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15 Essential Tools for Do-It-Yourselfers

15 Essential Tools for Do-It-Yourselfers

Are you new to the world of tools?  Are you an aspiring do-it-yourselfer looking for some guidance on setting up your tool kit?  We have written this article for all ambitious individuals looking to take on repairs in their home and on their vehicle.

Here are 15 tools that all DIYers should have close at hand.  All of these items can be had for low cost from Hi-Spec tools.

1. Adjustable Wrench

A single adjustable wrench can be used for a variety of tasks as a substitute for a full wrench set.  Since they are adjustable, these wrenches are great to have on hand for unexpected tasks and where space is limited.  We recommend having at least one of these in your car for roadside repairs.

2. Screwdriver Set

Everyone should have a good screwdriver set in their home; it is also a good idea to have another set in each vehicle too.  You will likely need screwdrivers of various sizes to assemble furniture, fix appliances, and repair hardware around your home.  A screwdriver set with multiple interchangeable bits can also work with your cordless drill and screwdriver for added versatility.

3. Hammer

A hammer is probably the first thing people think of when they think of hand tools.  While there are many different types of hammer, the average DIYer should strive for a classic claw-style hammer.  These are useful for hammering and removing nails but are not too heavy for general around-the-house use.

4. Level

The purpose of a level is to align a straight surface with Earth’s gravitational field.  Simply put, a level can tell you if various surfaces around your home are straight and even.  If you have pictures to hand or a table to adjust, a level will be very useful.

5. Slip Joint Pliers

Slip joint pliers are common pliers which are useful for a variety of tasks.  The slip joint refers to the pivot point which can be slid along a slot to adjust the opening size of the pliers.  Due to their versatility and simplicity, every DIY tool kit should contain at least one pair.  A set in your car is a good idea too.

6. Needle Nose Pliers

Needle nose pliers are so named because they end in a fine point.  This makes them useful for manipulating small objects and for fitting into small spaces.  While needle nose pliers are not great for heavy duty tasks, many repairs often call for tools that are able to reach tight spaces.

7. Adjustable Pliers

Adjustable pliers are designed to adjust their grip size for a variety of diameters.  Even though we have already mentioned adjustable wrenches and slip joint pliers, adjustable pliers have their own place simply because they will provide you with a very strong grip over a variety of objects.

8. Wood Chisels

Wood chisels are sharp tools meant for cutting wood with great precision.  Their handles are flat and meant to be hit with a mallet or hammer so you can cut through strong hardwood.  While chisels may seem like tools for those with more advanced carpentry skills, the average DIYer will be surprised at how many different types of projects can benefit from their precision.

9. Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is the first power tool everyone should buy.  We even have an entire article dedicated to using your cordless drill in creative ways.  From heavy duty drilling tasks to driving screws through thick layers of wood, a good cordless drill can make quick work out of many at-home repairs and projects.

10. Cordless Screwdriver

A cordless screwdriver is different from a cordless drill, and just because you have one does not mean you should not purchase the other.  The main difference between the two tools is that a cordless screwdriver is meant for slower rotational speeds and lighter torque, making it ideal for assembly tasks.  They are also normally smaller and more maveourable than a cordles drill when operating in tight spaces.

11. Wire Strippers

Stripping wires in preparation for splicing and other electrical work is made so much easier when you use the correctly-sized wire strippers.  If you have experience with stripping wire with improvized tools like a lighter and pocket knife, you will be impressed with how much easier the job is with proper wire strippers.

12. Wire Crimpers

Wire crimpers are meant to connect two ends of wires together by squishing them inside a metal tube called a crimp.  This is a simple and effective way to joint wire together.  Wire crimpers are designed to provide the correct amount of pressure over the precisie diameter of the crimp you are using.  Many sets of wire crimpers also include strippers, so these two functions can normally be found in the same tool.

13. Power Sander

If your DIY projects involve wood, plastic, drywall, and metal, you will benefit greatly from having a power sander and a variety of different grits of sandpaper.  A sander takes rough surfaces and smooths them out.  This will allow you to prevent slivers from forming on woodworking projects and will also help you prepare surfaces like drywall for painting.

14. Ratchet and Socket Set

DIYers who plan on working on their vehicles will want to have a good ratchet and socket set with a large selection of sockets.  These tools are meant for turning nuts and bolts, so most repairs and maintenance done on equipment and machinery will require sockets and wrenches to be completed properly.

15. Stapler

A hand-powered stapler is a useful tool for hanging Christmas lights, putting up decorations, and even doing arts and crafts.  Some staplers are so versatile that they allow you to use different sized staples and even drive finishing nails for finishing tasks like installing baseboards.

Related Article: Tools Every Woman Needs in Her Toolbox


Setting up a solid DIY tool kit can be a daunting task.  Given how many different types of tools there are on the market, it is hard to know where to start.  We hope that this list has given you a good starting point for your tool kit.  If you have all of the tools on this list, you are well-prepared for a variety of home repairs and automotive maintenance tasks.

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