A Quick Guide To Tools You Should Keep At Home

Everyone should have some tools at home. Whether it’s doing repairs, basic maintenance, or working on hobby projects, tools play a vital role in owning a home. Not everyone has the space or interest in filling up a workshop/garage. But you should at least have a toolbox or two of the most essential tools to keep your home in excellent shape. In this article, we will go over a few tools you should always have in those toolboxes, why they’re important, and when to use them. Check out our quick guide tools you should keep at home below.

Utility Knife

The first step on our toolbox journey begins with the humble utility knife. Utility knives are handheld knives with retractable blades. You’ve undoubtedly seen them at home, work, or elsewhere. For a visual reference, think about a box cutter. Utility knives are similar but larger. Every home needs a utility knife because of its myriad uses. If you need to pull carpet, make a quick cut, or even open mail, a utility knife can help. But they can also be used to cut wood, drywall, foam, and other surfaces for simple repairs. If you need to patch some drywall with joint compound or put a spackle in a certain part of the wall, using your utility knife to even out the hole can drastically simplify the task. A utility knife is likely going to be a tool you use frequently, so having a few in your toolbox is a practical and useful idea for many of your “quick repair” needs.

Tape Measure 

A tape measure is another critical tool for your home toolbox. You already know what a tape measure is, whether you’ve used one or not. But you might not realize they come in quite handy at home. The reason for this one is pretty obvious: sometimes, we just need to measure stuff. Whether you’re moving furniture, moving, installing new fixtures, mailing a package, or working on another project, having precise measurements is essential. Ostensibly, tape measures can help you measure not just the length and width of a room, but its area as well. To calculate area, all you must do is multiply length times width. Then you know what your square footage is in a room. So, if you’re laying tile, laminate, or carpet it’ll be easier to purchase the precise amount you need instead of ballparking it.


Installing new things, making simple repairs, and working on outdoor projects typically requires the use of a drill. A drill is an essential power tool. Depending on your needs, you can choose from a wide array of different bits to help accomplish the tasks at hand. Power drills also offer variable speeds. There are some times when a screwdriver simply won’t cut it. In those cases, having a drill handy makes a job much easier. When you buy a drill, you must decide between corded or cordless. Corded power tools can be a bit more powerful but require a power supply. Cordless tools typically use a battery. In the immortal words of This Old House, “the tool should match the job.” In this case, that means deciding whether you need to do heavy-duty construction, repairs, or simple light maintenance. For most home toolboxes, a lightweight cordless drill will likely get the job done. If you think you’re going to need more from your drill, you might want to go a step up. Ultimately, the decision rests with you. But at the end of the day, this is one power tool you don’t want to live without.

Hand Tools

Even with a drill, tape measure, and utility knife, your home toolbox isn’t complete without some hand tools. Hand tools are hand-operated tools specific to certain tasks. Punches, chisels, ratchets, planes, scrapers, putty knives, taps and dies, Allan wrenches, pry bars, crescent wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, nut drivers, clamps, and levels are all essential tools for your home. Consider picking up a hand tool set for your home that contains several of these items. That way, you’ll be ready (and able) to tackle virtually any simple repairs/task that comes your way.

Caulking Gun 

Caulk has a long, storied, and unique history. It’s used for everything from sealing seams to window seals and beyond. Every home requires re-caulking at some point. It’s one of the simplest and fastest home repairs. All you need is a caulking gun and the sealant of your choice (there’s acrylic, silicone, and latex for most jobs). A caulking gun is inexpensive. They’re lightweight and easy to store. And they come in powered versions as well. Plus, they’re just fun to use. Add a caulking gun to your home toolbox so you have it when you need it (and trust us, you will).