Sunday, November 4, 2012

Basic Household Tools - The Ones You Need

Not exactly a food post, yet based on the same intent.  As our kids grow and move out, they end up with questions like, what tools should I own?  These are the tools that let me fix things, for the people I love.

According to Clint Eastwood,  “Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone.”  Who am I to argue?

Having said that, there are a few other tools that will make your life a little easier.

 I made this list on Amazon, so shopping is simple.

Best advice is however to watch for advertising fliers and pick up things when they are onsale - Sears, TruValue and all the other chain hardware stores always have a loss leader to drive store traffic.  Watch for those and fill out your tool chest.

I do have a few general recommendations in addition to the specific tools listed on Amazon

  1. For most tools, don't buy junk off brands.  Long term, not worth it.
  2. Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty.  
  3. Electricians all seem to have a tool belt full of Klein tools - that's probably a good recommendation.  
  4. People call locking pliers vise-grips - it's a brand, and yes they are that good so only buy visegrips
  5. Channellocks are largely the same league as visegrips - buy them
  6. Once you start buying cordless power tools, you are locked into that brand because of battery interchangablity.  So be sure you are going to be happy with them.  I recommend Craftsman, Porter Cable, DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee.  And buy ones with real batteries - 18 volt is heavy, but powerful.  If you don't intend on building a lot of things 9 volt is enough, but if you decide to get into construction you will burn them out.  And never store those batteries where it might get below freezing. 
  7. One of the things not on my list you should have is a folding utility knife - uses razor blades.  I am partial to my folding Irwin.  It is handy to have some of those disposable utility knifes also.
  8. Tool Bags are a handy way of carrying tools - I like them better than tool chests, tool buckets or any other device.
  9. A head lamp makes nighttime construction simpler - the light is always pointing where you are looking.

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