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DIY tool box: how to build a toolbox for the home

Not sure of which home tools to invest in? We’ve put together the ultimate household tool list for you.


DIY tool box: how to build a toolbox for the home

Every home needs a good toolbox. Even if you’re not the best at DIY, having basic tools is essential for keeping your home in good condition and fixing all those little problems - it saves on calling out expensive labourers, too! Here’s how to build a toolbox that has everything you need.

Give your tool box for basic hand tools a clean every so often with an efficient surface cleaner, like Handy Andy.

Hand tools list


Screwdrivers might be the most useful item in our hand tools checklist, and an essential for every household. You should have a variety of different sizes and types of screwdrivers to suit all purposes, including slotted and square-drive.

Tape measure

In your home tools collection, a tape measure is a must! You’ll never know when you need to measure something, from ordering new furniture to checking the distance between screws on a wall. Make sure to get one with a lock so you can measure single-handedly.


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Everyone needs a good hammer in their DIY tool kit essentials, so make sure you find one that’s right for you. One with a good weight, quality materials, and a cushioned grip should be perfect!

Socket set

Something that’s often forgotten when it comes to a list of hand tools is a socket set, but they’re incredibly useful! Make sure you get a set with a variety of sizes and shapes and go for a quality brand that’ll last you a lifetime.


Just like with the hammer, opt for a padded grip when you pick out pliers - they’ll be far more comfortable to use! You should also add a few varieties to your basic home tool kit list, including 10-inch groove joint pliers and 8-inch needle-nose pliers. A pair of locking pliers is also a great alternative to a vice, letting you get a better grip on removing nails and screws.


From hanging pictures to putting up cupboards, a level is vital in our DIY tool kit essentials! Rather than relying on your eye or calling others to check if something’s straight, you can make sure of it with a level. Your DIY work will look a whole lot neater and the job will be much easier.


Vital whether you need to sand walls and woodwork before painting them, invest in a few sheets of sandpaper or sanding blocks in both fine and coarse grade.

Power tools list


Whether you need to make holes in the wall to hang pictures or intent to make your own storage solution from leftover wood, a drill is a vital power tool to keep at home. Pay attention to the charge time and safety mechanism of the one you choose - make sure it has a safety clutch and a depth gauge so you don't drill too far.

Nail gun

Although you can get handheld options, a compressed air nail gun will deliver much stronger results. Perfect for DIY and upcycling projects involving furniture, make sure you follow basic safety protocols when using this piece of kit - like always firing it away from yourself and making sure the gun is pressing flat against the surface you want to use it on.

Sander and saw

For the more serious DIY enthusiast, add an electric sander and saw to your toolbox. These are perfect for larger restoration or building projects. The exact type of sander and saw you'll need will depend on the project but a mitre saw and a random orbit sander are usually good places to start.

Of course, there are many more items you might need in your tool kit, but these are the tools for the home that we think everyone needs. For more inspiration on what you might need, head to a local store selling home tools and take a look at what’s on offer. 

  • Keep your tools in a dry place to avoid rust.

  • If you’ve been using your tools near water, make sure to wipe them over with a dry cloth before putting them away.

  • Keep all tools in their original cases to protect them.

  • Use silica gel packs in your toolbox to absorb excess moisture.

Originally published