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Whether you are a first-time homeowner or clueless about home improvement, the time will soon come when you need to break out the toolbox. Every person should have a set of tools handy around their home as quick repairs often prevent the need for costly fixes. So how does your toolbox currently look? Should you find yourself lacking in this department, take a look at 10 essential tools you should always have.
1. Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers. Screwdrivers are a huge must for any toolkit as the chances of you manually securing a screw are slim to none. Flathead screwdrivers not only lock in flathead screws, but can also help you with prying and scraping. Phillips screwdrivers, on the other hand, have a four-star point that allows for more torque to be applied. They are a preferred screwdriver for many home improvements.
2. Tape measure. A universal tool among many industries, a good tape measure will allow for more project accuracy. When looking for a tape measure, choose one that is spring-loaded so you can quickly retract when not in use. Twenty-five foot metal measuring tapes are most common.
3. Safety glasses. Proper safety glasses are often overlooked by many home improvement DIYers and even some professionals. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are about 2.5 million eye injuries each year with more than 50 percent occurring at or near the home. Safety glasses can not only protect you from unexpected debris, but also harmful irritants.
4. Hammer. Hammers will literally be your driving force that will assist you in adding and removing nails. They even come in handy for demolition jobs. Claw hammers in particular have a strong face and a double prong or claw back to assist in nail removals. As there are many hammers on the market, choose one that has a manageable weight and sturdy grip.
5. Electric drill and bits. Modern advancements have awarded those involved in home improvements some assistance with manual labor. Wireless electric drills and bits not only make drilling more effortless, but also give you the additional power to tackle hefty materials like sheetrock. Why waste time and physical energy you may not have to drill tough holes when you have an item in your toolkit to remove that burden?
6. Crescent wrench. There are tons of wrenches on the market, but a crescent wrench will take you far. An essential tool, this wrench has so many uses and flexibility in adjustments that will come in handy when dealing with nuts and bolts of different sizes.
7. Stud finder. Unless you are psychic, the chances of you locating each and every stud behind your wall are pretty minute. Keep a stud finder nearby when you are trying to find potential load-bearing walls.
8. Needle-nose pliers. These pliers are a popular tool among household toolboxes because they offer great assistance with those pesky electrical tasks. Needle-nose pliers have a long and thin nose that make them ideal for bending or stripping wires. Should you ever have to make a decision between “the red one or the green one,” be sure to use pliers.
9. Utility knife. If MacGyver had constant access to a utility knife, he just might have been able to get out of those tricky situations a little faster. Utility knives are a no-brainer for your first tool kit because they have a concealable, ultra sharp blade that will always come in handy. As most DIY projects and repairs tend to have things that need to be cut, it is best to keep this knife in your inventory.
10. Level. Last but certainly not least is a level. Levels can be the difference between hanging a crooked picture or flat-screen TV on the wall. They also keep things level when you replace windows or install a new door. Now equipped with lasers, levels will help ensure your projects are properly installed.
Tanvier Lee is a New York based lifestyle decorator, stylist and freelance writer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com