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DIY & Tools: Essential Home Tool Kit

Happy Hump Day!! We have a fabulous guest blogger for you today, Brandon Wood, a man whose professional contracting skills far exceed my own amateur tinkerings. He is brilliant, witty, and full of insane amounts of dream-it/build-it/fix-it knowledge. Mr. Wood is stopping by today to share some great info for beginning DIY-ers & new homeowners:  the Essential Home Tool Kit!

Home Tool Kit

Even if you never plan to do any of your own home improvement projects, every household needs at least some basic tools. You never know when you’ll need to perform some emergency repairs, or when the kids’ “preassembled” toy might require some additional assembly.

Here’s some insight for creating your very own “Essential Home Tool Kit.”
1) Adjustable Wrench:

adjustable-wrench Image via

Also known as a Crescent Wrench, this bad boy can do everything from tackling a wide range of nuts and bolts on your kid’s Power Wheels, to tightening the compression fittings on your leaky faucet. They come in multiple sizes and different qualities and price ranges, but a decent, medium-sized Crescent will cost about $12-$14. Spend a little extra here if your budget allows, because you’ll use it forever.

Price: $12-$14

2) 6-in-1 Screwdriver:  


 Image via

The name pretty much sums it up; it’s a screwdriver with six primary functions; Small Phillips driver, Large Phillips driver, Small Slotted Driver, Large Slotted Driver, ¼” Nut Driver, and 5/16” Nut Driver. Now, if they’d asked me, I could’ve come up with a bunch more functions and they could be marketing this thing as at least a 47-in-one, but they never asked me, so you’ll have to settle with 6 functions. You’ll probably break or lose a few of these tools in a lifetime, so don’t worry about getting the most expensive one.

Price: $5-$15

3) Cordless Drill:


Image via

 If I’m ever at your house helping you with a project and I ask, “Do you have a power drill we can use to drive these drywall screws?” and you produce a drill with a cord, I’ll punch you in the stomach before leaving and never help you again. Besides the fact that I said so, and that cords are a pain in the arse, you don’t really need any more reasons to buy a cordless drill. Do some research to see what fits you the best; there are a wide range of styles, power, and price. I like 18v Lithium Ion, but 12v-14v models are lighter and will suffice for most household projects.

Price: $80-$150
4) 16oz Hammer: 

stanley anti-vibe hammer

Image via

There are a lot of fancy hammers on the market right now, but what we’re really looking for here is something that has a handle and a hard surface with which to bash nails, etc. You don’t need anything with a fancy name or a trendy design. If you spend more than $30, just go ahead and hit yourself in the head with it. ;)

Price: Under $30
5) 16′ Tape Measure:



 Image via

Most household projects won’t require a tape measure more than 16’ long. Anything longer will just be heavy and unwieldy. There are a lot of different designs available, just get something with a coated, locking blade. I like the Stanley Fat Max tape measures because they have a significant “standout” which allows you to extend the blade out in midair without it going flaccid.

Price: $5-$15


Stay tuned; on the next installment we’ll learn how to use these tools properly, lest someone mistake us for amateurs!

Thanks so much, Brando!



Image via Leafo Photo


 About Brandon:

I pretty much know everything there is about construction. (I could’ve ended that sentence after the word “everything.”) Also, I’m an expert on workflow management and the economics of movement. When I’m not out slaying dragons or using my sarcastic superpowers to conquer contracting challenges,  I enjoy spending time with my amazing wife, Holly Wood (yes, she actually took my last name — pretty awesome, right?) and our two beautiful daughters, Maple & Balsa (obviously kidding about the names).

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8 comments on “DIY & Tools: Essential Home Tool Kit
  1. Serena | Pretty Fluffy says:

    Such an awesome round up – I need to get our tool box sorted! Can’t wait to next find out how to use them all properly! :)

  2. Carrie says:

    I’ve never laughed so much about tools before. And I feel so educated! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. dee kenny says:

    I keep a few giant magnets in my toolbox so when I remove anything metal from a project that I am redoing, I don’t have to search for missing or dropped screws later on. They’re all right there holding tight to the giant magnet labeled with the name of that project!

  4. Amy says:

    Just what I needed to know! I’ve been stressing over what tools we’ll need in the new house & this makes it so much easier!

    • Casey says:

      Happy to help! We have the DeWalt cordless drill and we LOVE it! If I had to choose one power tool to spend money on, it would definitely be that drill!

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