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]

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.