of where you will store them. Top-quality tools are an investment, and you definitely don’t want to lose anything you invest good money in. There are many different types of storage units available. Beginners may feel more comfortable with a compact tote. However, someone slightly experienced may prefer a toolbox.
Tool Bags are portable, lightweight, and handy. Constructed out of canvas material, they have stitched pouches for easy access to different tools. They have sufficient space to hold the basic items any beginner DIYer may need. They can be purchased in different sizes. Consider the following features before selecting one.
A tool bag needs to be sturdy to be able to withstand scrapes, drops, and nonstop motion. It should be able to tolerate the elements as well. Some durable materials include nylon, canvas, and polyester. Even leather is a good option.
The tool bag you select should have a sufficient number of compartments to hold a variety of tools. Smart folds and inserts to carry small things like nails or clips are very handy. Don’t be fooled by the size, as many small tool bags can be high functioning with lots of slots.
Special Features like zippers or pockets all come in handy to carry out small plumbing or carpentry jobs. Consider the types of jobs you will most probably be doing. If your jobs require just be in one place then a duffel-type bag will be fine. However, if you are going to be in constant motion, then a bag with a shoulder strap will be more fitting.
Portable toolboxes made out of steel or plastic are the most common standard storage boxes. Usually, they come with a handle that folds down to make transport easier.
Plastic toolboxes tend to be lighter in weight compared to the same size toolbox in metal. Look for one with either removable or built-in trays. The trays are good for separating smaller tools, which may otherwise get lost in the larger ones. Small dividers help to keep different sized nails and washers separate and make access easier.
Metal toolboxes come in varying load capacities. The manufacturer determines the maximum load a given toolbox is designed to hold. The storage capacity can range from five kilograms to 50 kilograms. Tools are heavy; acquisition of a big box and adding the weight of tools can hinder transport. Investing in two may be a better option if you have lots of tools. The larger one is for permanent storage and the smaller one for only carrying tools needed for a specific job.
2. Claw Hammer to Drive Nails
A hammer is a rudimentary tool. Yet, it has a surprising number of features. It helps to hang precious family pictures and remove old, ugly nails. A hammer made from materials capable of withstanding the elements and minimizing vibrations to your arm is best.
A classic design hammer is available in different weights and handles materials. They are described according to head weight. Weights in the range of 16 to 20 ounces are ideal for a majority of DIY jobs. Look for a smooth surface as it won’t ruin surfaces you are working on. Some people find “milled face” hammers easier to work with as they don’t slip off the nails. Avoid hammers with wood handles as they tend to break off and are more slippery. Steel and fiberglass are better materials, with fiberglass being lighter. Fiberglass and wood transmit fewer vibrations, although this may not be a major factor for the occasional DIYer.
Screwdrivers are used for everything from assembling furniture to fixing light switches and numerous small jobs around the house. There are two main types you can choose from and each comes with its own sets of pros and cons. You can opt for one with interchangeable bits or get a set where each screwdriver has its own handle.
The one with interchangeable bits takes up less space. The individual screwdrivers offer a longer reach whereas, the interchangeable variety usually works near the surface. It is possible to get a longer screwdriver bit; in most cases, you need to buy in addition to the set. The individual screwdrivers tend to be larger sized, so storage requires more space. Conversely, the screwdriver bits are tiny and easy to lose.
Consider buying a set of screwdrivers if you choose not to purchase the one with interchangeable bits. Many have their own storage racks. This helps to keep them organized. The kits usually contain all sizes and shapes needed for a majority of the household jobs. This saves you the trouble of having to run out to buy one for each different job.
4. Adjustable Wrench
This is a versatile tool that goes beyond merely tightening nuts. It can pull out nails that are hard to access or pop a lug nut. It is indispensable when it comes to assembling a baby cot or a bed.
They are available in different sizes. You will need to focus on two measurements. The wrench size, which is the distance across a nut a particular wrench will fit. The other measurement is that of the handle length, which can vary from 4 to 24 inches. Usually, the longer the handle is, the more you can open the jaw. For a typical DIYer, it may be appropriate to have two different sizes to take care of most of your needs.
Tips before Purchasing
Some features to consider before purchasing one include the following:
1. Handle length is an important factor. The wrenches with longer handles provide greater torque, making it easy to remove very stubborn nuts. However, shorter handled wrenches allow you to squeeze into tighter places like under a sink. Fitting the smaller handled wrenches in a toolbox is also easier.
2. Considering that an adjustable wrench can only work in a given range, you need to choose jaw opening size wisely. The majority of the fasteners can be manipulated with wrenches in the range of ¼ to ⅞ of an inch. Smaller fasteners are more difficult to grab with an adjustable wrench, whereas the larger ones are uncommon.
3. Coating the handle with rubber makes it more comfortable to use. It also prevents slipping. Wrenches of lower quality tend not to have rubber grips, and some designs are actually painful to work with.
5. Tape Measure
It makes no difference if you are a professional or a novice; a tape measure is a must. From hanging a picture to measuring the size of a rug and building a cabinet all need exact measurements.
Types of Measuring Tapes
You may be surprised but different types of measuring tapes are intended for different purposes.
1. The cased tape measures are the most popular design. They come with a fiberglass or metal measuring strip housed in a metal or plastic casing. A clip makes it easy to attach them to a tool belt or stuff in a pocket. A standard-sized one measures 25 feet and is sufficient for most home DIY projects.
2. Other types of tapes include sewing tapes which measure can measure up to 60 or 120 inches. These are usually made of vinyl or cloth which is flexible to take body measurements.
3. Open reel tapes are more commonly used by contractors and engineers and can measure up to 500 feet. They are encased in fiberglass-coated housing and use a hand crank to retract the tape.
Tips before Buying an Incased Tape Measure
Some noteworthy features to look out for incased tape measure include:
- Stand out the blade. This is the length the tape can be extended before folding. In cheaper tapes, the blade collapses after extending only a few inches.
- Tape length. Consider the type of projects you will be doing. For most household projects the 25-foot size should be sufficient. Unless you are going to be undertaking major construction projects, anything bigger will just be extra weight.
- Markings. Make sure the markings are nice and sharp. The numbers should be clear and of good size so taking a reading is not an issue.
- Auto-lock. This is nice to have if you are working alone. The tape blade will lock into position when measuring in tight spaces. This ensures that the blade does not move accidentally to give the wrong reading.
6. Pliers & Wire Cutter & Clamps
Pliers are good helpers in holding small items and pulling or bending wire into the shape you want. According to your needs, you can choose from needle/long nose pliers, combination pliers, and locking pliers.
Tips for choosing pliers
- Close jaws. If you want a plier to work on the tiny items tightly, the plier jaws should close precisely. There should not be any large gap between the two jaws. When you hold it up to the light and you can see no light showing through the gap.
- Ergonomic handles. The plier handles should be ergonomic and have a very good touch, such as a rubberized handle.
- Sharp and durable enough. Pliers are usually used to do some rewiring jobs, such as replacing electric receptacles. Hence, the plier must be sharp and strong enough to cut the electrical wires.
The level is a must-have balance tool for homeowners to do plumbing, installing furniture and decorations, home upgrade, etc. An accurate and durable level can help you with any horizontal works. There are various types of levels you can choose from:bubble levels, laser levels, carpenter’s level, mason’s levels, torpedo levels.line levels, and water levels.
No matter what tools you finally have, home tools are worth investing to save your precious money and time. However, it is daunting to choose good quality but price-friendly tools. It requires more patience and test. As durable and easy-to-use tools can serve you for a very long time without spending extra.