7 Tools that Every Home Should Have

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Repair man showing his DIY tools for home repair
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School doesn’t always prepare you for the challenges you might face as an adult, especially if you are living on your own.

Most of us know how to use a hammer and a plunger for those quick home repairs, but there are a few less-obvious tools that will save you time and money, regardless of whether you own or rent your home.

Read on to find out what you’ll need to do anything from unclog your plumbing to build your bed frame.

Drain snake

Man using drain snake to unclog kitchen sink pipe and plumbing
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

When a plunger won’t clear all the extra paper your 2-year-old used, this tool can usually get the job done. A drain snake is a long wire, usually metal, used to push through blockages and can be used with a drill for more force. It can also be called an auger.

With the average plumbing service cost at over $100, this tool is a great addition to your utility closet.

Allen wrenches

Allen wrench tools to assemble furniture
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Ready to put together your new boxed furniture? While most come with at least one Allen wrench (also called hex keys) and instructions, you might need more than one size.

A set of these wrenches may set you back $10-$15, but will save you a lot of frustration when you’re building your next coffee table.

Cordless drill

Woman hanging a shelf
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One of the most coveted items in my household (we have three), a cordless drill is useful for most projects in your home besides flooring. It’s also often called a power drill.

This tool can help you hang a shelf, put together a bookcase or fix a broken cabinet. It might take some practice to learn how to use your drill, just remember to keep your electric batteries charging or you won’t be able to use your drill when you need it.

Screwdriver bit set

Phillips and flathead screwdriver bit and drill bit set
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As handy as a hammer, a screwdriver bit set ensures you always have the right shape for your project. Pair this set with your cordless drill, and your hands will thank you for avoiding hours of turning a manual screwdriver.

Don’t forget to keep it closed so you don’t miss any drill bits later when you really need them. Oh, and if the labeling on the case isn’t clear, make sure to quickly learn which side is “up” — or you might make a mess every time you open it.

Precision screwdriver kit

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A cordless drill fits the bill most of the time. But occasionally you need to carefully control pressure or work especially small screws. You might just need a tiny screwdriver to fix your eyeglasses every once in a while, or perhaps you’ll need to replace a small toy battery and a regular sized screwdriver won’t work.

You can likely find precision screwdriver sets at many local stores. Just toss it into a kitchen cabinet for when that next battery needs to be replaced.

Stud finder

Man using a stud finder in his home to find safe wall space to drill in for renovation or construction
Cabeca de Marmore / Shutterstock.com

Now that you’ve found the perfect kitchen shelf, make sure it’s well secured by using this tool. A stud finder helps you locate the wooden structural part of your wall, so you can hang heavier and bulkier items.

Now you can display those vintage Pyrex bowls or your favorite artwork without worry.

Wet/dry vac

Person using a wet/dry vacuum on couch upholstery
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One of the most versatile items in your tool kit, this vacuum can pick up dust from your latest woodworking project or handle a dishwasher overflow. Available in different sizes, wet/dry vacs aren’t just for commercial use.

Next time your cereal bag splits open and you find Captain Crunch all over the floor, pull out your wet/dry vacuum — unless you’ve got a four-legged friend nearby.

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