Assembling a Home Tool Kit: What You Need

Even for the unhandy, a basic home tool kit is essential to any household or apartment. Here’s what you’ll need.


  1. Combination manual driver with interchangeable Phillips and straight bits.
  2. Cordless power driver with interchangeable bits.

Hammer: Handle several to find the one that feels good to you.


  1. Utility knife. Cast metal with a supply of blades, or plastic with snappable blades.
  2. Scissors.  Inexpensive; for cutting packaging, trimming peel-and-stick tiles.


  1. Adjustable wrench – small.
  2. Needle-nose pliers with wire cutters.
  3. Slip-joint pliers.


  1. Metal tape measure. 12 feet, with increments marked – 1/8, 3/16 and so on.
  2. Level – for these purposes, a small one, a foot or less in length.
  3. Metal ruler – for measuring, and as a straight-edge to guide cutting.


  1. Selection of screws, bolts, picture hangers, finishing nails.
  2. Duct tape – for quick temporary repairs.
  3. Electrical tape – for uncomplicated wire maintenance.


  1. Use a snap case to hold your tools so small things won’t fall out.
  2. Don’t get top-of-the-line items for your home tool kit but don’t cheap out either. Often cheap tools are made of inferior materials. Most big-box home stores carry a range of prices.
  3. Don’t put away your tool kit until all the pieces of it are back inside. Having it sitting on the kitchen table for 3 days is better than opening it one day, finding tools missing, and no idea where you left them!