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  • Writer's pictureThe True North Handyman

10 Essential Tools for Homeowners - What's in Your Toolbox?

Whether you have two left thumbs, do the odd DIY project on the weekends, or fancy yourself an amateur handyman, you should always have a toolbox. In fact, every home should have one.

And inside that toolbox there are a few essential tools for homeowners that you don't want to be without.

These tools should cover you for those odd jobs and small fixes - everything from hanging pictures to patching small holes, even for putting together that complicated Ikea furniture.

So, what's on that list? We've got the 10 essential tools for homeowners right here.

Essential Tools for Homeowners

1. Claw Hammer

If you only have one tool, this should be it. And chances are, you probably already have one. One side of the hammerhead is flat and used for hammering, while the other has a V-shaped notch that you can use to get nails out of surfaces like wood without damaging the nails or the surface.

2. Multi-bit Screwdriver

This is the second most frequently used tool in any household. You want it for assembling furniture, removing light switch covers and tightening cabinet knobs, even opening paint cans. To cover every job, make sure you get a set variety of screw heads and sizes. You want to make sure the bit size fills the screw head entirely. A bit that's too big or too small will not seat properly, and you'll end up with a stripped screw.

3. Tape Measure

There's a saying among handymen: measure twice, cut once. This one speaks for itself...

4. Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable wrenches do a lot more than tighten nuts and bolts. This multitasker can pull hard-to-reach nails, pop a lug nut in a pinch, and replace any bendable wrench that's included in assemble-yourself furniture.

5. Pliers

2 to start with are needle-nose pliers and tongue-and-groove pliers.

You can use the needle-nose pliers to bend and grip nails and wires where bulkier tools or fingers can’t reach; the tongue-and-groove pliers are useful for tasks that involve fastening and crimping.

6. Level

No more lopsided anything... A must-have for hanging pictures, installing cabinets, or laying a patio. A sturdy metal one like this is less prone to dings than a plastic one.

7. Utility Knife

You'll be reaching for this tool again and again to open boxes, sharpen pencils, mark mortises, and shave wood. While you're at it, make sure you grab some replacement blades so you're never dealing with a dull blade when you need something sharp!

8. Putty Knife and Putty

2-in-1 here, but you're rarely going to use one without the other. Fill those small cracks or holes.

Quick Tip: You can also use the putty knife for scraping off paint or wallpaper!

9. Studfinder

A seasoned handyman can knock on pretty much any wall and find a stud, but if you don't know how to do that, no worries, a stud finder will do the job for you! This is an important tool for handing heavier objects, such as mirrors, light fixtures, shelves, or even heavy picture frames.

10. Handsaw

Around since Ancient Rome, the hand saw remains a valued tool, even with the motor-powered saws now available on the market. Less intimidating than a power saw and faster to set up, this handsaw is good for trimming lumber or making small cuts when you need to. It's portable, lightweight, and doesn’t require a power source. Manual sawing also allows for more detailed work and is safer, especially if you're not using them all the time.

When it comes to essential tools for homeowners, these 10 will cover you for almost any job you need to do at home. Others, like a cordless drill, you can add over time as you find you need them, but these are all ideal to have on hand. You never know when they might be required!

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