14 Tools Every Homeowner Needs: Use and Organize Tools Like A True Handyman

We’d hate for you to be the kind of homeowner that tries to turn screws with a butter knife. Having everything you need on hand allows you to tackle small problems while they’re still minor. Louisville Handyman performs stunning remodeling and handyman services in Louisville, KY, and the surrounding area. We know our way around home maintenance and repair. We’ve met some folks who have been expertly equipped to keep their place in tip-top shape and have seen some shocking examples of a poor match between a tool and a task. Here are our top recommendations to build and organize a tool chest that includes everything you need to perform basic home maintenance.

14 Tools Every Homeowner Needs: Use and Organize Tools Like A True Handyman

Handyman Basic Tools

When you really think about it, there are only a few functions you need tools to help you perform. Of course, specialized tools are vital for precise work, but covering these basic categories will give you a place to start when it’s time to equip yourself for an upcoming home maintenance or repair task.

5 Basic Categories of Tools

  1. Laying Out Tools– (e.g., yardstick, ruler)
  2. Cutting Tools– (e.g., wire cutters, saw, drill)
  3. Striking Tools– (e.g., hammer, anvil)
  4. Holding Tools– (e.g. vice, clamps, pliers)
  5. Sharpening Tools– (e.g. strop, waterstone)

Top Basic Tools we Recommend for Every Homeowner

Here’s our list of everything you need to keep your home in good working order so you don’t have to call in the pros unless you have a serious problem.


We’ll start with the obvious. You need a hammer. There’s no way around it; sometimes, you’ve just got to hit something. Whether you’re pounding in nails or pulling them out, there’s no substitute for a solid hammer with decent heft. 

Wrench and Socket Set

Many people get away without a socket set for a few years before they need one. As with any specialized tool, you don’t need it until you REALLY need it. For example, you might first need a wrench to tighten or remove lugs and bolts for your kids’ basketball hoop or fort. Most socket sets come with metric and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), which are in inches, so it’s important to ensure you have both so you’re equipped no matter the project.


You’ll need an electric drill to hang pictures, remove and place screws, and do other tasks where you need to make a small hole. Drills are either cordless or electric. We recommend an electric drill for portability, but you’ll need to remember to keep it charged so it’s ready when needed. You’ll need a set of drill and driver bits to bore holes.

Circular Saw

If you only have one electric saw, have a circular saw. These come in both corded and battery-powered options, but beware the pile of confusing and inconveniently dead batteries if you opt for too many battery-operated power tools.

Wire Cutters

Wire cutters are an excellent tool to cut anything that’s too tough for your kitchen shears. They’ll help you reach into tough places and get a good grip before you cut. 


Hold anything steady or give it a twist with pliers. Depending on your set, you may also use pliers to pry things open, bend, or reach them.

Screwdriver (Flathead and Phillips)

You’ve really got to have a screwdriver set. Using the wrong kind of screwdriver to remove screws can strip or damage the screw and the surrounding area. 

Hand Saw

Inexpensive and versatile, it can’t hurt to have a hand saw on hand. If an item is too thick for wire cutters, but not a big enough job to bust out the big guns, a hand saw is a nice compromise for a quick cut.

2-4 Foot Level

Using a level to hang your pictures and complete small home maintenance projects leads to precision work. Quality work is level.

Box Cutter and Blades

You can cut duct tape, drywall, vinyl tile, cardboard, and more quickly, easily, and inexpensively with a box cutter. Be sure to swap blades often, as sharp blades are safest. 

Push Broom

Deal with a big mess quickly using a push broom. Whether you’re sweeping the driveway or redirecting sewage, you won’t be sorry you have the right tool for the job. 


You can dig it. Or rather, you can’t, if you don’t have a shovel. A large spade is an important tool for any homeowner. We advise you to get a shovel long before you need to dig a hole.

Step/Small Ladder

You can’t fix anything you can’t safely reach. Keep a small ladder on hand to ensure you can access anything in your interior that you need to climb up to fix. If you anticipate performing exterior maintenance, you’ll need an even longer ladder to facilitate activities such as cleaning your gutters.

Tape Measure

You’ll need a tape measure to ensure items will fit in a new space and to make modifications and precise plans while you’re working.

Unique Tools to Keep on Hand for Easy Home Maintenance 

5-in-1 Combo Tool

We love multitaskers. Use it as a putty knife, scraper, paint roller cleaner, gouger, or paint can opener. Only the genuinely unimaginative will stop at only these 5 uses. This versatile device gets the job done.

Portable Power Station

Power up your dead batteries fast or use it as an emergency backup or camping lifeline. Keeping a large portable power station will give you options when you need electricity.

Contour Gauge Duplicator

Arrange these small vertical pieces against any shaped space and lock them in to preserve it. You can trace that outline before you cut anything you would like to fit in that space, eliminating countless measurements.

Methods to Organize Your Tools

Your tools are only useful if you can quickly put your hands on them and they are in good repair. Create intentional storage so you aren’t tempted to put your tools down and forget about them.

Places to Store Tools

Your storage solution for your tools may include a combination of these items.

  • Toolbox with drawers
  • Pegboard
  • Magnetic Strip
  • Shelves
  • Bins

Louisville Handyman Has You Covered

We’re here to help with your home remodeling projects, home maintenance needs, and more. We’re happy to help you keep your home in good repair in between our visits. Let’s talk about your project today.