A well-equipped toolbox is essential for design experts and novice do-it-yourselfers alike. Use this guide to stock up on essential tools you’ll need around the home.

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Life is unpredictable. It’s smart to have a basic tool kit in your home. “Having the toolbox essentials on hand, especially in the middle of the winter/night when something breaks, you’ll have what you need to make a quick repair” say the writers at BuildDesignCreate. “This alone could save you enough money to pay for itself. Just think about how much it would cost you at 3 a.m. for someone to come over and make a temporary fix for you.”

While your scope and skill level both play a role in what you’ll ultimately need in your tool kit, the tools included here are good for everyone, whether you just want to attempt basic home repairs yourself or build furniture in your spare time.

Before we get into the list, we want to emphasize the importance of buying high quality tools. While they may cost more upfront, you’ll be making a great investment in reliable tools that will last a lifetime. Spread out your tool purchases across several months to help make the expense more manageable. If you treat yourself to a new tool each month, you’ll build up your kit quickly and have something new to look forward to without breaking your bank account.

The area where you can save money is in storing your tools. You don’t need to keep tools in an actual toolbox. You can keep them in a drawer, a box, on the wall in a utility space in your home, or anywhere else you have space.

Here are the items your home tool kit can’t do without.

DIY tool kit home

Tape Measure – Tape measures are good for everything from measuring fabric to hanging your pictures on the wall. Once you have one, you’ll be surprised how often you use it.

Screwdrivers – You’ll need both a Phillips head and a flat head screwdriver. Together, these two types of screwdrivers will have you covered for practically every screw you come across.

Box Cutter – Box cutters are good for cutting many things other than boxes. They’re useful for marking wood, cutting string or rope, and slicing materials other than cardboard.

Claw Hammer and Nails – The combination of a hammer and nails accomplishes many tasks, including hanging pictures, reinforcing tables or chairs, putting things together, and taking things apart. “While your grandpa probably used a hammer with a wooden handle, you shouldn’t. Wood handles break easily. Go with something that has a long-lasting synthetic handle,” says writer Brett from The Art of Manliness.

Electric or Cordless Drill, Drill Bits, and Screws – While cordless drills are very convenient, their upfront cost is higher. If you don’t need the cordless feature, consider a standard corded drill. According to the expert in home repair and remodeling, Bob Vila, “a drill is one versatile tool. It will drill holes, sand and grind, stir paint, and drive screws and good basic electric drills start at a very modest price. Cordless: The initial cost is significantly higher, but for the extra money, there’s a big jump in convenience. It’s a judgment call, but if the price doesn’t seem prohibitive, the gain in flexibility is probably worth the extra investment.”

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Staple Gun – A staple gun is great for fastening things together around the house, from basics like the backs of framed pictures, to the more serious projects like fixing a loose doorframe. Just think about how convenient and useful your standard desktop stapler is, and supersize it.

Crescent Wrench – You could buy 50 different sized wrenches, or you could buy one crescent wrench.

Socket Wrench and Socket Set – With a good socket set you’ll be able to do everything from home repairs to auto repairs. Select a set of medium-sized sockets; sockets that are very large or very small tend to be for specific jobs, while mid-sized sockets are more universal.

Superglue – Superglue is one of those practically lifesaving products. After all, while we don’t recommend it, you can use superglue to temporarily seal up deeper cuts and wounds in an absolute emergency if no other medical attention is available. Other uses for this glue range from fixing broken household items to temporarily sealing leaky windows.

Once you start your home tool kit, you’ll enjoy watching it grow because it will provide a sense of preparedness. Maybe you’ll even find inspiration in the toolbox to take on creative new projects around the house. While this guide is meant as a start to creating a helpful basic tool kit, you’ll likely keep adding to it as project ideas and home repair needs pop up.

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