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Whether you rent or own a home, everyone at some point will need to do some projects around the house.
Those projects might include ways to personalize and decorate your space, but they might also include emergency repairs.
Almost all projects, big to small, will require some tools to complete.
This list, although not all-inclusive, will get you started with a basic “kitchen drawer” tool kit.
Most homes have a drawer filled with random nick knacks, receipts and everything else under the sun that will likely never be used for anything – or as its more commonly known, the “junk drawer.”
It’s that drawer that catches everything you might need someday, but are just too afraid to throw away.
It’s the drawer you hope guests don’t open when they come to visit.
Avoid the embarrassment and convert that drawer into something more useful.
The kitchen drawer tool kit (KDTK) will not only prove to be a valuable “tool” but also sends the message to your guests, “I am a DIYer”, I am self-sufficient”!
The goal is not to amass an assortment of tools that would make a master craftsman or mechanic jealous, it’s to have just what you need to “get it done”
I will also go through some basic functionality and possible project uses for all the tools in the set.
Keep in mind, even when following this guide, always build out a set that suits your needs and your budget. More expensive tools do not always mean “better tools”, consult friends, family and online reviews to get what’s best for you.
Let’s get started!
We start the kit build with screwdrivers because it’s one of the most used tools in the drawer.
Screwdrivers come in two main types, slotted (straight) and Philips tips.
These types are not interchangeable so you will need one of each, slotted and phillips.
The number of sizes screwdrivers available can seem overwhelming, if space and budget allow, its best to buy several sizes of each.
If space is limited, I’d recommend going with a ¼ inch slotted and #2 Phillips screwdriver at minimum.
Hammers are a critical part of the drawer kit. They give you the persuasion to get the job done.
Obviously they drive nails, but they can also be used remove them. Outside of nails, hammers have many other uses around the house.
Just like with screwdrivers, there are about as many choices of hammers.
A good start is a 7 ounce curved claw hammer. It is big enough for most jobs, but also fits smaller hands and smaller drawers.
Another essential tool is a tape measure. It’s a must have when spec’ing out any project. It always pays to take measurements before starting any project or buying materials.
They’re flexible enough for taking measurements over uneven surfaces, put rigid enough to stay straight when taking smaller measurements.
It can be used in to build a new deck or finding the center of wall to hang a picture.
Tape measure sizes vary from 1 foot to 250 feet measuring capacity.
A good size for most projects is a 10-12 foot measuring length.
When repairing things around your home, there’s inevitably bolts, nuts, plumbing fittings and more that you might need to grip, loosen or tighten.
Slip-Joint pliers are adjustable so you can utilize them to grab a variety of different sized items.
The leverage they create makes them very useful to hang on to items that would otherwise be hard to hold by hand.
Needle-Nosed pliers, like slip joint pliers, allow you to hold things that would otherwise be difficult to do so by hand.
Their long narrow tip allows them to reach into tighter spots than regular pliers.
Installing an electrical outlet is much easier with these. Bending the wire to wrap around the terminal screw is easy with the pointed tip.
Most needle-nosed pliers also include a cutting slot, for cutting light wire, twine or cable ties.
Adjustable wrenches are used to tighten/loosen nuts and bolts. Perfect for plumbing jobs with many different sized fittings.
Although not as precise as a socket or combination wrench, the benefit is its adjustability allows for “one size fits most”.
Adjustable wrenches come in many sizes, I would recommend to start with at least a 6-inch.
It is important to make sure the wrench is tightly adjusted on the nut or bolt to prevent it from slipping off or damaging the nut/bolt.
A level is probably not on everyone’s starter tool kit list. There’s no substitute for a level when it’s needed.
I think you will find that a level is one of the most used items in the drawer
Levels do just that, through the use of a liquid vial with a bubble they allow to make sure that your project is on the level.
Without a level, hanging a picture straight on the wall is an impossible task.
Adjust a wobbly table is a snap with a level.
Although you can get by with an adjustable wrench to tighten nuts and bolts I would recommend a basic socket set.
Socket sets have individually sized sockets to exactly match the size of the nut and bolt you’re trying to tighten or loosen.
They give you more leverage and less chance of damaging the nut or bolt versus an adjustable wrench.
Start with a basic set that includes both metric and standard sizes.
Precision screwdrivers are not a replacement for their larger cousins.
They do exactly as described, they allow you to tighten and loosen tiny screws.
Some jobs require careful attention to detail larger screwdrivers just can’t handle.
Many consumer electronic items, toys and eyeglasses have very small screws that the larger screwdriver sizes simply won’t work on.
Make sure to find a set with both straight and phillips tips.
Hex keys are a very specialized tool that you won’t use a lot, but when you need them, you’ll be glad to have them in the drawer.
They loosen and tighten screws with a special hex head.
Ready to assemble furniture utilizes this type of screw. The sets normally include a hex key, but sometimes it is missing and not as precise as your set will be.
Your set will also come in handy when it is time to tighten you furniture after use and you’ve misplaced the hex key that came with it.
Find a set that includes both metric and standard sizes.
Having a basic hardware kit like the one pictured above will save you a lot of trips to the store!
These kits include an assortment of nails, screws, wall anchors, picture hangers, cup hooks and thumb tacks.
This kit will satisfy most hardware needs and keep the project moving.
If you don’t want to buy all of the above tools separately another option is to get an all-in-one kit.
It’s a faster option that usually includes a case or bag to store the tools.
Depending on the selection, it can be more expensive than buying just what you need, but also much more convenient.
Now it’s time to get started assembling your kit! There is no right or wrong place to start or tools to buy. Home project success starts with having the right tools to do the job. As your skill grows so should your tool selection. GOOD LUCK!