11 tools every homeowner should have


One of the responsibilities that come with home ownership is the ability to improve and maintain your house. You might even be passionate about do-it-yourself projects after spending a day at IKEA. Depending on how proficient you are at putting together pieces of wood, it may take as fast as a couple of hours or up to a day. But of course, don’t expect to get anything done unless you have a basic toolbox in your home.

A toolbox is an essential in each household. It doesn’t necessarily have to be top-of-the-line; the bare necessities will do the trick. That said, however, we definitely would recommend to get something that isn’t too shabby. After all, these are tools to designed to help you with around-the-house repair works and the last thing you want are unreliable tools that require their own fixing.

We’ve put together a list of necessary tools so you can easily build your first toolbox!

  1. Claw hammer

    Used mainly to drive nails, remove nails or emulate a crowbar for prying things apart. When selecting a hammer, get one with a snug grip. The weight of the hammer should feel balanced and comfortable; a hammer too light will be lacking in power and efficiency in driving nails.

  1. Screwdriver / screwdriver set

    A screwdriver is one of the most common tools in any household. Apart from using it to tighten/loosen screws and hinges, a screwdriver can also be used for light-duty prying.

    Consider investing in a screwdriver set that comes in a variety of head sizes. Alternatively, get one that has interchangeable tips where you can easily switch out between flat heads and Phillips heads to get the most out of your screwdriver. One other feature you can consider when purchasing a screwdriver set is to get one with magnetic tips so you can pick up screws with ease.

  1. Pliers

    Pliers come in a variety of types, the most common being slip-joint pliers and linesman pliers. Slip-joint pliers are mainly used for holding objects firmly, and also for pulling or bending materials. Linesman pliers, on the other hand, are used for cutting and twisting wires.

  1. Adjustable wrench

    wrench-985192_1280 A wrench is used to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts. An adjustable crescent wrench provides flexibility; the head of the wrench can be altered to adjust the opening of the wrench so it can fit various sizes of hexagonal nuts.

  1. Level (or spirit level ruler)

    A level can enable you to accurately ensure that something is evenly balanced, be it vertically or horizontally. From ensuring that flat surfaces are parallel to the floor, to hanging up artwork and photo frames on the wall, you can even use it to ensure floor gradients for wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and balconies are sloping in the right direction. The last thing you’d want is for water to be flowing away from the floor trap instead of towards it!

    To use a level, you have to ensure that the bubble falls exactly between the two lines in the viewfinder. Any deviation would mean the measurement is not perfectly level.

    An alternative to using a physical level would be to use a smartphone. If you have an iPhone, simply open the second page of the Compass app and the colour on the screen as well as the degree of inclination is displayed. Once it shows up as 0 degrees and the phone screen turns green, it’s an indication that the surface is perfectly levelled.

  1. Measuring tape

    Redbrick Lu Ban Ruler A measuring tape (or tape measure) is essential in figuring out dimensions for furniture sizes and calculating floor plans. Always remember to take measurements of the space you have to fill, so as to avoid making repeated trips when furniture shopping. Also measure at least twice to guarantee that measurements are accurate.

    Measuring tapes generally come in – but are not limited to – 3-metre, 5-metre and 10-metre lengths. In some cases, measuring tapes can also come with special features, such as the Lu Ban ruler, which is a measuring tape with an additional fengshui aspect – one that helps users determine the auspiciousness of a measurement.

  1. Flashlight

    A flashlight is necessary as not all repair works are carried out in well-lit environments. It can even be as simple as getting the power back on after a power failure. Most smartphones nowadays come with a built-in flashlight which you can use, but only if there’s sufficient juice in your mobile device.

    Otherwise, it’s advisable to have a traditional flashlight to fall back on. Flashlights can be powered either by batteries or mechanically; having the user wind a crank or squeezing a handle sustains the life of a mechanical flashlight.

  1. Utility knife

    1280px-box-cutter Utility knives are for the ease of cutting open boxes, slicing through all types of materials, or even scraping paint that may be keeping windows stuck. A utility knife that is sharp ensures precision when in use, so it’s important to always have a set of blade refills on hand. Never use a blunt knife as it can be dangerous to do so.

  1. Allen key

    An alley key (or allen wrench) is similar to a screwdriver. The only difference is that instead of having a flat or cross drive, its drive is hexagonal or even star shaped (Torx). With six contact points to the screw or bolt, the increased surface area allows the user to turn the screw with less effort required.

    The Allen key was produced by and named after the Allen Company, and while it comes in various shapes and sizes, the most common shape is an L-shape.

  1. Power Drill

    Skip the conventional method of boring holes with a screwdriver. Instead, use a power drill! Getting the job done right can be a bit tricky at first – get the job done easily by marking the centre of the intended drilling spot with a cross. Then, with a punch tool, create a small indentation so it will be easier for you to hold the screw in place while the drill does the job of boring the hole.


  1. Tile Tester

    You might have heard of others who check for tile hollowness with marbles, coins or ball bearings, but did you know there is an actual tile-testing tool that you can use? While it is not so much a tool to help with repairs and maintenance, the tile tester is, as its name suggests, used to check for tile hollowness. It is especially useful for new homeowners, as you have to start checking for defects and get them rectified as soon as possible before renovation works get in the way.

    To describe it simply, it is a retractable metal rod with a ball at one end. All you have to do is to extend the retractable rod and you can start tapping away to check on your tiles. What is the significance of a hollow tile? A hollow sound could mean that the tile was either never installed properly, or it may have debonded. There are a variety of reasons why a tile can debond, such as the concrete layer not prepared properly or laying a dirty tile that was not cleaned prior to application.

    Unfortunately, hollow tiles are not something you can fix on your own, but be sure to get it rectified as quickly as possible after you receive the keys to your new house.

    With these tools, you should be able to fix most minor household issues quite effortlessly. You can rely on yourself to handle small repair works instead of having to seek professional help, which can cost quite a bit. It definitely pays to have some handyman skills!

The Redbrick Team

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