Recommended Homeowner Tools

Essential Handy Tools for Homeowners

What should be the “go to” tools for the homeowner? This is a very popular question, and can be discussed, suggested and identified at length. However, the actual ability of the homeowner to properly use the tools, has an influence on the type of “go to“, homeowner tools that should be maintained in the garage, basement or outside storage shed of a typical homeowner. For this particular article, we will assume that the homeowner has the basic abilities developed when owning a home, and has used all of the basic tools of the handyman trade.

The Basics

If a homeowner is starting out, or does not have any tools already, this listing will provide a suggested inventory of tools for the homeowner to assemble. This is not an attempt to identify all the tools that will be required, or even needed, during the maintenance of a home. It will be provided as a guide for the creation of a base set of homeowner tools. The costs that are listed are approximate, and only noted on this webpage, as a guide for the homeowner.

  • Hammer – everyone will need a hammer, and the recommended hammer is a 16 oz. carpenter’s hammer with a hammer head on one side and a claw on the other. Cost $20.00
  • Set of screwdrivers – this item must include a variety of both straight blade standard screwdrivers or slotted screw drivers and Philips head screwdrivers. It is recommended that the sizes should range from a very small driver to an average size driver. The straight blade is also referred to as a slotted screwdriver. Cost $30.00

    One large screwdriver – of each popular type, both the straight blade and the Philips. These screwdrivers should be approximately 12 inches in length, and have a diameter of approximately 3/8 of an inch. These screwdrivers will not be used often, but when the torque is required to accommodate a difficult screw, there existence in the tool bag will be appreciated. The larger the screwdriver, the greater the torque available when using the tool. Cost $15.00 each

    Set of pliers – these pliers should include standard pliers, electrical pliers, needle nose pliers, as well as pliers that are specially fabricated to cut wire and small diameter material. Cost $50.00
    Set of chisels / a set of standard chisels should include 4 chisels ranging from a small ¼ inch head to a larger ¾ inch head. Cost $25.00

    Tape measure – one good quality tape measure, recommend a 25 foot size. Cost $15.00

    Level – a level is a simple tool that resembles a length of 2X4 that is normally constructed of aluminum or fiberglass. The level will have within its structure, leveling bubbles for accurate identification of both a horizontal position and a vertical position. The recommended size for this tool would be a 2 foot level. Cost $25.00

    Combination square – a combination square is a tool that consists of a sliding, measuring head that moves over a straight piece of metal, similar in appearance to a standard ruler. This tool will allow the marking of precise angles and markings that are aligned with an adjacent material. Cost $20.00

    Utility knife – a utility knife is a tool that is capable of properly and safely holding a utility blade that can be easily replaced. This tool will be invaluable as a homeowner’s tool. Cost $15.00
    Stapler / a standard construction stapler, with associated staples. Cost $25.00

    Saw – a standard hole saw is recommended, if there will be only one saw in the tool box. A hole saw is a specialty saw that can be plunged into the material, such as sheetrock to cut a hole. This type of saw is usually available with replaceable blades of different type cutting capabilities. If the budget allows, then a hole saw, a hack saw (used for cutting metal) and a carpenter saw (used for cutting wood) should be included in the homeowners recommended tools. Cost $25.00

    Files – a set of files should be included. The files should consist of a coarse as well as finer flat file, a round file and a smoother type of file or stone to be used to sharpen the cutting heads of chisels, knives, etc. Cost $25.00

Power Tool Options

  • Combination set of power tools – with the advent of battery powered tools, the ability to purchase a set of power tools that are operated by a single type of battery is highly recommended. If the cost of the tool is not the basis of the selection, the higher the voltage of the battery the better. An improper tool, is not one that has too much power, but one that has too little. These combination sets will include a power screwdriver, drill, circular saw and jig saw. There are several different combination options. Cost $350.00

If a combination set of power tools is not in the budget, then a simple electric screw gun that can be used as a drill is recommended.


  • Drill set – recommended is a set of standard size drills. Standard sizes would include all sizes from a 1/16 of an inch to one inch. This set will cover most homeowner requirements. A wood drill set as well as a masonry drill set are recommended. Cost $30.00
  • Screwdriver set – recommended is a set of screwdriver tips that include a common driver. This set would provide all of the various specialty tips that could be required by the homeowner. This is a less costly method than purchasing separate screwdrivers to accommodate every screw head necessary. Cost $45.00


It is recommended that a trip to the local hardware store, IKEA or your local builders supply store be made, to purchase the following fastener kits.

  • Nails – this assortment of nails should include nails of the most common types, in various sizes. Common types include flat head and finish nails as well as tacks. Cost $15.00
  • Screws – assortment of screws should include wood, sheetmetal, and some small lag screws. Cost $15.00
  • Nuts and bolts – assortment of nuts, bolts and washers. Cost $15.00
  • Wall hanging assortments – all hardware stores and builder supply stores will offer assortments of various wall and ceiling hangers. Cost $15.00

Utility items

There are always standard items that will be required by the homeowner that are not necessarily described as tools, but should be included within the homeowner’s assembly of items.

  • Pencils
  • electrical tape
  • duct tape
  • replacement utility blades
  • nail sets
  • small jewelers screwdriver kit
  • thumbtacks
  • paper clips
  • packing tape
  • scissors
  • marking crayons
  • chalk line & chalk
  • tracing paper
  • straight ruler
  • compass
  • wire zip ties
  • plastic electrical connectors

The list of items that a typical homeowner will require is almost endless. However, this webpage provided you with a summary of most of the tools and miscellaneous supplies that are required to maintain a standard home. You, as the homeowner, will develop your own customized material and tool requirements as you experience various projects and perform repairs around the home.

Many hardware stores and big box builder supply stores, offer comprehensive packages of tools and products, which are sold together at discounted prices. Whether you decide this type of package offers you the economy and the customization that you prefer, or you enjoy selecting each item separately, it is important that the homeowner assemble a comprehensive set of tools and materials to use as you enjoy your home.


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