15 Essential Tools for Every Home Toolkit


* This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

 

Whether you’re an expert handyman or a fledgling fixer-upper, here are 15 essential tools for every home toolkit to keep on hand for minor repairs and odd jobs around the home, plus how to use each tool! #essentialtools #toolsfordiy #hometoolkit #diyhometoolkitWhether you’re an expert handyman or a fledgling fixer-upper, here are 15 essential tools for every home toolkit to keep on hand for minor repairs and odd jobs around the home (and homestead!), plus how to use each one!

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When it comes to self-sufficiency, we tend to talk a lot about things like knowing how to grow, prepare and preserve food at home without having to always rely on the grocery store to provide for us. Or how to craft our own herbal medicine and take care of our families the all-natural way, without always having to rely on doctors and pharmacies. Or even how to DIY our own homemade cleaning products and cosmetics, or sew our own clothes, or knit or crochet, or cook over an open flame. 

But what we rarely tend to talk about (at least on most homesteading blogs I’ve read), is how to do your own home maintenance, repairs and small building projects. And yet, whenever I’ve polled my readers about what skills they’d like to learn in order to become more self-sufficient, learning basic handyman skills is always on the list of answers I receive. And for good reason!

After all, if you’ve ever had to hire out a job around your house or homestead, you probably know how incredibly expensive overpriced it can be! Many relatively small jobs can easily cost thousands of dollars more than they would cost you to do them yourself. And while it’s worth it to hire a professional for bigger jobs that you don’t have the skills for, there are tons of small jobs and easy home maintenance work that even the most inexperienced DIYer can learn quickly and do at home for much less than it costs to call in an expert.

Plus, learning how to do home repairs and odd jobs yourself means you’ll have the skills you need to get things done without having to rely on someone else when hiring someone else just isn’t an option, no matter the reason. It’s an important step on the journey toward self-sufficiency, and I think it’s high time we start shining a spotlight on it right here on this blog. 

Wouldn’t you agree?

So I’ve asked my husband, Ryan, a professional handyman, fixer and builder of all things around our homestead (including interior and exterior renovations, gardening projects, remodelling and converting our garage into a legal rental suite and even vehicle maintenance and repairs… Did I mention he’s also a licensed mechanic and I’m literally watching him work on my car out my office window right now? Because he is. And I am. And it’s a nice view:)  

But, before you learn the skills, you’ll need the right tools!

So today we’re going over a list of 15 tools for every home toolkit that can be used to tackle a wide variety of projects and home repairs. These are tools that everyone should keep on hand, no matter your skill level or experience. 

We made a video walking you through each tool and what to use it for, so if you’re more of a visual learner, be sure to check it out here:

 

Otherwise, here’s the list of tools you’ll need…

15 Essential Tools for Your Home Toolkit

Whether you’re an expert handyman or a fledgling fixer-upper, here are 15 essential tools for every home toolkit to keep on hand for minor repairs and odd jobs around the home, plus how to use each tool! #essentialtools #toolsfordiy #hometoolkit #diyhometoolkit

#1. Screwdrivers

There are three types of screwdrivers you’ll want to keep in your toolkit: Flathead, Phillips (cross) and Robertson (square). Screwdrivers are pretty self-explanatory, and are an essential tool to keep on hand for, swell, driving screws into things by hand and removing screws. Screwdrivers come in handy for so many projects, from mending a piece of furniture or attaching (or removing) a door hinge, removing the cover for a battery pack when something runs out of batteries. Different types of screws call for different screwdrivers though, so either stock up on all three listed above or make a small investment in a multi-bit screwdriver so you’re always prepared with the right one on hand.

#2. Pliers

Pliers are essential for grabbing things you can’t get a good grip on with your hand alone, or pinching things tight when you don’t have the strength or dexterity to do it with your hands. They’re also useful for pulling things out of other things (like pulling out a nail that’s stuck in the wall or a board, etc.)

Box Nose pliers are standard and good for most things, although you might want to consider adding some Needle Nose pliers for finer, more delicate projects where you’re working with smaller pieces (like wires).

