12 Helpful Tools Every Home Will Be In Trouble Without

If you live in a home – you need this list. Essential Tools for Homeowners (renters, couch surfers, camper captains – this includes you too). Making sure you have these essential tools on hand is a must for every home. 

Ever heard of the 6 P’s? I hadn’t either until it was too late. 

Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. 

This comprehensive list covers every tool you should have in your home. Whether or not you consider yourself handy or helpless – these essential tools will prove helpful to have lying around. Don’t be caught unprepared. 

Essential Tools For Homeowners


Tape Measure

Trying to decide what couch to buy? Or if a piece of art will work for a particular space in your home? For the times when measuring with your fingers or footsteps just won’t cut it – you need a tape measure. 

For the casual user, a 25-foot measuring tape will do the trick. And don’t forget, when going shopping for furniture, measure the living space it will go in before you head to the store – this will avoid a lot of heartache when the couch you just bought won’t fit, no matter how many times you pivot.


Hammer, Essential Tools

You just never know when you’ll need a hammer. Sure – the bottom of your shoe works sometimes, but if you want to hang something and make sure it’s secure, a hammer is the best tool. 

A steel curved claw hammer is the best multi-use hammer every homeowner should have in their kit. The claw shape is great not just for putting nails into the wall, but also for removing them. With no instruction needed (other than making sure your fingers are out of the way), this tool is great for beginners and seasoned craftsmen alike. 

Screwdriver Set

Screw that! No really – pass the screwdriver. You’ll be surprised just how handy is it to have a screwdriver set laying around. From opening some picture frames, to changing out batteries in kids toys, or taking off outlet faceplates to make painting your bedroom wall a breeze, a screwdriver will save the day. 

Nothing fancy required. Screwdriver sets come in many forms. From sets that have both Flat-head and Phillips-head screwdriver sets in multiple sizes, to sets that come with interchangeable screwdriver heads. Whatever your preference, you’ll want options. 


Pull. Twist. Bend. Pinch. Pliers are useful for a number of reasons. They can hold a nail in place for you so your hand doesn’t get smashed by a hammer. They can pull out nails from a wall. They can bend a wire or even help fix a clasp on a necklace. 

Home Depot (1) recommends having a set that includes long-nose (needle nose), combination pliers and locking pliers to cover all your plier needs.  


Level, Essential Tools

That’s straight – right? Sure, sometimes eyeballing will do the trick. But if you have OCD like me, a level is the only way to go.

Levels come in many sizes – but don’t overthink this one. For the average user, any level will work. Unless you’re a professional, save your money and skip the laser levels. They may be fun, but you likely won’t use it enough to get your moneys worth. 


Or rather, Flashlights. Have many, and stash them everywhere. Much like a toilet plunger, you don’t think of buying a flashlight until you need one – and then it’s too late. 

Power outages, finding the toy your pup shoved under the couch, looking for an outlet behind a piece of furniture, telling ghost stories. The options are endless, and it’s almost a guarantee you will need a flashlight – or two – someday. 

Mag light, camping lantern, hat light or headlamp, standard handheld flashlight. Buy one, buy them all, give them as gifts. You’ll be so glad you did, and can proudly proclaim, “let there be light” when you turn it on like a boss. 

Adjustable Wrench

Wrench, Essential Tools

Wrenches come in all shapes and sizes. HGTV(2) recommends using an adjustable crescent wrench instead of having to buy a wrench set with different sizes. The adjustable face will allow you to secure bolts of different sizes – making sure you can tighten or loosen most bolt fastenings in your home. 


Stud Finder

Buyer beware, this tool will cause men to declare. “The Stud’s Right Here”, or some variation of this joke. Guaranteed. However – jokes aside – this tool is a must have in any home.

When it comes to hanging items on the wall, it is always best to know where your studs are – and where they aren’t. For most items, you need to either hang the item directly into the stud to keep the item from falling down, or use a molly bolt when there’s not a stud located in the wall where you want to hang the item. This is especially important when hanging heavier items (5lbs or more). 

While it’s true – some people can locate a stud in the wall by tapping the wall and listening for a hollow or non-hollow thumping noise, it’s best not to chance it. Get a stud finder, tell the jokes, and rest soundly knowing that whatever you’re hanging is securely attached to the wall. 

Assortment of Hardware

Hardware, Essential Tools

Having an assortment of different hardware in your tool bag is so important. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to do a minor home improvement or repair, only to find that you don’t have the right screws, nails or bolts to finish the job. No one wants to run to the store for this small of a purchase. 

Stocking up on a variety of screws, bolts, washers and nails will save you time and frustration. Plus, you’ll feel like a hero when you pull out the right piece of hardware to get the job done. 


Plunger, Essential Tools

Trust us. Make this the first tool you purchase. 

Nothing fancy required, but make no mistake, a plunger is an essential tool for every home. An article on the Handyman Network website, A Complete Guide to Tackling Your Clogged Toilet outlines the best plunger for the job – and other handy tricks for dealing with a clogged toilet.

Save yourself the trouble, and pick up a plunger ASAP if you don’t already have one. 

Duct Tape

Because. When all else fails – Duct Tape. Don’t underestimate the power of Duct Tape – of all the essential tools for homeowners – this is the secret star of the list. 

This Old House(3) recommends Gorilla Tape brand, for an extra durable fix – and we agree. Super sticky, easy to tear off the roll, and great hold. 

Tool Bag

Remember the 6 P’s? Prior-Planning-Prevents-Piss-Poor-Performance? Keeping your tools in one central place is almost as important as having the tool itself. 

Another saying comes to mind – a place for everything, and everything in its place. However you want to spin it, keeping your tools together, in one place, will prove to be super helpful. You’ll be able to find them when you need them – super important – and you’ll have all your tools together, saving you from multiple trips to your garage/shed/storage area(s), when you realized you grabbed the wrong one – bonus. 

Fire Extinguisher

Ok. This is a bonus one. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. Even if you live in a multi-unit home that has fire-extinguishers in common spaces, it is strongly advised to have a fire-extinguisher in your personal unit. 

We hope you never have to use it, but if you find yourself in a situation – like the time I was heating up water in a kettle and a piece of hidden food under the burner caught fire – you will be so happy you have one. 

Essential Tools for Homeowners

If you’ve spent any time in a hardware or home improvement store, you know there are many more tools out there than what’s included in this Essential Tools for Homeowners list. But, arming your home with these essentials will prepare you for most common home improvement tasks and minor home repair emergencies.

When in doubt, or before you go out and purchase a complete line of drills and bits, give Handyman Network a call. We always provide free estimates, and no job is too small for our skilled technicians. And don’t worry, we’ll bring our own tools to the job.

Essential Tools


  1. Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/must-have-tools-for-homeowners/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90de15afdd
  2. HGTV: https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/real-estate/what-every-new-homeowner-should-have-in-their-tool-box-pictures
  3. This Old House: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/tools/21018652/must-have-tools-for-every-skill-level

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin

Leave a comment

Enter your name and email to be added to our list!