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Holiday 2020: The Best Tools for New Homeowners

Assorted work tools on wood

Few things spark more excitement (and promise more adventures) than buying your first home. It’s a place you can actually call yours and make your own. But new homeowners might not know that with all that freedom and fun comes a need for an artillery of tools for home improvement projects.

We’ve gathered a succinct list of the essential tools every new homeowner should have, from tools that’ll make painting a little easier to those for putting furniture together. And don’t worry if you aren’t the handiest when it comes to DIY home improvement, it’s part of the fun, and you’ll learn along the way.

A Combination Tool Kit

A Combination Tool Kit

DEKOPRO 228 Piece Socket Wrench Auto Repair Tool Combination Package Mixed Tool Set Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case

This case-included kit has all the standard tools you'll need to get started in your new home.

Knowing which small tools you’ll need for your new home is tough. A combination tool set—like this 168-piece tool kit from DEKOPRO—offers plenty of the basic tools you’ll need for tackling common household tasks and repairs. Each of the tools are forged in high-quality steel and finished in high-polish chrome. They have a sturdy and durable build, and are protected against corrosion. The set comes in a slim sturdy case with a handle, so it’s easy to carry and store.

Here’s a quick list of some of the more notable starter tools included in the set, and we’ve listed a few bigger tools not included in the set beneath to round things out.

  • Rip Claw Hammer
  • Needle Nose Pliers, Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, and Lineman’s Pliers
  • Combination Wrenches, an Adjustable Wrench, and Hex Key/Allen Wrenches
  • Wire Stripper with a built-in Wire Cutter
  • Screwdriver with Assorted Bits
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Utility Knife
  • Nylon Spring Clamps
  • Torpedo Level
  • Quick-Release Ratchet
  • PVC Insulating Tape

A Heavy-Duty Flashlight

Shine Light on a Problem

Maglite Heavy-Duty Incandescent 4-Cell D Flashlight, Black

This heavy-duty flashlight provides super bright far-reaching light for working in dim areas.

The Maglite Heavy-Duty 4-Cell Flashlight provides powerful light for nighttime or low light scenarios. It shines at 98 lumens and has a beam distance of 267 meters, so it’s perfect for use in garages, attics, basements, and even when you’re out camping. The premium flashlight is built with weather-resistant seals, and is anodized inside and out for corrosion resistance.

You can switch the flow of the beam from spot to flood with a half turn of the head for adjustable coverage. And, let’s be honest, the heavy-duty build of the flashlight makes it great to have on hand in case of intruders, too.

A Cordless Drill

Drill Sergeant

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit (LD120VA)

A cordless drill is perfect for mounting, fastening, and other tasks, and this one's rechargeable battery is super convenient.

A cordless drill is handy to have for an infinite amount of situations, from helping you mount your TV to your wall to fastening an outlet cover on. The BLACK + DECKER 20V Cordless Drill can tackle all kinds of projects, and can easily drill through metal, wood, and plastic. The drill has a 24-position clutch, and can run up to 750 RPM. The kit also includes 30 accessories, like drill bits, screw-driving bits, magnetic bit-tip holders, and nut drivers.

Because this is a BLACK + DECKER drill, it has a rechargeable battery that can be interchangeably used with other BLACK + DECKER power tools like jigsaws, shop vacs, leaf blowers, and more. Having a bunch of your tools be able to use the same batteries is super convenient, as it means you’ll always have a backup battery on hand. And just in case you want something a little more powerful, try the BLACK + DECKER Impact Driver Kit.

A Flexible Putty Knife

Remove and Fix with Ease

Red Devil 4206 2" Flex Putty Knife, 2"

A putty knife makes it easy to patch holes, scrap off paint, and more.

Having a dedicated putty knife on hand is great for when you need to repair a hole in the wall or scrape off paint. The Red Devil 2-inch Flex Putty Knife offers a comfortable grip and a sturdy blade for tackling every task you throw at it. It has a high-carbon steel precision-ground blade that’s rust resistant, and a solid steel nail-setting head. The handle is made of shatterproof polypropylene.

A Stud Finder

Find Studs (and Dad Jokes)

Zircon 67324 StudSensor 70 Center Finding Stud Finder with Live AC WireWarning Detection and Built-In Erasable Wall Marker

Find wood or metal studs quickly, and avoid live AC wires so you can hang pictures and more.

If you’re trying to find a stud from which to hang a photo, a dedicated stud finder can make quick work of finding one. The Zircon StudSensor 70 can detect the center of a wood or metal stud, and alert you of live unshielded AC wires. It can locate the edges of wood or metal up to 0.75 inches deep, and the DeepScan mode can locate up to 1.5 inches deep. Five display lights allow the sensor to display whether you’ve found the center of the stud, or are off to the side, and it can also provide an erasable wall marker to mark the center.

A Toilet Plunger and Caddy

For Fixing Messy Situations

simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy, Stainless Steel, White

A high-quality plunger can unclog your toilet in minutes. This one also has a magnetic collar that stores the plunger without drips.

Sometimes, toilets get clogged—it’s just a fact of life. But with a good plunger in hand, you can take care of a stinky situation in minutes and move on with your day. The simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy has a long- narrow profile perfectly designed to work with newer toilets. It also has a handy magnetic collar around the top of the caddy that makes it easy to pick it up and carry to or from the toilet without dripping.

