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General: The Home Repair Tool Kit

Regardless of whether you are a handy-person or not, if you own a home, you need a tool kit. There are just too many things that need adjustment or repair, and that can be easily fixed by practically anyone with only marginal hands skills. I have listed below a very basic list of necessary tools for the average homeowner.

Screwdriver: Buy one as shown with interchangeable bits; they’ll work in almost any situation.
Hammer: Hammers are rated by weight. A 16 oz. one is a good compromise for most homeowners, and can be used for everything from hanging pictures to repairing or assembling furniture.
Utility knife: Great for opening fertilizer, mulch, or cutting the cords on pine straw. Can also be used for caulk removal, crafts, and sharpening pencils.
Tape measure: A medium quality of at least 20’ is sufficient for most homeowners. Can be used for measuring for window coverings, rugs, building projects, and countless other purposes.
Pliers: Buy three. An inexpensive pair of needle nose is handy for intricate repairs or connections on electronics, and can also be used to reach into tiny spaces to remove debris or dropped screws. Also buy a standard pair of 6” and a pair of adjustable groove-joint pliers.
A 4” taping knife: Used to repair small holes in drywall, but can also be used as a paint shield, working with cement, patching holes in woodwork, and scraping gunk from floors or other surfaces.
Flashlight: Get a decent one. (I probably own a dozen or more of various sizes) If you purchase only one, I’d recommend one that takes 2 or 3 “D” cell batteries.
Prying tool: Commonly called a flat bar, I’d buy one about a foot long. Can be used to remove nails, as a wedge to pry materials apart, for opening furniture crates, or dozens of other uses around the house.
Five-in-one tool: Named this because of its versatility, and commonly used by painters for scraping, opening paint buckets, and opening paint-stuck windows, this tool has many uses.
Small level: For many tasks a simple 6” torpedo level is sufficient, but the serious handy-person will want to purchase a 30” or larger level for most home projects.
Electrical Tester: While many homeowners choose not to do any electrical repairs, a simple electrical tester may still come in handy to test electrical outlets or to make other simple electrical tests.
Picture hanging hardware: I’d buy an assortment of picture hangers and a few plastic anchors to keep on hand.
Homeowner tool kitNail and screw assortment: I recommend 3 or 4 sizes of nails and an equal assortment of both wood and metal screws. They come in handy installing bath and other hardware, adjusting door locks or hinges, or craft projects.

Depending upon your needs, interests, and skill level you may want to add an inexpensive socket wrench set, a set of wood chisels, vise-grip pliers, a small handsaw, stud-finder, and a cordless drill.


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