11 Must have tools for your toolbox.



It is a Saturday afternoon and your wife gets home from shopping with a new set of shelve. One of your kids begins to nag you to fix their bike, so you go to your toolbox to find the right tools for the job. Of course you have the tools to take on these jobs, right? For many of us these days, owning a well equipped toolbox is something that only our dads did. Often when we get a home improvement project, we have to go to someone else to take care of our handyman needs. Men should be self-reliant and we are expected to have the tools and know-how to tackle basic projects around the house. If you’re one of those men who just never got around to stocking a toolbox, below is a list of 11 basic tools that kluje think every toolbox should have. 

There are a few things to remember before you head of to the hardware store and go on a shopping spree: 

There is no substitute for quality. Using a quality tool will get the job done right and more efficiently. Cheap tools will probably last for a few jobs before they snap or break on you. Invest your money in quality, durable tools that will last a lifetime. If you have no clue about which brand to go for, Do some research and speak to the sales person before buying. 

1. Claw Hammer

A good, solid hammer can be used for driving in nails or pulling out nails from wood, alternatively can also be used for small demolition jobs. Go for the classic 16 ounce hammer. It’s heavy enough for most basic home repair needs, but light enough for you to carry around without it being a nuisance. Back in the day your grandpa probably used a hammer with a wooden handle, you shouldn't. Wood handles break easily. Go with something that has a long-lasting synthetic handle. Also, when picking out a hammer, you want one that has a good balance in your hand and isn't head heavy. So go to the hardware store and try a few out before making your selection. 

2. Screwdriver

There are two basic types of screwdrivers, Phillips and Flat-head. A flat-head screwdriver has a single blade that fits into the single slot of a flat-head screw. Flat-head screws have been around for a l o n g time, so it’s likely your great-great grandpa had a few flat-head screwdrivers in his toolbox. Flat-heads can also be improvised for different uses like light prying, scrapping, and nudging. The Phillips screwdriver was Invented by Henry F. Phillips in 1936, While the Phillips screw has quickly taken the place of flat-head screws in most projects, it’s still a good idea to have a few flat-head drivers in your toolbox. A Phillips head screwdriver has a four star point at the end that fits into the corresponding screw’s shallow, cross-shaped depression. This design allows a user to apply more torque than is possible with a flat-head screwdriver. The depression forces the blades of the Phillips screwdriver to slip out before any damaging over-torquing can occur. As mentioned above, Phillips screws have pretty much replaced flat-head screws, so make sure you have a good set of Phillips screwdrivers in varying sizes. Quick tip: make sure the electricity is turned off BEFORE you start sticking a screwdriver in a light socket to pry out a broken bulb. Been there done that. 

3. Tape Measure

Whether you’re building a cupboard or measuring to see if that flat screen TV will fit in your lounge, get yourself a good quality metal tape measure, A cheap tape measures will let you down when you don't need it to. You will then be rushing of to a handyman store to get a new one, while your wife is moaning because you can't tell her what length of curtaining she needs to get. On a plus side, they’re fun for your kids. I remember my brother and I would take my dad’s measuring tape and extend the tape all the way out, releasing it, and then watch it retract. 

4. Adjustable Spanner

Now this baby will probably see a lot of action. It’s like having 50 spanners in one. The adjustable spanner is what it say's, a spanner that can be adjusted to any size. So you can use the same tool on different size nuts and bolts. I would advise to get 2 sizes, a small spanner for those smaller nuts and bolts, and a large spanner for the larger plumbing jobs. Tip: don't use as a hammer, I have seen me kids to this and it never worked correctly there after. 

5. Socket Spanners (aka the ratchet)

When you have a large project that requires you to tighten or loosen a bunch of nuts and bolts, it’s time to put aside the adjustable spanner and reach for its more efficient brother. The socket spanner ratcheting mechanism allows you to tighten a nut without having to remove and refit the spanner after each and every turn. This will make your life a whole lot easier when you’re taking on larger projects and will get the job done in time to watch that important match on TV. 

6. Vise Grips (locking) Pliers

Vise grips come in handy when you need an extra hand but only have your own two mitts to work with. Vise grips are pliers that lock in place. Some locking pliers use a mechanism that allows one- handed release of the locking mechanism; others require two hands to disengage. They are versatile tools that can be used as pliers, a pipe wrench, an adjustable wrench, a ratchet, or a clamp. Again don't use as a hammer. 

7. Needle Nose Pliers

This tool is an essential tool for any electrical work. Needle nose pliers are good for any household project which requires you to cut, bend, grip, or strip wire. Because of their long and skinny shape, they’re particularly useful for getting into small cavities. Like a screwdriver make sure the electricity is turned off BEFORE you start using the pliers to pry out a broken bulb. 

8. Cordless Drill and Bits

This is by far my favorite tool of them all. A good quality cordless drill is an essential tool to have in your toolbox. When choosing a cordless drill, you want one with lots of power. A 18 volt is the bad boy but 12 volt will do, Get a drill that has a Li-ion battery, they last longer and are much lighter. Also, make sure the drill you get has multiple speeds and is reversible. The reversible feature will come in handy when your wife decides to change her mind where she wants that shelf you just put up.. 

9. Hand Saw

A good general purpose handsaw is useful for trimming branches off your tree or cutting lumber for a project around the house. There are different types of saws so get a general hand saw and purchase the other types as you need them. Ask a sales person or do some research on what saw you need for what type of cut you want. There are too many to mention here, that is for another blog post. . 

10. Level

If you are very particular about things been level this is the one thing you must have in your toolbox. Whether you’re hanging up pictures or putting up a shelf a straight and level line is absolutely crucial. You don’t want to put a bunch of nails in the wall, only to step back and see that it’s crooked. To get the job done right the first time, you need to use a level. There are some sophisticated laser levels available these days, but you can’t beat the satisfaction of nudging that bubble into place. If you are a tech kind of guy, the iPhone level app may be the thing for your.

11. Utility Knife

This probably is not the most exciting tool you have but it is very useful. This is the one tool that will not gathering dust at the bottom of your toolbox. Every project will provide you with plenty of opportunities to cut and scrape.There are hundreds of tasks that cry out for the utility knife’s super sharp blade. Just be very careful using it. Trust me I know! 

This is what I thing a basic but useful toolbox should have. Now it’s your turn. Did we leave any tools off the list that you think should be in every man’s toolbox? If you disagree with the ones that made it on the list? Drop a line in the comment box and offer your suggestions.


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