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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Home Tool Essentials: Creating a Kit That Counts

Every home needs a tool kit – even if the whole family are DIY novices. You could save thousands in call out and labour fees by taking on small repair and decoration projects yourself. A lot of the time fixes take just a few minutes with the right tools. Tackling basic projects around the house means that you need to be prepared – here are the essentials for a well-stocked tool box that will have everything you need, when you need it.

Your tool kit should be in a sturdy box that can handle the weight of the tools and can be easily carried around – there’s no point putting heavy metal tools into a cardboard box that may give way or a box that can’t be moved from place to place.

It’s important that every home has at least:

  • A claw hammer – this is a ‘classic’ hammer that’s mainly used for hammering nails into wood, but can also be used to take things apart (especially with the claw end). You may want to choose your hammer in person to ensure that it has the right balance and isn’t too heavy for you.
  • Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers – a flathead screwdriver is a minus, while the Phillips is a plus shape. You will generally need a few different sizes, since you’ll come across screws in a variety of sizes too. Flathead screwdrivers are also useful for prying, scrapping, and nudging things.
  • Tape measure – you’ll need to measure space for a new sofa, for your new tv, or when putting up shelves. This is essential even if you never lift a hammer in your life.
  • Pliers – these are perfect for when you need more hands than you actually have. You can use pliers to lock things in place or hold them while you work on another part of the job – they can act as a small, make-shift clamp or even a wrench, depending on what you’re doing.
  • Cordless drill – if you want to put up pictures, a flat screen tv, or want to work on practically any DIY project, you’ll need a drill.
  • Spirit level – this isn’t quite as essential as others on this list, purely because you can usually get a spirit level app on your smartphone now. But they’re usually part of a metre stick or similar, and it never hurts to go analogue to make sure your spirit level always works.
  • Handsaw – more specifically, a cross-cut saw which is made to cut against the wood grain. It’s what you need to cut lengths of wood to size or even just trim some branches on a tree.

Over time you will probably accumulate more tools, but these basics will get you started and get you through a range of household emergencies.