#3. Wrench

A wrench comes in handy when you need to grip something really tight and twist (think nuts & bolts, fasteners, etc.) An adjustable wrench will allow you to grip things of various sizes without needing a whole set of wrenches for different jobs.

#4. Hammer 

Another fairly self-explanatory tool; A good carpenter’s hammer is essential for hammering nails, demolishing a variety of things and prying things apart (especially removing nails from boards, walls, etc.)

#5. Pry Bar

A pry bar is essentially a simple lever, and a good “companion tool” to have with a hammer. Think of these two items as your mini demolition kit. Use the the hammer to wedge the pry bar between two items (like floorboards, base trim, siding, etc.) and pry them apart. Or wedge the pry bar underneath an item and use it to get leverage and lift the item up. For example, you might wedge a pry bar beneath a door you’re installing when you’re trying to lift it up just enough to match the hinges up with the cutouts in the doorframe.

#6. Staple Gun

A good staple gun is a really handy tool to keep on hand for a variety of needs, such as recovering furniture, reattaching upholstery, stapling greenhouse plastic, or hanging strings of lights, to name a few. Really, anytime you need to fasten something thin and light to wood, a staple gun is your best friend. Plus it’s much quicker than using a hammer and nails for similar tasks. But the best part is that, if you can use a desktop stapler, you can use a staple gun. No experience necessary!

#7. Safety Glasses

While these might not be considered a “tool” in the same sense as the other items on this list, safety glasses really are an important part of your toolkit, and are essential for any project where there might be a possibility of flying debris or of something shattering while you’re working on it. Because nobody wants their simple home DIY project to result in a hospital visit, especially if your goal is to become more self-sufficient. You want to be able to tackle home projects with confidence and stay safe during the process. Safety glasses will help you do just that:) 

#8. Tape Measure

Another pretty obvious one; A tape measure is crucial for accurately measuring cuts for DIY building projects, as well as for every day projects like making sure a piece of furniture will fit in a space before you buy it, or move it, or try to wedge it down a too-tight hallway and into a bedroom only to find out it doesn’t fit, and then you end up with a couch on your back porch. Not that that’s ever happened to me or anything…

#9. Pencil

Carpenter’s pencils are useful for marking measurements when making cuts, or marking the wall when hanging shelves, pictures, etc. While you could technically use any old pencil, carpenter’s pencils are more rugged and durable and you don’t need to worry about keeping a pencil sharpener on you. All you need to sharpen them is a utility knife (which is another essential tool that we’ll get to in just a moment, so you’ll have what you need in your toolkit already:).

#10. Level

A level is great for making sure things like shelves and pictures are level when hanging them on the wall. It can also be used as a straight edge )like a ruler) when you need to draw a straight line, and can be used for marking small measurements as well. A two-foot level is a good size to keep on hand for most small projects.

#11. Stud Finder

A stud finder is a handheld sensor that can help you find the studs (wooden framework) in the wall. Just scan it along any wall and it will beep when it senses a stud behind the drywall. This is really helpful when mounting large, heavy things on the wall like shelving units and flat screen TVs since you need a stud to support the weight (drywall alone can crumble and cause large, heavy items to fall off the wall).

#12. Utility Knife

A utility knife is an essential tool in any home toolkit, as well as something to consider for both your vehicle and home emergency kits. As far as household projects go, utility knives are useful for cutting things like greenhouse plastic, ropes (for tying things up in the garden), fabric/upholstery, and pretty much anything else you can imagine needing a knife for. Using a utility knife for these purposes also spares your kitchen knives from unnecessary wear and tear.

#13. Hand Saw 

A good hand saw is an essential tool to keep on hand for sawing through wood, drywall, branches and other similar items. A hacksaw is used primarily for sawing through metal (think metal plumbing pipes, rebar, bolts, rods, etc.) but can also be used to cut through plastic, like PVC piping. In a pinch, a hacksaw can also be used to cut through wood, although it’s best to keep both saws handy for different tasks so as not to ruin them.

