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Basic tools every handyman needs

A well-equipped toolbox and workshop is something every handyman needs to cover the basic range of DIY projects and repairs. It’s always worth investing in basic good quality tools, so if you’re starting from scratch, buy the best you can afford and remember you don’t need to buy everything at once – tools make great presents!

Hand tools

A screwdriver set

You’ll need a standard set of slot head screwdrivers and Philips cross head screwdrivers. Look for magnetic tips so you don’t lose screws in tight spaces, and comfortable grips.

A hammer

A genuine toolbox essential, the 16 inch handled claw head hammer drives in nails with one end and pulls them out with the other. Look for one with a comfortable, shock absorbent grip.


You’ll need two pairs of these – a pair of needle nose pliers to bend, re-position and snip wire and a pair of adjustable pliers that can lock in place and be used as a clamp.

Adjustable wrench

Indispensable even if you later add a socket set to your toolbox, this is the tool you need to tighten bolts and plumbing fixtures.

Tape measure

‘Measure twice, cut once’ goes the old saying. You can’t undertake a project without a tape measure.

Spirit level

For no more wonky pictures or crooked shelves, invest in a level that works vertically, horizontally and at an angle.

Utility knife and blades

This is an all-round workhorse that does everything from making a clean, professional cut to sharpening a pencil.


A decent hacksaw will cut through wood, metal, plastic and even ceramic with the right blade. A crosscut saw is your go-to tool for sawing wood cleanly.

Set square

There’s nothing like a set square for making sure all your angles line up. Buy a metal one and you’ll always have a handy straight edge too.

Power tools and machinery

Circular saw

This will rip through anything, including masonry, tile and steel. Invest in a set of different blades for different materials. Essential for making long, straight cuts.

Reciprocating saw

The demolition tool par excellence, this will rip anything out of anywhere.


For any kind of fine detailed work, or for cuts that curve, you’ll need a jigsaw.

Nail gun

Automates the process if you’re going to be hammering home a lot of nails. Needs a decent air compressor.


Probably the most indispensable power tool – drilling, screwing, mixing paint and sanding are all jobs that can be tackled with a power drill and a range of attachments. A hammer drill makes short work of drilling through masonry and can also accomplish tasks like lifting floor and wall tiles before replacement.


For a professional finish, invest in a power sander, which makes short work of worktops and small areas of wood floor.

Angle grinder

Easily cuts through metal bolts, concrete paving slabs and more. Can also be used to channel out old mortar. Invest in a set of disks with different uses.

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