From the day I left home shortly after my eighteenth birthday, I have never lived in any place that had a garage, had any reasonable storage space, or that didn’t have a landlord to fix problems. Thus, I never had much need for tools. I used to thoroughly enjoy doing small household tasks and working on cars with my father when I was younger and I plan on doing such things again after we are settled into the house, but I have no tools.
Thankfully, to remedy this, I have been hoarding a couple of Home Depot gift cards, and my father wants to go along to help me select the items after I move, so I’ve been working on an “essentials” list of things I would like to acquire for the home and garage to enable me to do most home repairs myself without panicking and calling a repairman when simple things go wrong. Quite honestly, for tiny things around our apartment, I mostly just use my pocket Leatherman and thus we don’t have any tools at all.
If you have any additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
A toolbox By this I mean a small, portable box to carry the things I need for most tasks around with me to where they’re needed. I already have one that will work for a while – it’s the one I had in high school for shop class that still resides in the loft at my parents’ house.
A tool chest Similarly, I’ll have more things than the toolbox will be able to hold, so the extras go in here. I already know where I can get one of these very inexpensively, so this isn’t a major expense, either.
A 16 or 20 foot tape measure I’ve actually longed for one of these many times in the apartment and now that we’re moving I can see countless uses for one.
A variety of screwdrivers I use the four options on my Leatherman most of the time, but having a few quality screwdrivers (and an Allen wrench that isn’t made out of aluminum and bendable by my bare hand) would be fantastic.
A pair of needlenose pliers Essential for any tight space or dealing with anything small.
A corded drill We have a cordless drill already that I hate with the fury of a thousand suns – it dies almost every time I start using it. Give me a corded drill – it’s lighter and doesn’t die on you.
An electronic stud finder We have one of these that’s very cheap and isn’t… reliable. I’ve long ago learned my lesson on this – find a good one that works and you’ll be far happier over the long run.
A short torpedo level Infinitely useful when leveling all sorts of things around the house. We have an enormous one that’s just unwieldy.
A wrench set A nice variety of sizes and of sturdy construction – I’ve bent cheap ones before.
A ratchet set Similarly, a variety of sizes and of sturdy construction.
A wire cutter and stripper I had one of these in my college dorm room when I was heavily into rewiring stereos and stuff – I can see lots of potential uses for one around the house.
An electrical tester Is this live? I need to know before I do anything stupid.
Vise grips I used to borrow my father’s small one all the time when doing different things in junior high and high school, especially related to fixing my bicycle.
A claw hammer We have one that I intensely dislike, so I’ll be replacing it with one with a smooth head, a steel shaft, a rip claw (not a curved one!), and a rubber grip.
A step ladder Our entryway has a twelve foot high ceiling with a light at the top. A step ladder will be required for that, if nothing else.
Nails A wide variety of nails are essential, especially when you walk into an empty house and have a ton of stuff that you are going to hang.
A wheelbarrow We’re going to garden and compost. A wheelbarrow is basically a requirement for this. I also desperately want a compost bin, but it’s not quite a requirement, and also a small tiller.
A shovel Again, for the garden, but also for a few other uses, too. Amazingly, the place we’re moving to already has a boxed-in garden of pretty good size, which means we’re going to likely also need a few other garden implements to be determined later.
Pruning shears There’s an assortment of bushes and shrubs around the house that will have to be kept up.
A lawnmower Last but not least… *sigh*
Are there any major items that we’re overlooking that a homeowner might need or find strongly useful? Please let me know in the comments!