Essential Hand Tools

Essential Hand Tools

Whether you’re moving out of your parents’ house and living on your own for the first time, or are starting a new hobby crafting things out of wood, it is important to have your own set of tools that you can use when needed. We have come up with a list of essential hand tools you should always have in your house or apartment in case you need to fix something quickly or want to start a new, simple project.

Tape Measure

Many jobs and tasks require you to measure something, and a ruler will not suffice for anything over a foot. We recommend having a 25- or 50-foot tape measure in your house. This is perfect if you need to measure a room to see if your new furniture will fit. It is also great to precisely cut 2×4’s for your new outdoor gazebo project.

Stud Finder

Need to put up a mount for your new 52-inch TV for your bedroom? A stud finder will be your best friend. Without this tool, you may drill only into your sidewall which is not strong enough to hold a TV or a heavy mirror.


Hammers are one of the most essential hand tools you will need. You want to make sure your hammer has a claw on the back to pry out nails in the event you misplaced a nail. It is important to note that the larger the hammer is, the easier the nail will go in. However, larger hammers are more difficult to operate. We recommend a 16- or 20-ounce hammer for this reason.

Digging Shovel

If you own land, a shovel will come in handy, especially if you plan on upgrading your outdoor living space on your own. Shovels are perfect for digging holes to put up your own fence and ease the process of mulching if you don’t outsource this service. Make sure to get one with a handle to help with mobility.


Similar to a shovel, an axe will be beneficial to your outdoor projects, especially if you live by the woods. Firewood is expensive, so if you can cut down your own wood for your fireplace, an axe will be your best friend.

Adjustable Wrench

Wrenches are used when loosening and tightening nuts and bolts. We recommend a high-quality, steel adjustable wrench instead of purchasing different size wrenches. You will save money this way and will be able to access most size nuts and bolts.


A screwdriver is one of the most essential hand tools because screws are used almost everywhere around a house. It is important to have screwdrivers with different sizes and head types because they vary quite often. You can find screwdrivers with different magnetic heads to switch out depending on what type of screw you are dealing with.


While a phone flashlight may be adequate for checking under a couch for your lost keys, a quality LED flashlight will work better in different circumstances. You never know when your power will go out and relying on your phone’s flashlight will drain your battery.

Duct Tape

“If it can’t be fixed with duct tape, you’re not using enough duct tape” is how the old adage goes. Duct tape is perfect for quick fixes around your home. You can use it to cover a hole or patch a leak in a pinch until you have time to replace it.

Utility Knife

Scissors only work so well for opening your Amazon packages. A utility knife will help with packages, sure, but also with various tasks like marking wood and shaving pencils. Make sure to purchase replacement blades so you don’t have to go to the store when the blade begins to dull.


You will need a level if you are hanging a picture or building almost anything. A level will guarantee these wall accessories will look perfect. Nothing is worse than a crooked shelf!


Even if you don’t garden, a hose makes many tasks run much smoother. Save money by washing your car, yourself, or rinsing your driveway of dirt.


If you plan on flipping any old furniture, sandpaper definitely needs to be on your tool list. It is essential when you are repainting a wood desk or chair. It will also come in handy if a door or cabinet is too snug!


A toolbox is a great way to store most of these hand tools. A toolbox is important because it can keep your tools from getting damaged when you aren’t using them. It is also nice to have all your tools stored in one location to minimize the chances of misplacing one of them.

Essential Tools List: Conclusion

Don’t be that one neighbor that always asks the other neighbors to borrow a tool! Investing in these essential hand tools will pay off in the long run. At least once in your lifetime, you will need to use these tools for a quick fix or a DIY project.

Written by: Christopher Yanchoris

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