#14. Clamp

An adjustable clamp is really helpful for holding items in place when fastening or gluing them together or when making a precise cut on two pieces of wood. Think of a clamp as a helping hand to hold two items in place for you while you do the work, or to keeping them held in place while glue is drying, etc. Clamps are also reversible, so they can be used to spread things apart as well as hold them together. 

#15. Drill

The only power tool on this list of 15 essential tools to keep on hand, a cordless drill (specifically an impact driver) can be used for drilling holes of various sizes and driving screws into (and out of) things much quicker than is possible with a handheld screwdriver. Our cordless drill gets used for so many home projects, from drilling a hole for the spigot in our homemade rain barrel to driving screws in a wide variety of home building and DIY projects, such as our 3-bin composter. But even though it’s a power tool, it’s still very simple to use (personally I’m better with a drill than a hammer and nail!) and is a relatively inexpensive tool compared to most power tools.

Of course, if you’re going to start a tool collection (and I think it’s obvious now that you should!), then you might also want a proper tool box/bag to store everything in. It’s nice to have for sure, however this isn’t necessarily an essential (hence why it didn’t make the list!) To store tools, you could use a crate, a 5-gallon bucket or even a drawer or cabinet to store your tools. It all depends on how much you’ll be using them and how far you’ll need to haul them.

There are obviously way more than 15 tools to consider keeping on hand, but the ones listed here ware enough to tackle most small household projects and repairs, and are a good foundation to build on.

I’d also love to know, what’s your skill and comfort level with using tools like these and doing minor home repairs and DIY projects yourself?

What specific types of projects and maintenance/repairs would you like to learn how to do? Let me know in the comments below and we might just make a video tutorial on it:)

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Grammyprepper

    I was always comfortable with smaller repairs around the house, Luckily, my husband, who works commercial construction, is more than quite handy around the house! He’s also a whiz at small engine repair, so can do a little more than basic vehicle maintenance, He can also do some electrical work (his Dad was an IBEW member!). I can do simple things like rewiring a lamp, but replacing an outlet scares me LOL! Basic plumbing is an area I’d like to learn more about. I’ve helped replace faucets before. I’d specifically look forward to a tutorial on replacing the ‘guts’ of a toilet.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I will keep that in mind!

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it: I’m a total sucker for pumpkin spice.

Call me #basic, but it’s the truth.

In fact, I’m all about everything fall: the colours, the coziness, the sweater weather, and yes, pumpkins and pumpkin spice. There’s just something comforting and nostalgic about it; Like grandma’s kitchen or the warm scent of pumpkin pie that wafts from the table at holiday dinners with family and friends.

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As much as I'm honestly kinda over the garden by this time of year and ready to tuck in indoors and rest for a while, I know that the effort I put into my garden in the fall will pay a huge return come next spring and summer when we're ready to plant and then harvest our next round of crops.

For one, fall is the best time to amend and enrich your soil, so adding compost or manure or some sort of organic matter is pretty crucial this time of year.

Also, you should always cover your soil, especially over the winter months when soil is more likely to erode and nutrients can get washed away. A cover crop or a thick layer of mulch is a good idea to help keep your soil protected and intact.

And of course, garlic should be planted in the fall before your first frost to ensure huge bulbs next summer. Us homesteaders always have to be thinking ahead a few seasons!

I'm taking you into our garden as we're tearing it down and planting out our garlic. I'll show you our fall gardening routine and I'll walk you through planting garlic so you can start growing it at home too! (It's honesty the easiest, most rewarding crop that we grow).

It's time for the grand finale in the garden this year as we tear it down and prep it for next spring. Will you join me for one last hurrah?

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First batch of homemade candles for the season. It’s a cold, grey day and we’re about to light the woodstove for the first time this season too. Now I have some homemade spice-scented candles to go with the cozy vibe:)

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I make at least a batch or two (or three) of these scented soy wax candles every year around this time. I burn a bunch of them myself over the winter and we gift them for Christmas. I’ve even sold them for upwards of $15 a piece!

If you want an easy and rewarding DIY project to get into as we head into fall and winter, homemade candles is your answer.

