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22 Things Every DIYer Should Own

Whether you’re a novice or an expert, these tools are crucial for getting jobs done at home.

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Claw Hammerquadshock/Shutterstock

Claw hammer


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So many DIYer projects require the use of a hammer. Use them for woodworking projects, hanging artwork and putting together furniture. Claw hammers are a good choice because not only do they drive nails, but you can use the claw to remove nails, as well.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

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Every DIYer should have screwdrivers on hand, including flat-head, Pozidriv, and Phillips-head screwdrivers. And having screwdrivers in a few different sizes will help you deal with a variety of screws heads. Find out some of the DIY home projects you can definitely do yourself.

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Tape Measureriggsby/Shutterstock

Tape measure


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A tape measure is a must-have when you need accurate measurements. And you don’t need anything fancy, one that is retractable and lockable will get the job done.

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LED FlashlightNor Gal/Shutterstock

LED Flashlight


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LED flashlights are a good choice for the DIYer because the batteries and the bulbs last much longer than standard flashlights. And it’s not a bad idea to have a few LED flashlights around for not only projects—they can also come in handy during storms.

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A few pairs of pliers will come in handy when you need to grip, turn, or pull something, such as a screw or nail. And add both locking and combination pliers to your DIY must-have list. Anyone can do these 40 home repairs.

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Step Stool and LadderNataliealien/Shutterstock

Step stool and ladder


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At some point, you’ll need a steady, sturdy platform to complete projects such as cleaning gutters or trimming trees. A step stool is a great choice for when you just need a little boost. When using an extension ladder, remember the highest safe standing level is four rungs from the top.

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utility knife to cut carpet for sawhorsesFamily Handyman

Utility knife


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There’s a good reason a utility knife is considered one of the most versatile tools in the toolbox. And a utility knife can be used on many projects, including cutting drywall, removing carpeting and even exposing popped nail heads.

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Safety Glassesgoodluz/Shutterstock

Safety glasses


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Safety glasses are a must-have for every DIYer because you need to protect your eyes. Keep a couple of pairs around your work area so they are always within easy reach. Fair warning, these are the home projects you shouldn’t try to DIY. 

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Adjustable WrenchKonontsev Artem/Shutterstock

Adjustable wrench


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An adjustable wrench allows DIYers to work with all sizes of nuts and bolts. And while you can buy sets of wrenches in various sizes, an adjustable wrench is a good investment, especially if space or budget constraints are an issue.

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Hand SawChampion studio/Shutterstock

Hand saw

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If you have just one saw, make it a hand saw that can be used in basic woodworking projects. And when buying a hand saw, remember that bigger teeth will cut faster and saws have variations on teeth-per-inch which also influences cutting ability.

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Extension CordsNancy Bauer/Shutterstock

Extension cords


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Every DIYer needs an extension cord at some point, and having a few around will make life a lot easier. Extension cords come in handy when using power tools. And this includes power saws, shop vacuums, and even some leaf blowers. Learn the 18 home care tips that will save you time and money.

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A Mix of Hardware IIya Andriyanov/Shutterstock

A mix of hardware


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DIYers should always have a collection of screws and nails available. And try storing hardware in a container with separate compartments so you can keep everything organized.

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Have a bottle (or two or three) of wood glue around for making repairs or even as a quick-fix for suturing wounds. Also keep gel-type superglue (cyanocacrylate glue, or CA) on hand for attaching small pieces that would be hard to clamp. Glues come in a few different brands, including Super Glue, Gorilla, and Krazy Glue. These are things you should never say while DIY-ing.

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A Toolboxmr.kriangsak kitisak/Shutterstock

A toolbox


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You need to keep all those tools and supplies organized somehow so you can find them when you need them. And you can make some tool storage solutions yourself. But a toolbox will allow you to easily bring your tools with you no matter where you go.

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Don’t be caught without some WD-40 in your workspace. And WD-40 is a multi-use lubricant that is great for freeing up rusty or stuck hinges, bolts, and reducing squeaks in latches.

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Shop VacuumIvanko80/Shutterstock

Shop vacuum


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You’ll get that mess cleaned up quickly with a shop vacuum. And look for a wet/dry model that can be used to clean up liquids as well as dirt, dust, and debris.

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LevelDeniss Grigorjevs/Shutterstock



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Add a level to your DIY toolkit and you’ll have an accurate guide when it comes to positioning items both vertically and horizontally. And a basic level of about a foot long will get the job done and fit in most toolboxes.

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Use a scraper to remove flaky or old surfaces, such as a popcorn ceiling, vinyl flooring, or wallpaper. And you can find a decent scraper for about $5. These are the home improvement hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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A Variety of TapeBjoern Wylezich/Shutterstock

A variety of tape


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Keep a roll of electrical, Teflon, and duct tape in your toolbox. Electrical tape is used for various electrical work while Teflon is used for plumbing projects.

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Bungee CordsAlbert Lozano/Shutterstock

Bungee cords


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Bungee cords aren’t just for mountaineering. So keep a few bungee cords around for keeping items in your trunk from rolling around and falling over. You can even use them to strap down items and secure them to the top of your car.

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A Plastic TarpGreg McGill/Shutterstock

A plastic tarp


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A plastic tarp will serve a variety of functions. Rake leaves onto the tarp to haul them to the compost bin and use it to cover outdoor items such as patio furniture to protect it from harsh weather. These home improvement projects practically pay for themselves.

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ClampsOzgur Coskun/Shutterstock



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Clamps help you hold or secure objects so they don’t move while you’re working with them. And there are a variety of clamps available, including C-clamps, pipe-clamps, and handscrew-clamps. Now, find out the home maintenance tasks homeowners shouldn’t overlook.

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The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.