Being a handyman is not an option for most guys. Most average people can't afford to have someone else come in and do their household fixes. When a light is broken, the man of the house usually is the one to fix it. When the toilet is busted, usually the guy has to fix it. When the garage door breaks down, the man usually is the one to figure out what is wrong and handle the situation.
Many young guys without a dad and even those who did have one, weren't taught how to be handy around the house. So to get you young guys started off on the right foot, here are some basic things you will need in your toolbox.
Must Have ItemsThe first thing you need and won't be able to live without is a Phillips screwdriver. You can even make due without a flat head screwdriver if you have a dime or penny lying around. But a Phillips is hard to replace. It is preferable if you have several sizes, but the standard will do you just fine to start out with.
Secondly, you need a hammer. A hammer is very multifunctional. It can pound in a variety of things, least of which includes nails and screws. But it can also come in handy to destroy things or to break things down to send to the dump.
Thirdly, you need a pair of pliers. Again, it is beneficial to have all different kinds of pliers. But a standard 6-8" will do you just find. You can also get needle nosed pliers for those hard to reach places. And ones with wire cutters will come in handy as well.
You also need a knife. You don't want to use your kitchen knives to do handyman stuff around the house. You need a heavy duty one that you won't be simultaneously using on food. A Leatherman is a highly useful tool in this regard. It has a knife, but also includes other tools like small screwdrivers, wire cutter, possibly scissors and so forth. It's a great tool to have around.
Nice to Have ItemsNow once you get your standard tool kit, you will also want to consider some auxiliary tools that will certainly come in handy sooner or later. One of those things is a digital multimeter.
A digital multimeter like the Fluke 87 is a device that reads voltage, amps, and frequencies on virtually any electronic device or system. It comes in super handy if you have electrical problems. Even if you can't fix electrical stuff, if you can isolate where the problem is, you'll save yourself a ton of money to just get an electrician to diagnose the problem. By giving him a head start you might save yourself a couple of hundred bucks to skip the diagnostic stage.
You might also consider getting a socket wrench set. This is highly useful in taking out nuts and bolts. This is an essential if you are planning on working on cars at all. But if you get one, you will certainly find all kinds of uses for it.