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:
- 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.
- Hammer (~15): The article recommends a rubber grip, but I prefer a wooden handle.
- Pry bar (~$15): I didn’t have one of these at the old house — I have two now (of different sizes).
- Vise-grips (~$10)
- Needle-nose pliers (~$8)
- Screwdriver set (~$20)
- 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).
- Tape measure (~$4)
- Electrical tester (~$2): I don’t think this is essential — I’ve never owned one — but it’s cheap.
- 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”.
- 1/2-inch steel chisel (~$10): Again, I’ve never needed one of these, so I don’t think it’s “essential”.
- Utility knife (~$4)
- Handsaw (~$15)
- 9-inch torpedo level (~$9)
- Safety glasses (~$6)
The nice-to-haves are:
- 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.
- Electronic stud finder (~$10)
- Carpenter’s square (~$6)
- Random orbital sander (~$55): I have never had a need for one of these.
- Staple gun (~$17)
- 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]