Toolbox Essentials

A well-equipped toolbox is essential for completing jobs around the home—everything from hanging a picture frame to putting together furniture or doing major home improvements, we at Myhills know the score. Here are the tools everyone should own, from the most minimalist toolbox to a kit for the experienced DIYer.

First, let’s talk about how you’re going to obtain everything. Buying them all at once could become quite costly. The smartest course is to buy the basic tools you need to have on hand just in case and any additional ones you need for the project you’re doing; then pick up others along the way with each new project. This will also help you buy the best quality tools you can buy.

A universal toolbox should include these 10 essential tools:

  • Screwdriver set: From opening battery compartments to prying the lids off of paint cans, screwdrivers are must-have tools. Aim for flat- and Phillips-head screwdrivers in various sizes; which are often sold in in kits. Look for magnetic tips to make screwing or unscrewing quicker and easier.
  • Claw Hammer: No toolbox would be complete without a solid hammer.
  • Pliers: Very versatile – they lock in place, they can be used as a clamp, or in lieu of a wrench or a wire cutter for example.
  • Adjustable Wrench: An adjustable, crescent wrench is like having multiple wrenches in one. You’ll need one to tighten nuts and bolts and loosen plumbing fixtures.
  • Tape Measure: A tape measure is needed for many things, such as making sure furniture will fit in a room and measuring windows for blinds. Tape measures come in varying widths (from ½ inch to 1-inch), with the wider widths easier to support with one hand when extended.
  • Level:  A level ensures you don’t hang or install anything (including your flat-screen TV and shelves) less than horizontally perfect. A longer 3 to 4 foot metal level (which can double as a straight edge) is ideal.
  • Utility Knife: For opening boxes, sharpening pencils, and more, the utility knife is a toolbox workhorse.
  • Work Light or Flashlight: You could get a dedicated LED light, head lamp, or work lamp to make sure you’ have full visibility when sawing/screwing/nailing in low or no light.
  • Electric Drill: Cordless drills are convenient for working anywhere, but the corded kinds cost less and don’t require expensive battery replacements. Whichever type you get, an electric drill not only drills holes and drives screws, but, with different bits, also sands and grinds materials and stirs paint.
  • Hacksaw: A hacksaw cuts through wood and even metal and plastic pipes. Look for the kind you can easily replace with new blades.


Though not your standard tools, a well-outfit toolbox should also include: safety goggles, work gloves, rags, pencil, superglue, and, of course, duct tape and WD-40.