Tools are an essential part of your home. But you don't need a huge tool box or fancy tool belt to take care of small home projects. A small set of quality tools will serve you quite well.
Whether you rent or own your home, you should have a nice set of tools. Just because you rent doesn't mean everything that breaks is your landlord's responsibility. Also, do you really want your building supervisor to know that you lost your lucky nipple ring in the sink? Yeah, I didn't think so.
First let's begin with quality. If your current set of tools were next to the candy bars in the checkout line, there's a good chance they're shit. I've busted more than a few knuckles using crap tools that broke while I was using them. If you're not in the habit of mashing your hand against hard objects, grab yourself some quality tools from companies like Snap-On, Matco, and Craftsman. Craftsman is available at Sears and is less expensive than Snap-On and Matco.
Stop pounding nails into the wall with the handle of the screwdriver. It screws up handle and it's dangerous. No one wants to tell their friends they lost an eye because a chip from a screwdriver handle blinded them while they were trying to hang a picture of Natalie Portman. Hammers are measured in ounces. The higher the the number the heavier the hammer. Anything over 16-ounces is overkill. If you only plan to use it to hang pictures in your home, eight-ounces should be fine.
Pliers are the one tool everyone seems to have stuffed in a drawer somewhere. No one remembers buying pliers, they just appear. Pliers are for gripping, well just about anything, and are probably the second most important tool in your arsenal. If for some reason you don't have a pair of pliers, pick up a pair with an arc joint. The adjustable joint lets you grip a larger variety of items.
Needle Nose Pliers
The pointy cousin of the plier, needle nose pliers will save the day more than you know. You can grip difficult to reach items that regular pliers can't reach. Plus, you'll be able to use them to retrieve items you drop down holes and crevices instead of just leaving the items there and proclaiming that you didn't need them anymore.
If anything, you should have a pair for speaker wires. You can finally clean up that frayed mess you created trying to strip the wires with a butter knife. Wire cutters are also handy if you start advancing your home-fixin' skills to electrical. If you do start working on your home's electrics, remember to shut off the circuit breaker.
It's four screwdrivers in one. That's three fewer things to lose. The multi-screwdriver is the most important tool you'll own. Look around your house, they are screws EVERYWHERE!. Hell, even toys are packaged with screws now. Be sure the multi-screwdriver you buy has flat-nose and phillips-head bits. Remember, do not use it to pound in nails. (See hammer) Plus, your butter knives will finally be used for butter.
A nice pocket knife not only makes you feel cool, it's useful. It'll also keep your kitchen knives in the kitchen where they belong. For something as simple as opening boxes to fighting off rabid raccoons, a knife is essential. Also you'll be able to whittle on the back porch like your Andy Griffith. A nice single blade knife will do. If you're feeling extra fancy you can get a Swiss Army knife, but try to keep the accessories to a minimum. They'll just get in the way of your stabby action.
You're probably not going to buy a full wrench and socket set. Let's start simple. The adjustable wrench. Because it's adjustable, it handles the metric and standard measurement system. A few turns and you can attack most nuts and bolts in your home. The six-inch version should be more than sufficient.
Get a quality flashlight for blackouts and searching for missing pets. While you're at it, grab a few of those inexpensive LED flashlights. When the power goes out, you can have a dance party with all of them. Or you could use them to find candles. Your choice. Pro tip: Throw a small cheap LED flashlight under your desk and behind your TV. When you have to plug and unplug cables, you'll thank me.
Measuring your home with your arms spread apart or by walking a line with your feet touching end-to-end is dumb. Many a person has returned from the furniture store with a large piece of furniture that doesn't fit in their home because they didn't have a measuring tape. Don't be that guy! I recommend a 25-foot measuring tape.
The lubricant of the ages. Got a squeaky door, spray some WD40 on it. Gears on your bike feeling a little stiff, a little WD40 will fix it. WD40 will displace water and if you allow it to soak in, it'll help you break loose those rusted nuts and bolts. Like an emergency kit and Blu-ray of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it's essential for every home to have a can of WD40.
Now that you have your tools, find a space in your home to store them. A tool is worthless if you can't find it. Keep them somewhere accessible and when you really need them, they'll be there ready for action.
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