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Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

Updated on December 29, 2013

There are many great benefits to owning your own home such as more room, freedom to make changes, etc. However, one of the main drawbacks to homeownership is that you are responsible to fix and repair your property. Hiring someone to make simple repairs is a waste of money. Whether you are a new homeowner or have lived in your house for years, there are tools that you should have.

Suggested Tools for Homeowners: Power Tools

Cordless Drill

When asking the question, what tools should I have, a quality cordless drill should be at the top of the list. A cordless drill not only makes drilling holes easy, but also makes driving screws much easier than using a handheld screwdriver. Purchase a name brand cordless drill, in my experience, the name brand drills last longer and come with more power. Also, make sure that the drill comes with two batteries so that while you are charging one you can use the other. I have found that for $100 at Sears, you can buy a very nice Craftsman. If you want a drill with even more power, Home Depot and Lowes offer some higher end models.

Miter (Chop) Saw

I use my miter saw on just about every project that I do around my house. It is great for when you need to cut something quickly and accurately. Another benefit is that they can cut angles up to 45-degrees in either direction. A compound miter saw has the ability to cut the same angles as a regular miter saw as well as being able to make an angle cut on the face of the board while it is lying down. Typical uses for a miter saws include cutting molding and framing materials. They are great for building decks, bookcases, and many other projects. I recommend buying a model with a 12-inch blade so you are able to cut wider boards. I only have a 10-inch and it does become an issue when I try to cut an 8-inch board. You may even want to buy one that has a built in laser to show you exactly where the cut is to be made.

Air Compressor

Once you have an air compressor, you will not know how you lived without one. They are invaluable around the house. The most obvious use is for putting air in car tires. They are also great for filling up sports balls, air mattresses, tubes for the pool, and much more. They are a great way to clean out the garage as you can buy an attachment to allow you to blow dust and other items right out of your garage. The ability to inflate things is enough to make this one of the must have homeowner tools, but an air compressor can do so much more. You can purchase nail and staples guns to use with your air compressor. Another good idea to pick up is a cut off tool, which is a small tool that uses a mini disk to cut through metal such as nails or chains. Depending on the size of the compressor that you buy, you can purchase air wrenches or a paint sprayer attachment. I recommend buying an air compressor based on how you plan to use it. I spent about $300 for the compressor that I have and I primarily use it for tire filling, blowing out the garage, and shoot nails and staples. You can pay a lot less than I did, however, tank size will slow you down when it comes to filling a tire with air.

Suggested Tools for Homeowners: Hand Tools


One of the most basic tools that everyone should have is a hammer with a claw on the back that helps to remove nails. It is important to find a hammer that feels right in your hand, not too heavy or too light. Here is a great tip for those who have a Menards near them, watch their weekly advertisement. Usually, a few times a year, you can get a quality hammer free after rebate or for as little as a $1.

Screwdriver Set

Another must have around the house is a quality screwdriver set that has several different sizes of standard and Philips heads. Also, make sure that the set also includes mini screwdrivers that are useful in fixing glasses, changing batteries in some kid’s toys, and other small objects. Make sure the set has quality, comfortable handles. I found a great set at Menards that includes everything talked about above plus magnetic tips.


I lumped these two categories together because they are primarily used to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts. Needle nose pliers are necessary in every household. They are great for being able to grip and pull things out of tight places. You should have a medium and a large adjustable crescent wrench. Even if you do not do a lot of plumbing work, it is a good idea to have a pipe fitter’s wrench in your toolbox.

Socket Set

A good socket set with both standard and metric sockets is a good investment. Sockets are great for tightening bolts in tight places. It is important to keep these well organized as well. You do not want to have to dig through a drawer full of sockets trying to find the perfect match.

Tape Measure

You can never have enough good tape measures around. I recommend having several of them. I usually find myself working on something in the house or in the backyard and am constantly going back and forth to my garage. I tend to carry one with me and then forget to carry it back with me when I go to cut something or vice versa. This is another great time to keep on sales at Menards. I rarely pay more than a dollar for my tape measures due to their generous rebate opportunities.


Finally, tape is an often-overlooked tool. I recommend keeping duct tape and electric tape on hand at all times. Duct tape can be used in so many different ways because of its strength and durability. Electrical tape, on the other hand, is used primarily in wiring applications. It is a must have if you ever change out an outlet, switch, or light.

In a world where things age and break, we all need to have some basic tools around. There are many more suggestions that could be included on a list of tools you should have, but this is a great place to start. I would love to hear your suggestions as to what other tools should be included.


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    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      I think we're all set except for the air compressor! Thanks for sharing this helpful list for homeowners (and even apartment dwellers!) Voted up useful and interesting.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I am very happy to say nearly all these things- minus the miter! Ah well. :D

    • drmiddlebrook profile image

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Great Hub, especially for those of us with two left hands!

    • vegaswriter profile image

      vegaswriter 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Nice tips. We often realize we don't have what we need as soon as we need it. Thanks!

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Yes, a good list of tools to keep around the house. It is extremely convenient to be able to simply grab a tool and fix a problem rather than go out and buy or borrow the tool. And with careful shopping most of these tools can be found relatively cheaply. Good hub!