By Gene And Katie Hamilton
Just the basics - tools, that is, to have in every home. These are so practical you probably already acquired some of them even if you've always been a renter. Keep these 18 tools together, in a 5-gallon bucket, plastic crate or toolbag so you don't have to hunt for them when needed. Here's a list of tools we think should be in everyone's closet or wherever you decide to store them.
1. duct tape You'll find duct tape is the solution to everything from temporarily patching shattered glass or a torn screen to wrapping the sole of a flapping gym shoe around the top of the shoe.
2. safety mask Whenever you use chemicals i.e. painting, refinishing, etc, put on a respirator mask to avoid accidently inhaling toxic fumes.
3. wire cutters You'll use these plier-like cutters designed to cut wire and small nails whether you're running wires to or from an entertainment center or working with with wire to repair a small appliance.
4. safety googles Wear safety googles when you're pounding a nail with a hammer, working with chemicals or doing any projects using striking tools to protect your eyes.
5. claw hammer Hanging pictures, removing nails, whatever the job, a claw hammer is a necessary tool that doubles as a meat tenderizer when covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
6. screwdrivers A blade screwdriver fits into a single screw slot and a Phillips head screwdriver has two intersecting slots, both fasten pieces of wood or material together and come in various sizes.
7. cordless power screwdriver This battery-operated tool is a small handheld driver with both blade and Phillips head screwheads.
8. plunger The rubber suction cup on a wooden stick is used to force out clogs in plumbing lines like a toilet or drain.
9. slip-joint pliers This adjustable pliers allows a range of adjustments to grip something firmly.
10. adjustable wrench This tool will loosen and tighten nuts and bolts and ease the lid off a jar.
11. caulking gunThis pistol-like dispenser made of metal or plastic is designed for caulk or adhesive in a cartridge.
12. torpedo level Use to adjust the height of an appliance, shelf or picture by holding it either horizontally or vertically.
13. flashlight On countless occasions a flashlight will lead you out of darkness, direct light in a dark corner of a cabinet and help you get a look at difficult to reach places.
14. steel tape measure Choose one with a thumb lock to keep the tape from rewinding and use to measure rooms, furniture, closet space, garden beds and more.
15. hacksaw If you need to cut metal a hacksaw makes quick work of the chore.
16. Allen wrench A set of these wrenches lets you assemble knock-down furniture and any "some assembly required" items.
17. utility knife This pistol grip knife cuts floor tiles, trims wallpaper and opens heavy cardboard boxes just to name a few household chores.
18. household scissors Cut everything - wallpaper, fabric, shelf liner, tape of all kinds - with a basic pair of household scissors.
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