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Sometimes I question why I do what I do. Why do I take on so much? Why do I bother making everything from scratch and growing a garden and preserving food when I could just as well buy it from the store and save myself a ton of time and effort?⁣⁣⁣
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Why am I working hard to build a business out of my passion when I could just as easily go to work for a pay check and just enjoy homesteading as a hobby on the side?⁣⁣⁣
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Why do I choose to do everything the hard way and see against the grain? Why not just go with the flow and hope for the best?⁣⁣⁣
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I can’t say for sure that I would have chosen to follow all the same paths that I’ve gone down over the past few years had I not become a mother, but what I 𝘥𝘰 know for sure is that my beautiful daughter is worth every ounce of hard work; every dollar I’ve invested in our future goals and dreams; every late night work fest and canning session; every seed planted and loaf of bread baked.⁣

She’s worth it because I want to give her the best I can in life. I want her to eat good food and live a long and healthy life. I want to teach her how to be self-sufficient so that she has the skills she needs no matter what kind of world awaits her in the future. And I want to show her that anything is possible and any dream is worth pursuing, even if the work that it takes to achieve it is harder than following the herd and taking the road of least resistance.⁣⁣⁣
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This little human right here: this is my why. This girl and her goofy smile make everything worthwhile ❤️⁣⁣⁣
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What (or who?) is your why?
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This growing season has seriously been the strangest I’ve experienced so far. Summer came so late we thought it wasn’t gonna come at all. Our greens and peas and spring crops produced for weeks longer then they normally do as we waited FOREVER for our tomatoes and peppers and summer crops to grow and ripen.

Now that we’re into October, we’re having a warm spell and the garden is acting like it’s summer! The tomatoes are all just starting to turn red, the cucumbers and zucchini are still givin’er, the pumpkins and squash are having another growth spurt, and now the green beans are starting on round two after about a month of dormancy!

We’re supposed to be going fishing tomorrow, and I’m wondering if the salmon are a little late this year too...

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Can you imagine how bland and boring our food (and life) would be without spices??⁣

Seriously! We take them for granted nowadays because they’re so readily available in our pantries and on grocery store shelves. But for thousands of years throughout history, spices were coveted, revered and hard to get. For around 1,500 years, spices travelled overland on camelback and horseback on the Silk Road from China to the west. And then, just over 500 years ago, explorers set out into the unknown to find a maritime trading route, and one of those explorers just so happened to stumble on the Americas along the way, essentially shaping history and the modern world as we know it. ⁣

But besides history and geography, the science behind spices is just as fascinating. Their culinary and medicinal uses have had a huge impact on the world and on the dishes we enjoy on a regular basis today. Oh, and did you know that, scientifically speaking, it’s actually possible to GROW even the most “exotic” spices at home, right here in North America??⁣

I LOVE to geek out on this sort of stuff, so doing the research for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine was actually so much fun. (If you hadn’t guessed, this issue is all about spices!!)⁣

I’d love to tell you so much more right here, but I’m a bit limited on space! However, you can read more about the fascinating story of spices, their culinary and medicinal uses, how to put them to use in your kitchen and yes, even how to grow them at home in the October issue.⁣

So if you’re already subscribed, be sure to check your inbox for the latest issue (it came out yesterday). And if you’re NOT yet subscribed, then head on over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to subscribe for FREE, and get the latest issue delivered straight to your inbox!⁣

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September is such an odd time of year. It’s the time of year when we tend to find ourselves with a foot in two worlds: A transition season, if you will.⁣

In the garden, some plants are dead or dying. There’s brown, crispy stems, dried pea pods bursting with next year’s seeds and a natural layer of mulch in the form of fallen leaves. But at the same time there’s still so much life. So much greenery and colour. So much of summer still left.⁣

Indoors we’re busy putting up the harvest, stocking our shelves with jars of colourful food, baskets of cured onions and garlic, dried herbs hanging everywhere and crocks of fermenting foods on every countertop. But while we’re still dealing with the summer bounty, fall has begun, which means we’re back to schedules and routines and, for those of us with kids, school.⁣

