What 10 Tools Are Most Useful for DIYers?

Let’s talk about the 10 top tools you should have in your DIY homeowners toolbox.  If you don’t have some of these items in your toolbox, go looking around your house or at your local tool store to be prepared for those DIY projects that are going to come up as a homeowner.

1. Hammer

There are many different types and weights of hammers. I didn’t know this when I was a kid and used my dads’ roofing hammer to hang something on the wall.  Whoops! When I missed, it made a huge mark.  You live and learn!

As a lady, a top tool for me is a lighter hammer so that I can use it for hanging frames on the wall or nailing trim into furniture.

You can buy an entire loaded tool bag which comes with a hammer. I like that my toolbox is pink and so are all of my tools.  The guys in my house know which tools are mine, and they don’t want to use the pink ones!!

 2. Utility Knife

Make sure that your blade is sharp and that you have a few extra blades in your toolbox or in the knife itself.  A utility knife is useful if you are going to cut cardboard, cut the fabric off of upholstery, etc.

3. Safety Glasses & Gloves

I like to have a few types of gloves for painting, working with wood (where you might get splinters), and working outdoors in the yard.

Safety glasses are great if you are going to be scraping paint or painting under something where you might get drops in your eyes.  They are also nice when you may be under something where particles could fall into your eyes.

You might not think of these as top tools but they are in my toolbox!

4. Pliers

There are so many different types of pliers. I like to have two basic types in my toolbox that can cover multiple jobs.

  • Needle-nose pliers are great for getting staples out of upholstery.
  • Sidecutters are great for cutting wires or staples on the back of frames.  These also work well to crimp together cables or strings.

5. Level

Again, there are several different sizes of levels. I like a small one that can be used on a picture frames to make sure that they are level. You can use a longer level for larger projects which are helpful if you are installing cabinets or orienting multiple pictures across a longer distance.

6. Screwdrivers

This top tool is one of my favorite because it has interchangeable tips that can be used on flat head or Phillips screws.  It seems like on the weekly basis I have a need for both types of screwdrivers. From getting the batteries of kids toys to putting the cover on a vacuum or flashlight.

7. Scissors

There are several reasons that I believe that scissors should be one of your top tools in your toolbox:

  • Cutting paper templates before you cut wood.
  • Cutting fabric or tags off of products.

I’m a fan of Fiskar brand scissors. I put a link below or look at your local Michaels or Joann’s.

My grandmother taught me that you never use your fabric scissors to cut anything other than fabric so I have used that a guide. I always have a cheap pair of scissors that are multipurpose and my Fiskar scissors are only for cutting material and fabric.

8. Headlamps

While it may not be your average toolbox tool, I think every homeowner should have one in their toolbox.

We have used headlamps in tight spaces that aren’t well lit.  This works especially well when you need your hands-free to do some work. A flashlight is great but a headlamp is better!

9. Tape Measure

There are a few different strengths of tape measures. A heavy duty one is great if you are going to do a renovation and you need to measure long stretches of room sizes.

Mine is a lightweight tape measure and is great for measuring small distances for couches and chairs or aligning small hanging items.

Since we just did a huge renovation, we felt the need to have both types of tape measures in our toolbox.

10. Drill

I am a huge fan of Ryobi tools. I have the 12v drill that is small, light, and useful for every homeowner to have in their toolbox.

You would be surprised how many times per month I go for my drill for hanging pictures, mounting hooks, and fixing the legs on chairs. Sometimes it is nice to have something more than a screwdriver to help you with some items around the house.

Click HERE for other Ryobi products.

I put together a CHECKLIST for you to make sure that you have your TOOLBOX ready. You can customize it to your needs. Included are some BONUS materials that I wouldn’t classify as tools but are very useful to have within reach to make some jobs go smoother.

Bonus Items

Paper clips
Sewing needle

Duck Tape

Let me know if you have other items in your toolbox. I’d love to hear from you.




Top 10 Tools Every Homeowner Needs

What tools do you need to successfully finish your home improvement project?