50 Tools Every Homeowner Should Have In Their Home

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

If you recently purchased a home and have fallen in love with the DIY world, you probably have tools on your mind. There is a tool for pretty much everything you can think of, and even for things you don’t even know exist.

Your own tool collection might look different from other DIY aficionados, depending on what you aim to accomplish in your home. But regardless of what you hope to accomplish, there are many essential tools that every home improvement enthusiast should own.

We at Upgraded Home have compiled a list of 50 essential tools that you are bound to find useful on your quest to maintain and improve your home.

50 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

1. Multi-Bit Screwdriver

A multi-bit screwdriver is an essential tool in any tool box. Not only are screwdrivers required all the time, but the multi-bit element means you have a screwdriver for any Philip’s head or flat-top screw emergency. Consider a ratchet and magnetic screwdriver for increased ease of use.

2. Multi-Tool

Everyone should own a multi-tool, period. You should have a multi-tool in your junk drawer, your vehicle and anywhere else an issue might arise. A multi-tool is compact but allows you the basic ability to cut, screw, pull and twist when you are in a bind.

3. Step Ladder

We weren’t all born tall, but with the help of a step ladder, anyone can change that hard-to-reach light bulb. Step ladders come in handy for so many projects, from dusting to cleaning your gutters.

4. Protective Glasses

You can buy all the tools in the world, but you only get one set of eyes. Before you get carried away with hundreds of complex (and dangerous) tools, consider your safety. Buy yourself a pair of trusted and comfortable protective glasses. Comfort is key, as the more comfortable and easy to wear, the more likely you will put them on.

5. Wet/Dry Shop-Vac

Your home improvement projects aren’t complete after you finish drilling or sanding. They require cleanup. There are certain jobs that brooms and regular vacuums can’t handle. This is when a wet/dry shop-vac comes in handy. A wet/dry vac is also a lifesaver if you ever have a leak or flooding issue.

6. Precision Screwdriver

You might think that a precision screwdriver is something that only someone who wears glasses needs. That is, of course, until you are unable to open an electronic device. Many home essentials (including many remotes) have screws so small that normal screwdrivers are ineffective. Have a precision screwdriver stashed away for these occasions.

7. Claw Hammer

When you think of essential tools, a claw hammer is probably one of the first images that comes to mind. A hammer and nails are a tool combination that every homeowner needs. Whether you are hammering in a nail or prying one out, a claw hammer is the tool you want for the job.

8. Work Light

Whether it is a large flood light or some form of clamp light, you really need a work light in your home. Even if you think you have perfect lighting throughout your home, you never know when you will need to perform work in dark areas.

9. Drain Snake

After having to call a plumber once (or even multiple times) due to a clogged drain or toilet, the odds are you will want to start taking matters into your own hands. A drain snake is a great tool to own. It helps address tough clogs and other plumbing issues. It is likely to save you lots of money in the long run as well.

10. Pry Bar

Believe it or not, pry bars are not only objects used by shady burglars in bad movies. They are incredibly useful. If you plan to do some demolition work, fence work, or anything involving tearing objects apart, you’ll need a pry bar.

11. Heavy-Duty Extension Cords

Extension cords come in clutch for all sorts of scenarios. The key is to purchase heavy-duty and weather-resistant extension cords. This way they can operate safely in any instance you need them, including for outdoor DIY projects. Make sure you buy a few and take length into consideration.

12. Work Gloves

You might think calloused hands is the sign of a true home-improvement expert. But in reality, you should do all you can to protect your hands. Get some reliable and durable work gloves to prevent cuts, blisters and splinters during all your tougher projects.

13. Retractable Utility Knife

Everyone needs a reliable retractable utility knife. Otherwise, you are bound to reach into the kitchen cabinets for a steak knife. A retractable utility knife is great to cut chords, break down boxes, slice plastic and many other essential tasks that come up around the house.

14. Caulk Gun

Sealing cracks, corners and other vulnerable spots in the home is a never-ending but essential task. In order to stay on top of caulking and sealing in the home, you need a caulk gun. This inexpensive tool will ensure your home is properly sealed and secure.

15. Auto-Lock Tape Measure

Even if you aren’t big on home improvement projects, you will still have to measure things from time to time. Whether you need to know the square footage of a room, or have to measure a doorway in anticipation of new furniture, an auto-lock tape measure is the tool for you.

16. Tool Belt

As you start to collect tools and take on more projects, a tool belt becomes essential. Otherwise, you are left spending much of your time searching for your most essential tools.

17. Utility Fan

A strong utility fan is a home essential. If your AC goes out, you always have a strong fan to help cool you down while you fix the problem. A good fan is also helpful when you are working with strong fumes, and helps paint dry when you paint the inside of your home.

18. Putty Knife

A putty knife is a simple, small, inexpensive but essential tool for the home. It is useful to help smooth out caulk and smooth over drywall. It is also great when you are trying to fill small gaps, including nail holes in the wall.

19. Headlamp

How many times do you wish you had three hands? Well, a headlamp is almost like having a third hand, if the third hand was holding a flashlight. Headlamps are great when you are working in crawl spaces, or any area where light isn’t great but you have your hands full.

20. Multimeter

If you ever plan to do electrical work, or need to know the voltage in any part of your home, you will need a multimeter.

21. Digging Shovel

If you have any sort of yard or patch of grass, at some point you will need a digging shovel. Whether you are digging holes for a fence, creating a garden or planting a tree, a digging shovel is in order.

