One of the best gifts a newlywed couple can receive is a basic toolbox. It typically contains several types of screwdrivers, a hammer, tape measure, wrench, pliers, and other useful tools. They’ll use many of these home tools before they buy their first home.
Most electronic devices require a screwdriver to open the battery compartment to change the batteries. After the couple becomes new homeowners, they can complement their basic tool set with more tools.
Here are 11 tools every new homeowner needs for emergencies, home improvement projects, and run of the mill tasks around the house. These can make great gifts for newlyweds and new homeowners.
- Safety Gear
Most homeowners forget about the standard safety gear. Googles, gloves, and ear plugs are one of the smartest things to buy first. You may need several types of gloves. Latex or nitrile gloves are for working with substances while rugged work gloves come in handy when doing yard work and woodwork. We all know how much a little splinter can hurt!
- Tape Measure
Before putting a nail or screw in, you want to make sure it’s properly placed. No one wants to hang a picture off-center or have a bunch of nails hammered in at different lengths from each other. Buying curtains? The tape measure will tell you what size you need. When selecting a tape measure, opt for a lockable one so the tape doesn’t snap back while you’re trying to measure.
Need to change out a switch plate? You’ll need a screwdriver for that. Got a loose knob? A screwdriver fixes that in a jiffy. Some screws are smaller than others. It helps to get either a screwdriver set with interchangeable heads or a handful of Phillips and flatheads (slotted).
At the very least, you want a standard Phillips and a slotted screwdriver. It’s also useful to have a 5- or 6-piece set of precision screwdrivers. These are mini-screwdrivers for tiny screws like those on eyeglasses and watches.
You’ll want more than the standard claw hammer, which is the metal hammer with two prongs on the back for pulling out nails. For pounding tasks such as putting up stakes for a tent, use a dead blow hammer or rubber mallet.
No one wants to think about a backed up toilet. But it happens. Better to have a plunger on hand than have to go out and get one when you need it as that could be any time of the day or night.
- Cordless Drill and Bits
Screwdrivers get the job done, but sometimes you need a little extra help for bigger jobs. Like with screwdrivers, you’ll want Phillips, slotted, and square-drive bits in different sizes. Don’t skimp on quality and go for 12V lithium-ion over NiCd.
- Crescent Wrench
Rather than getting different-sized wrenches, choose an adjustable wrench. Another option is to look for a self-adjusting wrench that is self-ratcheting and contains a release button to remove the wrench once done.
- Extension Cord
Just about every homeowner runs into a need for an extension cord. Considering a new homeowner is building a toolset, it may help to buy a longer extension cord as the first one. When you don’t need a long one, it will still work. But if a short one can’t reach, it’s useless. Start long and go from there.
Scissors just won’t do when you need to cut pipes, lumber, or thick branches. A power saw would be preferable to a hacksaw. It doesn’t take long to wear out from working with a manual saw to cut hard, thick items.
Pliers provide the ultimate grip that other tools don’t. While the claw of a hammer can pull out nails, sometimes it can’t reach those nails. That’s where pliers prove useful. They can grip, pull, and strip wires. A decent set of five pliers can be found for an affordable price.
Power outages happen. Not every nook and cranny is well-lit. Flashlights help you look for things underneath objects and find your way when there’s no electricity. Opt for an LED light as these tend to be brighter and last longer than a standard light.
There are lights that plug into an outlet and turn on as soon as the power goes out. It would be wise to have these in a couple of central locations. Store your flashlight where you know you can locate it in the dark.
This is a short list of the most important items. Other items you might consider include a stepladder, wet-dry vacuum, utility knife, and a level.
It’s not always possible to stock all of these at once. To decide which to get first, make a list and prioritize your needs. You can borrow from your neighbors, check garage sales, and look on sites like Craig’s List for bargains