As a kid, I remember my dad yelling at me from the garage asking me to go down there so he could educate me, at least the basics, about caring for a vehicle’s engine. Most people now rely on the help of mechanics or a handyman for simple tasks that men are supposed to know of. During this time of quarantines and social distancing, maybe it is our chance to teach ourselves the fundamentals of fixing things.
Too taxing? Maybe. But with the help of these essentials gadgets and tools that every man should have in his garage, it would be effortless.
1. Adjustable Wrench
From loosening or tightening faucets to removing the nuts of your car plate this tool is used to provide grip and convenience when twisting or turning objects. But let’s face it, taking long just to find the right size tool from your box sucks. An adjustable wrench not only offers convenience, but it also saves you time and money
Why don’t you show the lady of the house who’s boss with a few gentle strokes, a good paintbrush is valuable for home preservation. Choose one with thick bristles that allow it to absorb more paint and provide a more balanced application. Be sure though to use the correct brush for the type of paint. Oil-based paints are more flexible, thus you can use both synthetic and natural kind, while acrylic or latex paints can only be applied using a synthetic brush.
3. Measuring Tape
A typical yet vital tool that should be in every man’s toolbox. Proper measurements are essential when doing even the most basic carpentry work in your home. Wrong measurements may lead to mistakes that would not just be costly moneywise, but can also be a waste of time. It can also be used to predict if that furniture you’ve been eyeing can fit in your living room.
4. Voltage Tester
As exciting as it may sound, getting electrified is better as a figure of speech than when it is felt literally. A voltage tester is a small and easy-to-operate gizmo used to see if an outlet or a switch box has electricity coursing through it.
5. Stud Finder
Better than magnets in exposing frequency and objects in the wall, electronic stud finders come in handy when you’re planning to hang a picture frame or painting. Available in three types:
1· Edge finders – detects the edges of the stud or other materials behind the wall
2· Center finders – recognizes the center of the stud by using two sensors
3· Instant finders displays the varied thickness of studs and the position of multiple studs at the same time
A sturdy screwdriver set or the one that comes with several tips is the most common DIY tool. Used for various household tasks, from tightening cabinet doors and building small furniture to replacing batteries in toys and electronics.
7. Electrical Pliers
Serves as your fingers when handling electrical wires to avoid electrocution, electrical pliers make it easy to do quick repairs on items especially when hard to reach wires of an electrical outlet need fixing.
8. Claw Hammer
It may seem like an everyday device, a good hammer is one of the most important instruments you can have in your tool box. When selecting a hammer, go for the heavier ones. Though it requires more energy to use, it gives you more brunt which translates to less swing of the tool. Different from a traditional hammer, a claw hammer can be used to pound on nails on one side and to pull them off on the other. It doesn’t matter what brand of hammer you’re using though, it does not improve your aim. Beware of crushed fingers.
9. Compound Miter Saw
This is a very handy tool to have on your arsenal for most construction projects. It produces straight cuts quickly and has no problem making several angled cuts. These cuts are crucial for clean mitered edges or for achieving flawless inside corners.
10. Duct Tape
This pressure-sensitive tape is generally glazed with polyethylene. Available also in heat-resistant foil, it is used to seal heating and cooling ducts, invented because standard duct tape sometimes does not properly work under extreme temperature. It can also be used to plug small tears or holes like mouths, temporarily or to waterproof an object.
11. Safety Glasses
The eyes are the window to the soul, as they say. Doesn’t matter if you’re just working in your garage or a part of a huge construction project, safety procedures are always a priority particularly for the eye. Safety glasses are made with break-proof plastic lenses to cover the eye from tiny flying fragments.
12. Dust Mask
It is a flexible pad used to cover the nose and mouth to protect against dust that alights during construction activities. It can also be worn to protect against allergens since it’s really difficult to keep working when you keep sneezing.
13. Two-Foot Level
A measuring tool that assists in drawing lines which is essential in construction or for building furniture. From aligned floorboards to tilted garage floors, the level is your best friend.
