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22 Must-Have Tools for Homeowners

22 Must-Have Tools for Homeowners

Welcome to your official, all-encompassing guide to the must-have tools for every homeowner. As a former engineer and electrician, I've had my fair share of home improvement disasters and triumphs, and I can tell you this: the right tools not only make your job easier but also ensure it's done right the first time. Whether you're tightening a loose screw, hanging a family portrait, or even undertaking a full-on home renovation, these tools are your allies in ensuring a job done right.

In the following run-down, we’re going to take a look at 22 essentials that will prepare you for almost anything your house throws your way, go over the importance of tools for homeowners, and give you some of our expert tips on tool organisation.

Let’s dive in!

Basic Hand Tools

Screwdriver Set

No household should be without a versatile screwdriver set - whether it’s a simple task like assembling furniture or tightening cabinet handles, screwdrivers are a daily necessity. Ideally, you’ll want to opt for a set with various sizes and types (Phillips and flathead at a minimum).

Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench is a godsend for dealing with nuts and bolts of various sizes, and will become your go-to tool for plumbing fixes, assembling furniture, and even bike repairs in your garage. Its versatility can also eliminate the need for a full set of wrenches if you want to keep things simple, so you can end up saving both on space and money.

Pliers Set

Need to grip, twist, or cut wire? A set of pliers, including long-nose, slip-joint, and side-cutting varieties, can handle a broad range of tasks, from electrical work to simple fixes around the house.

Utility Knife

For cutting through boxes, carpet, drywall, or even trimming wallpaper, a sharp utility knife is indispensable. Its replaceable blades ensure you always have a sharp cut, making it a tool you'll reach for more often than you’d think.

Claw Hammer

A good claw hammer does double duty: driving nails into wood and pulling them out. Whether you’re hanging pictures or assembling furniture, it's a must-have for any homeowner.

Power Tools

a power tool

Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is the workhorse of power tools, and perfect for everything from drilling holes and driving screws, to hanging shelves and building a deck. Look for one with adjustable speed and torque settings to tackle a variety of materials.

Impact Driver

When you have dozens of screws to install, an impact driver saves time and wrist strain, and it’s ideal for assembling flat-pack furniture or installing light fixtures.

Oscillating Multi-Tool

This versatile tool can cut, sand, scrape, and more, making it invaluable for remodelling tasks, repair jobs, or even cutting off nails and screws flush to the surface.

Nail Gun

For larger projects like decking or framing, a nail gun delivers precision and power, driving nails in a fraction of the time it would take with a hammer.

Plumbing Tools

Pipe Wrench

You never know when your plumbing decides to act up, and having a set of tools on-hand can be a great way to get things running smoothly again. To start with, the pipe wrench is an essential staple in any plumbing toolkit, and you can use it for gripping and turning pipes or fittings made of metal.

Basin Wrench

A basin wrench - also known as a sink spanner - is great at getting into those hard-to-reach places under sinks to tighten or loosen nuts on sinks and drains – it’s more specialised than a generic spanner, so having this on-hand can save you a lot of frustration.

Plunger

Who could forget the handy plunger! A plunger is a must-have for clearing blockages in sinks, toilets, and drains, and while it’s definitely one of the more simple tools on this list, it’s often the first line of defence against common plumbing issues like clogs or slow-draining toilets.

Electrical Tools

voltage tester

Voltage Tester

Safety is always key when doing renovation around your home. Before you do any electrical work, it’s a good idea to have a voltage tester on-hand; it quickly tells you whether a circuit is live, so you can work safely around electricity.

Wire Strippers

For any task that involves wiring, whether it be installing a new light fixture or adding an outlet, wire strippers are essential for removing insulation without damaging the wire.

Electrical Tape

A staple for any electrical work, electrical tape insulates wire connections, ensuring they’re safe and secure.

Circuit Breaker Finder

Next up is a circuit breaker finder; this tool simplifies finding the correct breaker for any outlet or fixture, saving you time while also reducing the risk of working on a live circuit.

Multimeter

An indispensable tool for diagnosing electrical problems, a multimeter measures voltage, current, and resistance, helping you troubleshoot and repair.

Home Maintenance Tools

Stud Finder

Before you hang anything heavy on your walls, a stud finder can help you locate studs to anchor screws safely.

Level

A level ensures your projects aren’t just well done but also perfectly straight, whether you’re hanging pictures or installing shelves.

Allen Wrench Set

Also known as hex keys, these tools are essential for assembling furniture, bicycles, and anything else with hexagonal bolts.

Caulk Gun

For sealing gaps around windows, doors, or in bathrooms, a caulk gun is your go-to tool for preventing water damage and improving energy efficiency.

Step Ladder

A sturdy step ladder is invaluable for reaching those high places safely, whether it's changing a light bulb, painting a room, or cleaning gutters - just make sure to choose one that's stable and the right height for your home's ceilings.

Tape Measure

A reliable tape measure is a foundational tool for any homeowner; whether you're measuring for new furniture, spacing out wall art, or planning a renovation, accuracy is going to be key. Opt for one that's durable and easy to read.

Packing and Transporting Your Tools

Aside from having the right tools in your home, it’s also a good idea to think about some type of organisational system or toolbox where you can keep everything in the same place for ease of access. If you have a garage, why not create a tool wall - you can save on space and always know exactly where every tool is.

If you’d prefer something you can move around easily, a modular toolbox - such as the Milwaukee Packout system - this set of modular, portable toolboxes comes with expansive storage, reinforced latches, IP65-rated weather seal, multiple compartments, and a comprehensive interlocking system.

Tips for Toolbox Organisation

toolbox organiser from ShadowFoam

And while we're on the topic of tool storage, don't forget the importance of keeping your tools well organised, especially if you plan on being proactive when it comes to fixing problems or doing renovation work around your property.

For those with an ever-expanding collection of tools, our Milwaukee toolbox organiser can be a game-changer: when you pair the packout system with our Shadow Foam inserts, you not only keep all your tools in the one place for easy access, but you can colour-coordinate each section, so you’ll always know your plumbing tools from your electrical tools.

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