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The 5 Hand Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

Updated on February 14, 2012

New homeowners and renters sometimes encounter small repair problems at the worst possible time. Even if you are not a do-it-yourself home handyperson, there are still some tools you should have on hand to make small repairs. There are 5 hand tools every homeowner should own that will help fix things temporarily until a permanent repair is possible. These 5 hand tools will handle most any situation, and are also the very basic hand tools you'll find in a professional's toolbox.


This should go without saying, but a good screwdriver is essential for any homeowner. Screws get loose, and the only way to tighten them is with a screwdriver. Basically you need a flat-head and a Phillips screwdriver. Unfortunately, they come in many different sizes. The ideal way to solve this problem without purchasing 20 different screwdrivers is to invest in a cordless screwdriver. This handy tools come with a variety of different size screwdriver tips. Simply install the correct size tip into the cordless screwdriver and you are all set. A cordless screwdriver also helps prevent getting blisters on the inside of your hand. Instead of turning a standard screwdriver and wearing a blister in your hand, simply insert the tip into the screw and turn the cordless screwdriver power button on.


Pliers are good for multiple things around the house. A standard pair of pliers come in handy for tightening nuts squeezing hose clamps. Slip-joint pliers are the choice for plumbers due to their adjustable jaws. The lower jaw engages into one of several ledges on the side of the upper jaw. These are great for loosening or tightening sink drain nuts. When purchasing pliers, look for ones with insulated handles. These are both comfortable and safer to use.

Vise grips

Much like pliers, vise grips are great for locking things in place. They operate much like a pair of pliers, except they “lock” onto whatever you are holding or turning. When adding a pair of vise grips to your home tool box, look for ones that have curved jaws. The square jaw vise grips do not lock as well as the curved jaws. It is a good idea to purchase a medium size pair of vise grips. These will handle most any emergency job for the average homeowner.


Although you might think all hammers are created equal, they aren't. There are claw hammers, roofing hammers, ball peen hammers and sledgehammers just to name a few. However, all the homeowner needs in an emergency is a standard claw hammer.


No, I'm not talking Scotch tape. Instead you should have a roll of duct tape and a roll of electrical tape in your home toolbox. Duct tape, otherwise known as “100 mile tape”, is great for making temporary repairs to just about anything. Although not waterproof, it will stop a minor leak long enough for you to either make a complete repair or call a professional.

Electrical tape is best when joining two wires together or patching the chunk of insulation that you accidentally cut from the wire while installing that ceiling fan.

These five tools will help even the most novice homeowner temporarily fix many home repairs around the house. Obviously these tools will not fix everything, but they will enable you to make temporary repairs and prevent further damage to your home and belongings.


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