Seven things every household should have in their DIY tool kit

Whether you’re a DIY pro who loves taking on home improvement projects every weekend, or you’re more the reactive type, every homeowner and renter should have a basic toolbox to hand, filled with all the kit you’ll need for every basic DIY scenario.

That way, whether you’re putting up furniture, bleeding a radiator or building a treehouse, you’ll be prepared.

But what should a basic tool kit consist of?

First things first - a toolbox

This may sound obvious, but you’ll first need a box for your tools. Don’t be the person who just chucks their tools to the back of the shed once a project is finished, they’ll just end up damaged and you’ll need to buy more.

Before you buy any tools, spend a little bit of cash on a toolbox, and don’t worry if it’s initially too big for your basic set of tools. The trick is to slowly fill it over time, as and when you add another piece to your arsenal.

The tools: Quality or quantity

It may be tempting to dash straight out to your nearest budget supermarket, where you can get a 100-piece tool set for the price of one decent screwdriver, but believe us, you’ll regret it. The last thing you want is your screwdriver snapping in the middle of a delicate DIY job, so choose quality over quantity every time.

Unless you’re Tommy Walsh, it’s unlikely you’re going to make use of 100 screwdrivers, so start slow and build up a collection of quality items that will last.

Here are the basics you should start with:

  • Screwdrivers - For the most basic toolbox, one flathead screwdriver, and one Phillips screwdriver should suffice.
  • A hammer - If you want a hammer that’s built to last, avoid wooden handles. Instead, choose a synthetic handle, and ensure it’s got rubber or similar for good grip. A claw hammer (which has the two claws on the back) is handy not only for putting nails into things, but taking them out too.
  • Tape measure - A tape measure doesn’t have to cost much, and comes in handy for more than just DIY projects.
  • A crescent (adjustable) wrench - As the name suggests, an adjustable wrench can be adjusted to suit whatever project you’re working on, and will come in particularly handy if you experience plumbing problems.
  • Spirit level - Even if your most ambitious DIY project will be hanging pictures, a spirit level is essential. When you’re choosing one in the store, make sure you test it out before you buy. For the tech-savvy, you can get spirit level apps on most smartphones.
  • A good set of pliers - Pliers are especially handy when it’s just you carrying out DIY on your own. They’re essentially another set of hands for gripping things while you work.
  • Safety items - Don’t forget to kit out your toolbox with some essential safety items, including protective glasses, dust masks, and gloves.

Power tools - to buy or to rent?

When you’re deciding whether to buy or rent power tools like drills, sanders and saws, consider how often you’ll use them before you fork out for your own. Generally, if it’s something you’ll only need once, like a sander for floors, you’ll be better off renting.

If you see yourself using the tool a few times, like an electric drill, it may be worth getting your own. Alternatively, borrowing from friends and family is a good option, and if you find yourself asking them often, consider investing in that tool yourself.