But this year our return to our “normal” fall routines is anything but. For many families, there is no return to school. Not in the traditional sense anyway. Instead, more families than ever before have found themselves educating their children at home for the first time, whether by force or by choice. And trying to balance all of the usual September tasks with navigating full-time homeschooling can feel daunting, to say the least.⁣

I know we can all use as much help and expert advice as we can get at this time, so I’m honoured to have Ginny Aaron, a full-time homeschooling, homesteading mom of three sharing her wisdom on the blog this week. She’s generously shared her best tips for incorporating homeschooling with your existing routine and finding the teachable moments in the every day so that you don’t need to uproot your life or find another 7 hours in your day to recreate a classroom environment at home.⁣

I just love Ginny’s approach to homeschooling and if you’re anything like me, I think you will too. You can check out her full post by clicking the link in my bio or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homeschooling-on-the-homestead/

It’s also Ginny's first time guest posting so be sure to leave a comment while you’re there and let us know what school looks like for your family this year.⁣

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead
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I’ve been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders lately. Between balancing work and the garden and all of the canning and preserving tasks this time of year, I’ve already got enough on my plate. Add a string of social commitments, back-to-school and extracurricular activities, and I’m definitely feeling the pressure, as I usually do this time of year.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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But lump on a pandemic, worsening political tensions, division and civil unrest, intensifying environmental disasters (we’re currently socked in with smoke from the California wildfires), and it all just becomes too much to bear some days.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I know I’m far from the only one who’s feeling this way. And yet, we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going even when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and burnt out. Even when the present is frightening and the future is uncertain.⁣

I’ve developed some strategies over the past few years that have helped me keep moving forward and get things done even when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, and I want to share them with others who need help coping with stress and overwhelm right now too.⁣⁣
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You can check out my list of 10 tips for managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead (and in life!) by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and then clicking the link to the full blog post at the top.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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You can also grab my free time management planner by clicking the link in my bio and then clicking on “Free Resource Library,” (find it under “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” in the library).⁣⁣⁣
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No matter what you’re struggling with right now, I hope some of these tips help keep you navigate these extra stressful times and stay focused and moving forward with your to-do list, as well as with your big goals and dreams. But most of all, I hope it reminds you that if you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read more.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I don’t think I have a jar big enough for this pickling cucumber 🥒 ⁣

What do you do with the huge pickling cukes that inevitably get missed in the garden??⁣

Please leave suggestions below! I’ve got two of ‘em! 😂
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Late summer is truly the time of abundance (and by far the busiest time of year for us).⁣⁣⁣
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We’ve got so much food that’s ripe for the picking in our own garden, plus baskets full of produce that we purchase locally when it’s in season and preserve for the winter.⁣⁣⁣
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Between harvesting and preserving (and trying my best to document it all for you along the way), there’s little time for much else in August.⁣⁣⁣
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We’re busy sweating in the garden and the kitchen, working around the clock to preserve all of the fruits (and vegetables) of summer so that come winter we hunker down and relax knowing we’ve got a pantry full of food to sustain us.⁣⁣⁣
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While there have been more times than I like to admit when I’ve asked myself why we do this when we could be at the beach or floating down the river like everyone else, come winter I am ALWAYS grateful for the time and energy we invested in the spring, summer and fall to grow and preserve all of the food that lines our pantry shelves.⁣⁣⁣
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With everything that 2020 has brought so far (and more uncertainty to come), this year I’m feeling grateful even in the thick of it; Even while I’m sweating and pulling late night canning sessions and constantly scraping dirt out from under my nails. This year it’s more apparent than ever how much growing and preserving our own food is worth the time and effort that it takes.⁣⁣⁣
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If you feel the same way and you’re looking to get even better at gardening, preserving and homesteading in general, or maybe you’re finally ready to start living a more sustainable lifestyle where YOU have control over your food supply, I highly encourage you to check out the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle (link in bio @thehouseandhomestead). It’s packed with almost $600 worth of resources designed to help you take control of your food security and live a more self-sufficient life, and it’s on sale today only for just $19.99!⁣

If you ask me, we would all be wise to invest in our own food security as we head into fall and winter 2020, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab your bundle now. The sale ends tonight at midnight so don’t wait!!
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