There are times in life when certain events rip you to the core. One such event was the inspiration for this article. I stopped by to see and old friend and catch up on all things new and old. We went to the kitchen to grab a couple of cold ones, and I noticed that the cabinet door was a bit jiggly. “The Handyman will snug that there door up fer ya, point me to the toolbox” I said excitedly. He pointed to a hall closet and I lumbered off after it. I grabbed up a red plastic toolbox from the floor, and headed back to the kitchen.
I opened the box, and that’s when it happened. With a single tear on my cheek, like the crying Indian in the 1971 litter commercial, I turned and said “What the hell kinda toolbox is this?” This was the saddest ensemble of tools I’d ever seen. I had to check the toolbox to make sure it didn’t say “Playskool” on it somewhere, and said “hey, I think my kid has the same toolbox.” Therefore I have decided to give you the top 20 tools everyone should have.
2 Screw Drivers
I suggest a multi-tip driver. You only need one and they usually come with several interchangeable tips. Pick up a set of mini-drivers as well. These are great for the tiny screws in glasses and small electronics.
4 Utility Knife
This is great for cutting anything from packages to wiring. With the right technique, you can even strip wire with one of these. With replaceable and reversible blades, it’s super easy to keep a sharp knife on you at all times.
5 Blood / One Pint
I suggest O Negative. It’s the universal donor type, so whether you hurt yourself or others, anyone can use it. Keep it refrigerated for maximum freshness, and if you’re on the job, throw it in your lunch box next to your peanut butter and jelly.
You’re going to need three types of adhesives in your box. Super glue for dishes, mugs and toys. A fast drying wood glue, for all things wooden that breaks or come loose. Polyurethane glue for that super strong bond that will never come apart.
10 Duct Tape/Gray
Don’t be suckered by all these new fangled, fancified colors of duct tape out on the market these days. Nothing says “handy” like a big blob of gray duct tape. Not to mention if you add a paper towel, it makes a perfect Band-Aid.
12 Tape Measure
Although these are available in a variety of different lengths, I recommend a small 12 footer. Its small, light weight, fits in your pocket and will cover most projects around the house. You can always get a bigger one if the need arises.
13 Sewing Kit
Some cuts are worse than others. When duct tape can’t stop the bleeding, break out the ol’ needle and thread. This could also be used to patch a hole in your overalls to keep your skivvies from showing.
17 Adjustable Wrench
You might want to get a couple of these, especially for changing bicycle tires and the like. It’s cheaper than buying a set of open-end wrenches, and versatile enough for the assorted items around the house that need a little snugging.
From “C” to “Bar”, there’s a gazillion different clamps out there. Grab at least a couple of 8″ bar clamps to start. As your projects get more complex, you can pick up the appropriate clamps as needed.
19 Miter Box
This is a great tool, that’s been around before power tools. If you need to make just a few straight or mitered cuts, these work great. It allows you to do accurate cuts with just a handsaw.
So there you have it. Putting together all these tools at once can be kinda pricey, so I suggest you take it a couple at a time. Soon enough, you will have put together a arsenal that will make The Handyman proud. But that doesn’t mean I’ll come over and fix your stuff, that’s all on you.