Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 66° Partly Cloudy
News >  Home

Water Cooler: Essential home tools

Essential home tools can range from a simple hammer to a saw, screwdriver and tape measure.  (Associated Press)
Essential home tools can range from a simple hammer to a saw, screwdriver and tape measure. (Associated Press)

Whether you rent an apartment or own a house, it is always useful to have a selection of small tools for various tasks. Having a reliable set of tools can save you a lot of time and frustration. It also gives you the freedom to mend, build and craft things for your home.

Many of us have also felt the DIY itch during the pandemic. You get ideas when you spend so much time in your house. Completing small projects around the house is also a fun activity and satisfying accomplishment, making it a great way to pass time during this winter of quarantine.

With a huge variety of brands and specialized tools on the market, it can seem daunting to select which tools to begin with. Here are some tools to consider. In general, start with a few basic purchases, then branch out to items that serve a specific purpose for projects you are interested in.

One of the first needs is a place to store your tools. You don’t have to purchase one immediately, but do it soon after you begin to accumulate tools. It gives you a specific place to store your collection and ensures nothing gets lost or damaged. A tool box is also a fun motivator as it can encourage you to complete your own personal kit of tools. You can find a decently sized and quality toolbox for as low as $15 to $20. Sturdy tool bags are also a great option as they are easy to store and transport.

A claw hammer is next on the list and you may already have one. They are the most popular, general-use hammer. The claw has a “V” cut uses for removing nails and the handle is usually made from a wooden, glass fibre or steel handle. Investing in a steel handle hammer can come in handy if you plan to do demolition work in the future, as other handles are at risk of breaking.

A multipurpose screwdriver or set of two screwdrivers with a Phillips-head and a flathead should suffice for most household screws you come across. They can range from a few dollars to around $20 for sets or multipurpose screwdrivers.

You need any type of tape measure, small or large.

One overlooked item is the level. You can get a plastic torpedo level around 9 inches long for a few dollars. That purchase alone will take so much guesswork out of hanging things around the house and is necessary for any type of simple woodworking project. Longer levels can be useful for hanging collections of photos.

Needle-nose pliers are wonderfully multipurpose, usually incorporating a wire cutter in the design and handy for most anything you can’t get to budge or bend with bare hands.

Opt for an adjustable wrench over purchasing a full set at first. It allows you to work with a variety of fastener types and sizes with one tool. Easy to store and transport.

The only power tool you need to have for home projects is a power drill. It is possible to drive a screw into a wall by hand, but you will curse every minute of it wishing you had a power drill that can drive a screw in seconds, as well as have the ability to make guide holes for plaster anchors. Cordless is great and 18 volts should give you enough power for any job around the house. If you can afford it, get a drill in a set with an impact driver. This allows you to dedicate the drill driver to drill bits and the impact driver to screws, for which it is specifically designed for.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.