The DIY boom is here, ladies, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves. Too long have we left those torn window screens and unhung Ikea light fixtures to the men in our lives, who always promise to “get around to it tomorrow,” only for six months to pass and we’re still stuck in unlit, mosquito-ridden homes.
Even if that particular example doesn’t apply to you, having a tool chest within arm’s reach is still a great idea and possibly a lifesaver. But where to start? Here are a few staples that no good tool chest should ever be without.
If your toolbox had a throne, the tool that deserves it most would probably be the hammer.
Let’s get real: how many times have you gone on a hunt through your house for a heavy object because you needed to hang that picture on the wall, but didn’t have a hammer? I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. We’ve all probably grabbed that nearby paperweight or textbook and tried our best, to no avail. I know someone who put a hole in the wall pounding a nail in with the heel of her stiletto. She wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed herself if you know what I mean. My point is, nothing does a hammer’s job as well as a hammer can.
Maybe you don’t like the idea of swinging a heavy hammer around, and that’s okay. There are many options out there. Find yourself a small, cute hammer that you can grab with ease and get to work hanging those family photos!
A retractable tape measure can save you in a pinch and deserves a special spot at the top of your tool chest. Want to hang a few photos at the same height, or see if the new refrigerator will fit into the cubbyhole? A tape measure’s got your back. Save yourself a headache or three and get this essential tool into your tool chest, pronto.
I mentioned a retractable tape measure specifically because, unlike body tape measures that always seem to end up in a tangled, undignified heap inside your sewing kit, it will take up very little space in your tool chest. You’ll also have an easier time maneuvering it around when DIY’ing alone.
A handy alternative for when you want to keep that security deposit intact is the staple gun. Check out your local hardware store for a staple gun and go to town on those posters and reupholstered dining room chairs. It can also be useful for bolting down that loose end of the carpet, skirting tables and beds, and really any time you want to cover a surface with fabric.
If lugging around one of those heavy, all-metal staple guns isn’t your cup of tea, try looking into lighter, more compact alternatives, which are usually available. You don’t need a super heavy-duty staple gun for small DIY projects, so unless you’re a construction worker, ditch the huge, cumbersome guns and go for a more practical one that is a good fit for your hands. It’s always a good idea to shop around for a staple gun that feels comfortable in your grip before making your final choice because you don’t want it slipping out of your hands during a delicate project.
Ever try to assemble Ikea furniture without a screwdriver? I wouldn’t recommend it even to my worst enemy. That’s only one reason why a screwdriver set deserves a high place on this list.
Most DIY projects will require a screwdriver; if you feel you don’t need a whole set, at least make sure you have Philip’s head and flathead to cover your bases. Just remember to keep them dry, because not only will using a rusty screwdriver put you at risk of hurting yourself, it may well snap in pieces if you’re not careful!
This one is not something you would think you would need but for many of us who like to hang things all the time it would be great to have one handy. Multimeters are handy for DIY tasks like hanging shelves, basically anything you want to put into or onto a wall! . You use them before you start work on an electrical device to make sure no current is flowing, which prevents you from receiving harmful, or even lethal, shocks.
The best tool chest will always contain a pair of pliers for when your weak human fingers just won’t cut it. Any activity involving twisting, gripping, bending, or yanking stuff out of hard surfaces will be made easier with a pair of pliers. Ever try to pull a nail out of a wall with your bare hands? The result isn’t pretty, trust me, and I’m not talking about the nail.
There are so many kinds of pliers that it’s easy to get confused, so you can just stick with the standard long-nosed pliers and a pair of cutting pliers for when your regular old scissors aren’t up to the challenge.
Now, before you raise your eyebrow at me, let me explain. When I say power drill, I don’t mean the kind that you need both hands to even keep in place, that you need full body armor to wield because it feels like it’ll take on a life of its own. Small cordless power drills are readily available and will prove to be a valuable asset when the wall proves too hard for just your screwdriver.
Get a power drill with a drill bit set included covering all your bases. With a small selection of bits, you can both make holes and apply and remove screws with the same useful tool, on any surface your heart desires. You’ll save time and energy, especially on those big DIY projects!
Last but not least is the ever-reliable glue gun, great for decorating and DIY household projects. I’ve used my glue gun to fix door jams, reattach knobs to windows, stop up holes, and even affix beads to a shirt that was looking a bit plain.
This versatile tool deserves a place in your tool chest, but watch out—that glue gets hot! Also, make sure to clean the tip after every use thoroughly, or you’ll have a hard time using it the next time around.
With these seven tools, you can finally get around to those projects you saved on Pinterest but were too daunted to start. No need to wait around on your man now! A tool chest is a safest and easiest way to store your tools, and it gives you a chance to personalize what is now your very own starter’s toolkit. So, go forth and DIY, ladies, and don’t be afraid to keep expanding that toolkit! You never know what you may need in the future.