Photo credit: Matthias Weinberger
There are few things more frustrating and emasculating than not having the right tool for the job. A defunct toolbox turns even the simplest of projects into a marathon of defeat and despair. This type of ego bruising situation can be avoided by keeping eight simple and relatively inexpensive tools in your box.
Phillips head and flat head screwdrivers
There are very few projects that don’t require a screwdriver of some kind at one point or another. On top of their intended purpose, screwdrivers make a handy impromptu punch tool as well as light prying tool. Ideally a small set containing a small, medium and large of both flat and Phillips head should be in the box, but one of each in medium would suffice for most jobs.
Two crescent wrenches can eliminate the need for a whole expensive set of wrenches. One smaller sized crescent to fit into tight spots, and a larger one for when more torque is needed. It’s important to have two for loosening stuck bolts. Nuts and bolts rusted together can sometimes break a socket if too much force is applied. Also good for beating on said rusted bolts and taking out frustration.
Socket set with metric and SAE (inch) sizes and extension
A socket wrench can save hours of cranking with a crescent wrench and provide more torque. A basic set with two different handles and a mix of metric and inch sizes can be purchased inexpensively. If you work on cars or motorcycles at all a decent socket set is an absolute must.
At some point beating on things with a crescent wrench just doesn’t cut it anymore. An 8oz claw hammer does a much better job. If you feel the need for more weight a 16oz hammer works just as well. A claw hammer will also do a better job prying where a screwdriver isn’t enough.
Hex key allen wrench set in SAE and metric
If you don’t have an allen wrench set, your project will inevitably require one. There really is nothing to substitute for an allen wench. This means if you’re not prepared for a hex bolt, it’s staying right where it is. If it suits you better there are allen wrench attachments for socket sets that work equally well. This is another one of those must have tools for automotive and motorcycle work.
Pliers set with vice grips, channel lock and needle nose
Once again there’s nary a project that doesn’t require one of these. Channel locks and vice grips come in handy for clamping and holding bolts and parts in place as well as crimping. Needle nose pliers are almost always necessary for work in tight spaces and areas with little clearance. They’re also the perfect for retrieving that nut or washer you need that was just dropped down a small hole.
This is absolutely necessary for anything involving lumber or any degree of precision. Eyeballing length and width rarely ends well.
With the correct blade you can literally cut almost anything with one of these. These saws are available from a variety of manufacturers with prices ranging from fifty dollars into the several hundred; so it’s easy to find the right one for your budget and project level.
These are the basic tools that every tool box should contain. One more thing you need to consider when it comes to tool boxes is also the box itself - aluminium tool boxes are much more durable and sturdy than plastic tool boxes.
While you won’t be able to take on a full remodel with these tools, they should be adequate for a majority of DYI projects. They’ll save a world of headache and frustration along with cutting project times significantly. With these eight tools in your arsenal and a touch of skill your masculinity is secure.