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Building Your Home-Repair Toolkit

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ October 23, 2009

There's a wrench to fit every home-improvement nut. It's an old joke, but true enough. Tools, sadly, are pricey if you're after quality. Most contractors I know build up their tool collection over a period of years. They pack their trucks with the essential items, and carry indispensable tools in their belt. As the adage goes, you need the tool the matches the job.

If you're just putting together your tool set, look for used tools online or sales at home improvement stores. The exact tools you need vary by the jobs you intend to perform on your own. If you get in over your head, you can do more damage than it costs to call in a professional.

Essential Tools for Home Repair or Renovation

Experts at Popular Mechanics say a sledgehammer is the most-important tool, followed by a center punch, putty knife, adjustable wrench, socket wrench set, metal file, combination square, and combination wrench. I think you might survive without the sledgehammer if you're doing home repair work on your own.

You can find this initial group of tools reasonably priced and put them together in short order. The power tools, of course, cost more and require stands, power cords and supply, and workshop space. Some of us are lucky enough to inherit tools from our parents or relatives, or have them around for myriad quick fixes around the house.

The second tier of tools, says Popular Mechanics, consists of a bow saw, jigsaw, coping saw, side-cutting pliers, crosscut saw, snips, roundhouse shovel, needle-nose pliers, and a cordless drill. The trio of indispensable tools for plumbing repairs include a pipe wrench, pliers of all sizes and adjustable models, and an adjustable and crescent wrench.

Squaring Away Your Repair Tools

Organizing your repair tools so they are there when you need them can be a project unto itself. If you plan on doing work off property, you might want a toolbox for your truck. In the garage, you can thrive with a well organized peg boards and hooks, shelves, and storage cabinets. Put each family of tools together in their own shelf, slot, or see-through plastic container.

While you're building up your toolbox, consider whether you have duplicates and which tools are in need of oiling, repair, or replacements. Relying on someone else for your tools can be tricky. Many home carpenters and fix-it enthusiasts are protective of their tools.

During repairs, you may want to strap on a tool belt with the leather pouches arranged intuitively with nails, hammer, screwdrivers, bolts, tape, and measuring tape in easy reach.

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