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Home & Garden

21 essential tools for everyday home repair

At Home Toolbox

Even if you don’t consider yourself handy around the house, if you have these everyday tools in your toolbox, you should be able to tackle most basic fixes and projects. Save yourself time and money instead of hiring a contractor to perform the work. Your neighborhood hardware store is a great source of knowledge on how to perform most tasks, and you can also find online instructional videos as well.

Start with a toolbox — why keep your tools in a messy junk drawer? An organized toolbox lets you take your tools to the project at hand. Stock it with these essential tools:

  • Adjustable wrench: For assembling furniture or toys, tightening or loosening bolts, an adjustable wrench will come in handy. A longer handle allows extra leverage, and a shorter handle is a better fit for use in a small space.
  • Channellock pliers: For minor adjustments under a sink or hard to reach area, nothing compares to a pair of Channellock pliers.
  • Driver drill: Drill pilot holes or drive screws quickly almost anywhere in your home with a cordless driver drill.
  • Duct tape: Developed during World War II for repairing military equipment, including Jeeps and aircraft, the strong, flexible, and extreme adhesive properties of duct tape make it ideal for an infinite number of home fixes.
  • Flashlight: A flashlight is a necessity for a power outage or when attempting a repair in a poorly lit area. A hands-free version will allow you to focus on the task on hand. The Gorilla Torch features flexible arms that grip onto just about anything.
  • Hammer: Whether pounding or pulling out a nail, a claw hammer is the most basic tool to have in your home. Build a birdhouse, assemble a desk, or hang a Justin Bieber poster — the hammer is extremely versatile for everyday projects.
  • Handsaw: Trim tree branches or molding simply with a handsaw.
  • Laser level: A laser level uses a beam to determine levelness, assuring accuracy for straight lines.
  • Level: To hang pictures straight, drill holes in a level line, or mount a towel bar perfectly, use a level for accurate positioning.
  • Multibit ratcheting screwdriver: A ratcheting screwdriver will drive screws in quickly causing less fatigue. Many feature assorted bits and allow ratcheting in forward, reverse, or fixed positions.
  • Multitool: Pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, and blades are just some of the 12 functions packed into a multitool. Ideal for the home, car, or backpack.
  • Pliers: A sturdy pair of pliers offers a firm grip for cutting, bending, or straightening wires or cords.
  • Putty knife: For spackling or scraping, a putty knife will do the trick.
  • Rescue tape: This versatile tape will do a million-plus jobs around the home for emergency repairs. Taping up a leaky pipe until the plumber arrives is just one of them — this tape adheres to itself and withstands up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Rotary tool: Cut, carve, grind, polish, or sand with a multifunction rotary tool. Perfect for crafts, too.
  • Safety gear: When you are using power tools or performing dirty jobs, be sure to wear a pair of goggles, a dust mask, earplugs, and gloves as needed.
  • Sander: For smoothing wood or removing paint before refinishing, an electric sander will make the task go more smoothly.
  • Screwdriver set: Tighten a loose doorknob, frying pan, or cabinet handle with the proper screwdriver. Multihead 4-in-1 screwdrivers with two flat- and two Phillips-head settings are also available.
  • Socket set: Speed up the nuts-and-bolts assembly process with a sturdy socket set. A ratcheting handle will allow you to tighten bolts snugly.
  • Tape measure: Remember we all were supposed to learn the metric system? Well, we didn’t. A tape measure has both metric and standard lengths and will come in handy for hanging curtains and other projects.
  • Utility knife: Open boxes or just about anything with ease using a durable utility knife.
  • Finally, don’t forget to include an assortment of nails and screws in various sizes to tackle a task without having to make a trip to the store.
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Julia Strzesieski is the marketing coordinator of Cole Hardware and can be reached at julia@marinatimes.com