Your First, Basic Tool-Kit (with Illustrated Guide)

Someone once said, “you can do ANY project – IF you have the right tools”. Its true! 

This list will help you get set up with a supply of handy tools for an endless number of projects around your apartment. All of the items on the list can be found at your local hardware or home-improvement store. So, first things first, do not buy a pre-packaged tool kit “set”: these are notorious for not containing a good spectrum of supplies, being too expensive, and containing lesser quality tools. Do not just buy the cheapest or poorest-looking tools either. Some poor quality tools will break before you can actually put them into use. You want something that will work more than twice, so aim for a sturdy looking tool. It does not need to be the most expensive one, but I would look for the mid-price or mid-quality version of each tool to start. Also, keep your eyes peeled for used, quality tools at garage sales and second-hand shops.  Or surprise your family by adding a few tools to your holiday wish list.

The tools you need:

basic tool-kit

-Tool box and/or tool belt: find one with sections so that you can arrange your items – the boxes with snapping lids on each section are exceptionally useful.
-Monkey wrench
-Allen wrench (hex key) set in Standard-American and Metric sizes: these are very precise, so you need the right size for each project.
-Phillips-head screw drivers (the end looks like a cross: “+”) and flat-head screw drivers (the end is flat: “-“) in at least 3 different sizes: its good to start with a mini, small, and medium size of each.
-Rubber mallet: this is great for those projects that need some ‘banging’ but will get too scratched by a hammer.
-Strong rope or cord: you never know when you will need some strong rope to tie up an instant clothing line when your dryer breaks, or to strap something down on your car.
-Duck/duct tape
-Clear packing tape
-Masking (paper-y) tape
-Screws (1 to 2 inches long)
-Nails (1 to 2 inches long)
-Thumb tacks
-Needle-nose pliers: these are great for tucking away pointy edges or fixing a key chain.
-Two or three flashlights
-A few small candles: you never know when the lights will go out and all your flashlight batteries with be dead…
-Strike-anywhere matches
-Small level
-Tape measure: this is useful for measuring space in a room, length of furniture, etc.
-Utility knife or box cutter: use this one carefully and it will come in handy many times!
-Clamp or vice grips
-Rubber bands in assorted sizes
-Graphite lubricant: this works better than many other lubricants because it is not oily – oil attracts and collects dirt and dust.
-Spare light bulbs in the sizes you use: don’t keep these in your tool box – put them in a place where they won’t get knocked around too much!
-Spare batteries in the sizes you use
-Small, sturdy stepstool or ladder

Best places to buy these tools are your big box hardware stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.  Or you can always check out if Amazon carries these tools at a competitive price.

Now that you are fully armored, keep your tool box in a convenient place so that you can reach it quickly in times of need!

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Author My First Apartment

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Chloë Elise is a writer and artist living (and renting) around the world. She is usually the roomie to catch bugs and put them outside, or to fill the house with little plants around every window. She spends most of her time writing, painting, tattooing, studying science, learning languages, building websites, making music, and searching for fossils. Find more info at Sima Tattoo, Yakbrother, or her personal portfolio.

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Comments (3)

  1. Avatar Donna

    Is a fire extinguisher considered a tool? That is always one of the first things I buy when moving into a new place.