At a recent event, we presented our guide to the perfect toolbox. Here’s a list of 24 toolbox essentials every woman should have to be ready to tackle any DIY task.
Anything missing? Let us know in the comments.
Steel tape measure: A must have for measuring. Comes with a metal hook, the tape pulls out and has a lock button to hold the tape in place.
Spirit level: A spirit level helps you work out if a line is straight – either vertically or horizontally. It has a bubble in a little window and when the bubble is in the middle of the two lines it is level. You can then draw a straight and accurate line on the wall or check your shelves are straight.
Universal panel saw: General use hand saw. Long enough for cutting timber and sheet material.
Junior hacksaw: Small hand saw with small blade suited for cutting through metal i.e. screws.
Clawhammer: General purpose hammer. Most commonly used for hitting nails and striking other tools such as chisels. The claw end is useful to use as a lever or for hooking under nail heads to remove them.
Pincers: A removal tool i.e. for removing nails from walls or wood.
Flat/crosshead screwdrivers: Used to put in or remove screws. Each type of screwdriver fits an appropriate screw head – either a slotted head or a crosshead shape.
Craft knife: Knife with a thin adjustable blade for cutting paper, card, plastics or scoring lines onto materials like wood or plastic.
Pliers: General hand tool can be used for electrical work, tightening, untightening and gripping.
Sandpaper/glasspaper: Comes in various grit sizes coarse to fine. Use to sand surfaces i.e. walls or wood to give a smooth finish or for taking off rough surfaces.
Filler: Can be bought ready-made or as a powder to mix up with water. Filler is used to repair and fill holes in walls before decorating. Different fillers are available for filling holes in wood.
Wallpaper scraper: Wide blade with a handle for removing wallpaper.
Set of flat paint brushes: Useful for painting walls and doors or woodwork. Choose a small to large brush depending on the width of the area you’re painting. We recommend choosing a mid-price set. If the brushes are too cheap then the hairs may fall out into the paint or stick to walls.
Paint roller and tray: Choose a large roller head for painting walls and ceilings. A smaller head should be used for small areas or behind radiators. Rollers come in different pile thickness to suit different paints and rough or smooth walls. Use the roller with a tray to hold the paint and then roll the roller across it to pick up the paint.
Multi-tool: A compact hand tool with a variety of pull out tools. Can be used for screw driving, cutting, as pliers and a bottle opener etc. A multi-tool is handy for space saving and travelling or camping.
Sink plunger: For unblocking sinks and basins when the waste isn’t clearing.
Medium/Large adjustable spanner: Use to tighten or loosen nuts of various sizes. You can move a wheel to change the size of the jaws.
Radiator key: Helpful when bleeding a radiator (letting out air). A radiator key opens the nut on top on radiators. Modern radiators now only need small screwdriver to do this.
Stepladder: A fold out ladder available in various heights. It has several steps with a flat section at the top for standing or resting tools on.
Electric drill: A powered tool with a ‘chuck’ to take drill bits. Mostly used for drilling holes into walls, timber and stone with suitable drill bits.
Drill bits: ‘Bits’ of various types for cutting holes into wood, metal and masonry. Drill bits are available in varying lengths/diameters.
Wall plugs: These are used to line the holes you’ve made after drilling into a wall. When wall plugs are placed in to the holes, screws then have something to bite into. They vary depending on the type of wall you’re drilling in to – brick, plasterboard etc.
Power jigsaw: A powered tool with a narrow pendulum blade. Cuts through timber, metal and plastic with the right blade. Can be steered through the material to create curved shapes, rather than a straight line i.e. a cut out in the door for a cat flap.
Electric sander: A powered tool for sanding. Pads of different grades attach to the underside. Good for sanding wood and walls in preparation for painting.