22. Generator

If you live somewhere that is prone to power outages, you need a generator. Severe weather and rolling blackouts are becoming more and more common. But just because the power cuts out doesn’t mean that your life has to stop and your food has to spoil.

23. Wheelbarrow Or Wagon

From time to time, you will need to transport heavy or awkward materials. Whether it’s pea gravel for a walkway, soil for a garden or bricks for an outdoor fireplace, you need something with wheels. A wheelbarrow or heavy duty wagon are great for transporting heavy and bulky items.

24. Staple Gun

Staple guns might not be the most sophisticated tool, but they sure come in handy. Whether you are setting up a makeshift tarp, or securing rope in place, staple guns are great. They are also easy to use.

25. Chain Saw

If you have a lot of property, a chain saw might be in order. You don’t need to cut all your trees down in one go or anything, but a chain saw is essential for those in a wooded area. Chain saws are perfect for trimming major branches and breaking down trees that fall during a storm.

26. Heavy Duty Rake

Anyone with a lawn or yard needs a rake. Make sure you purchase a durable rake that suits your home’s needs. If you have a desert lawn, you might need a different rake than someone who just needs to rake up leaves from time to time.

27. Carpenter’s Level

All sorts of projects require a level plane. In order to ensure you are cutting, hanging, or installing at the right angle, a carpenter’s level is essential.

28. Pipe Wrench

If you plan on doing any pipe work in your home, a pipe wrench will be most helpful. This is especially true if you have softer pipes made of galvanized steel or iron.

29. Leaf Blower

A leaf blower is handy even if you have no leaves to blow. They are great at blowing away sawdust, grass clipping and other unwanted items that find their way onto your driveway and in your garage.

30. Nail Gun

Hammering a nail into the wall might feel therapeutic at first, but it gets old. Any serious DIY project builder will want a nail gun. From building an addition to the home, a fence or even a roofing project, a nail gun is essential.

31. Pressure Washer

Pressure washers serve many purposes. They can help deep clean your deck, strip old paint off your home and even clean your sidewalk. Make sure you purchase the best PSI pressure washer for your needs.

32. Socket Wrench Set

In order to loosen the nuts and bolts in your home, you need a reliable socket wrench set. A socket wrench with standard attachments should last a lifetime, and is helpful for many advanced building projects.

33. Cordless Power Drill

If you purchased a home, you need a power drill. You need a power drill for most electrical projects, but also for simple tasks. If you need to hang pretty much anything, you need a power drill.

34. Drill Bit Set

A power drill is helpful, but a drill bit set is just as important. Look into purchasing a set of 20 or more drill bits. This will ensure you have nearly every common drill bit size covered. You can purchase specific specialty sizes as you need them.

35. Stud Finder

Unless you want to live in a home with bare walls, you should purchase a stud finder. Stud finders ensure that you hang everything in your home in a safe and reliable location.

36. Needle Nose Pliers

Needle nose pliers are helpful for anyone working with wire or more intricate materials. These pliers can reposition and even snip wires.

37. Durable Outdoor Hose

In order to keep your landscaping in order, get a quality outdoor hose that will stand the test of time. Get a nozzle that serves multiple functions, like watering plants and also washing your car.

38. Garden Shears

The best way to prune your bushes is by hand with garden sheers. You can use garden shears to pick fresh flowers, herbs, vegetables and even arrange a flower bouquet.

39. Hex Key Set

Many furniture pieces require a hex key set. Unlike other instruments, there is no substitute for a hex key. No toolbox is complete without a multi-size hex key set.

40. Adjustable Wrench

Some projects require the grid and power of a good wrench. Make sure you buy a sturdy and adjustable wrench. You might even consider purchasing two different size adjustable wrenches.

41. Sledge Hammer

There are some tasks that a claw hammer just can’t handle, and this is where a sledgehammer comes in. For demolition projects like smashing drywall or driving in new fence posts, you will need a 10 pound (or heavier) sludge hammer.

42. Protective Earmuffs

You need to protect not only your eyes, but also your ears. If you use any large power tools, you should also use protective earmuffs.

43. Metal File

Sometimes sandpaper works to smooth surfaces, but when it comes to sharp metal, you need a metal file. Any time you have exposed nails or cut metal, you should file it with a metal file.

44. Groove Joint Pliers

Not every object is a perfect fit for a wrench or pliers. Groove joint pliers are great at grabbing and twisting awkwardly shaped objects, making them a great versatile tool.

45. Metal Combination Square

If you need to make a right angle, you need a metal combination square. This tool is great at creating perfect right angles and 45-degree angles.

46. Circular Saw

If you are delving into more serious carpentry work, a circular saw is in order. A circular saw is great at cutting down larger pieces of wood and even metal pipe.

47. Orbital Power Sander

A power sander is a lifesaver for those who need to sand surfaces. Whether you are painting or refurbishing furniture, an orbital power sander is a game changer and time saver.

48. Vise Grip Pliers

Vise grip pliers can yank out screws and nails, zip up impossible to zip bags, and so much more. They can even clamp together small objects in place.4

49. Impact Driver

Anyone who plans to conduct some major home improvements should invest in an impact driver. Impact drivers are incredibly helpful at driving in long screws when installing decks and other large projects.

50. Dust Mask

If you perform woodworking, or paint interiors, you need a good face mask. Make sure the face mask is suitable for the project’s you perform regularly.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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