Tools of the Trade: 5 Must-Have Items for Every Handyman’s Arsenal

You know what they say, a handyman is only as good as his tools. Sure, that saying might have been tweaked a bit, but the sentiment remains the same. Completing any home improvement project without proper tools can be a nightmare – whether you want to hang a picture frame on the wall or build a deck in your backyard. If you’re not properly equipped, you’ll find yourself struggling and potentially doing more harm than good.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional and take your home improvement supplies seriously, or if you’re just a weekend warrior looking to tackle some DIY projects around the house – there are certain tools that every handyman should have at their disposal. Not only do they make your work easier, but they also help you achieve better results.

What Tools Does a Handyman Need?

While there might be slight variation depending on the work you do, a handful of items have cemented their spot as helpful additions in any DIY project. Even if you already have some of these tools, it’s always a good idea to invest in high-quality versions as they will last longer and provide better results.

Tool Cabinet

mobile tool cabinet and man behind it working

If you’ve ever tried to tackle a home improvement project without a proper storage system for your tools, you know how frustrating it can be. Sifting through a pile of scattered tools to find the one you need is not only time-consuming but also incredibly annoying. That’s why investing in spacious and durable tool cabinets to keep all your items systematically arranged and easily accessible is definitely a priority.

To narrow down your search, you need to look at the storage capacity first. If you have a large number of tools, go for one with multiple drawers and compartments. If your tool collection is relatively small, you can opt for a smaller model that won’t take up too much space.

Speaking of drawers and compartments, the slide mechanism on each should be heavy-duty with smooth gliding for easy access. In general, there are two types of slides available – non-bearing and ball-bearing systems. The former relies on friction, while the latter is smoother, quieter, and more durable. Even though they both serve the same purpose, the ball-bearing one is a better option in terms of longevity.

Next up is the locking mechanism. If you have young children at home or want to keep your tools safe from theft, choose a cabinet with a reliable locking system. Some models come with a keyed version, while others have a combination or digital model that allows for keyless entry.

Perhaps the most useful thing about modern tool cabinets is that they come pre-organised with all the necessary tools for specific tasks. This is particularly helpful for beginners or DIY enthusiasts who may not have a complete collection yet. In this way, you’ll have a decent starting point and won’t have to waste time searching for individual tools.

Adjustable Wrenches

If you want to look for separate tools to stock your cabinet, make sure you include adjustable wrenches. These versatile tools come in different sizes and have a moveable jaw so you can work with different sized nuts and bolts. They feature a wide grip handle that provides good leverage and torque when loosening or tightening objects.

But aside from their main function, adjustable wrenches have other uses as well. For example, they can be used as pliers to hold objects in place while working on them. They can also double as hammers in case of an emergency where you don’t have a hammer nearby.

Hammers and Screwdrivers

hammer and screwdrivers

Perhaps two of the most common items found in any cabinet are hammers and screwdrivers. We all know what these tools are used for, but it’s how we use them that can make a difference. When choosing hammers, consider getting a few different types such as claw hammers for general use, sledgehammers for heavy-duty tasks, and ball-peen hammers for metalwork.

For screwdrivers, get a set of different sizes and heads to accommodate various screws. It’s also helpful to have a magnetic tip on your screwdriver to prevent screws from falling and getting lost. Models with ratcheting mechanisms can also be handy for faster and easier maneuvering.

Measuring Tape

Taking accurate measurements of your projects is crucial for achieving precise results. You can’t always eyeball it or rely on estimations when it comes to building or fixing things, especially if they need to fit in a specific space.

When you have a measuring tape in your cabinet, you’ll be able to measure distances and dimensions with ease. Look for a model that has both metric and imperial markings, as well as a locking mechanism to keep the tape in place while you record your measurements.

Drill and Driver Set

drill and driver set DeWalt and man behind it working

As far as woodworking or DIY projects go, you’ll certainly need a drill and driver set in your tool cabinet. A power drill can make drilling holes and driving screws a breeze, saving you time and energy and giving you more precise results. Look for a set that includes different drill bit sizes, as well as screwdriver attachments to accommodate various screw heads.

In terms of power, cordless drills are more convenient as they allow for greater mobility and flexibility. However, they may require frequent recharging or battery replacements. Corded options, on the other hand, offer consistent power but can limit your movement due to the cord length.