The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

Essential Toolkit

Most us will have experienced this: a small but important job around the house needs doing. You search high and low for the right tool and end up banging in a nail with the heel of your best shoe. Situations like this can be avoided by simply having a basic toolkit handy at all times. You don't have to be an expert DIYer to need a toolkit, in fact most of us can at the very least use a screwdriver and a hammer, but you need to have them, to use them!

But what does a complete novice put into their toolkit and how should these tools be looked after? Well you needn't spend a fortune and nothing more than a quick clean after every use is almost all that is required.

spannerThe basics

  • A tape measure – the retractable kind is best
  • An adjustable spanner
  • A pair of pliers, which will cut and strip
  • A hammer which can be used for banging nails in and getting them out
  • A small hacksaw
  • A good, sharp Stanley knife
  • A set of different sized screwdrivers suitable for Philips head and flathead screws.
  • A spirit level
  • A radiator key
  • Boxes of screws and nails of different sizes
  • Fuses and insulation tape
  • A torch

These tools will be perfect for any small jobs around the house and once the DIY bug starts to kick in you might want to add the following:

  • An electric screwdriver
  • Different sized spanners
  • A stud finder
  • A larger saw

Keep all these items together in a tool box and always keep it in one place where all the family can find it.

Looking after your tools

Always clean your tools thoroughly after every use. Tools which have a sharp edge will need to be sharpened once in a while. A knife sharpening block can do this easily. Simply run the edge of the blade in one direction across the block. Try to store the tool with a cover to prevent the blade from becoming dulled.

Tools with moving parts should also need a small amount of oiling form time to time. Check the instructions which come with the tool to see how often this should be done.

With all your tools in one place, there can never be another excuse for not getting a job done straight away. Remember that experts are there to help if it seems a little difficult, but think of the money you will save by having a go yourself.