Use your Garage: What are essential tools for homeowners?
Your garage is more than a parking spot, or at least is should be. For most homeowners, however, the garage a place where bicycles, old baseball gear, and buckets of paint go to die. Respect your garage and your home and start building your tool collection. Below are categories of tools that every homeowner should have, courtesy of Car and Driver.
Includes: Sockets, bits, screwdriver, nut driver, ratchets, etc.
Tool collecting is a journey, not a destination—you’re never done hunting and acquiring.
Even though the essentials displayed here comprise a broad and comprehensive set, there are tiny variations on these babies too numerous to list. Go deep into specialty tools for tasks such as engine rebuilding, and an even larger universe awaits. Our advice: Start with the basics and add to suit your budget and needs. And remember that good tools last for generations, so take a lesson from your dad and buy quality items with a guarantee.
Wrench & Reach
Includes: Wrenches, measuring tape, mirrors, magnets, etc.
Wrenches, like sockets, are the heroes of the tool kit—you’ll use them for everything. We like combination wrenches, which have an open and a box end in each size. Nearly every bolt you see on a modern car can be turned with a metric wrench, but Imperial sizes might help with the old lawn mower.
Grip & Grin
Includes: Pliers, cutters, tap and die kit, etc.
Pliers grip harder than your hands can. A few basics, such as needle-nose, tongue-and-groove, and slip-joint are key. You’ll be surprised how some extras, like small needle-nosed pliers, can come in handy. As for locking pliers (a.k.a. Vise-Grips), you’re going to want two or three of those suckers—they’re like having extra limbs.
Includes: Cordless drill, drill bits, impact driver, cordless ratchet, reciprocating saw, etc.
No, power tools are not just for lazy people. They save time and do things your hands can’t. The latest cordless tools offer plenty of power and the convenience of portability. And if you stick with one brand, you can swap batteries among tools. If your drilling and grinding needs get really serious, a dedicated air-tool setup is the way to go.
Add This Stuff
Includes: Soldering iron, table vise, c-clamps, bench grinder, wire cutters, torque
From must-have items such as a torque wrench and an oil-drain pan to useful gadgets like a multimeter, there are an endless number of ways to fully equip your garage. Do it right and you’ll be able to tackle almost any task life throws at you, or at least the ones that can be solved with elbow grease.
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