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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Essential Hand Tools

There are hand tools everyone should own...if you own a house that list is expanded significantly. Keep in mind this list is strictly hand tools and not power tools of any kind. If you have the tools on this list you are doing pretty good.

1.) Screwdriver set - get yourself a decent Craftsman set at Sears, get one of the larger 12+ screwdriver sets not one of the smaller 7 driver sets. You should have a good mix of flathead/Phillips and varying lengths to get multiple jobs done.

2.) Hammer - I am personally partial to the framing hammer.

3.) Set of adjustable wrenches, the three I use the most in order are the 6", 12" and 8".

4.) Socket Set - again go with one of the Craftsman sets...I can't afford Snap-On or MAC tools to be honest...way to expensive (BUT good quality). Craftsman is great for most homeowners.

5.) Pliers - I like needlenose, linemans and slip joint pliers.

6.) Channel locks - I would actually have 2 pairs of these for light plumbing and stuff.

7.) Measuring tape - 25 ft measuring tape with a lock on it will suffice for most jobs.

8.) Level - I have a 2 foot and a 4 foot level and I have been able to tackle most things I needed to.

9.) Cutter - a good quality razor knife that is easy to change the blade on will be worth its weight in gold.

10) Saws - have a decent wood saw, a good hacksaw and a drywall saw and you should have the basics covered.

11.) Stud finder (right here big boy!) - Kidding of course...much more reliable than knocking on the wall trying to find studs.

12.) Speed square - if you gave my grandfather one of these and a hammer he could build you a house.

14.) Tape - duct, electrical, masking and teflon please...

15.) Multimeter - maybe I am a geek but I use mine a LOT. I have the same Radio Shack model I bought about 8 years ago.

16.) Voltage detector - beeps and light up when near AC voltage...don't rely on JUST this but these are REALLY handy.

17.) 5-Way Tool - If you don't know what one of these is Google it and get one...VERY useful.

OKAY!!!! Some people call this a 6 in 1 tool and here is what I am talking about Red Devil 4251 ZIP-A-WAY 6-in-1 Tool. I have always known this as a 5 in 1 but apparently someone thinks there is a 6th use for it ;)

18.) Pry Bar - I have a mini crowbar and a flat bar great for demo and delicate removal of molding when needed.

19.) Wire cutter/strippers - very useful for any kind of electrical work or cutting anything that resembles wire :)

20.) Monkey wrenches - if you do any plumbing you will need a set of these.

This is by no means exhaustive but it is a hell of a start if you are looking to build a tool set.

...that is all.


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