Since my tools tend to end up all over the house, and half of my basement is currently stuffed to the brim with baby gear due to the renovations finally underway, it’s hard to take a true inventory of our household tools. We seldom encounter a simple project that requires us to go out and buy tools, but there’s this part of me that is always a little worried that we’re missing something vital. It may just be that my dad is basically a low-key version of that fellow on Home Improvement or that I’m always worried about something – either way, it’s nice to give the ol’ toolchest a once over every now and then.
Luckily, if you’re only tackling the basics, according to the NY Times, you don’t need much. Sure, we talked a lot about redoing the upstairs ourselves, but when we started reading about drywall lift rentals, our zest for DIYing the second floor went right out the window. So for now, we need to make holes, fill holes, change what’s in holes, and maybe loosen and tighten this or that. Nothing major. The NY Times list is right up our alley – here’s the gist:
To start off, you need a hammer.
Buy a multihead screwdriver…, said Mr. Stone of M.I.T. It should have at least two different size bits for slotted and Phillips screws, as well as Robertson (square) and Torx bits.
Mr. Ball, of Pulte Group, actually recommends a cordless hammer drill, which is twice as expensive as a standard drill. “That really opens up the ability of the tool,” he said. “And it’ll last you a lifetime.”
He also recommends a one-inch-wide, 25-foot-long tape measure with a lock.
Finally, crown your arsenal with Mole-Grip pliers, commonly known as Vise-Grips.
Next, wrenches. You’ll need one adjustable wrench and a set of standard and metric wrenches.
A set of socket wrenches — metric and standard — also helps in the age of unassembled furniture.
A level and an electronic stud finder.
A footlong wrecking bar is essential, especially one with a nicely tapered edge so you can slip it beneath existing wood.
A handsaw small enough to fit in your toolbox.
Toss in a small assortment of screws, drywall fasteners and eight-penny nails, a small notebook (for recording dimensions) and a carpenter’s pencil, and you’re set.
I see I’m missing a few things I really ought to have – not many, though. How about you? Where are the gaps in your tool collection?