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The first step is the toolbox itself. Pick a favorite color, one that provides individual compartments for organizing or one that's lightweight and rugged.
You'll need a set of screwdrivers -- a Phillips-head screwdriver for cross-slotted screws and a flat type for the slotted screws. Adjustable wrenches make loosening nuts and bolts super easy. Make sure you have three types of pliers: tongue-and-groove long handled pliers used for increased leverage, long-nosed pliers for hard-to-reach places. and slip-joint pliers for plumbing fixes.
Then comes the hammer. You should have two styles: the claw-type hammer for removing nails and a ball-peen hammer for those heftier projects. Be sure to check the grip of the hammer to make sure it's comfortable for your hand size.
A portable drill can make anybody look good. Whether cordless or electric, a portable drill will help you breeze through your projects. To keep wood from splitting, create a pilot hole before inserting the screw, and be sure to engrave your initials on all your power tools so they make it back to your shop.
Another toolbox necessity is the all-purpose saw. Even if you own a power saw, a handsaw is always good to have around for a quick cut. Another handy tool is a utility knife, but make sure to pick one with a retractable blade. You'll also need a good retractable metal tape measure and a level.
Other must-haves include an assortment of nails, screws, washers, nuts and bolts, sandpaper in various grades, spackling compound, putty knife, steel wool and a good fitting pair of safety goggles. Finally, add all-purpose glue and various tapes.