Top 10 Garage Tools for the First Time Home Owner

tools-homeownerChanging from being a rent paying tenant to a new home owner means that you can no longer call a landlord to fix problems. At some point, you will need to do minor repairs and maintenance yourself. Here are 10 essential tools that should be a part of your starting toolbox.

  1. Screwdrivers. Screwdrivers come in two types, a flathead or a Phillips head. From around $4 you can buy a 4 in 1 screwdriver that has different sized flathead and Phillips head pieces.
  2. Hammer. You simply cannot have a toolbox worthy of the name if there is no hammer in it. You can buy a basic one for around $5 to a maximum of $200 for a curved handle model complete with a lithium-head.
  3. Cordless Drill. This is another power tool that is an essential piece of DIY kit. Once you own one of these you will never want to be without one. The beauty of a battery powered drill is that you can take it anywhere in your home or garden. Proceed vary from $20 up to $300. Spend a bit more and get a lithium-ion powered drill.
  4. Ladder. At some point sooner rather than later you’re going to have to use a ladder. There are so many different tasks in a house that require you climbing up and down a ladder to get done. Depending on their size and the material they are made from, figure spending between $50-$100 for a good 6-foot ladder.
  5. Tape Measure. A 25 foot tape measure can cost as little as $3. The modest cost can be recuperated by measuring the width and height of furniture and only buying items that fit in gaps.
  6. Level. Whether you are putting up shelves, hanging pictures, or putting up a TV bracket, you can use a level to make things are straight. Most levels are 4 foot long with the basic type starting at $10 and the most expensive LCD display ones costing $175.
  7. Set of Pliers. Get hold of a 5 set of pliers. With pliers you can do just about anything to wires. A $11 five piece set will give you all sorts of options around nails, screws, and wiring.
  8. Circular Saw. To put it simply, if you make your own shelves or anything or similar you are going to need one. If you have lots of things to cut through or up then hand saws are simply too slow. The least expensive 7.25 inch saw starts at $40 while the best 12 inch model will cost $900. A corded 10″ model is the sweet spot in terms of value.
  9. Stud Finder. These are really useful when it comes to hanging up art. A basic stud finder starts at $3.50 while the best digital ones will set you back $80.
  10. Air Compressor. A small portable compressor will pay for itself quickly even if you only use it to inflate tires or kids toys. Once you start other projects such as trimming windows or putting together garden boxes, you’ll wonder how you ever made it without one. A small Central Pneumatic pancake model will only set you back about $60 but better quality brands will be $150+. It’s a good budget compressor and Central Pneumatic air compressor parts are cheap and easy to find.

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Other Tips

  • Make use of any tool sharing scheme or co op tool bartering programs in your area.
  • If you have a Harbor Freight Tools store nearby, they are a gold mine for putting together a decent set of tools for cheap.
  • Try to buy at bargain prices by going around yard sales and visiting thrift shops.
  • If you know people that have too many tools ask if you can have some.