We like to think we know a thing or two about a good tool kit! We’ve all got our own quirky additions depending on the jobs we do, but there are some fundamental tools that every good kit should include. So, if you’re stuck for Christmas pressie ideas for the DIYer in your life, here are our picks of the basic tool kit essentials.
- A cordless drill:seriously, this will make your life so much easier. Get one that does everything – drills, screws, sands and buffs. An absolute life and time saver.
- A screwdriver set: even if you’ve got the cordless wonder above, a basic hand screwdriver set with a range of Philips head and flathead options is great for those fiddly jobs or hard to reach spaces where a drill might be too bulky to use.
- Nails and screws: it’s really frustrating when you don’t have the right screw or nail for the job, so have a decent variety to hand (with some assorted rawlplugs for good measure).
- A claw hammer: a good all-rounder for banging things in and prizing things out. A weighty one-piece with a good handle grip should do the trick.
- Pliers: a standard set should be all you need for jobs like removing nails or snipping, stripping and bending wire.
- Utility knife: folding, fixed or retractable, it’s up to you. Lots of uses, from trimming rawlplugs and removing grout to slicing through carpet and sharpening that all-important pencil.
- A tape measure: for well, measuring. A basic magnetic tape measure will do the job. Just remember – always measure twice before cutting or drilling.
- Spanners: ever tried to tighten nuts and bolts without a good set of spanners? (Pliers will only get you so far.) Trust us and get yourself a basic set for the sake of your blood pressure.
- Head torch or stick-on spotlight: when you’re under the sink, up in the loft or in a dingy corner of the garage, a bright, hands-free light can make life a lot easier (and safer).
- Tape: it’s always handy to have some duct tape for the heavier DIY jobs, a roll of electrical tape and some decorator’s tape for situations where you don’t want to leave marks on a surface.
- A spirit level: want shelves that don’t send your books and ornaments sliding onto the floor? You need a spirit level. (As an added bonus, you can also try the ‘get me a bubble for the spirit level’ prank on the kids.)
- Hand saw: Even if full-on carpentry isn’t in the plan, a sturdy hand saw can come in useful when a few inches need to come off here and there.
- Step ladder: whether you’re fixing the guttering or changing a lightbulb, a robust step ladder will help you do the job more easily and safely. (If the job requires more than a step ladder, get the professionals in.)
- Live wire detector: if you’re going to be drilling into any walls it’s best to play it safe. A detector is relatively cheap and will tell you where steel frame, pipes, studs and live wires are in the wall.
- Pencil: handy for jotting down measurements and marking surfaces, although it’s main (and most important) purpose is to sit behind the ear to give that professional trade look.
So, there you have it. A tool kit with these essentials should have you covered for most home DIY jobs (just don’t forget the cuppa and biscuits for that well-deserved tea break).