14. Set of Pliers
It can also be used to crack nuts and crab legs, they come in various forms. Needle nose, straight handle tongue and groove are some of the go-to pliers which most handymen recommend. For countless possibilities be sure to grab one small and one large of each.
15. Utility Knife
Used for trimming and cutting wires, the blades can be used scrape rust off metal, and are also great for scraping off paint spills from glass and flooring. Not mentioning that they are for easy removal of tags and opening packages.
Not just because they’re handy when trying to sort out a mess of wires behind the TV, most of the repairs done in the house happen in a scrimpy, dark space. Flashlights can also be an alternative but you will probably need both your hands to work.
17. Cordless Power Drill
One of the most widely used tool ever. It is versatile in the sense that it can screw things together or break it apart and it can be used for punching holes through walls, and sans the wire, you can take it anywhere without thinking of where to plug. Make sure to include varied screw tips upon purchase for more flexibility.
18. Adjustable Clamps
I’m pretty sure no man can stay put for hours, much more press boards together while waiting for the adhesive to dry. Unless you’re somewhat related to Robocop.
19. Allen Keys
It comes in three kinds: Torx, imperial and metric. Get the ones with the bigger handles, because when added to your collection they disappear easily and you’d be like âfinding needles in a haystack.â They can also be used to adjust the tones of certain musical instruments.
20. Aviation Snips
Also called compound snips, it is a must-have tool if you’re thinking of cutting sheet metal or aluminum. Easily cuts straight, curved or any direction you need.
21. Bench Vise
It can be attached to your workbench to keep any material you are working with in place. Perfect for woodwork, it keeps your materials sturdy and secure, making it safer for you.
22. Bow Rake
Used for more than just leaves, this lawn rake loosens and breaks tough soil. It can alter also as a tool to spread the soil to prepare a garden.
23. Brad or Finish Nailer
Completely similar yet different from each other, a brad nailer is a bit smaller and uses brads. The finish nailer uses much larger nails instead. Make sure to use the right one for your needs because the finish nailer can crack small pieces of wood.
24. Cable Ties
Used mainly to bundle up loose wires they can seem invaluable. But wait âtil you realize how wires can miraculously get tangled by themselves.
A timeless woodworking gadget used for carving and shaping wood, stone or other hard material.
26. Hand Sledge
When a sledgehammer is just too much, you turn to these babies for crushing metal or for light demolition work.
27. Electrical Tape
Electrical tape is made of flexible plastics, making it a helpful tool to carry around. The most popular use for this is to isolate wires and other items that emit electricity. Expect to have sticky hands after use and with the shortage of toilet paper and alcohol, it can be quite annoying.
28. Bypass lopper
A must-have for proper lawn maintenance, it is used to trim and cut bushes and shrubs. The blades cut by sweeping past each other deeming it more useful by expert gardeners.
Okay, this is way too big to fit even the biggest tool box, but if we’re talking about the best tool sets for homeowners, then a ladder is definitely a must-have. Use it to wash the top of your cars, to clean out high ceilings, and for jobs that are just out of reach, this is your best buddy.
A carpenters favorite, this hand-powered tool can cut a piece of wood with a few back and forth strokes. You’ll be surprised how much you will be using this classic tool once you have it.
31. Jab Saw
Cuts through drywall with ease, make new holes for electrical outlets with this very useful device.
With several blade attachments available, it is one of the most common cutting machines regardless of the material at hand. Cut out a perfect square in the center of a board simply by drilling a hole and dropping the blade inside.
33. Jumper Cables
How many times have you wished that you had a jumper cable right after your car batteries died? These dudes can be an essential when you’re planning to take a long drive or very useful especially when it’s that cute girl living next door who needs the spark.
34. Locking Pliers
They give you the option of locking the object you are working with in place while your other hand twists and turns.
35. Chalk Line
Is there an easier way to mark long straight lines? I know what you’re thinking but it’s not the markers that they use in murder scenes. A chalk line helps draw a straight and accurate outline in a small amount of time. This instrument makes laying straight tile or cutting efficiently effortless.
