Most of the time we pull out the toolbox for quick fixer-uppers, like hanging stuff, fixing the closet door that came off its tracks, installing some cabinets or waking our neighbors with furniture kits we decide to start building in the middle of the night And whether you’re a rookie DIY-er or a seasoned handyman, very few of us actually use all the crap weighing down the box.
Unless you’re building a deck and need an impact driver, you probably won’t need much more than what’s to follow. Here are the only tools you’ll actually use, and you can probably chuck the rest.
1. Putty Knife: A putty knife will come in handy when patching up holes, prying up nails and can lids, cleaning paint messes and peeling off wallpaper. So to everything you’ve used for all of that, say goodbye.
2. Vice Grip Pliers: Get some decent locking, adjustable pliers that’ll take the place of your clamps, wire-cutters, pope wrench and ratchet.
3. Crescent Wrench: You’ll need a wrench to tighten nuts and bolts, so get an adjustable one that’ll serve the most purposes. Really the only other wrenches you’ll use are the allen wrenches you’ve acquired from Ikea kits.
4. Tape Measure: Most around-the-house jobs require nothing more than a 3/4-inch-wide and 16-foot-long tape measure. Get rid of the bigger ones and the random rulers tossed in there.
5. Claw Hammer: For most, a good general-purpose hammer weighs about 16 ounces with a 16-inch handle. Dump the rest of the random things you have to drive and pull nails.
6. Electric Drill: Drill holes, drive screws, stir paint, sand and grind. Toss your sanders—you don’t need ’em with this multipurpose tool.
7. Screwdriver Set: You’ll probably just need some flat- and Phillips-heads. You don’t need a million of them, though they seem to accumulate.
8. Combination Square: Measure things. Frame things. Determine the square-ness of things. Even level things with the bubble in its handle and get rid of your other single-purpose level that’s taking up space.
9. Utility Knife: If nothing else, you’re going to want one of these for cutting up boxes, evenly cutting cabinet liners and more. You’re not even going to need scissors for much of anything if you’ve got one of these.
10. Allen Wrench Set: Whether you’re putting together IKEA furniture, tuning up your bicycle or picking a lock, Allen wrenches will always come in handy.
11. Staple Gun: You’ll want one when your cable cord is dangling in front of your television. If you grab an electric model, it’ll work for more jobs than your hand-powered stapler.
Thanks to our friends at Craftsman for sending over some of the tools included in this story! We also built that sweet-looking toolbox with their help.
Photo Credit: Jamahl Richardson