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Home Maintenance

10 Must-Have Tools for All Homeowners

10 Must-Have Tools for All Homeowners

Keep your home in good condition by doing basic repairs, regular maintenance, and improvements yourself. You’ll develop new DIY skills and feel a sense of accomplishment. Working on basic repairs and improvements yourself can save a lot of money when you don’t need to call in the professionals! Figuring out which tools to buy can be overwhelming. Where do you begin?

To give you a head start, we’ve rounded up the top ten essential tools you will need for most DIY repairs and improvements. You can choose some of these and gradually add others to your toolbox for specific projects.

Drop into Knowles Building Centre today to try out some tools for your next DIY project. Our team is happy to help you!


You can handle most DIY jobs with a good quality general-purpose claw hammer from a reputable manufacturer. A hammer is essential for hanging pictures, removing nails, installing quarter-round, and deconstructing drywall.

Some hammers have a side nail remover that can help prevent accidentally gouging your walls or wood trim. Straight claw or rip claw hammers do a great job of tearing apart drywall.

You’ll find a wide selection of affordable and durable smooth-faced hammers from Vulcan, Stanley, Vaughan, and other trusted brands.

Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench is a good starter tool for loosening and tightening any size nut or bolt. You can use it to repair or assemble anything fastened with bolts – connections on a shower head and faucet, tools, bicycles, barbecues, outdoor play structures, and more.

Simply open the wrench jaws enough to fit over the bolt, then turn the thumbscrew to tighten the jaws around the bolt. Always apply pressure to the fixed jaw. Use two wrenches to loosen stubborn nuts and bolts by turning them in opposite directions.

As you become more experienced, add a wrench and socket set to your toolbox. This tool will let you use a specific-sized wrench or socket for the nuts and bolts.

Hand Saw

Hand saws come in a wide range of sizes, blade and handle materials, and blade tooth sizes. The larger the teeth, the rougher the cut.

A panel hand saw is popular for most home improvement and repair projects. Look for a hand saw that comes with a mitre box to keep the wood securely in place for accurate crosscuts and mitre (or angled) cuts. You can cut lengths of quarter-round, crown moulding or baseboard quickly and evenly with a hand saw. It’s also handy outdoors for cutting tree branches.

Try out a few hand saws to ensure you buy the right one. Use a light pulling motion rather than pushing down hard when sawing for the best cutting results.


You’ll need the trusty screwdriver for basic DIY jobs like removing light switchplates and fixtures and replacing cabinet and door handles.

Screwdrivers come in a variety of sizes and screw shapes. Flat-head screwdrivers and Phillips (cross-shaped) screwdrivers are the most popular. Another often-used screwdriver is the square-shaped Robertson. Browse screwdrivers made by DeWalt, Vulcan, Milwaukee, Klein, and other trusted brands.

Consider buying a multi-screwdriver set or a multi-bit unit with interchangeable bits in the handle. Look for easy-to-grip handles, stubby versions for tight spaces, and magnetic screwdrivers that keep the screw in place.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is one of the small-but-mighty DIY tools and an absolute must-have for your DIY projects. It lets you make clean cuts on plastic tubing, vinyl flooring, carpeting, drywall, fibreglass insulation, grout, caulk, and even tough roof shingles. You can also fine-tune mitre joints in crown moulding, remove painter’s tape, and scrape paint off window edges.

To replace a dull blade, simply turn the screw. If you are cutting thicker materials, you can buy heavy-duty blades.

Some utility knives have different attachments on one handle, giving you a knife, a drywall saw, a wood saw, and a file all in one.


Pliers can be confused with wrenches. A pair of pliers lets you bend objects or hold them firmly in place. They are not used to turn nuts or bolts. There is a plier for every purpose, from electrical to plumbing.

The versatile slip-joint plier is a good choice for your DIY projects. Choose from various sizes, and try different grips to check the comfort – Channellock, Crescent, Stanley, Vulcan, and other trusted manufacturers.

Cordless Drill

A cordless drill will let you easily and quickly drill holes to securely mount shelving, assemble furniture, and hang mirrors, pictures, décor items, drapery hardware, and hooks. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around the house. Check out the wide range of drills from Milwaukee, DeWalt, Rockwell, Black & Decker, Bosch, and many others to compare quality, durability, size, weight, torque and power.

You’ll need to buy the drill bits separately from the same brand name as the drill to ensure compatibility. You can start with the bits for surfaces you will most often be drilling, although some sets include bits suitable for drywall, wood, concrete, and metal.

Choose a drill with a rechargeable battery and charger compatible with other power tools you plan to buy for maximum convenience.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is one power tool you’ll be happy to have when you need to accurately and quickly cut wood, trim, or other materials. It’s perfect for any length of material and for making straight and angle cuts. 

You’ll find blades for any material you need to cut – wood, PVC, metal, and stone. Battery-powered circular saws are more portable on the work site as they weigh less.

Tape Measure

Accurate measuring is easier with a well-made tape measure in your toolbox. Make sure you can see the markings clearly for the numbers and lines. They come in imperial or metric or both.

You’ll find a selection of locking tape measures to make your job easier. A 25-foot tape measure is adequate for most household projects. The hook on the end is helpful when measuring long lengths by yourself.


You need a level in your toolkit to keep everything you install and build level and plumb for a professional and finished look. Use it when installing cabinets, shelves, window frames, door frames, or hanging pictures, mirrors, and draperies.

A two-foot level is ideal for most household DIY projects. Simply place the level on the surface or against the side of the object and reposition the level until the bubble is in the centre of the guidelines.

Doing your home repairs and improvements will be easier with the right tools. Our team at Knowles Building Centre looks forward to helping you!

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