Are you just starting out, and need a quick reference for tools, and a way of figuring out what you should start with? Here’s some information based on my many years of using tools. In some form or another, I either have these personally (majority), or have used them at work.
Here’s what I recommend for tools to get as a starter kit. If you buy them individually, you will generally get a better quality of tool that you will love for long term use. If you don’t intend to add any other tools, and just want some basics, then I recommend buying a tool set that includes these items together. The quality will be lower, and prices will be much cheaper.
So why you ask, why do I recommend these particular items? Read on for more details below.
Basic Hand tools for the beginner:
A hammer is always needed if you have a nail head that pops up, or just anything that needs a little persuasion to move a little bit. Or to put in a nail to hang a picture on the wall, quite difficult without a hammer.
A pliers can be used to grip items to turn them (bolts, nuts, screws, etc), or to pull them out. Assembling furniture, tightening or loosening fasteners, etc.
Combination screwdriver (6 in 1)
The most common screws have either a Philips head (cross) or a flat head (slot), and this combination screwdriver will allow you to put in or get out all of those.
A crescent wrench is a sloppy alternative to having a full set of open/boxed end wrenches. For hex head fasteners like common bolts and nuts, this is a better alternative than a pliers. Because the crescent wrench is adjustable, it can be used on metric and SAE (inch) fasteners, and takes the place of a multitude of wrenches.
A utility knife is always handy, as you are always buying items from the store that have packaging to cut off. This is the safe way to cut something open, and saves you from using a kitchen knife!
This one is my all time favorite measuring tape! I must have at least 6 of these! Any time you’re buying a piece of furniture or appliance for the house you’re going to need to measure the location to make sure it will fit. Even measuring to hang a picture on the wall, or checking a cake pan for the right size.
Basic kit of tools
If you prefer to buy a basic tool kit instead of buying the individual pieces, I recommend buying something like this kit.