Setting up a Basic DIY Toolkit

Every home should have a good toolkit, but you do not need to buy a lavish kit all at once. It is best to acquire tools as you need and can afford them. As a general rule it is best to invest in well-made items that will last a lifetime.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The Toolbox

Sturdiness and an adequate capacity are the most important factors to consider when choosing a toolbox. Most toolboxes come with many compartments that help to keep tools organized. The compartmentalized tray seen here may be lifted out.

Claw Hammer

This most versatile of hammers can be used for driving in nails and levering them out.

Adjustable Wrench

A wrench suited to many tasks, since its jaws may be adjusted to fit nuts and bolts of different sizes.

Locking Pliers

This multipurpose gripping tool, with size-adjustable jaws is ideal for gripping nuts, pipes, and fixtures. Turn to adjust jaw size then press lever to lock jaws in position.

Combination Pliers

This gripping tool can be used to hold, turn, or pull out different types of nails.

Flashlight

A vital tool when the power is off or for viewing in dark, tight areas.

Nail Set

Used for pounding in nail heads below surface level.

Awl

Useful for marking and starting off nail or screw holes. Also used for detecting studs or blocking in studwork, or joists in ceilings.

Flat-Head Screwdrivers

A selection of flat-head screwdrivers of different sizes will enable you to deal with a variety of sizes of slot-headed screws.

Cross-Headed Screwdrivers

A set of Pozidriv screwdrivers and a set of Phillips-head screwdrivers will allow you to deal with most cross-headed screws.

Electrical Detection Screwdriver

This combines a small slot-headed screwdriver with a power detector and has an indicator light located in its handle.

Utility Knife

A sharp knife used for many precision and general cutting purposes.

Scraper/Putty Knife

Useful for removing old decorative coverings or scraping down loose, flaky surfaces.

Tape Measure

Essential for providing accurate measurements. Retractable, lockable tape measures are easy to use.

Chisels

Bevel-edged chisels are the most multipurpose type of chisel.

A Variety of Hardware

Keep a good selection and number of general-purpose nails and screws so you always have a range of choices available. Compartments help to separate nail types and sizes.

Mini Level

Provides horizontal and vertical guide lines when positioning fixtures and hardware. Its small size means it will fit in a toolbox.

Teflon (Plumbers) Tape and Electrical

Teflon tape (left) is a lightweight, thin tape that's part of every plumber's toolkit. Teflon tape is used on threaded plumbing connections to prevent leaks. Electrical tape is an insulating tape used in many electrical tasks.

Cable, Stud and Pipe Detector

This is a great tool for finding pipes, wires and studs behind walls or below surfaces.

Dust Masks, Safety Glasses and Work Gloves

Dust masks are essential when sanding or sawing to prevent you from inhaling harmful substances. Safety glasses or goggles are vital for eye protection. Invest in a good-quality pair of work gloves to protect your hands when handling building materials and using heavy tools.

Calculator

Always useful for quantity and measurement calculations and estimates.

Cordless Drill/Driver

A multipurpose, battery-powered drill and screwdriver can be used for a large number of tasks.

Bucket

Used either as a mixing vessel or to move fluid and solid materials.

Step Stool

A sturdy step stool provides a good access platform for a variety of tasks.

Extension Cord

Allows you to take a power supply to any area inside or outside your home.

Portable Workbench

This makes an ideal workstation for many DIY tasks. It can be easily moved from area to area in the home and may be folded away for easy storage.