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What tools should I have in a home tool box?

Updated on January 21, 2012

Why should i have a home tool kit?

A small home tool kit is useful in many situations. It will save you time and effort, a small tool kit allows you to carry out minor DIY tasks and repairs yourself saving you the time, money and hassle of involving a handy man or other tradesman.

A tool box, kit or bag

First thing to consider when assembling a DIY or home improvement tool kit is to have somewhere to store these tools when not in use. This will be a tool box or bag of sufficient size to contain all your tools. There are many varied and different types from the plain box to ones with many added compartments for extras such as loose screws and nails. This will keep all your tools in one location enabling you to find them when you need them.

Consider too where you will be storing your tool box or bag when its not in use, ensuring it fits in any cupboard or place where you intend to store it. If you have no tools at all many DIY stores offer a tool box filled with the basics you may need and if they are a good price they can be worth taking a look at.

Safety kit

A basic safety kit is essential and should consist of a minimum of sturdy gloves and safety goggles. Safety gloves are handy to prevent abraisions and cuts as well as protecting your hands from rough surfaces. Safety goggles should be used whenever you are cutting or sawing anything as well as when you are using a hammer, this will protect you from any stray particles causing any damage.

When carrying out DIY always consider your safety first, many accidents occur at home and many of these can be avoided if simple precautions are taken. Also respect your own boundaries if you are unsure at what you are doing called in a skilled trade proffesional to do the job.

Tape measure

A small tape measure is essential, obviously for measuring things of course. It can be used to measure curtain pools or any other item you wish to cut. Remember measure twice, cut once. It can also be useful for sizing up for future furniture and furnishings.

Spirit level

A small spirit level is useful for checking that things are straight and not crooked, it is also useful for marking things out. Although it will be less used then the tape measure, a spirit level is still vital to make sure your workmanship is up to scratch and that your furniture, curtain poles and any other item are on the level.


A medium sized claw hammer is highly useful, remember to use your saftey googles and gloves whilst using a hammer of any type it is easy to slip or mishit and cause yourself an injury. Hammers are used for multiple tasks such as driving in nails or helping to assemble or disassemble furniture. The claw side of the hammer is useful for removing nails, opening wooden packaging and helping remove stubborn screws.


A selection of screwdrivers is best to have allowing you to use the best sized and shaped screwdriver for the screw. Many DIY retailers sell them in sets which both works out cheaper and also gives you a good selection of screwdrivers

Adjustable spanner or wrench

A small adjustable spanner or wrench is useful for any small nuts and bolts you may come across. Having an adjustable one saves your the expense and space that a set of different sized spanners or wrenches would take up.

Retractable blade knife

Commonly refered to as a utility or Stanley knife this knife consists of a handle that contains a retractable blade. This allows you to store it safely when not in use as the blade retracts completely into the handle. Remember any knife is dangerous and should be treated with respect, always use great care when using a knife and ideally cut away from yourself.

Torch or Flashlight

A torch or flashlight is an useful piece of kit, useful for seeing in to darker spots,nooks and crannys around the house. It is also an invaluable thing to have during a power cut, remember though to be aware of where you have left it in case of emergency.

Other useful additions you should consider

There are many tools out there and below are a suggestion of other tools you may find useful if and when you require them as well as when your DIY skills improve.

  • Hacksaw
  • Wood saw
  • Pliers
  • Water Displacer spray such as WD-40
  • Step Ladders
  • Electric or battery drill


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    • Arioch profile image

      Gordon D Easingwood 4 years ago from Wakefield, United Kingdom

      Thanks for the comments nothing like DIY to save you some money

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I have a toolbox drawer filled with these handy items. It would be a better idea to put them in a tool box, as you suggest. I do like the idea of a safety kit. I can remember one time when I needed a few of the mentions such as goggles. Very useful post.

    • Jakob Barry profile image

      Jakob Barry 6 years ago

      Great list! The safety items are essential and it's always good to have a flashlight handy. Best of all, having these things in one easily accessible place is a relief for any DIYer when needing them on the fly.