What Tools Do I Need In My Toolbox?
Collating tools for your first tool kit is an exciting thing to do; some of these tools might actually stay with you for life and be able to be passed down to your grandchildren. Due to there being so many tools out there, it can be a challenge knowing which should be accumulated first.
Before even selecting your first toolbox items you should equip yourself with some safety goggles, gloves, a face mask, and first aid kit. There are many particles that can get into your lungs when cutting things, and your eyes are certain more precious than any tool or bit of flying particle which might be whizzing off a piece of wood or metal. Home DIY accidents are more common than you might want to hear about, so don’t become a victim yourself and enjoy the tasks that you’ll be fulfilling over many years to come.
There’s not much you can do without a hammer; they can be used for aligning screws as well as nails, so are vital for things like hanging frames, assembling bookcases, mending sheds, and 101 other vital household DIY tasks. Over time you might want to accumulate a range of hammers for different tasks, but your first hammer is likely to be a regular 13 to 16 oz claw hammer. A 32 oz framing hammer is a little heavy for most tasks, while a 5 oz tack hammer isn’t up to that many tasks. Eventually, you can purchase all three, but for now, the one in the middle will serve you well for most jobs.
2. Screwdriver Sets
Screwdrivers are incredibly useful; they can come with as many as 30 variations in one box, to meet every possible need. You will probably need just a few to begin with. You’ll need one that fits into a Phillips head, a regular flat head, and a star head. They can come in different sizes, though, but this should be enough to get you started. Over time, you’ll find that not having enough sizes from which to choose could end up damaging a screw’s turning slot (if you try to fudge it), which will become increasingly frustrating as your DIY skills develop with experience., especially with a stud finder or multimeter.
Pliers are essential for helping you remove stubborn nails or screws; the only other way to do this is through your hammer’s claw, but this isn’t always easy or practical so pliers can be enormously helpful. The most user-friendly and helpful hammer designs are Vise-grips, slip joint pliers, and needle-nose pliers. Vise grips will help you get that extra leverage and force you need when ripping out that stubborn bit of whatever. A good pair of pliers should be able to clamp on to any number of material problems and help you resolve them.
4. Measuring Tape
While seemingly trivial, there’s not much you can cut or build without a 25-foot retractable measuring tape with auto-locking capability. You need to be able to create straight lines and not rely on the naked eye. With a stub of pencil and a trusty measuring tape, you can get most things correctly proportioned and then begin the banging and screwing process, which can’t really be done properly without it.
5. Cordless Drill
Manually turning a screwdriver, screw after screw can be hard on your palms and wrists, and in this day and age is a waste of time. A cordless drill will help you to create any holes you wish and can be used for sanding and for creating the requisite hole for wall plugs. Most will come with a back-up battery, so you can keep going for a long period of time. If you’re putting up a sturdy garden fence, for example, it would be inconceivable to do so without a cordless drill.
Hacksaws are perfect for cutting through piping, nails, chain, screws, or any other metal fixture which can’t be done with a traditional saw that has bigger ‘teeth’. A hacksaw’s fine teeth make it ideal for handling metal. A regular hand saw, by contrast, is best for anything wooden, be it planks, boards, or even old pieces of furniture which you might want to upcycle. It’s best not to use a hack saw for this, or you will ruin the blade. A contractor saw is an all-rounder, which can handle a variety of materials including plastic and harder wood; however, having a saw at all is the main point when it comes to your first tool kit.
If you start with just these basics, you’ll manage to gain enough experience to know how to use them to their full potential. Accumulating more tools is often just a case of getting more of the same but in different sizes and designs, as and when you need them. It does depend, too, on how much DIY you’ll end up doing – hopefully, lots!