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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    My husband and I are young and newly married. He doesn't have a whole lot of DIY experience, but he loves TOH is very eager to start trying things for himself. I'd like to get him a decent set of tools for Christmas; something that covers the basics well. I am willing to buy it either as a complete set or doing it piecemeal, but I'm not very tool-savvy. What would you recommend as the tool must-haves? Any particular brands to pay attention to or stay away from?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,486

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    Cheap tools with small handle grips. Stick with name brands.

    Are you looking for a basic general maintenance type tool kit or more at power/cordless tools?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    For now I'm thinking general maintenance, with the possible exception of a cordless drill.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    Get yourself a medium sized toolbox. The one I use for the household kit is about 16" in length and 6" square. Stanley makes a great selection of good tools that are well suited to a home kit.


    1. Tape measure: At least a 3/4" x 25'. 3/4" refers to the width of the tape blade, 25' is the length. The wider blade will make solo use easier when extended.
    2. Hammer: Get one with a fiberglass handle that is well balanced and easy for both of you to handle. A smooth face on the head is a must. Claw design is more personal preference, though lighter weight hammers tend to have a pretty good curl to the claw.
    3. Screwdriver set: Again, get larger handles. Larger handles are easier to grip and give you more leverage for tough screws.
    4. Allen Wrench set: You can get a set of individual wrenches or a "keyed" set, which are all attached to a handle.
    5. Pliers: A good selection of pliers is most helpful. The most useful are standard slip jaw (adjusts from narrow to wide), needle nosed, and channel-locks (multiple size adjustments) and vise grips.
    6. Side cutters: Useful for removing hinge pins, cutting wire, pulling nails, etc. When choosing a pair of side cutters, make sure the cutting jaws extend all the way into the hinge point, otherwise you'll be losing a great amount of leverage and cutting ability with the tool.
    7. Crescent wrench: aka adjustable end wrench. Great for most lightweight nut/bolt work around the house.
    8. Putty knife or 5-in-1 painters tool for a myriad of scraping needs.
    9. Wire brush: These can bee the tooth brush sized ones or a full sized on. Great for cleaning.
    10. Chisel set. Here I recommend two types of chisels. A really cheap set of Stanley's with black handles and a more expensive set with yellow handles. Cheap chisels can be used for scraping and chiseling really hard things and you don't have to worry about harming the edge, which the steel won't hold anyway. The yellow handled chisels are ONLY to be used for cutting wood, such as setting door hardware, or carefully shaving a wood edge.
    11. Nail sets: Generally come in a set of three sizes. Great for center punching a start point for a drill bit, setting nails, and other similar things.
    12. 3-in-1 oil: Great for lubricating a variety of things throughout the house.
    13. Electrical tape: At the very least, electrical tape should be in the kit. Duct tape is also useful, as is masking tape.

    A few other things off the top of my head that are in my kit are matches, eye glass repair kit, wire nut selection, misc screw kit, guitar string, super glue, wood glue, etc. As you start doing things around the house, you'll figure out what your house requires that you should have at your fingertips. Speaking of fingertips, I keep the household tool kit in the laundry room where it is centrally located and easily accessible. I would recommend a similar location for you.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    That's great--thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    693

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    Great post spruce...........

    I put a kit like that together for my ex.
    Last edited by NEC; 12-10-2009 at 04:42 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,486

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    Another item many find useful is a torpedo level for leveling picture frames, towel bars, etc.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    I would put a small ladder in the kit as well........... My old companies letters are on the side of my ex's.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    Three items I would add, multimeter if he is going to try electrical work, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. Any other tools he would need he should buy as the need arises and try to stay away from gimmicky tools. When buying cordless tools try to stick with one brand that uses the same batteries. I personally would buy a corded drill rather than cordless starting out.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,486

    Default Re: Advice on Tool Must-Haves

    I tend to agree with Jack about corded tools over cordless for the average DIY'r. The problem is, batteries don't stay charged and degrade faster if not used. That being said, the most often overlooked "tool" when purchasing power tools is the extension cord. Stay away from those lightweight things and get yourself a good 12g extension cord. They're not that much more than the lightweight ones and they handle the power requirements of the tools much better, resulting is a safer and longer lasting tool. While you're looking at cords, pick up a cord real too. I like the round reels better than the long stick, wrap around style. I also wind my cords "backwards", in that I leave the male end free and capture the female end on the reel. This allows me to only uncoil what I need, rather than the entire reel.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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