Your wife tells you the ceiling fan is making a noise and spinning off-center. Your mom calls you one afternoon telling you that the pipe under the sink is leaking water and your dad is off on a fishing trip for the weekend. Your son tells you the chain on his bike keeps jumping off. What do you do? HINT: it isn’t to call a handyman and have him rush right over. In fact most young men today think owning a functional and well equipped toolbox is something that became passé about the same time as the station wagon. Truth is a real man has a basic understanding of tools and shrugs off the notion of using Angie’s List to find a good fix-it guy to solve his problems. A man should be self-reliant and dependable for those around him. So to help you fill the role of renaissance man-at-arms we’ve compiled a list of the top tools every man should have in his toolbox. Take heed boys. Take heed.
The first thing to remember however is two-fold.
1. Buy Quality. If it says Made in China in regards to tools it is junk. If a toolset of 101 pieces costs just $30 it is junk. Look for solid construction and warranties. If you know no better buy Craftsman. They are well made, have a longstanding reputation, and come with a lifetime guarantee…no questions asked.
2. Easy does it. Don’t get impatient and try to outfit your toolbox all at once. If you do you’ll end up with tools you’ll never use that take up precious space in your box. Buy what you need, when you need it, and after a bit of consumer testing. Don’t forget to ask others to help you. Christmas, birthday, Father’s day, etc. are great holidays to ask for tool basics or gift cards to purchase tools.
On with the list……
Go with a 16oz. hammer. It is tried and true and can be used for almost everything. I am pretty sure my dad had one surgically added to his hand so he’d never be without it. While classic hammers had wooden handles engineering has come a long way and you should be looking for a synthetic handle that is a good fit in your hand and balances the weight of the head with ease.
A flathead screwdriver has a single blade that fits into the single slot of a flathead screw. While most projects now call for Phillips head screws it is good to have a good flathead in your box. In addition to driving screws, flatheads can also be used to pry open paint cans, scrape off old ‘goo’ and chisel out wood.
A Phillips head screwdriver has a four star point at the end that fits into the a screw’s shallow, cross-shaped pattern. This design allows a user to apply more torque than with a flathead screwdriver. The depression in the screw forces the blades of the Phillips screwdriver to slip out before any damaging over-torquing can occur…at least in theory. It is a good idea to have Phillips in several sizes.
Nothing can be built without first measuring the project at hand. A 25′ measuring tape is essential. With it you can make sure the flatscreen is going to fit in the entertainment center hole, you can level a picture frame, and you can make sure the door hinges are equally spaced.
In your entire tool box this one wrench will see more action than Elizabeth Berkeley in Showgirls. It’s comparable to having nearly 50 wrenches in one. The crescent is an adjustable wrench with a sliding jaw that changes the width of the wrench. This means you can essentially use the same tool on different size nuts and bolts.
There are a few others that are in the second round of purchasing and they include:
- Socket Set
- Vice Grips
- Retractable Utility Blade
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Crosscut hand saw
- 2′ level
- Nail set
- Combination Square
- Hex Key Tool