Seven Essential Household Tools

Saving money means prioritizing needs and making only those purchases that are truly necessary. Young couples starting out often make the mistake of buying up 10 different cleaners and filling an entire shed with tools. But you really only need vinegar or bleach to clean and you only need a few simple tools to get most home repairs done.

For basic jobs, a basic handyman is going to need basic tools. Think of tools by function rather than name and you will easily sort out what you need from what only looks important on the surface. Look for tools that perform more than one function to maximize your tool invefstment.

1. A 16 ounce claw hammer is indispensable around the home as a nail puller, hammer and destructive force when needed. The claw is good for more than pulling nails as well. It can be used as a pry bar, spacer or a pick to break up clumps of dirt in the garden. A hammer is an excellent substitute for a gardening rake when resources run low.

2. A standard awl is important for making pilot holes, an important step when nailing or screwing hard woods together. Pilot holes ensure nails and screws go in straight. It also prevents splintering in the wood when nails or screws are driven in. Awls  are also excellent for chipping away old mortar from bricks that need re-pointing or digging debris from small cracks and crevices.

3. A utility knife is another essential tool good for innumerable odd jobs. From scoring flashing for the eaves, to opening overly boxes, to making shaving bits of linoleum to make it fit snuggly around a corner. And getting wallpaper to fit correctly requires a sharp knife and steady hand.

4. Needle-nose pliers are especially helpful for holding small objects in place, but a hemostat works even better. Holding nails with these tools instead of your hand before striking a blow with the hammer can save thumb injuries. Choose a longer size, such as 4 inches, so you can use one tool for almost any job requiring their use. This handy toolwill get into small spaces for fishing objects out of drains, pulling staples when refinishing a chair or managing delicate jobs than require a gentle touch.

5. Of course you cannot use screws if you have no screw driver. Choosing a screwdriver with interchangeable heads is smart, because these tools offer both phillips head and flat head options. They often come with socket adapters that let you forgo a socket wrench. Some even include a hinge that lets you bend the tool to an angle, leveraging more torque with every turn.

6. An adjustable wrench does a great job because of its ability to change to the exact size you need. It works for bolts, pipe fittings and bike repairs. There is however a danger of slippage while turning, which can strip nuts. When the appropriate socket or combination wrench is available, it becomes you best option for unscrewing a bolt.

7. Slip-joint pliers are adjustable much like an adjustable wrench, with the addition of gripping grooves that help hold items firmly in place. They come in handy when unscrewing a bolt, by holding the nut in place on the opposite side. They also help gain a grip when unscrewing stuck connections like on a garden hose or plumbing fixture.

With these seven essential tools, most household small jobs and repairs can be accomplished. Some other tools that might come in handy include a putty knife, set of hex wrenches and of course a canvas bag or box to keep them all in.