12 Tools Every New Homeowner Needs

Tools every new homeowner should have on hand for beginning to intermediate projects.  Owning a home is exciting and after you’ve moved in, you will always have something that needs your attention.  It could be a repair, maintenance or other home project.

The days of running out to your parents garage to grab a hammer and a couple screw drivers is over. It’s time to get a basic new homeowner tool kit ready. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! 

All the basic homeowner tools I will talk about will cost you less than $175. Check around for the best prices, but you should be able to get everything you need at the following stores:

It’s OK to start small. Get about 10-12 tools to start. Forget about a wheel barrow, table saw and a welder.  It might be nice to own some of these, but a tape measure, screwdrivers, a handsaw and some wrenches will do you more good.

Later on, you can buy a few power tools if needed for bigger projects. You can find tools on sale almost anytime of the year. However, your best times to get a great deal on tools is Fathers Day and Christmas season. All stores will have tools on sale (especially Black Friday) and will have one time tool deals that you can’t get any other time of the year.

Tools Every New Home Owner  Will Need

  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Utility Knife
  • Hand Saw
  • Cordless Drill
  • Wrench Set/Adjustable Wrench
  • Pliers Set with Needle Nose
  • Level
  • Steel Putty Knife
  • Plunger
  • Safety Glasses
  • Zip Ties

What New Homeowners Can Expect To Pay For Tools

When you are looking for new tools, remember you get what you pay for! You are probably not going to get a decent hammer or screwdriver at the dollar store.  Shop your local Ace Hardware or the big guys like Menards, Home Depot and Lowes.

  1. Hammer.  Buy a basic claw hammer. Don’t bother with a mallet or ball peen hammer.  A claw hammer is what you need to pound a few nails and pull out a few nails. A basic Stanley or Kobalt claw hammer costs about $10. Because you can easily spend $25-$40 on a hammer, but don’t.
  2. Tape Measure. You can’t beat the Stanley 25 foot tape measure. Stanley has been around for 170 years and they make quality products that will last. If fact, get Stanley brand on every tool you can. That’s how much I believe in them. The basic 25′ tape measure sells for around $8.
  3. Screwdriver Set. Buy these in a set, not individually. Why? When sold in a set, you get a case with it so your not constantly looking for a screwdriver! Make sure you get Phillips and Flat Head. A 10 piece Husky brand at Home Depot sells for $20.
  4. Utility Knife. Don’t get an Exacto Knife. The blades break too easily. Buy your basic razor blade style utility knife. Look for Kobalt, Husky or Stanley brands. These sell for around $6 and usually come with replacement blades in the packaging.
  5. Hand Saw. You never know when you may have to cut a piece of molding or maybe trim a tree branch. This is one tool where you don’t want to buy the cheapest one. Why? It won’t give you a smooth cut. Stay away from the no brand models that sell for less than $10.  You can pick up a good Irwin brand at Menards for $16.
  6. Cordless Drill. A good homeowner grade cordless drill can be used for a large number of projects around the house. Don’t try to hang those new mini blinds using a screwdriver. A light weight cordless drill will be much easier and faster. My personal favorite is the Black and Decker brand. You can find one for about $30.
  7. Wrench Set/Pliers Set Just like screwdrivers, buy your wrenches and pliers set as a package deal with a case if you can. Make sure you get at least one adjustable wrench and a needle nose pliers too. Buy a wrench set with standard and metric sizes,but don’t get any more than a 20 piece set to start out with. A 20 piece wrench set sells for $40. Two piece pliers set is about $12.
  8. Level. Ever try to hang a picture without a level?  Just get one. $5.
  9. Steel Putty Knife. Don’t waste money on the plastic one for .49 cents. Your going to be doing a drywall repair sooner or later, so get one now. An 1 1/2″ putty knife can be found for less than $5.
  10. Plunger. Clogged toilets and sinks are no fun.  It’s even worse when you don’t have a plunger around and you have to go out and buy one at 930pm. A basic plunger usually has a 15″-18″ handle and is all you need. This is one of those items you can go with any brand and find one for about $10.
  11. Safety Glasses. I prefer the style that fits just like a pair of glasses, but you can get the google style if you prefer. Both styles can be found for around $6.
  12. Zip Ties. If you ever had to run speaker wire, cable or antenna wire, you know these come in handy. Get a package with an assortment of sizes. A 200 count assorted pack at Home Depot with 7″, 10″, 12″ and 15″ zip ties is only $8.

Don’t Forget The New Home Owner Tool Box

After you have all your new tools, you will still need a tool box.  I would put every tool in the tool box except the plunger. Leave that under the sink or in the garage.

Find a good 16″-20″ inch tool box. Menards has Stanley or Plano tool boxes for less than $20.

You can get the Kobalt brand 20 inch plastic tool box at Lowes for $18. And Home Depot’s Husky brand 22″ plastic tool box is $15.

Your new tool box will start with a small investment as a new homeowner and grows over time.  As new projects need to be completed and your skill level improves, you will find out that you can fix almost anything with some basic tools.

Finally, having tools on hand will also save you a few trips to the hardware store. Purchasing good, basic tools is a smart investment that will pay off. You may even find a complete kit with every tool with it and a tool box. You can certainly modify this list and upgrade or eliminate if you think you will never need one or two of these tools.

Congratulations on your new home. Or maybe you’ve been in your home a while and never got around to getting some basic tools. My experience has been that I used every one of these tools in the first year as a new homeowner. You probably will too.