Basic Tool Kits: 11 Essential Tools for the Household Handyman

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This post has stuff about a previous relationship and eating meat. My perspective has changed

I love my toolbox

Basic tool kits are a beautiful thing. I know guys who probably have every tool known to man. In some cases you really do need an 800 piece tool set — but for the average guy like myself 11 tools will get the job done 95% of the time. Here’s my list of essential tools for the household handyman.

dl. Adjustable wrench:In my experience a 6 inch adjustable wrench is too small. You need a 10 incher to get any real work done. You may be able to get by with a socket set if you’ve got one of these around, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Circular saw:Put down the handsaw. You’re better off with a circular saw. First off, nobody wants to work that hard. Second, it’s a rare occasion that you actually need a handsaw.
Drill and drill bits:Everyone will tell you to get a cordless. Don’t. The batteries will die and you won’t replace them. If you just get a drill with a cord you’ll be much happier and there will be less clutter filling your toolbox.
Hammer:Any old hammer will do here. Just don’t get one of those little pansy hammers with the rounded side. I don’t care for any of that plastic, fiberglass, super padded stuff. Just an old wood hammer for me.
Level:Don’t cheap out here but don’t go crazy either. You should be using this a lot so get something that looks good to you. I’m not sure if anyone actually uses the 45 degree angle so just stick to the horizontal and vertical level.
Pliers:Get yourself an adjustable plier and a needle nose plier. That’s it. Well, you could probably splurge and get some vice grips.
Screwdriver kits:Get a kit with four screwdrivers and that’s it. Better yet, get the Master Mechanic ones from True Value. They’ve got a lifetime warranty. If you nub those things up you can just take ‘em in and trade ‘em out. Also get a tiny little eyeglass screwdriver kit. I use these when I take the kid’s toys apart or when I’m trying to pry crap out of little spaces.
Tin Snips:These suckers will cut metal, wire, plastic, whatever. And they’ll last forever. Except sometimes that stupid little latch will break. But even then it’s still a perfectly usable tool.
Socket set:Standard measurement will probably do here unless you have an Asian car that you’re planning to work on. Then you’ll need metric. I don’t prefer the Ace brand sockets at all. Get the Master Mechanic stuff here too. They feel so much better.
Stud finder:A stud finder is indispensable. And you can always point it at yourself whenever your wife is around. I haven’t found any use for that whole “deep scan” stuff. You’re just looking for boards in a wall here.
Tape measure:This should be a no-brainer.
Utility knife:This tool is the sole reason for 55% of all male flesh-wounds in the United States. But so useful for so many things. I mean you can pick crap out of your teeth with these babies, cut your toenails, cut the carpet while you’re trying to cut through cardboard. Absolutely necessary.

So that’s it. Print this out and go to your nearest LOCALLY OWNED hardware store. Don’t go to Home Depot or Lowes or anything like that. Every tool purchased should be used to build your local economy as well as other cool stuff like shelves for your garage or a chicken coop.

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Photo by Saffanna