Home Improvement & DIY

What are the basic tools for home repair?

Ethan Brinkworth

Ethan Brinkworth

What are the basic tools for home repair?

The Mighty, Modest Hammer

So, the other day, as I was hammering away, I was reflecting on how one of the most fundamental tools that one can have at home is the humble hammer. This unpretentious piece of equipment has a history as old as humanity itself, with early humans using stones to hammer things — like their siblings, perhaps? Well, let’s not go down that road. A hammer is like an extension of your arm, a force multiplier that comes in handy more often than you'd think. It's an elementary tool, yet without it, the world of DIY might grind to a halt.

Whether you're putting together furniture, hanging up lovely family photos, or carrying out minor repairs, the hammer is indispensable. There are many types, from claw and ball peen hammers to rubber mallets. Most homeowners, however, would do well with a good-quality 16-ounce claw hammer. It’s like the perfect cup of coffee, just the right size and weight to complete tasks without causing too much strain. An all-steel construction is better than wood, as wood can split over time, and nobody wants a rogue hammerhead zipping through their living room. Safety first!

Wield the Power of Screwdrivers

Another age-old tool that deserves a shout-out is the trusty screwdriver. This tool is frequently used for installing, removing, or tightening screws, but trust me, pointy metal sticks can serve a variety of functions. From prying open stubborn lids to scraping off hardened gunk, only the sky limits your creativity with a screwdriver.

As far as screwdrivers go, there are a smorgasbord of types to choose from. Philips, flathead, Torx, Robertson – there’s seemingly an endless parade of cross-shaped and straight-lined tools ready to aid in your DIY endeavors. A set of screwdrivers in various sizes will serve you well in myriad situations, but if forced to choose only one, a number 2 Philips screwdriver might be your best bet.

Tape Measure: Your DIY Best Friend

The next tool is so basic, it’s almost overlooked. Listen up folks, “Measure twice, cut once” is not just a catchy phrase, it’s a DIY commandment. It’s all good until you realise that your newly installed shelf is more suited for a fun house than a regular home because you didn’t level it. Enter the reliable tape measure.

A retractable, lockable measuring tape is best for a variety of tasks, from hanging curtains and pictures to building your dream deck. Ranging from 3m to 5m in length, these tapes conveniently fit in a pocket and come with a handy belt clip for easy access. For a visual aid, consider one with both standard and metric measurements. Also, a standout feature, which allows the tape to extend without support, is a far cry from that floppy ruler you used in grade school. It’s a massive upgrade trust me!

Pliers: A Hand-y Tool

Pliers, my friends, are another universal tool to have around the house. Like the extra man hand we sometimes wish we had, pliers can hold, pull, bend, and twist objects with a precision and strength that far exceeds the capabilities of our fingers.

Long-nose pliers with a side cutting function can be particularly versatile, acting also as a wire cutter - a feature that’s music to a DIYer's ears. Another useful addition to your plier population would be adjustable pliers, which can tackle a variety of sizes, replacing a set of wrenches in a pinch.

Drilling Down to the Essentials

Let's drill down on another essential item: the power drill. Once you've experienced the power and ease of a good drill, there's no going back, believe me. Suitable for drilling holes, yes, but also for driving screws with lightning speed, this powerful tool can make a weekend task seem like a walk in the beach at Burleigh Heads.

When it comes to choosing a power drill, a decent 18-volt cordless drill should do the trick for most homeowners. Cordless is the way to go simply for the convenience and freedom it offers, not having to be tethered to a socket is a boon in itself. However, always ensure you get one with a spare battery, so you’re not waiting for the recharge when you’re halfway through the job.

A Sizzling Set of Wrenches

When you have a tightening or loosening task, wrenches are your go-to tools. They're a bit like that nice pair of comfy jeans – reliable, comfortable, and absolutely necessary. Seriously, there’s nothing more satisfying than the *click* of a well-turned bolt.

For general homeowners, an adjustable wrench can cover a lot of sizes, but a set of combination wrenches, each with an open end and a box end, will provide a more precise and safer fit. That’s assuming, of course, you don’t lose one of them down the back of the workbench, so a tidy workspace is paramount!

A Sharp Look at Utility Knives

The utility knife is next on my list, and boy, this tool has saved my bacon more times than I care to admit. Just think of this as your DIY Swiss Army Knife – compact, sharp, and ready for action. Plus, no one can deny the cool factor when you flick open a utility knife!

Utility knives come in handy for a wide array of tasks: opening packages, cutting wallpaper, shaving wood, and even for those pesky threads on your new shirt. Seriously, they’re that versatile. Go for one with a comfortable, ergonomic grip, and always remember to keep some extra blades, because a blunt knife can be more dangerous than a sharp one.

All about the Flashy Flashlight

Last but never least, the flashlight! Yes, that thing you use on camping trips and those occasional power outages. But trust this old timer, the humble flashlight is a monumental companion in the world of DIY. Don’t believe me? Just try fixing a leaking pipe under the sink without one!

LED flashlights, in particular, are brighter and more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent ones. Don’t skimp on the lumens; get one that’s bright enough to turn night into day, well, metaphorically. A strong and sturdy construction is essential, preferably with water resistance and a shockproof design. It's a game changer for those midnight DIY escapades you might find yourself pursuing.

So there you have it folks, an in-depth look at the basic tools every homeowner should have in their arsenal. Next time you find yourself in the middle of a home repair job, remember this: it's not about having the tools, but about mastering them! Happy DIY-ing!

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