Every homeowner needs a basic home tool set — learn what tools to include beyond the basics and why

A couple is using tools to renovate their room

Every homeowner needs a set of tools to help with minor home repairs — and sometimes to take care of emergencies. Tools are also a great holiday or birthday gift idea for a friend or family member.

To get started, there are many premium-quality home tool sets you can buy at your local hardware store that will fit your budget. Most include basic tools, such as a hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, a tape measure (usually 25 feet long), Allen wrenches, pliers, utility knives and blades, and a small assortment of nails and screws.1

Beyond a basic home tool set, here are some other essential tools you may find useful for yourself or to give as a gift:

  1. Flashlights. It’s a good idea to have several flashlights on hand to help you with a repair or to use when the power goes out. Be sure to buy flashlights in different sizes, including a hands-free option. For example, you may want a larger flashlight to use for outside repairs, while a smaller flashlight is perfect when you need to tinker with something in a hard-to-reach place. Check your flashlights often to make sure they work, and replace their batteries when necessary. You should also keep an assortment of batteries stored in a drawer or organized on a battery storage rack for easy access.
  2. Cordless Drill. You’ll use a cordless drill for a variety of projects — from mounting a flat-screen TV to putting up new towel racks in your bathroom. And a battery-powered cordless drill makes it much easier to work in hard-to-reach spaces. Additionally, a drill can be used to do the job of a screwdriver, but much faster (and you won’t need an extension cord).
  3. Level. This is a must-have tool to help keep your artwork, shelves, towel bars, and mirrors straight. But you get what you pay for. A good, sturdy level should last for a long time. Shop around to find the right one for your needs.
  4. Putty Knife. Whether you’re filling cracks, applying caulk, smoothing wallpaper, or scraping away dry paint — putty knives are handy. They come in metal or plastic, so you’ll want to find the knife that best meets your needs and budget.
  5. Glues and Solvents. Every toolkit needs an assortment of glues and solvents — stronger types of glue (such as super glue) as well as simple white glue should cover most of your household needs. Different types of solvents (such as WD-40) can help remove sticky residue from your floors, counters, and other hard surfaces. Just be sure to read the directions to get the best results.
  6. Tape. You’ll likely use tape more than anything else in your tool set. You should include different types of tape for different kinds of projects or emergencies — duct tape, blue painter’s tape, and package sealing tape are excellent options to include. For the more seasoned homeowner, you’ve probably learned you can fix almost anything with duct tape!

Put it all together in a toolbox.

Once you have a pre-assembled tool set, you can then customize it to your needs. While this list includes tools that come in handy for minor repairs in every room of your home, there may be others you’ll need for specific projects. Whatever the case may be, it’s always best to purchase high-quality, durable tools that also fit within your budget. Then store your tools in an easily accessible place, such as a toolbox or organized area in your garage, mudroom, or shed. You’ll be glad you have everything on hand when you need it.