36. Digital Calipers
A conducive tool used for measuring internal and external distances, made a lot easier by a digital LCD screen that displays the measurements, therefore cutting your work time in half.
37. Metal Files
Ordinarily used in metalworking, they are used for filing and shaping hardware. You can choose to file the material straight and flat or into a curved shape.
38. Staple Gun
An exceptionally adaptable and useful tool every man should possess. It drives industrial staples into surfaces such as wood or drywall. This can be used in home improvement projects such as securing insulation or stuffing fabric. The wife can use it for her handicraft projects so you better learn how to keep your stuff properly.
39. Nail Punch
Commonly used with the assistance of a woodworking hammer, it features a shaped tip and is used to drive nails into wood. Carpenters use this for either planting in nails or creating marks on pieces of wood.
40. Needle Nose Pliers
Because of its flexibility, it is the most commonly used among pliers. They can be used for holding together and cutting wires or thin metal. A favorite of electricians, they can be used around the house to grip, clamp or snip almost anything.
41. Crow Bar
Aside from being known as a home invasion favorite, it is used to forcefully open objects or separate bonded materials. It usually has two flattened ends on one side and one with a curved side that can be used to remove nails from a surface.
Use it to pull an object to a certain spot, attach it to your vehicle to tow a stalled car, there are a million possibilities. Normally utilized for that added leverage when an item needs to be moved, you can also use it to learn different knotting techniques as perfected by the Boy Scouts.
43. Rubber Mallet
When you need to knock something down or to put together sensitive pieces of wood but you don’t want to damage the project, grab the mild rubber mallet.
We go as basic as much as we can so we add this to our list. There are specific scissors available for cutting varied materials, such as tin, paper or metal. Choose also from an assortment of handles and grip textures. Same method as when you were cutting finger puppets in kinder school so I bet using them will be no sweat.
A go-to tool or weapon in horror flicks, they are generally used to lift dirt, gravel and other materials. Remove snow from your driveway, dig a hole for your plants, this giant-looking spoon makes all those tasks a lot easier.
WWE Superstar Triple H’s weapon of choice, it can be referred to as the anti-construction tool. Basically a hammer on steroids, it can break anything on its path.
47. Socket Wrench
Used to tighten or loosen nuts by simply turning the handle, choose the correct size of socket to go into the 90-degree wrench, and voila! You can even use the socket to hold the nut in place.
48. Speed Square
A measuring tool favored by carpenters to mark and measure. It is excellent for finding specific angles for cutting or construction.
49. Table Saw
One of the most hazardous tools a man should own, the table saw is best used to rip boards; and in hospitals, hands and fingers. Recommended for the more serious home builder, it cuts through surfaces that the jigsaw and the circular saw could not penetrate.
50. Drill Bits
A staple in any man’s toolbox. From punching holes to running wires to holding down boards, there are loads of bits to choose from; each with their own head shape, length, and diameter.
This fine-toothed saw was made for slicing metal or making ultra-fine incisions on wood. The blade is kept in a frame and is more fun to use when they’re lightweight and portable.
52. Pipe Wrench
Commonly seen in home invasion movies, this adjustable wrench is used for forming soft iron pipes and is useful for those household plumbing problems, particularly those with circular fittings, making it a plumber’s BFF.
53. WD 40
A miracle in a bottle, it removes rust from any metal surface and eliminates that annoying squeaky sound.
This resilient tool has been around for hundreds of years. It allows you to move dirt, gravel, and other materials that you can’t move with your bare hands. It can also moonlight as a cart for your super playful toddler.
55. Wire Strippers
Used to strip wires of their insulation, this tool gets rid of the wire’s coating and clip the wire if needed.
56. Super Glue
Find one that can be used for wood, stone, metal, ceramic, foam and glass. Apply it, leave it for a few minutes, upon your return it is guaranteed bondage like you’ve never seen before.
Nobody wants to sit or lie down on rough furniture. It comes with several different grits, sandpaper is an amazingly useful tool that everyone should have.
