If you’re an apartment-dwelling young guy, you might not have a whole lot of home improvement projects to tackle. But that’s no excuse to outsource every bit of work that requires some manual labor. Instead, invest in a few quality tools — sturdy, reliable numbers that’ll last you a lifetime — and when the time comes, roll up your sleeve and take care of it with your own two hands.
Even if you don’t use them all that often, a proper set of tools is an incredibly useful thing to have on hand. When the time comes to fix a broken bike, install some shelves, or build a beer fridge, you’ll be well prepared.
Obviously, this is crucial for hammering in nails or prying them out. It’ll come in handy plenty of other ways too, though, like when you need some blunt force to knock apart stuck-together pieces, or using the claw end to pull out a dislodged drill bit.
Drill + Bits
With one of these in your arsenal, your DIY capabilities increase exponentially. The ability to drill holes into a wall is incredibly useful, and there re a lot of simple things like installing shelves or blinds that you can’t do without a reliable drill. The cordless ones are a bit pricier, but a hundred times more convenient.
Pick up an adjustable one that can be used to loosen impossibly tight bolts or tighten ones that have to be especially secure.
When you’re marking where to drill holes or keeping track of measurements, these are a simple but incredibly effective addition to your toolbox. Buy a box and keep them in reserve so that you don’t go to hang a picture only to realize that you do all of your writing on a laptop and don’t actually own anything to mark with.
Needle Nose Pliers
These give you a firm grip on even the tiniest components of whatever your’e working on. You can also use ‘em to cut, strip, or bend wires.
Eyeballing where your painting should go is not going to cut it. In the interest of symmetry, keep one of these on hand so that everything you work on fits into its right place.
You’ll need both a flat head and a phillips head in a range of sizes — or you can get a set that includes one handle and a range of bits that you can swap out based on what size and type of screw you’re working with.
Unless you want your stuff sliding off that new shelf you installed, or to notice that a painting you just hung looks annoyingly crooked each time you walk into the room, keep a level handy.
Nails and Screws
Buy small boxes of nails and screws in every shape and size you can find. They’re cheap, and it saves you having to run out to the hardware store for each new project or repair that calls for some new ones.