The perfect toolkit for people without tools

Equipping your perfect home toolkit is easy and affordable. Here's what it should contain.

Image showing the contents for a perfect toolkit for people without tools
Content suggestions for your perfect toolkit

I have lived with tools my entire life. No, not people who are jerks, hand and power tools. Geez! As a kid, I spent many hours in my Dad's workshop, hammering nails, sawing wood, and tinkering with this and that. Believe me, the results were nothing to brag about, and I hand plenty of mashed fingers and cuts. But I was learning how to use hand tools properly.

My next stage of tool competence evolution began when I found it was fun to take things apart. If my parents had a small appliance that no longer worked, I grabbed it and disassembled the appliance as far as I could. To someone who has never done this, it may sound pointless. On the contrary, the process of disassembly teaches you a lot about how things work.

To feed my appetite, my parents regularly gave me tools of my own. I suspect my Dad had an ulterior motive; he didn't want his tools to go missing or be left out in the rain. When I was about 16, I asked for a comprehensive Sears Craftsman tool set for Christmas. Santa (aka my grandmother), came through and I still have it today! Over the ensuing years, I received more tools like an electric drill, a Mototool, and so forth.

Perhaps you have a respectable workshop or even a nicely stocked tool drawer. Keep reading because my tips are for everyone. However, if you live in a household with a paucity of tools, fear not! For a modest investment, you can assemble the perfect toolkit for nearly every fix you encounter.

Kit content list

The first two items on my list come with a humorous (to me, at least) saying, "If it moves and shouldn't duct tape it. If it doesn't move and should, WD40 it." There's a lot of truth to this saying.

Selected contents from my perfect toolkit
Selected contents from my perfect toolkit

​​​​Let's begin:

  • Duct tape - I prefer Gorilla tape and keep a roll of black and clear on hand.
  • WD40 - a small container will do.
  • Handy oil - one can.
  • Sugru - "Mouldable glue" from the UK. I've used this marvel for dozens of fixes.
  • Super glue - get the squeeze bottle rather than the small tubes. The latter tend to dry out fast.
  • Masking tape - 1" wide.
  • Black electrician's tape.
  • Small sheets of 120 - 220 grit sandpaper.
  • Wood shims.
  • Wine and champagne corks, the real kind, not synthetic.
  • Small finishing nails (4d, 1.5" long) - 4d is a size designation for nails.
  • Picture hangers.
  • Tape measure - 10 to 25'.
  • Screwdriver with self-storing bits; large and small Philips, and large and small flat blade.
  • Needle nose pliers with a wire cutter.
  • Adjustable wrench.
  • Utility knife with replaceable blades.
  • Claw hammer - 12-ounce models are perfect for around the house.
  • Old toothbrush.
  • Eye protection.
  • ​Band-Aids - because it's not a project until some blood is least not when I am involved:>)
Bandaid courtesy of Knife Kits with my order.
A cool promotional item from Knife Kits, a fine place to buy knife-making materials!
  • Something to keep your toolkit in if a tool drawer is not available. A five-gallon bucket serves very well!
My five-gallon bucket with a Lowes Kobalt bucket organizer.
My five-gallon bucket with a Lowes Kobalt bucket organizer

Nice to have but not necessary

Over the years, I've found that a project necessitated the use of a specialized tool. I took the opportunity to acquire the just, justifying the purchase based on the project's needs. A situation any tool hound worth their salt enjoys. Perhaps you'll reach that stage. In the meantime, if you are so inclined, here are my favs for fleshing out your tools.

  • Cordless drill or screwdriver. This tool has to be the greatest invention since the lever, the wheel, and inclined plane.
  • Drill and driver bits for the above. Sets abound here. For drill bits, you'll likely not need anything larger than 1/2" to start.
  • A set of small brass brushes - about 6" long.
  • A bubble level - 6" long is plenty.
  • A nice set of fixed blade screwdrivers.
  • A large pair of adjustable pliers.
  • A rubber hammer for when a heavier hand is needed but you want to protect what you are pounding.
  • A tool bucket organizer.
  • A ratchet set with metric and SAE size sockets.
  • Fine (16 - 20) gauge copper wire - a spool.
  • Self-sealing rubber/silicone tape

You are now prepared to fix dang near everything that goes astray in your home!