DIY Tool Kit

DIY tool kit
Buying your first DIY tool kit can be an exciting experience, especially if you have a specific project in mind.
Here is a list of suggested tools to help you set up your own DIY tool kit.  Below the listed items you will find a brief explanation of what each tool can be used for.
If you are on a budget purchase the items as required for each task.
When I started doing my own DIY projects I started with some of the items in the tool kit suggested below as well as paint brushes, paint rollers and paint to give a flat at the back of my house a face lift before it was rented out.
As you will see from the photos below, many are showing years or wear.  Some have been with me for a very long time.


  • Safety Glasses/Goggles
  • Hammer – claw hammer
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Multi-Grips
  • Pliers – Combination/Vise-Grip
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tool Box
  • Cordless Drill
  • Carpenter’s Level
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Sharp Pencil and Sharpener
  • Hand Saw – general purpose/crosscut
  • Utility Knife
  • Ear Muffs or Ear Plugs
  • Clamps
  • Folding Work Bench  (if no suitable work area available)


Safety Glasses/Goggles

  • Safety glasses protect your eyes from any type of flying object, sawdust or other particles from hitting you in the eye.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, consider buying safety glasses that won’t make your prescription glasses fog up.
  • Check the safety glasses you purchase meet your country’s standards for eye protection.



There are a wide range of hammers on the market all suited to doing a specific type of job.

  • The most common all purpose hammer on the market is called a claw hammer.
  • V shape at one end of the steel head is used for pulling out nails
  • The round flat base at the head of the hammer is used to drive in nails.
  • Purchase a claw hammer that feels comfortable in your hand.


Screwdriver Set

screwdriver set

  • Purchase a screwdriver set for your DIY tool kit that includes different sized Phillips heads, flat/slotted head.
  • A screwdriver is used for inserting and removing screws into timber, steel and other materials.
  • Although not originally designed for  such a purpose a flat/slotted head screwdrivers are useful for removing paint tin lids.
  • When purchasing screws check the back of the pack to see that you have the correct size screwdriver at home.
  • Packets of screws usually state the type and size of screwdriver head required.

Multi Grips

multi grip pliers

  • Multi Grips are a very versatile tool and a must have in your DIY tool kit.
  • They are adjustable and can handle a multitude of jobs around your home and come in different sizes – small, medium and large.
  • Multi-grips have many different uses such as gripping onto pipes, nuts, removing the spindle from a tap.

Combination Pliers

combination pliers

  • There are many different types of pliers on the market each designed to do a specific type of job.
  • Combination/Vise pliers are used for gripping items, twisting, cutting wire and holding objects in place.
  • Over the years I have built up a number of different sizes and types of pliers that are in one of my tool boxes.


Measuring Tape

measuring tape

  • A retractable measuring tape is a very useful for any type of measuring.
  • It can be used for working measuring a length of wood, finding the centre point of a wall when you wish to hang a picture.
  • Purchase a 5-8 metre/16-26 ft retractable tape.


Tool Box

tool box

  • A small tool box like the one above is a great starter for your DIY tool kit as it keeps all your tools in one place.
  • There are a wide range of different styles, sizes and types of tool boxes available depending upon your budget.
  • A small plastic or metal tool box will comfortably store most of the above items in your tool box and keep them all in one place.
  • Tools tend to get lost if left lying around.

Cordless Drill

cordless drill

  • Start with a cordless drill in your DIY tool kit as they are lighter to hold than an electric drill.
  • An 18-volt cordless drill is a very useful tool to have for drilling into materials such as wood and plastics
  • The battery recharges within a few hours.
  • Purchase a cordless drill that includes a selection of different size drill bits and screwdriver bits included.


Carpenter’s Level

carpenters level

  • Purchase a 600mm (24in) level which is a good size general-purpose level to have around the home.
  • For example it is very useful when hanging picture frames or photos to ensure the item hangs level horizontally and vertically.


Carpenter’s Square

carpenters square

  • When cutting timber a carpenter’s square is used to ensure you cut along a straight line.
  • When purchasing a square check it for accuracy.  Ask the hardware store for a piece of scrap timber.
  • Take the square you wish to buy and a sharp pencil.
  • Place the square on one side of the timber, draw a pencil line across the width of the timber.
  • Flip the square over  and check that it is square along the first pencil line.


Sharp Pencil and Pencil Sharpener

pencil and sharpener

  • Ensure you use a sharp pencil with a point to ensure a fine line is drawn along the material being marked.


Hand Saw

hand saw

  • A hand saw is essential in your DIY tool kit if you are cutting timber.
  • Purchase a combination saw that cuts both across the grain and along the length of the grain.
  • Saws are measured by the number of “teeth per inch” (tpi).  The more teeth per inch the finer the cut.
  • A saw with 24 tpi (teeth per inch) will finish with a finer cut to the edge of the timber.
  • A saw with 8-10 tpi will cut faster but leave a rough finish to the edge.


Utility Knife

utility knife

  • A Utility Knife is a very useful addition to have in your DIY tool kit.
  • It has a sharp, retractable blade that is easily replaced.
  • A utility knife can be used for cutting plasterboard, cardboard, cutting out grout around tiles, cutting rope.


Ear Muffs or Ear Plugs

  • When you start using power tools of any kind add ear muffs or ear plugs to your tool kit.
  • It is important to get into the habit of wearing hearing protection every time you use a power tool.
  • Purchase either ear muffs or ear plugs that feel comfortable when you try them on.




  • There are a wide range of clamps on the market such as screw clamps, mitre clamps, G clamps, power clamps and more.
  • For your DIY tool kit start with two clamps about 300 mm (12 inches) long.
  • The clamps will hold work pieces in place and stop the work piece from moving.


Folding Work Bench

Portable work benchy

  • If you don’t have room or access to fixed bench a folding work bench is very useful to have.
  • It can be folded and put away, or taken away from your home.
  • When I am cutting timber or other material I secure the material by clamping it to the work bench.
  • Once the material is clamped I can then undertake cutting, drilling, sanding or any other task without the material moving.

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