Every home needs a toolbox with the basic tools needed to perform simple home repairs and maintenance. A search for common household tools quickly becomes a challenge for the regular home owner or renter who just wants to be prepared for common chores and problems. Experienced contractors build the contents of their toolboxes based on the needs of their profession. The home toolbox needs a few important tools that are right for just about any job around the house.
Safety Equipment - Safety items are an important addition to your toolbox. A flashlight helps in spaces with limited visibility. Add safety gloves to protect your hands and safety goggles to protect your eyes. Breathing masks are necessary for painting, woodworking and any job that involves toxic fumes. Dale Yelich, the maintenance expert with the LaCrosse Tribune, recommends adding an electrical tester for testing circuits.
Screwdrivers - Add screwdrivers in three sizes to your toolbox. You will need a straightedge, Phillips and a slotted screwdriver. You can purchase three separate screwdrivers, an all-in-one screwdriver set or an electric screwdriver with changeable tips. A six-in-one screwdriver includes built-in nut drivers. You can use a micro screwdriver set to disassemble and repair household items that have tiny screws.
Hammers and Saw - One medium-weight claw hammer is sufficient for basic home repairs. The claw hammer provides a tool for banging, removing nails and prying apart materials. Choose a hammer that weighs 12 to 16 oz. You might prefer a small hand saw, a power saw or both. The power saw is faster. A combination scroll-and-jig-saw makes more types of cuts, such as curved and straight, with its different blades.
Wrenches and Pliers - Your toolbox should contain two adjustable wrenches: small and medium. The adjustable wrench removes or tightens nuts and bolts and is adjustable to several sizes. Add to your toolbox four pliers: slip joint, needle nose, locking pliers and tongue-and-groove long-handled pliers. Pliers are used for bending and pulling out nails and for cutting wire. You can use pliers to hold a nut while you use a screwdriver to tighten a bolt.
Level and Tape Measure - A level comes in handy for many household jobs, such as hanging pictures. One is sufficient for most homes, but you might want to have a couple different styles on hand. Choose from the 2-inch straight edge or a combination level. Retractable tape measures come in different types and sizes. A 12-inch tape measure works well for most home repairs. You might want to add 16- to 25-inch tape measures to your toolbox.
Awl, Knives and Scissors - An awl has a sharp point for marking wood and punching holes in wood. A utility knife comes in handy for opening packages and cutting wires and other materials. Choose a heavy-duty utility knife, a pocketknife and a break-away style for light-weight materials. Add a heavy-duty pair of scissors to your toolbox.
Tips - Add an assortment of nails, screws, nuts, bolts and anchors to your toolbox for the odd jobs around the house. Add electrical tape, duct tape and masking tape. Your toolbox should have sandpaper, glue, picture-hanging kits and a can of spray lubricating oil.