58. Caulking Gun
Ideal for patching up nail holes and cracks in molding, and sealing in the bathroom. It is an expendable tool that we rarely use since there is no other substitute for what this gadget can do.
Great for cutting down trees or cleaning up unwanted branches, it is an excellent tool for anything wood-cutting. Use it to chop firewood, instead of an axe. And it can also be a weapon to chase away those pesky millennials.
60. Magna Cart
Have you ever had to walk back and forth from the garage when you need to move several boxes? Then this portable pushcart can be an essential. Capable of carrying at least 150 pounds, it saves not just time but also your back.
61. Work Gloves
The slightest injury on your hand, even just cuts, will cost time and money. Find the one that still allows your hand to be flexible and safe. Hate your wife’s rough hands when she touches you? She probably hates your worker’s hands as well, so better cover them up.
Not much of a utility tool, since all you can use it for is to chop wood. But having one in your hand makes you feel like Thor and just for that it surely is a must-have.
63. Tool Belt
A tool box might already contain all the things that you have, but you wouldn’t want to be carrying all of those around for the day’s project. Plus, it’s probably the closest thing to wearing Batman’s utility belt.
64. Bottle Opener
Eventually, you’ll get thirsty from all the climbing, twisting, turning and banging. Some can open a bottle using the edge of a table, but nothing can be more useful than a durable bottle opener. Quench your thirst to be fueled to work some more or when you’re just hanging out after a long day’s work.
65. Portable Tire Inflator
Like the jumper cables, you would only realize that this is an essential gadget once you need to use it. Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere because of a flat tire can ruin a trip no matter how long or short the ride was going to be. But if you’ve got one of these sitting in the trunk you can drive hassle and stress-free. No need to connect it to the lighter plug of your vehicle, as long as you didn’t forget to recharge the batteries, you’ll be all set in a jiff.
Due to the nature of its work, a tool box’s work-life comprises of dozens of hits and bumps. It is important that you invest in a toolbox that’s strong, durable, a bit huge, and competent enough to contain most of the items that are on this list. There are some which have removable trays to keep smaller, hard-to-find pieces like nuts and bolts, and maybe a few inner vertical storage spaces for handheld tools to keep them off the ground. It should be waterproof to protect the tools from rust, while also protecting the battery-operated ones from deterioration caused by too much water exposure. Lastly, the materials that make up the box should not add up to its weight for easier transport. If you find one that consists of all these features, then that can be considered as an all-in-one tool box.
Buying tools, especially if you follow this list, can cost you a lot. So, here also are some essential tips when packing up on tools:
1· Cordless tools usually cost more but it makes you more flexible. Cordless tools are slightly less powerful than the corded ones and you need time allowance to recharge its batteries. Corded ones have a constant source of power but it hampers your movements. Unless the place you’re working in has outlets scattered, then it wouldn’t be a problem.
2· Buy only the tools that you really need for a certain project. A lot of tools look cool and it might be nice to have them in your collection, but they might have unnecessary features. It would be a million times cooler when every item in your collection has a function.
3· Safety should be an important aspect when you’re thinking of buying tools. Check for safety mechanisms especially on power tools before purchase.
4· Though it would be nice to show off all your tools in the garage, just get the ones that you really need. These tools, especially the electric and battery-operated ones, were made to work regularly. Keep them kept on the shelf for too long without any exercise and they have a way to self-destruct.
5· You don’t need to get the most expensive brand to get things done. But don’t settle for the cheap, unreliable one because you might end up spending more than you should. Research. Look for the one that’s durable and gives you the best value for your money.
6· If you just realized that you wanted to be a handyman around the house now that we are all in quarantine, then go first for the simplest tools.
Chances are you are not familiar with most of the tools mentioned above and it might do you more harm than good.
Men have been using tools for over 1.76 million years. Originating from sharpened stones, our ancestors learned how to attach wood and metal to them to come up with the parents of the tools that we have today. This period of social distancing and being stuck at home sucks. It wouldn’t hurt to pay a visit to the garage and play with the toys that you collected to show off your handyman buddies. And, who knows, maybe by the time this is all over, you might have already built an extra room for your home.