It’s time to get yourself some tools that WORK. Here are our top ten tools every woman should have in her tool chest, plus a few more that we particularly love and use all the time!
A hammer is necessary in your toolbox if you want to hang anything, ever. You no longer need to pound nails into the wall using the heel of a boot. Resourceful, yes. Effective, not so much. Plus, when it comes time to remove nails from the wall, boots aren’t equipped with a claw for pulling nails.
The vast majority of projects (even if it’s just assembling furniture from Target) will require a screwdriver. At the bare minimum, have a flat head and Philips screwdriver on hand. If you want to get fancy, get a kit — having different sizes will increase the number of ways you can use them.
If you want to hang a photo in the middle of a wall, or hang several photos at the same height, you’re going to need a measuring tape. You can always eyeball it, but unless you’re really good, it’s much easier to rely on a tool than your eye. You can also use a measuring tape to make sure furniture will fit in a space, to measure for curtains or other decor, and you’ll use it all the time if you decide you want to build, well, anything.
There are about a million types of wrenches, but a standard adjustable wrench will work for many of the situations you encounter. Fixing any small plumbing issue will require a wrench (yes, you can replace the mechanism inside a toilet). Use it to tighten the bolts that hold the old dining room chairs together.
You can use this for everything from recovering my dining room chairs, to making a valance over a window, to creating a simple wood frame around some artwork. Plus it’s just downright fun to use! One that is built for comfort (as opposed to the all-metal version) is easier for smaller hands to use.
If you are going to build anything or use screws for any kind of project, you’re going to need a drill. A regular drill will both drill pilot holes and drive screws. Hanging curtains, for instance, may require both of these applications. It’s also handy for driving screws when you’re building furniture—a handheld screwdriver will work, but it’s a lot faster and less hard on the hands to have a drill do it for you.
So much of today’s furniture is put together using hex bolts. Hex bolts don’t work with a normal screwdriver, but instead use Allen wrenches to turn them. Often, a piece of furniture will include an Allen wrench in the correct size. But if you aren’t good about keeping track of them after the job is done, you’ll have a hard time disassembling and reassembling the furniture later. A simple Allen wrench set can save you the headache of a lost Allen wrench, plus most kits are kept together in a neat little plastic holder.
Pliers are not a wrench. But they have all sorts of uses. They can be used in crafting for jobs like bending wire, they are also handy when you need grip, twist, turn, or cut anything that’s wire-like. They’re great for pulling staples and nails out of wood. The wire cutter that comes on most pliers is particularly useful. A pair of long-nosed pliers and a pair of cutting pliers are a good place to start.
You may have a pretty good eye, you may be able to eyeball things and get them pretty close to straight. But, instead of eyeballing things, get yourself a level. It’ll save you time, and your sanity.
You won’t use it often, but it comes in really handy if you don’t have an electric saw. Don’t expect your cuts to be perfect, but it’s great for cutting branches for decor projects, cutting plywood, and, of course, cutting boards to the length you need them to be. Heck, it can even cut down a Christmas tree.
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