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Tools and Toolbox

If you’ve ever tapped a nail into the wall using a book or put up a picture using a thumbtack, you know how important tools are. You don’t have to go all Hank Hill and equip your garage with enough tools to open your own hardware store, but if you have the essentials then you won’t have to call in the pros just to tighten a leaky faucet.

If I had a hammer …

A hammer is a must-have in every home toolbox. It will assist you in any manner of home improvement projects, and it’s awfully handy for killing large, angry bugs. Your hammer can hang pictures, pull out unnecessary or rusty nails, and easily take care of the tack nail you keep stepping on.

A screwdriver for all seasons

Screwdrivers are endlessly handy. Some of their essential tasks include:

  • Putting together furniture, such as those so-called easy-to-assemble IKEA items
  • Taking those items apart when you realize you did it wrong
  • Jimmying open the bathroom door when you accidentally lock yourself out of it

Now, to make sure you don’t damage the screws used in whatever project you’re doing, it’s best to have several screwdrivers. Try a kit that includes a base with different heads in various sizes. Failing that, at least make sure you have both a Philips head, which is X-shaped, and a flathead, which is straight.

To drill or not to drill

Drills are vital for inserting or removing screws, especially tight ones you can’t muscle out with your screwdriver. A good drill allows you to put together furniture, hang pictures, mirrors, and shelves, remove hinges, and all sorts of other tasks. The question is, what kind do you want?

As with your screwdriver set, the best drill will have lots of bits from which to choose. Cordless power drills are popular, and they’re awesome for small tasks, but the batteries die quickly and they’re not super powerful. If you need lots of oomph, go for the corded power drill instead, or splurge and get both.

Measuring your success

A tape measure is pretty much a given. You’ll have the means to make sure your new fridge will actually fit through your front door. You can measure for curtains and other window treatments. You can carefully balance out your wall décor, so everything matches perfectly. Lastly, you can have tons of fun pulling it out to its limit and then pressing the lock button so the tape comes zipping back at you.

Plying with kindness and heart wrenching joy

Though they’re two entirely different tools, wrenches and pliers go hand in hand. An adjustable crescent wrench is necessary for tightening or removing nuts and bolts—you’ll need this for any outdoor toy you ever put together for your child. Pliers are perfect for holding bolts in place, or for bending things—if you buy a serrated pair. Needle-nosed pliers are a good idea too, but they’re better for specialized tasks.

With these tools, you’re equipped for almost anything within the realm of home improvement. You can also stop ruining your shoes by trying to use them as hammers.

Your tool box?

Which tool in your toolbox do you consider to be essential?

Which tool have you found yourself without at the wrong moment? What did you do?

Tell us all about it in the comments section!

[ED: PS – Happy Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you! – Rob]

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.