10 Toolbox Essentials For Every Household

June 27th, 2018

Have you ever called a tradie to fix something in your home and been charged over $100 and a hefty callout fee, for 15 minutes of work only to think, ‘I could’ve done that myself’?

The truth is, for the majority of home maintenance tasks, you probably could have. And with our list of 10 tools that deal with 90% of household tasks, your thoughts can become a reality, you’ll be saving yourself some serious cash and basking in the glory of a job well done!


  1. Screwdrivers – to tighten up your work

Have your kitchen cupboard doors come loose? You’ll need a screwdriver. Bought some IKEA furniture? You’ll probably need one for that too. Need to open up the back of an appliance? Yep, you guessed it: screwdriver.

The first and most essential piece, is a good screwdriver..well maybe a few, in case you lose the first two!

Key features to look out for:

  • You’ll need both a phillips and flathead screwdriver for different types of tasks.
  • Magnetized heads, keep your screws in place and from falling into hard to reach places.
  • A master handle screwdriver that takes multiple sized bits is a great space saving option.


  1. Measuring Tape – to make sure it fits

As the famous tradie mantra goes: measure twice, cut once!

A good, reliable tape measure will be the sort of thing you clip to your belt when working and use half a dozen times.

Always remember that just because it fits in the room doesn’t mean it will fit through the door. When moving things like refrigerators and beds, pay attention to measuring doorways and turns in staircases…you’ll thank us later for it!

Key features to look out for:

  • A five metre tape is good enough for most home DIY jobs.
  • Heavy plastic or steel casing that will take a few drops.
  • Wide metal tape that can hold itself up over large distances.
  • Auto lock feature (to keep tape in place once you’ve measured the correct distance).


  1. The all important – Utility Knife

From getting into boxes and packaging to breaking them down, you simply cannot overlook the benefits of having a utility knife.

Other things you’ll use your knife for include, cleaning out built up gunk in narrow gaps and sketching out starting guides for bigger cuts.

Key features to look out for:

  • Retractable blade that can be cheaply replaced (as opposed to fixed-blade or flip-blade knives).
  • Compact design for cutting in tight spaces.
  • Grip handle to avoid slips when working.


  1. Pliers – to get you out of a pinch

There are a few different types, but let’s just start with two.

Pick up a pair of needle-nose pliers for small fiddly jobs and pair of slip-joint channel lock pliers, which are better for gripping, squeezing and bending.

Key features to look out for:

  • Made from forged steel (like screwdriver tips, pliers consistently get put under a lot of strain).
  • Pay attention to the size, bigger isn’t always better.


  1. Stop. Hammer time…

While it’s main job will be to knock in nails, you’ll be surprised by how many times you’ll find yourself reaching for your trusty hammer to sort out small tasks around the house.

Key features to look out for:

  • A standard claw hammer is best for simple home DIY use.
  • Steel or fiberglass handles for durability.
  • At least a 450g head weight (no point in having a hammer if it doesn’t have enough striking power!)


  1. Hand saw – cutting things down to size

A standard hand saw is great for quick, rough cuts, such as trimming wall battens or cutting a shelf to length.

You can also look into buying a back saw, which will be smaller and more rigid, allowing for better precision when creating joinery and getting your angles right.

Key features to look out for:

  • Blade made from carbon steel.
  • Hardened teeth (this means the blade will stay sharper for longer).
  • A bit of bend in the blade (but not too much).


  1. Get a Grip with a Shifter

A shifter is a spanner that has an adjustable grip. It’s designed for tightening and loosening bolts, but you’ll find yourself using it for a lot more than that. Pull it out to fix your old push bike, adjust the garage door and even tighten up the legs of your table.

Key features to look out for:

  • Made from an industrial-grade alloy.
  • Moving parts means that things can easily go wrong. You don’t need the most expensive one, but investing in a mid-range shifter will keep your grip nice and firm!


  1. Spirit level – Keeping everything on an even keel

Ever put a framed picture up on the wall and spent hours trying to make it look straight?

Grab yourself a spirit level and straighten out just about anything!

From hanging pictures to installing shelves and building fences, wonky projects will be a thing of the past.

Key features to look out for:

  • 600mm spirit level will be the right size for most jobs around the house.
  • Visibility of the bubble and vial, which is made even easier with contrasting colours and LED lights.


  1. Cordless Drill & Drill Bits – Your toolbox must-have!

A high quality cordless drill with rechargeable batteries is a must have for the home DIYer. Buying a reputable brand will ensure the battery life is solid, that the drill is up to taking a few knocks and bumps, and that it has enough power to get the job done.

Key features to look out for:

  • Lithium-ion batteries for cordless drills are the most efficient option.
  • Some drills come with batteries and chargers, some don’t, be sure to check.
  • A large range of quality drill bits to handle different material (bits are not usually sold with the drill).
  • If you need something to drill into brick or cement, be sure that your drill is up to par and comes with sturdier drill bits.


  1. Last but definitely NOT least – The all important TOOL Box

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as not being able to finish a job because you can’t remember the last place you left your screwdriver.

Key features to look out for:

  • A sturdy plastic body (metal boxes are heavy to lug around and rust easily).
  • A durable metal latch (usually the latch is the first thing to break through heavy use).
  • A decent size – big enough for the tools you have and the ones that are yet to be.


Are there any other tools you can’t live without? Or maybe you have some other handy tips when it comes to using these tools around the house?

We’d love to hear them, so just leave us a comment below…


You should read this bit: Sometimes we use links in our blogs that belong to a variety of websites and not Nimble, so clicking on, and using them, will take you away from Nimble’s website, meaning we’ve got no control or responsibility over the content. Nimble does not endorse and is not affiliated or associated in any way whatsoever to the businesses named in our blog posts. The information in our blog posts is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.