It’s the beginning of a New Year, and with the tick of the clock, we all set New Year’s resolutions. I, for one, have many resolutions and on my list you will find several entries that start like this: “Finish…said project” or “Start…said project.” I also have come to the point where I have to admit to myself that sometimes (wink, wink) I procrastinate doing some basic home projects simply because I don’t have the right hand tools at hand. Yes, I have a full workshop with every hand tool and power tool one could want for basic home repair, however, I find that in the time it takes to go out and get the screwdriver and the tape measure and the safety gear, etc., and bring it all in, I lose my gumption. My get up and go is gone and I say, “Bah, I’ll do it another day.” So, to help remedy that little tendency and to be able to screw a loose hinge at midnight (in my pajamas, if I want to) without going out to the shop, I put together a toolbox of basics. It’s big enough to hold all of the basic hand tools yet small enough to fit in a closet or on a shelf, and it’s always accessible for a quick task of tightening, stapling or cutting. Hand tools at hand – no more excuses.
I hope this list becomes a great starting point for anyone wanting to put together their own toolbox of basics. It’s one of those things you won’t truly appreciate until you see how useful and practical it is! So I leave it in your hands - pun intended! Happy New Year!
My list of Basic Hand Tools:
I didn’t include a drill, as I consider it a power tool. And the order of my list changes daily, depending on what I am up to!
1. Screwdriver (with interchangeable bits)
3. Tape measure or ruler
4. Utility knife
6. Pliers (slip-joint pliers pictured)
Take it up a level:
7. Small level
8 and 9. Handsaw (wood pull-saw and metal hack saw pictured)
10. Staple gun
11. Adjustable wrench
12. Socket wrench set
For a creative work and accurate angles:
13 and 14. 6-in. and 12-in. combination square
15. Hot glue gun
16. 6-in. and 12-in. framing square
Tell me what tools I forgot. Add your favorite or most often used hand tools in the Comments section below.
Carmen De La Paz wears many hats, including designer, carpenter, decorative painter, woodturner and welder, to name a few. She has worked as a designer and carpenter on several shows for HGTV and is working on several new shows airing in 17 countries for FOX International. Through her television projects and her newly-launched online magazine, You Can Do It! Magazine, Carmen inspires DIYers worldwide with her “Green” and cost- effective ways to be creative in their homes.
See images of Carmen’s designs, woodturning and creative projects at: