How to Outfit a Basic Toolbox

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You have a bright and shiny new toolbox and you look like a pro - what should you put in it? Decide what your budget will allow you to get and begin with the basics.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring Tapes
  • Utility Knives
  • Phillips Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable Wrenches
  • Combination Squares
  • Coping Saws
  • Drill Bits
  • Flashlights
  • Hacksaws
  • Hammers
  • Handsaws
  • Jewelers Screwdriver Sets
  • Keyhole Saw
  • Levels
  • Needle-nose Pliers
  • Nut Drivers
  • Slip Joint
  • Slotted Screwdrivers
  • Tool Chests
  • Variable-speed Drills
  • Start with a pair of safety glasses or goggles, and wear them whenever you do any job that could result in bits of solid or liquid material flying into your face.

  • Look for a good-quality 16-oz. claw hammer.

  • Pick up a utility knife and extra blades.

  • Find a good tape measure - at least 12 feet, but preferably longer.

  • Stock up on tapes: duct, electrical and plumbing.

  • Outfit yourself with a set of pliers, including at least one set of needle nose and possibly a set of vise grips.

  • Stick a flashlight in your toolbox.

  • Consider several types of wrenches, depending on the kinds of projects you'll be doing. An adjustable wrench is a must, and a crescent wrench comes in handy. Allen wrenches are useful too.

  • Locate a good level and a 12-inch square.

  • Think about the types of saws that you might use: keyhole, coping, hack, hand.

  • Get a good set of screwdrivers, both standard and Phillips. Also look at a set of nut drivers and maybe a set of jeweler's screwdrivers depending on the detail of your projects.

  • Get drill bits that will fit your drill.

  • Finish up with assorted hardware that will always come in handy - washers, nuts, bolts, screws, nails.

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