Sunday, June 1, 2014

Guest post- Five Must-Have Tools for Every Home!

This post is provided by Jesse Hughes.

It does not matter if you are a do-it-yourselfer living in a cabin you built in the woods or a city apartment dweller relying on the help of the building super to keep your home together. Things are going to need to be repaired around the home, and you should keep a toolbox (or a kitchen drawer) stocked with a few essential tools. Here are five must-have tools you should have on hand for when you’re feeling handy.

1. Tape Measure. Before you can repair or install anything, you need to know just how big it is. A tape measure is useful for determining the width of blinds, the square footage of a wall for painting, or the size of a floor for an area rug. You can invest in a sturdy, ¾” wide 25-foot locking tape measure for well under $10.

2. Hammer. From pounding to prying, a lightweight finish hammer with a curved claw will serve you well for years. The curved claw will be helpful for pulling old or misplaced nails. A 16-ounce steel- or fiberglass-handled model for about $15 should do the trick for most jobs, available at all online hardware like Gotstock.

3. Screwdrivers. It is difficult to imagine getting anything done around the home without a set of screwdrivers. Parents of small children know that you can not even change the batteries in a toy without a Phillips head. A set of five or six flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers of various sizes should set you back only about $10. Or, if compactness is your priority, look into an all-in-one model with interchangeable bits.

4. Crescent wrench. Even the simplest plumbing fixes require a sturdy adjustable wrench. Get a set of two for about $20. This will give you a smaller wrench for the nuts on faucets and a larger wrench for stuck valves. The standard thumbscrew version will work just fine, but there are plenty of other options out there, as well.

5. Pliers. Nothing alleviates frustration more quickly than the right pair of pliers. For about $10, you can find a set that includes a pair of needle-nose for tight spots, channel-lock pliers for light-duty wrenching, and cutting pliers for snipping wires and opening packaging. Spend a few bucks more and get a set with a mini version of each to be sure you always have the right size.

That is a pretty good start if your toolbox or kitchen drawer is limited to only the essentials. But if you have more space and a bigger budget, consider adding a few extras to your toolkit. A utility knife is safer and sturdier than a kitchen knife and can be used to open boxes or cut through thick rubber or carpeting. A bubble level will eliminate needing to ask “does this look straight to you?” every time you hang a frame (it is also easier to use than the one on your phone). A putty knife is great for minor speckling jobs or scraping paint and glue. Finally, there is no replacement for a good old hand saw when you need to cut something.

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