Lifehacker points to a MSN Real Estate piece listing the 15 tools every homeowner should own. I’m working on a longer article about home workshops, but this is a good introduction to the subject.

If you don’t have a handyman in your family and don’t have a clue where to begin when it comes to assembling a proper home-repair tool kit, there’s good news: For $200, you can buy 90% of all the tools you’ll ever need to repair and maintain your home.

The article lists fifteen essential items and six “nice-to-haves”. The essentials are:

  1. Toolbox (~$30): You don’t even need to spend money on a toolbox. We use a cheap Rubbermaid tub that Kris picked up for a couple bucks.
  2. Hammer (~15): The article recommends a rubber grip, but I prefer a wooden handle.
  3. Pry bar (~$15): I didn’t have one of these at the old house — I have two now (of different sizes).
  4. Vise-grips (~$10)
  5. Needle-nose pliers (~$8)
  6. Screwdriver set (~$20)
  7. Wire cutter/stripper (~$10): I think this is optional, depending on your house. We didn’t own a wire cutter at our first house (a 20-year-old ranch) but it’s essential at our current house (a 100-year-old farm house).
  8. Tape measure (~$4)
  9. Electrical tester (~$2): I don’t think this is essential — I’ve never owned one — but it’s cheap.
  10. Reversible drill with bit set (~$40): I strongly agree with the article’s evaluation — “although stores are filled with cordless varieties, stick with a corded model: they’re lighter, cheaper, and never run out of juice”.
  11. 1/2-inch steel chisel (~$10): Again, I’ve never needed one of these, so I don’t think it’s “essential”.
  12. Utility knife (~$4)
  13. Handsaw (~$15)
  14. 9-inch torpedo level (~$9)
  15. Safety glasses (~$6)

The nice-to-haves are:

  1. 7-1/4 inch circular saw (~$80): I don’t have one of these, but that’s only because I inherited my father’s table saw.
  2. Electronic stud finder (~$10)
  3. Carpenter’s square (~$6)
  4. Random orbital sander (~$55): I have never had a need for one of these.
  5. Staple gun (~$17)
  6. Clamps (~$2-$40)

I’ll share more detailed thoughts on stocking a home workshop later this spring. One note: you can often find excellent high-quality tools for cheap at garage sales. For similar information, check out stocking the ultimate toolbox: every tool a homeowner will ever need at Curbly.

[MSN Real Estate: The 15 tools every homeowner should own]