Any serious homeowner needs a basic toolbox, filled with the essential tools required for home repair. But, come to think of it – what do you really need? Of course, the hammer, screwdriver, and tape measure have to be part of the equation. Beyond the obvious, there are hundreds of other tools, both hand, and power, that can be incredibly useful when your basic socket wrench isn’t making the grade anymore.

What follows is a rundown of tools that you’ll want to include in your homeowner tool kit, once you have covered the basics. Spoiler alert – they aren’t the most popular!

Drill Press

For starters, a drill press is an excellent alternative to its handheld counterpart. Its accuracy is on point, allowing you to make holes at precise angles. On top of that, it will punch holes of equal size and depth, as many times as you want without user fatigue.

But, as this professional review explains, all drill presses aren’t the same. Before you spend your money on any model, you should make sure that it provides enough horsepower to handle your drilling needs. You’re better off with one that offers variable speeds settings. Check the size and whether you can raise or lower the press as per the job at hand.

The long and short of it is that any drill press worth your attention should provide value, both in terms of features and function.

An Oscillating Multi-tool

Sure, you won’t find an oscillating multi-tool in many homes, yet it is one of the most versatile tools you can get. Its innovative design allows you to interchange sanding, polishing, grinding, cutting, scrapping as polishing attachments.



Without the accessories, you can use it to cut through virtually any material, from concrete to plastic and anything in between. Besides, the small head and the vibrating action enable you to get the oscillating multi-tool into spaces where other tools can’t fit.

Lithium-ion Cordless Tool Set

Indeed, many homeowners have a cordless drill running on battery power. But, if yours isn’t using lithium-ion batteries, now is the time to upgrade. The older NiCad models are not only bulky but also harder to operate. Their lithium-ion counterparts, on the other hand, are lighter, portable, and have a relatively longer charge life.

Side-Cutting Pliers

This hardworking tool is a must-have for small electric jobs at home. Together with the channel-lock and basic utility pliers, it’ll come in handy when you want to chop small pipes and electrical wires. Meanwhile, the massive jaws with serrated teeth grip can hold onto almost anything. Plus, you can use the head as to pound stuff when you don’t have your standard hammer nearby.

Voltage Tester

See, hiring a professional to do every menial electrical job in your home can be costly. And, because you will almost certainly do some electrical repairs, you’re better off owning a voltage test. As the name suggests, the sole purpose of this tool is to tell you if there’s live current passing through the live circuit cables.

Unlike a voltage meter, however, a tester senses current flow and alerts with a sound, light or both. Keep in mind that you have to test for current when you’re doing common household repairs in your home, such as replacing a wall switch, outlet receptacle, or bulb.

…Before you Go

Learn the Different Types of Voltage Testers

Voltage testers are available in several types. The common one is a neon circuit tester that features two metal probes attached to the grip with a bulb at the tip. However, you need a little bit of knowledge to use this type. Hold one end with your index finger and bring the other into contact with a ground or neutral wire.  The integrated neon light illuminates as the current flows through the tester.

There’s also a non-contact tester, a relatively easier to use option. It senses the voltage passing through a live wire without the need to touch the cables. More specifically, it detects electrical fields and alerts you about the presence of current if you hold close to a switch or outlet.

Note – a non-contact tester runs on batteries, so you need to check its operation every once in a while.

The Bottom Line

As a homeowner, you should ensure that your toolbox has everything you’d require to carry out small repairs quickly. And the beauty of it is that you don’t have to burn through your wallet to get these tools.