23 Things Every DIYer Should Own

Updated: Apr. 01, 2024

Whether you’re a novice or an expert, these tools are crucial for getting jobs done at home. Bet there isn’t a DIYer around that doesn’t have #19 at the ready!

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hammer_165441191 nails

Claw Hammer

So many DIYer projects require the use of a hammer. Use them for woodworking projects, hanging artwork and putting together furniture. And claw hammers are a good choice because not only do they drive nails, you can use the claw to remove nails, as well.

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Every DIYer should have screwdrivers on hand, including flat-head, Pozidriv and Phillips-head screwdrivers. And having screwdrivers in a few different sizes will help you deal with a variety of screws heads.

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Tape Measure

A tape measure is a must-have when you need accurate measurements. And you don’t need anything fancy, one that is retractable and lockable will get the job done.

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Nor Gal/Shutterstock

LED Flashlight

LED flashlights are a good choice for the DIYer because the batteries and the bulbs last much longer than standard flashlights. And it’s not a bad idea to have few LED flashlights around for not only projects, they can also come in handy during storms.

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A few pairs of pliers will come in handy when you need to grip, turn or pull something, such as a screw or nail. And add both locking and combination pliers to your DIY must-have list.

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Step Stool and Ladder

At some point, you’ll need a steady, sturdy platform to complete projects such as cleaning gutters or trimming trees. And a step stool is a great choice for when you just need a little boost. When using an extension ladder, remember the highest safe standing level is four rungs from the top.

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utility knife to cut carpet for sawhorses

Utility Knife

There’s a good reason a utility knife is considered one of the most versatile tools in the toolbox. And a utility knife can be used on many projects, including cutting drywall, removing carpeting and even exposing popped nail heads. Here are a few important tools for DIYers.

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Safety Glasses

Safety glasses are a must-have for every DIYer because when you’re a DIYer, you need to protect your eyes. And keep a couple pairs around your work area so they are always within easy reach. They also make a great gift for DIYers.

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Konontsev Artem/Shutterstock

Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench allows DIYers to work with all sizes of nuts and bolts. And while you can buy sets of wrenches in various sizes, an adjustable wrench is a good investment, especially if space or budget constraints are an issue.

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Hand Saw

If you have just one saw, make it a hand saw that can be used in basic woodworking projects. And when buying a hand saw, remember that bigger teeth will cut faster and saws have variations on teeth-per-inch which also influences cutting ability.

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extension cords_122654983 DIYer
Nancy Bauer/Shutterstock

Extension Cords

Every DIYer needs an extension cord at some point, and having a few around will make life a lot easier. Extension cords come in handy when using power tools. And this includes power saws, shop vacuums and even some leaf blowers.

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IIya Andriyanov/Shutterstock

A Mix of Hardware

DIYers should always have a collection of screws and nails available. And try storing hardware in a container with separate compartments so you can keep everything organized.

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Have a bottle (or two or three) of wood glue around for making repairs or even as a quick-fix for suturing wounds. Also keep gel-type superglue (cyanocacrylate glue, or CA) on hand for attaching small pieces that would be hard to clamp. And glues comes in a few different brands, including Super Glue, Gorilla and Krazy Glue.

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mr.kriangsak kitisak/Shutterstock


You need to keep all those tools and supplies organized somehow so you can find them when you need them. And you can make some tool storage solutions yourself. But a toolbox will allow you to easily bring your tools with you no matter where you go.

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WD-40 Featured Image at home
Family Handyman


Don’t be caught without some WD-40 in your work space. And WD-40 is a multi-use lubricant that is great for freeing up rusty or stuck hinges, bolts and reducing squeaks in latches. You’ve got to check out these 20 brilliant ways to use WD-40 at home.
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Shop Vacuum

You’ll get that mess cleaned up quickly with a shop vacuum. And look for a wet/dry model that can be used to clean up liquids as well as dirt, dust and debris.

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Deniss Grigorjevs/Shutterstock


Add a level to your DIY toolkit and you’ll have an accurate guide when it comes to positioning items both vertically and horizontally. And a basic level of about a foot long will get the job done and fit in most toolboxes.

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Use a scraper to remove flaky or old surfaces, such as a popcorn ceiling, vinyl flooring or wallpaper. And you can find a decent scraper for about $5.

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Bjoern Wylezich/Shutterstock

A Variety of Tape

Keep a roll of electrical, Teflon and duct tape in your tool box. And electrical tape is used for various electrical work while Teflon is used for plumbing projects.

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Albert Lozano/Shutterstock

Bungee Cords

Bungee cords aren’t just for mountaineering. So keep a few bungee cords around for keeping items in your trunk from rolling around and falling over. And even use them to strap down items and secure them to the top of your car.

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B Calkins/Shutterstock

Plastic Tarp

A plastic tarp will serve a variety of functions. Rake leaves onto the tarp to haul them to the compost bin and use it to cover outdoor items such as patio furniture to protect it from harsh weather.

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Ozgur Coskun/Shutterstock


Clamps help you hold or secure objects so they don’t move while you’re working with them. And there are a variety of clamps available, including C-clamps, pipe-clamps and handscrew-clamps.

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dremel rotary tool
Courtesy of Dremel

Rotary Tool

A rotary tool, such as the Dremel, can be used in a variety of tasks, including grinding, cutting, sanding and buffing. And while the average DIYer will already have several hand tools that will do the same work, a rotary tool and the use of its attachments will get that work done quicker. Plus: These amazing rotary tool hacks will have people buzzing!

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