How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot
Cabinet Contract Flowers Lightning Paintroller Teardrop Toolbox Pin Cross Search Search Arrow Thin Arrow

Top 10 Toolbox Necessities

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > Top 10 Toolbox Necessities
Top 10 Toolbox Necessities

You may not realize it yet, but tools are a necessary staple of adulthood. They are almost as important to your daily life as cookware and a toothbrush. The right set of tools mean you won’t have to scramble to call a repair expert every single time something in your house goes wrong. Instead, you can tackle small inconveniences around the house yourself.


If you are like me, and didn’t realize how important it is to know your way around a tool until later in life, I can help you out. Read on to learn the top 10 toolbox necessities.

  1. 1. 16-Ounce Curve Claw Hammer

    Everyone needs a hammer in the house. Use this to hammer nails into place or to remove nails. While you shouldn’t use it for hammering metal, it’s a pretty all-purpose hammer that you can use for a variety of products. These hammers can cost anywhere from $15 to $20, depending on where you shop.

  2. 2. Philips Head Screwdriver

    There actually is a Philips behind the Philips Head screwdriver. These tools were invented by Henry Philips of the Philips Screw Company based out of Portland, Oregon. They were invented to make it easier for car manufacturers to assemble their product more quickly. They were great for car manufacturers for the same reason they are great for you: the screw and screwdriver are self-centering which makes it easy to make sure the screw goes in straight the first time. These screwdrivers can cost anywhere from $5 to $15.

  3. You may not realize it yet, but tools are a necessary staple of adulthood
  4. 3. Flat Head Screwdriver

    These are also called slotted or flat blade screwdrivers. Whereas the Philips Head has two blades that come together to form a cross, the flat head screwdriver has just one. Some experts recommend using a Philips Head to tighten screws and a Philips Head to loosen them. Buy a complete screwdriver set to get all the benefits of a Philips Head and flat head with different sizes for different jobs. These screwdrivers can cost anywhere from $2 to $10.

  5. 4. Tape Measure

    Get measurements just right by using a tape measure. These handy instruments can help you purchase window blinds, measure cabinets and figure out how large is too large to get an object in your house. Tape measures are really just flexible rulers. They can be rolled out to measure an object, and when you’re done, they roll back up. If you want to go high-tech, you can purchase an ultrasonic tape measure that uses frequency to measure distances. Tape measures can range anywhere from $2 to over $100 depending on the style.

  6. 5. Level

    Levels help you keep things straight. They are great if you are putting up a shelf, hanging a picture or even mounting a flat screen television. Classically, levels use a glass tube filled with liquid to ensure that a given horizontal plane is straight. A bubble inside the liquid lets the user see if the position is correct. If you have a smartphone, you can even download an app that turns your phone into a level instantly.

  7. 6. Crescent Wrench

    Use this to assemble things, disassemble things and for plumbing jobs. The Crescent company has been in business making tools for over 100 years. They are known for their wrenches – in fact the company’s founder holds the patent for the tool that would become the modern adjustable wrench. Prices for these wrenches start at about $10.

  8. 7. Cordless Drill and Bits

    A cordless drill is great for building and assembling things. The fact that it doesn’t have a cord means you can take it anywhere. However, these tools do need to be charged to work, so check yours to see if it’s running low on power well before you tackle your next task. Prices for this tool start at about $30.

  9. 8. Pliers

    Pliers make it easy to get a grip on things too small to handle with your fingers. They can act as slightly better versions of your own hands, working to loosen or tighten things better than if you’d tried to do it without a tool. Prices for pliers typically start at about $10.

  10. 9. Socket Wrench

    A socket wrench can be several tools in one. That’s because these wrenches have adjustable fittings that you can change based on the size of your project. This tool helps you assemble and disassemble. It helps you make sure that you have screwed in nuts nice and tight. Socket sets start at about $18.

  11. 10. Vise Grip

    These tools are also called locking pliers. They help you extract nuts and bolts by locking into place and keeping a tight grip. Just as there are many different types of pliers, there are different types of locking pliers. These tools start at about $15.

  12. Now that you’re in the know, don’t just sit there. Assemble a tool set for you to keep in your home. When a home emergency arises, you’ll be glad you did!

Find Handyman Services Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 24 hours or less.