A friend of mine once declared that a man only needs 2 things in his toolbox – WD40 and superglue.

  • If it moves and it shouldn’t – Superglue
  • If it doesn’t move and it should – WD40


Well, there’s some merit to the argument but it comes as no surprise that he had no-one at home who wanted him to put shelves put up. So assuming that you going to have to perform simple jobs, repairs, projects around the house, what are the 10 essential tools needed?


claw hammer

1. Claw Hammer

The simplest of tools allows you to knock in nails/pins with one end of the head and remove them with the other. 2 for the price of 1 and an excellent start.



set of screwdrivers2. Set of Screwdrivers

Things have got a little complicated over the recent years with screws having different sets of groves across the top. It used to just be a slot and you just needed a ‘flat head’ screwdriver but now they usually have a ‘cross’ for which you need a ‘Phillips’ screwdriver. Given that there’s different size screws and different force needed at times it’s essential you have a set of screwdrivers to cover most eventualities.

tape measure

3. Tape Measure

Yes, we all know the perfect position for the shelf but sometimes the ‘other half’ wants to appreciate that you’ve performed some simple calculations to determine the accuracy of your positioning.


4. Level48" 1220mm Box Beam Spirit Level with Shock Absorbing End Caps WY013

Ditto above – you need to go through the motions of checking the shelf is at the perfect 90 degrees and is level although the walls and floors may not be.


Adjustable Spanner5. Adjustable Spanner

Marvellous invention – who needs a set of spanners when you can have one to fit all sizes? The sliding jaw keeps parallel as it opens and closes – brilliant!



6. Utility (Stanley) KnifeTrade Quality Auto Loading Heavy Duty Utility Knife with 50 pc blade Dispenser AMS0475

A really sharp blade for cutting stuff or scraping stuff off.  Simple to use but always remember to retract the blade when not being used as it hurts (a lot) when you stand on it – beware!


Budget Carbon Steel 8" Combination Pliers PL2017. Pliers

Useful for gripping and holding things. That’s about it really.




8. SawQuality 12" Tenon (Back) Saw SW050

Yes, sometimes you may have to make those shelves smaller and remove some of the excess length. Make sure you use in conjunction with the Tape Measure and Level.


30 LED Worklight, Dynamo Windup Recharge USB, 240v and 12v TO1709. Worklight or Torch

Not used for working in the dark (especially not with the baby below) but  important for lighting up the nooks and crannies you may be working in (and for finding the screws/nails you dropped).



10. Power Drill24v Cordless Drill/Driver With Hammer Function 67027C

Now we’re talking. This is the macho tool in the box that can do anything. You can ‘pimp’ it up with loads of attachments to drill holes, screw/unscrew, grind, sand, mix, stir on so on.  You can also leave it running while checking the sports results and the other half still thinks you’re working hard!


So that’s it then. There are thousands of tools out there that can do just about anything you can think of or even some you haven’t thought of yet, but these 10 tools should get you though most day to day jobs.

Tools 11 & 12?  Why Superglue and WD40 of course!


Author – Tony Heywood

Tony Heywood

Tony Heywood is a ‘Retail Troubleshooter’ with 40 years experience in the retail industry, specialising in e-commerce over the last decade. He has his own consultancy firm and is MD of  ‘e sell it’, an on-line store selling tools and auto-care products worldwide.

For tools & auto-care products at trade prices, please visit: www.esellit.com