Whenever you ready yourself for a home improvement project — even if it’s as simple as tightening a loose screw — do you constantly find yourself knocking on your neighbor’s door to borrow a tool? There comes a time in every DIY newbie's life when he or she simply has to invest in some good tools. Here are the must-have hand tools for your toolkit.
Screwdriver (or six): You can choose one screwdriver with interchangeable heads or a variety pack of flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers of multiple sizes. While a single base piece with several heads saves space, you may find that just one screwdriver isn't versatile enough for all your tasks.
Hammer: Yes, you can hammer something in using almost any heavy tool, but you're much more likely to damage your fingers or your project. Buy one good hammer and you're set for life.
Adjustable wrench: A wrench is pretty much always better than your raw, bare fingers for twisting metal parts. Think about replacing a showerhead or assembling furniture with nuts and bolts. Get an adjustable one that will work for all your projects.
Needle-nose and tongue and groove pliers: Needle-nosed pliers have a good enough grip to pull that broken staple out of the wall or twist a wire out of the way, and all pliers are good for grasping small, slippery objects.
Flashlight: Even if you've got a flashlight for the occasional power outage, it's worth investing in a small, bright work flashlight that will light up even the smallest nooks and crannies.
Level: A level surface is necessary for the most basic picture-hanging tasks to just about any major project you can think of.
Measuring tape: Whether buying furniture or planning a paint purchase, a measuring tape is ever important.