The DIYer’s toolbox

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A well-stocked toolbox for a DIYer is like a blank canvas for an artist. The potential you hold in your hands is practically infinite.

So while you can easily hire general tools to complete just about any job, there are definitely some basics that every toolbox should have.

A set of screwdrivers

No, not just one screwdriver. Not even just one flathead and one Phillips head. Not having the right size or style of a screwdriver is enough to bring any DIY project come to a screeching halt – all because of one very frustrating little screw. Look for sets with magnetic tips to make screwing that much easier.

A hammer

Need we explain?

Various sizes of nails and screws

You’ll need a range of sizes to cover big and small jobs. Be sure to keep them tidy, or half the time you spend on a project will be time spent looking for matching nails and screws.

A level

iPhones have these built-in nowadays, but you can’t treat an iPhone the same way you’d treat a level, so it’s best to find a real one.

A tape measure

Know the old saying “measure twice, cut once”? You won’t get much measuring done without one of these. Look for one that has both inches and centimetres, as many trade measurements (such as timber lengths) are taken in inches.

Pliers

You’ll end up using pliers for all manner of fiddly jobs, such as dealing with wires or bending things in or out of shape. Look for a pair that you can lock shut, as this adds a few extra features such as a mini-clamp.

Power drill

With the right set of drill bits and screw bits, you can achieve many a task quickly and easily. Use it to dismantle or put together anything with screws, or drill holes through all sorts of materials such as wood and plasterboard. Whether you opt for a cordless or a corded version will probably depend on your initial budget, but just be sure to buy one with enough power to see you through most household jobs – a 12-Volt or higher should do the trick.  

Torch

It doesn’t matter if you’re climbing into crawl spaces or simply need brighter light when inspecting under the hood of your car – a torch will always prove invaluable.

Pocket knife

Sharpen your pencils, open packages, cut wires – a knife will always come in handy. Be sure to find one with a blade protector and a comfortable grip that won’t slip if your hands are greasy or sweaty.

Socket wrench set

Socket wrenches are the basic wrench’s more sophisticated cousin. They’re a lot easier to use and make any task of tightening or loosening bolts much quicker.

A small saw

Larger jobs will likely need the help of a chainsaw, but a small hacksaw in your toolbox can look after plenty of the easier jobs, such as cutting through piping or small pieces of timber. Look for a galvanised saw that won’t succumb to rust.