While the modern homeowner’s tool kit is likely to hold a number of power tools too, there is no excuse for overlooking the need for hand tools. They can be used to aid DIY and decorating jobs in a variety of ways, with increased speed and accuracy being among the most telling rewards. However, it’s imperative that you know which hand tools are worthy of an investment.
Here are five manual hand tools that certainly fit the bill.
1. Tape Measure
It might not be the most exciting hand tool of all, but it’s the one you’ll probably use most. Accurate measurements are crucial for measuring spaces around the home, ensuring that materials are marked to the right length, and a host of other tasks. Without a tape measure, virtually every task becomes an estimate. Frankly, equipping yourself with a tape measure will save a lot of waste – along with preventable trips to the hardware store.
While some jobs associated with screwdrivers can be achieved with power tools, it’s always worth having a screwdriver set. A mixture of sizes (or at least #2 and #3) is needed to avoid slipping or ruining the screw heads. Likewise, you should have Philips and flathead screwdrivers in your tool kit. Jewellery screwdrivers can also be added for the pesky little DIY jobs around the home or workplace.
3. Stanley Knife
The utility blade is ideal for cutting cardboard boxes, sellotape, plastics, paper, rubber, and a range of other materials. The handy tool is a far safer option (at least in terms of avoiding damage to the products) than using a kitchen knife. Crucially, when used in conjunction with a cutting mat, you’ll be able to get far more accurate and cleaner cuts. So, if you’re cutting a material that is needed for the project, this is your obvious solution.
4. Adjustable Wrench
Rather than purchasing a range of different wrench, the adjustable (crescent) wrench will help you overcome pretty much any challenge you may encounter. The wrench is opened and tightened using the adjuster located towards the head. Simply open it up before closing it around the nut or bolt that is to be treated before turning it. An 8” tool is probably the best length, but the adjustable wrench is available in an array of others too.
5. Allen Keys
Any bolt that requires an Allen key 100% requires an Allen key. Trying to fix or unscrew those items with any other method will end in tears. The Allen keys allow you to manually tighten or loosen the fixtures of various items ranging from guitar necks to flat pack furniture or treadmills to TV brackets. Some manufacturers are nice enough to pack Allen keys with their products, but many do not. It’s always better to keep yourself covered.
Hammers, manual wrenches, and an array of other tools can be added to the tool kit too. However, the five mentioned above should see you through most projects around the home or office.