Must Have Tools for the Homeowner

January 21, 2018

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© Lincoln’s Tool Chest


               During our lifetime, we will inadvertantly face a multitude of new and unforeseen situations. This is especially true if you own your own house, town-home, or live on your own in an apartment. There is no convenient time for something to break and even if you don’t intentionally involve yourself mechanical undertakings like home improvement projects, life will undoubtedly through you into predicaments where you will need at least a few tools to get by. In this post I will detail the essential tools needed for, well, just living I guess! Read below for a list of Must have tools for the Homeowner:

  • HammerNo matter where you live or what you live in, you will eventually need a hammer. Whether you need to hang some pictures on the wall, remove something with its claw or smash something after having a bad day, at some point in your life you will need one of these. A must have.

  • Knife From opening boxes to a thousand other cutting tasks, there is no doubt that a knife will come in handy at some point. Save yourself the headache of trying to improvise and keep one on hand.
  • Tape Measure Another tool you are guaranteed to reach for at some point, a tape measure also has many uses around the house. If you need to measure how high to hang that TV, measure your new appliances to make sure they fit, or just want to try your luck and see how far you can extend the tape portion without it collapsing, you will be glad you have one of these. My recommendation would be to start with a minimum 12′ tape measure. A better option, however, would be a 25’ tape.
  • Tongue and Groove Pliers Also known as channel lock pliers, these tools have adjustable jaws to fit a wide variety of fasteners and objects. The leverage created by their design also allows you generate quite a bit of force. If there was a “universal” set of pliers, these would be them. Make sure to by a name brand tool, as the generic type usually have softer jaws which tend to grind away and slip under force often resulting in chewed up and rounded fasteners.
  • Crescent Wrench Also known as an adjustable wrench, the crescent wrench is an open end wrench with adjustable jaws to fit many fastener sizes. Think of this as the “universal” wrench. Like the tongue and groove pliers listed above, unless your fastener exceeds the maximum opening of the jaws, this tool can tighten/loosen an infinite number of sizes both metric and SAE.
  • Screwdriver Set  There are some really decent inexpensive screwdriver sets. Look for one that has at least a #1 & #2 Philips-head and a few sizes of flat-head. I’m pretty sure I just described every kit out there, so pretty much any set should serve your needs. They also make some nice 6-in-1 screwdrivers that can be used for multiple fastener types.
  • Allen Wrench Set It seems that allen headed fasteners are pretty popular with the “some assembly required” furniture items sold today. While these items almost always include the tools necessary for assembly, however, you will find the included tools are slow and cumbersome to use when compared to a decent set from the store. Not only will you have more leverage, but you assembly will go faster and less frustrating when paired with something more suitable for assembly.
  • Flashlight It lights up dark areas. You just need one. I will say that if you buy one that you care about, make sure to change the batteries every now and then. This advice comes from experience as I have had to throw away at least a two nice flashlights due to lack of use and leaky batteries.
  • Drain Claw Lastly, if you have running water, then you have drains. This thing can make short work of simple (hair) clogged drains. As inexpensive as these are, they can come in really handy, whether it’s for removing a clog or retrieving an item that is far beyond reach. I became introduced to this tool as a child. I inadvertently dropped my swiss army knife down the retractable seat belt hole of my father’s car. How happy I was when this thing grabbed onto the key ring of my knife and pulled it back out of the hole. So make the investment, you just might end up being a hero!


            There you have it, eight tools and the bare minimum you should have for self sufficiency. Heck, use these a few times and you might a sense of enjoyment from working with your hands. This list of must have tools for the homeowner is just a small snippet of the products out there to help you build and repair the things that need attention in your life.