Safety Is Paramount. Remember this if nothing else as you start collecting all the gear that makes up the typical must have tools for homeowners tool kit. My tool kit has grown over the years. I still don’t have one of those fancy tool belts lol. But I have gotten rid of the junk drawer in my kitchen and moved all the tools to a central location in the garage that is easily accessible.
Whether you are a first time home buyer or a seasoned pro at moving, you need to have a well provisioned tool kit.
The Best Tools for Your Home Tool Kit (2023 Review)
Retractable utility knife
Such a nice name. These are box cutters. Super handy to have about. We use ours at home to break down cardboard for recycling. We started with one of those cheap ones. Doesn’t have to be fancy to get the job done. Something with a comfortable grip is a smart choice.
Boulder offers some amazing recycling options btw. If you can’t dispose of right at your property, this is a handy spot out near Arapahoe and 55th.
Great for more than merely open boxes. Cut kitchen string. Slicing insulation foam for a DIY project, cutting carpet. I’ve even heard of Boulder homeowners using a retractable utility knife to clean out the old grout in a shower enclosure.
I’ve found three screwdrivers go a really long way. I have a tiny Phillips screwdriver that is great for getting the dead batteries out of children’s toys. Or, at least telling my kids that the toy is out of juice. Honestly, whoever thinks it is a good idea to give a kid some noise making toy is nuts and not going to make it on my holiday card list.
I digress. Also in my tool kit are a regular sized Phillips and a standard screwdriver. Here’s a trick to know as a new homeowner. The day you move in, if you have to remove a door to get a bulky piece of furniture through the opening, you can use that screwdriver and a hammer to knock the pins out of the hinge.
Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I have a really great extra small screwdriver given to me years ago by another Realtor. It was the first of my must have tools for homeowners tools. I’m serious. I use that thing constantly but haven’t found one I like enough to give away myself.
Set of Pliers
You’ll be surprised how handy these can come in. Use a good grip pair in the Fall to undue your garden hoses. BTW, in Colorado, be sure to disconnect all hoses before the first sign of inclement weather. A hard freeze with a hose connected to the Hose bib can crack the pipe and make a mess come Springtime!
An adjustable wrench is another versatile tool to have at your fingertips. Lots of indoor jobs need a bolt tightened or loosened. This is one of those items where a better tool is going to be appreciated. You want one that easily tightens and loosens. And then stays firmly in place.
The Best Tape Measure
Tape measures are like pens. I keep collecting them, then finding a better one that goes into the tool kit. And yet, somehow, whenever I need one it’s the crappiest cheapo tape measure that I find first.
My brother is an engineer by trade. He is fond of the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” He actually credits our father with teaching us that age old bit of wisdom. A good tape measure is going to be useful for hanging art and pictures, centering items on walls (like that picture frame) and even entertaining the cat when you retract the tape. Okay. Maybe you don’t own a cat. But its pretty darn entertaining.
I now keep one in the kitchen cabinets, as it’s such a handy device even if long periods go by without needing the darn thing.
You Need This Magnetic Stud Finder!
Hey Stud, tell me about it. Can you quote that line? Believe it’s from the movie Grease. I think that was the first film I ever saw at the theater. LOL. A stud finder will be really helpful for indoor jobs. When you are hanging heavy stuff, driving the screws into a stud is going to be Job #1.
Hammers are handy tools. When won’t you be using one of these? Must have for DIY projects (Do It Yourself) aka just about anything you do around your house.
Very useful for driving a nail into the wall to hang a picture. When it comes to must have tools for homeowners the unassuming hammer goes a long way.
Hammers come in a few different sizes, but I think one normal sized thingie is going to be a-okay to get you started for most home improvement projects.
Not really making my list. I think if you are getting to the level needing a saw indoors, it’s the right moment to give a handyman or contractor a call. Bigger projects there is no shame in bringing in some reinforcements.
A Good Level
Very handy when hanging pictures or making certain all the legs on a washing machine are really the same height. Of course, these days the installation crews do a pretty good job of getting appliances properly installed. Can come in handy when installing some of the newfangled gizmos making their way into our homes these days.
The Most Back-Friendly Wheelbarrow Around
This one isn’t going in your tool kit. But it is one of those must have tools for homeowners. Over the years, we have actually worn out more than one wheelbarrow. Very handy for gardening projects.
Can also make great yard art.
True story. One of my family members had such great memories of a wheelbarrow, she commissioned a piece of art, had it framed and gave this as a holiday gift to everyone in the family. We have our wheelbarrow picture proudly displayed on a wall. I even used my tape measure to make certain it was nicely centered!
When I purchased my first townhouse, I wanted to change out some of the wall switches. I grabbed my drill. But before I started working, I remembered to turn off the power to the wall. Don’t want to be that guy that works with live electricity.
Alas, the drill cord was too short to reach another wall. Rather than get a long extension cord, I actually found for that particular project a cordless drill was the perfect tool. And since that day, I’ve moved three times and the cordless drill keeps coming in handy.
In lieu of one more tool, it works as an impact driver. You know, as an electric screwdriver,to drive bolts into walls (like the garage hanging storage wall units), or anchoring something to the studs in the wall or simply hanging a Flatscreen tv indoors.
Buckets of Must Have Tools For Homeowners
Just about every hardware store sells a version of the 5 gallon bucket. Now, from personal experience I recommend not sitting on one of these upside down while doing a task. Hurts like heck when the bucket goes flying and you plummet the dozen inches or so onto your tail. I’m not kidding, very painful.
But there are lots of great tasks you’ll use buckets for. Weeding. If you didn’t need the wheelbarrow, you’ll find pulling weeds until your bucket is filled up is a good deal of work.
Also outdoors, we’ve visited the local landscaping materials yard to get river rock for a project. A 5 gallon bucket is a handy way to transport the rock home (and about as much as I want to try to carry).
Heck, you might even use yours to store all your must have tools for homeowners. Why not? The buckets are deep, sturdy, and easy to move. Also handy for storing all the nuts and bolts you’ll accumulate while building things DIY style at home and winding up with extra unused parts (or is that just me?).
A Work Light that Shows True Colors
Work lights go a long ways. For a lot of jobs, having a flashlight with a good grip and bright focused beam does the trick. I’ve also added a few lights that clamp to the i-beams in the basement, very helpful.
To Recap: 9 Must Have Tools for Homeowners to Add Over Time
Two screwdrivers, a claw hammer, cordless drill (and an extra rechargeable battery pack), leveling device, box cutters, adjustable wrench, stud finder and a tape measure.