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.

Essential tools

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.

ClawhammerGeneral 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. 

Advanced tools

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.