Essentials for Every Tool Drawer

There comes a time in every one’s life when the duty to repair something falls upon our own shoulders and when it does, will you be prepared? That depends on the degree to which you have prepared and organized yourself. Not everyone needs a band saw or a drill press. Certainly not every one has the need for a chainsaw or a jack hammer either. But there are a few basic tools that no home should be without.

“But Daniel.” I hear you all lamenting. “If I have tools then I’ll have to fix stuff.”

Yes, you might and won’t your roommates and significant others be impressed. I promise you though, this list will not relegate you to a life of handiness just preparedness. You don’t have to tell anyone what you have achieved, keep it in secret satisfaction and silently work in the shadows. Tighten up those loose toilet paper rollers and towel racks, snug up the handles on your favorite electric skillet, straighten out those tilting drawer handles or simply open up that drawer in the kitchen and bask in the glorious knowledge that if it breaks…you can fix it…maybe.

Prepare to repair

For less than a hundred bucks you should be able to get all the tools you need. Start with a hammer, a 16 oz. claw hammer the ubiquitous, hammer of hammers. These are good for driving as well as pulling nails. There are relatively few differences in hammers at this level so pick one that feels good in your hand. Next you will want to add a screwdriver set. There are really only four you will need: two Philip’s head, one medium sized and one a little smaller, two flathead, one medium and one smaller. It also wouldn’t hurt to add a set of precision screwdrivers to the set as they are excellent for smaller jobs like fixing eyeglasses and the battery covers found on some smaller electronic equipment. A set of wrenches that includes and adjustable wrench, a channel lock type wrench and needle nose pliers with an integrated wire cutter will take care of the prying and tightening of nuts and bolts required in say… the assembly of a bed frame, for instance. A good 25 foot tape measure, I like the 25 footer because it is a good length for residential applications. I have found that the ten footers are a little short for some tasks. A small metal putty knife in the 1 to 1 ½ inch range, these little guys are great for many things not just applying putty or scraping surfaces, they can be used to pry things and reach in to narrow spaces as well. A razor knife, or box knife as they are sometimes referred to, is also an invaluable tool. I do not necessarily recommend the retracting type as they often do not lock properly in place and can lead to injury in you are not especially careful. I am a fan of the non-retractable type as these are less dangerous and usually have a cavity inside the handle for the storage of the blades. Get a nylon sheath with a clip to protect the blade from damage and unsuspecting fingertips from perforation. Throw in an old number two pencil and some duct tape and you have the means to get your home running like the well-oiled machine it hopefully was when you bought it. Good luck and have a happy, handy holiday season.

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