Whether you have just bought a newly built house or a handyman special, eventually there will be projects that need to be completed. It may start out seeming like a small project, but that can quickly change. Your best bet is to be prepared and have the correct tools on hand to finish the job. Not sure what tools you might need? Here is a list of the basic tools you can start with.



Your best bet is to get a couple in different weights and sizes. A good heavy-duty hammer is best for large projects like room renovations or additions. A smaller, lightweight hammer is ideal to have on hand for projects like picture hanging or trim work.


Screw Drivers

You should invest in a good assortment of screwdrivers. The basics would be the Phillips head (plus head, cross head) and flat head (blade) screwdrivers in various sizes. Don’t go cheap here if you can avoid it. Screwdrivers can be used for anything from woodworking to electrical repair, so a good insulated handle is a must.


Tape Measure

A retractable locking tape measure at least 25 feet in length is a good start. Since you will need to measure for everything from window treatments to room measurements, durability is important. A tape measure is one of the most used tools around a house.



Get started with the basic slip joint and needle nose pliers. Once again, your best bet is to get insulated handles, both for comfort and safety. They should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand for ease of use.



A small torpedo-style level is fine to start with. You’ll need a level to do everything from hanging curtain rods to making sure your appliances are leveled correctly. This is an indispensable tool for around the home.


Razor Tools

Razor tools such as scrapers and utility knives are also indispensable around the home. Avoid the flimsy plastic handles. These tools tend to take a beating, so a solid molded plastic or medium weight metal handle (preferably a safety handle) is desirable here.



The need for this little gadget cannot be overstated. Avoid the simplified test light. Invest in a decent multi-meter, preferably with a clip for hanging. You’ll end up using this a lot more than you might think, for everything from sockets and switches to checking breakers in the circuit breaker box. It’s a definite must-have.


Now that you have the basics, start investing in some other tools that you can always use around the house.



Get a drill and a decent assortment of bits. This can make the difference in a job taking all day and only taking an hour. Not to mention it will save your wrists a lot of twisting and pain. As well as standard bits, check out the screwdriver bits. Besides the basic Phillips and flat head, there are Robertson (recessed square) Torx (recessed star) and a few others. You never know when they might come in handy.


Adjustable Wrenches

These come in handy for oversize bolts and light plumbing work. You’ll get a lot of use out of these when pliers can’t handle the job.


On A Stick Tools

Things like the magnetic stick and mirror on a stick come in handy for those times the screw falls behind the washing machine or down the air vent. The more handyman jobs you do around the house, the more likely this is to happen.


Circular Saw

If you’ve ever had to cut a 2×4 or a sheet of plywood, you understand why this is a great tool to have. Don’t forget to use safety glasses!



This is great to have on hand any time you have plumbing work to do. You never know when you will need to remove a section of pipe or cut the top off of a rusty bolt. This is a pretty versatile tool that fits the bill.


Wire Cutter/Stripper/Crimper

If you have to do electrical work, this tool will come in handy. While needle nose pliers will cut wire, this tool can also strip the insulation and crimp terminal ends as well. It’s a great investment for a multi-purpose tool.


Miter Box

If your repair job calls for any trim work to be done, you’ll definitely need one of these. This is allows you to make angled cuts with a nice, straight edge so that corner pieces fit together, rather than just butting up against each other.


Nail Punch Set

These are also great to have on hand if you are doing any trim work. This is the easiest way to countersink nails, making them virtually invisible once the trim is prepped and painted.


There are as many tools as there are jobs for them. Anytime you start a project, it’s a good idea to make sure you have the appropriate tools on hand. As time goes by, your tool collection will grow, and you’ll discover tools you don’t know how you ever lived without. Investing in good tools can save you money in the long run, so skip the cheap stuff if you can. It’s only a great deal until it breaks when you need it most.