A Heavy-Duty Outdoor Extension Cord

Plug in All the Things

Clear Power 50 ft 12/3 SJTW Heavy Duty Outdoor Extension Cord, Water, Weather & Kink Resistant, Flame Retardant, Yellow, 3 Prong Grounded Plug, CP10145

This heavy-duty extension cord reach 50 feet and is resistant to water, abrasion, and weather, and it's flame retardant.

A good extension cord is a friend, indeed. With one, you can plug in all of your new tools and use them throughout your house or yard. The 50-foot Heavy-Duty Outdoor Extension Cord from Clean Power has a grounded plug and connector, and can handle small power tools as well as larger ones. The cord is water-, weather-, and abrasion-resistant, and flame retardant. Nickel-coated brass blades won’t corrode, which in turns prevent arcing.

Protective Goggles and Leather Work Gloves

Safety First

DEWALT DPG82-11C Concealer Clear Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggle, Clear Lens, 1 Pair

Keep your eyes protected from the elements with these comfy easy-to-adjust anti-fog goggles.

Stay safe working on your projects with a pair of safety goggles. This pair from DEWALT protects against mold, dust, debris, and even has a DEWALT Xtra clear anti-fog coating. The soft-rubber lining of the glasses helps them conform to the unique shape of your face, and the adjustable elastic cloth helps you find a comfortable fit.

A nice pair of leather gloves is also a must-have. The Mechanix Wear DuraHide Gloves are ready to keep up with a hard day of work. They’re made of genuine leather with an elastic wrist closure, and use TrekDry technology on the back of your hands for breathability.

A Versatile Ladder

Step Up to the Task

Little Giant Ladders, Velocity with Wheels, M17, 17 Ft, Multi-Position Ladder, Aluminum, Type 1A, 300 lbs Weight Rating, (15417-001)

This multi-position ladder is perfect for super-tall projects as well as those on uneven surfaces.

Instead of buying a step stool, a standard ladder, and an ultra-tall ladder, go with the M17 Little Giant Ladder. The multi-position ladder can reach up to 17 feet when fully extended, but it converts to an A-frame for use in shorter areas. It can also be maneuvered for use at 90 degrees, or it can be set up on a staircase or uneven surface. Tip-and-glide wheels let you move the ladder around with ease, and it can hold up to 300 pounds.

Duct Tape!

Say Stick it to Leaks

3M 2979 Multi-Use Duct Tape, Silver, 1.88 in x 60 yd x 7 mil, 1 Pack, Temporary Repair, Patching, Tabbing, Capping Pipe, Marking, Labeling

Duct tape is perfect for patching, holding, bundling, and other construction or around-the-house uses.

3M Multi-Use Duct Tape is the ultimate tool for homeowners. It’s great for bundling, patching, tabbing, capping pipes, marking, labeling, and even for temporary repairs. It’s contractor grade, so it’s perfect for a variety of light duties and for professional construction applications.

A Jigsaw

Cut to the Point

BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, 5-Amp, 3,000 Blade Speed, 45 Degree Beveled Cuts, ¾-Inch Orbital Blade, 4 Curve Settings, Corded (BDEJS600C)

This jigsaw can handle straight, angled, and curved cuts through wood, PVC, metal and more with ease.

Make clean cuts on your home improvement projects with an easy-to-use jigsaw. The BLACK + DECKER 5.0 Amp jigsaw can handle cutting through wood, metal, PVC, and other materials like it’s nothing. It has built-in Curve Control so you can adjust the saw’s orbit in four different ways, and the upgraded wire guard means precision cutting with a clear line of sight.

The jigsaw can make 45-degree bevel cuts, and has an adjustable show for added stability. It also has a 5 amp variable-speed motor that can run up to 5,000 stokes per minute. The saw even has a keyless blade clamp for easy tool-free blade changes. Plus, because it’s BLACK + DECKER, the removable rechargeable battery can be switched out and used with your other BLACK + DECKER power tools.

Toolboxes and Tool Chests

Storage and Organization

DEWALT TSTAK II Tool Box, 13 Inch, Flat Top, Holds Up To 66 lbs, Flexible Platforms for Stacking (DWST17807)

A hardy toolbox is perfect for safely storing your small tools, or lugging them around with you while you work.

Once you’ve got a solid collection of tools, you’ll need somewhere to store them when they’re not in use. The DEWALT TSTAK11 Flat Top Toolbox has an open-storage design that’s perfect for a decent amount of small tools.

Storage and Organization

Keter 240762 5 Drawer Modular Garage & Tool Organizer, Black

A rolling tool chest is perfect for small and large tools. This one even has a lock, so you can securely store your tools.

If you have a large quantity of tools, or a mix of small and large tools, a tool chest is a better pick. The Keter Rolling Tool Chest has 16 removable storage drawers and a locking system for security. Smooth wheels make it easy to bring with you across your work site. It even has a durable weather-resistant polypropylene construction that won’t rust, peel, or dent. The drawers are deep and perfect for storing power drills, socket sets, and other tools for home improvement, DIY projects, and auto-mechanics tools.

Suzanne Humphries Suzanne Humphries
Suzanne Humphries was a Commerce Editor for Review Geek. She has over seven years of experience across multiple publications researching and testing products, as well as writing and editing news, reviews, and how-to articles covering software, hardware, entertainment, networking, electronics, gaming, apps, security, finance, and small business. Read Full Bio »