11 Essential Tools Every Homeowner Should Have in Their Toolbox

Tape Measure

You'll be surprised how often you'll reach for your tape measure for one reason or another. A 25-foot long tape will cover a wide range of DIY & home improvement projects. If you're looking for a sturdy tape measure, choose one with a nylon or acrylic-coated blade that won't crack or split.

Projects You'll Need It For:

Any projects that require precise measurements, from remodelling projects around the home to measuring for new appliances or furniture.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is a great basic tool to have. Cheaply-made knives are prone to problems such as blades that snap or won't lock into place, so when shopping for one, go for a mid-range knife with a rubber grip to prevent slipping.

Projects You'll Need It For:

You will find more uses for this tool than you might think; from opening packages to DIY projects like removing carpet, taking out a bathroom vanity or even breaking down an old mattress.

Claw Hammer

While there are several types of hammers, the claw hammer is most commonly used. Its main use is to pound or extract nails from wood. Choose one with a rubber or vinyl handle for shock absorption & an easier grip.

Projects You'll Need It For:

Hammers are handy for everything from hanging pictures on the wall to more in-depth DIY projects like removing tile flooring or tearing down your wooden deck.

Screwdriver Set

In the current do-it-yourself age, a screwdriver set is vital to have & most beginner DIYers learn the hard way that just one single screwdriver won't cut it. Find a set with both flat-head & Phillips-head screwdrivers in various sizes to cover a range of projects big & small.

Projects You'll Need It For:

You'll use your screwdriver set for everything from putting new batteries into your child's toy to home gutter repairs.


An assortment of hardware – or nails & screws – in various types & sizes will come in handy often. Keep them in a box with compartments for easy separating & label them so you can quickly find what you're looking for.

Projects You'll Need It For:

Finishing nails are used for putting the final touches on moulding, trim & hardwood flooring projects.

Vinyl sinkers are used in construction & carpentry projects, & help make it easier to hammer into wood.

Galvanized nails are used for mainly outdoor projects, specifically roofing, because they are coated in zinc to prevent rust & corrosion.

Drywall screws are used to secure drywall to metal studs & can be used to patch ceilings after knocking down a wall in your home.

Outdoor screws are typically made of stainless steel & are completely rust resistant, which make them great for building a new deck.


There's a wide range of tapes that may be better suited for your project than all-purpose masking tape or scotch tape. Each type of tape has different qualities of fabric, polyethylene, & adhesive made for a variety of uses.

Projects You'll Use It For:

Duct tape provides strong adhesion & can be used for the largest variety of projects from art to working on finishing your basement.

Electrical tape, also known as insulating tape, is pressure-sensitive & can be used for insulating wires or other materials that conduct electricity.

Painter's tape is designed to protect your door frames, floorboards & trim during painting projects. It comes off easily without leaving residue or damaging existing paint.

Plumber's tape – also known as PFTE, thread seal or Teflon tape – is commonly used in plumbing for sealing pipe threads.

Adjustable Pliers

Adjustable pliers will make a great addition to your tool collection. Its angled jaws make this tool useful for turning nuts & bolts. Pliers can also function as clamps & wire cutters & may also be called plier wrenches, tongue & groove pliers or locking pliers.

Projects You'll Use It For:

Depending on the type you buy, a pair of pliers can be used for gripping something large like a rod or pipe or smaller things like nails in wood trim, if you are removing or replacing your baseboards.

Adjustable Crescent Wrench

Adjustable wrenches have a moveable jaw, allowing them to be used with different sized nuts & bolts. At the beginner level, a full set of various sizes isn't necessary; just one large adjustable wrench will do. Make sure to store your wrench in a cool, dry place to avoid rust.

Projects You'll Use It For:

You will use these when you are loosening or tightening a nut or a bolt, possibly in a plumbing project or when assembling new furniture.

Allen Wrenches

An Allen wrench is a simple tool that is used to drive bolts & screws with hexagonal sockets in their heads. Choose a set with various sizes to accommodate a range of projects. Allen wrenches are also called hex keys or Allen keys.

Projects You'll Use It For:

There are multiple uses for these wrenches including putting together or repairing furniture, fixing bicycles or even picking a door lock that your adventurous child may have gotten stuck behind.


Levels are used to ensure that lines or surfaces are entirely straight. Levels usually consist of small tubes containing liquid & an air bubble. If the air bubble is in the centre of the tube, the line or surface is level. Most can double as a ruler or straightedge as well.

Projects You'll Use It For:

Levels can be used to find level ground, ensure that new flooring is even or even for something as simple as hanging art or photos on the wall.


This isn't exactly a tool, but a 6-to-10-foot stepladder will allow you to reach most areas of your home. When choosing one, make sure to check the stability & always ensure you are using it on a firm, level, and non-slippery surface.

Projects You'll Use It For:

A stepladder will come in handy often in your home, especially for completing simple chores like dusting, changing lightbulbs or reaching high cabinets. You will also need it for DIY projects like installing new light fixtures or painting your ceilings.

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