When you are embarking on general DIY tasks around the house, there are certain tools that should always be available. Try not to waste time scrambling around your neighbors and make sure you have them. While you may not want to spend too much on the ultimate of all toolboxes, it is worth making a list of essential tools. The last thing that you want is to find out that you are missing the correct tool for an all-important job.


You cannot really have a toolbox without a hammer and these apply a focused force on a single point. That could be putting in a nail or breaking up certain objects, or even to fit parts together. Try to get a claw hammer which is versatile enough to do the expected job but has a V claw to help remove nails. There is also a mallet to consider, a double-headed club hammer, or a specialized ball pein hammer.


The humble screwdriver will get screws out and allow you to put screws in yet its use goes further than that. You may need one to jack open the lid from a paint can and their versatility is renowned. Depending on the screws in your house, you may need a few different heads and sizes. However, there are three different types of screwdriver which you need to bear in mind.

The Phillips Head screwdriver will fit into a screw with a cross-shape head. Their sizes range from #0 to #04.

A Slot Head screwdriver is essentially just for slotted screws and the blades are measured in fractions of inches.

Finally, there is the Allen Head screwdriver which will fit into a hexagonal shape. Confusingly, this screwdriver is measured by millimeters, not fractions of an inch.


Spanners can also be known as wrenches and grip a fastener like a bolt or nut. They have a pronounced handle that helps with leverage so you can turn it, and the fastener, easily. Those with a longer handle will have more leverage though the socket may be the essential element. Again, there is a range of sizes for the grips so you may need a whole set to cover all types of fasteners.


A set of pliers is one of those essential tools that will be sorely missed if you realize it is not in your toolbox. Consider you need to pull out some nails, loosen a few tough fasteners, or generally need that extra grip. Without those pliers, you are likely going to exert yourself having to use brute force. Make it easier on yourself, use a set of pliers and get the right ones.

There are adjustable pliers with off-set jaws that can be used to fit around those larger fasteners. With a longer handle, these pliers can offer more leverage.

Pliers with a locking, or vice, grip can be fastened for a secure grip. For those tough to remove bolts, these pliers can make the job a whole lot easier. They can also be used to hold one object in place while you try to move another one.

For those tough-to-reach spots, you may need some needle-nosed pliers. Those delicately placed nails do not stand a chance with a set of these pliers.

Finally, there are cutting pliers which allow you to cut through wiring while gripping.

Spirit Level

Then there is the humble spirit level which really comes into its own when you need it. Imagine you are hanging something up and it still does not quite look right. You step back, adjust it, look again, and still it looks off. With a spirit level, you will know exactly if it is perfectly horizontal saving you time and effort.

Essentially, a spirit level saves you from embarrassment. Getting your new flat-screen TV installed is one thing, if it is set crooked then you may feel it when you twist your head. The spirit level can also be known as a mason’s or carpenter’s level. You can get them in various lengths too to measure across longer spaces though you may want a digital one.


Your toolbox does not need to be crammed full of tools, some of which you may never use. Make sure you have the essential tools and see how far you go. That should include at least a hammer, a screwdriver, a spanner, a set of pliers, and a spirit level. Without these tools, you may find it really difficult to perform any DIY task around the house.


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