Hand tools

10 Essential Hand Tools for Home Maintenance

Owning a home comes with its own set of responsibilities, and one of the key aspects is being prepared for small repairs and improvements. Having a well-equipped toolkit is essential for every homeowner, whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just starting to tackle the basics of home maintenance. You never know when you might need it!

In this article, we’ll explore the must-have tools that should be part of your starter toolkit in our list of 10 essential hand tools:

1. Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench is a versatile tool for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts. Its adjustable jaw allows it to fit various sizes of fasteners, making it an essential addition to your toolkit. Available in a range of styles and sizes, narrow heads are ideal for use in awkward or confined spaces whilst a longer handle can help with tougher tightening or loosening requirements. Choose a wrench with a comfortable grip for ease of use.

2. Hammer

A hammer is a fundamental tool for any homeowner. It’s versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, including driving nails, assembling furniture, or even light demolition work. Choose a hammer with a comfortable grip that suits your hand size for optimal control. Longer handles give a higher striking force so are more suitable for demolition jobs, whilst shorter styles are more accurate for use in confined spaces.

A claw hammer is a good all-rounder that also can be used to remove nails if required.

10 Essential Hand Tools: Claw Hammer
10 Essential Hand Tools: Junior Hacksaw

3. Multi-bit Screwdriver / Screwdriver Set

A multi-bit screwdriver is a convenient all-in-one tool that allows you to switch between different types and sizes of screwdriver bits. This versatile tool is invaluable for assembling furniture, tightening loose screws, and handling various household tasks.

A set of screwdrivers with varying head types and sizes works just as well as an alternative to a multi-bit screwdriver and can be more ergonomic and easier to use in some situations.

4. Handsaw

A handsaw is a must-have for any DIY enthusiast; for cutting through wood, metal, plastic, or small pipes, a handsaw is indispensable.  When choosing your handsaw, you need to consider the type of cut you need to do as well as the size of the material. The bigger the material, the larger the blade required. Another important consideration is teeth per inch (TPI); the higher the TPI, the smaller the teeth on the blade. A Junior Hacksaw is a good choice. Its compact size and fine-toothed blade make it ideal for intricate cutting tasks.

5. Utility Knife

A utility knife is perfect for cutting through a variety of materials such as cardboard, plastic, and even drywall. Some utility knives come with a fixed blade, while others feature a retractable or foldable blade option for safe storage and transportation when the blade is not required. A retractable blade enhances safety and ensures that you always have a sharp cutting edge when needed. Remember to always cut away from, rather than towards, yourself wherever possible.

6. Spirit Level

Achieving a straight and level surface is crucial for many DIY projects. A spirit level helps you ensure that shelves, pictures, and other installations are perfectly aligned. Invest in a reliable spirit level with multiple vials for horizontal and vertical leveling. For the best results you should always use the longest level that will fit on the surface you are testing.

Spirit Level
Tape Measure

7. Hex Keys

Also known as Allen keys, hex keys are essential for assembling furniture, tightening screws in hard-to-reach places, and adjusting various household items. A set with a range of sizes will ensure you have the right tool for any task. Quality hex key sets are made from durable steel, and some feature multipurpose keys with a hex at one end and a ball at the other.

8. Tape Measure

Accurate measurements are crucial for any DIY project. A tape measure is an essential tool for determining dimensions, ensuring proper spacing, and confirming that items fit correctly in a designated space. Look for a durable and easy-to-read tape measure for precise measurements.

9. Diagonal Cutters

Diagonal cutters, or wire cutters, are designed for cutting through wires, cables, and small-gauge metal. This tool is useful for electrical work, crafting, and general home repairs. Choose a pair with comfortable grips for extended use.

10. Long Nose Pliers

Long nose pliers are essential for reaching into tight spaces and gripping small objects. These versatile pliers are handy for tasks like pulling or bending wires, making them a valuable addition to your toolkit.

10 Essential Hand Tools: Long Nose Pliers

A well-equipped toolkit is a homeowner’s best friend when it comes to handling various DIY projects and home maintenance tasks. By investing in these 10 essential hand tools, you’ll be better prepared to tackle repairs, improvements, and even simple construction projects around your home.

Buy a Starter Toolkit with all 10 Essential Hand Tools

If you don’t fancy compiling your own toolkit, or really are starting from scratch, there are lots of starter toolkits available to buy – complete with a toolbox or bag. Most of the major DIY stores stock them – B&Q and Screwfix have good ranges, as well as Amazon and even some supermarkets have a reasonable DIY section.

We’d recommend having a look at:

Premium Kit:

All Rounder Kit:

Budget Kit:

Need Help with Home Maintenance?

Have you got a job or repair that you just don’t have the time, or perhaps the ‘know-how’ to tackle? That’s where we can help!