Guest Author - Dale Y the Maintenance Guy
In home maintenance, although there are many types of niggling problems, most of them, and I mean like 80% or so, can be fixed or repaired with just 3 simple tools. I know, this sounds a bit unbelievable when one sees the menagerie of specialized tools available for nearly every type of job under the sun.
The truth, however, is that the 3 essential tools are so versatile and handy to have, that no home do-it-yourselfer should be without them, and they really will take care of most of the problems that are found in anybody's household.
The first thing that everyone should have is a 6 in 1 screwdriver. It might be the neatest gadget ever invented, and one of the handiest as well. There are two sizes of interchangeable screwdrivers, in flat blades and Phillips, and there are two of the most common nut drivers built inside; a 3/8 inch and a 1/4 inch. Most home maintenance repairs will generally use a simple screwdriver or a nut driver to unscrew things to get at them, or tighten /replace a loose or missing nut. Having a 6 in 1 is nearly as good as a box of screwdrivers, and I have several laying around because they are just so darn handy!
The next thing is a quality made locking pliers, or ViceGrips, if you will. These are the most versatile pliers on the market, that double as a miniature vise, a set of infinitely adjustable wrenches, and that means it doesn’t matter whether the nuts are standard or metric. You can literally squeeze them until they actually lock onto whatever you need held in place, just like a clamp, and they make the perfect extra set of fingers for a tight firm grip on anything! These are absolutely wonderful for any plumbing type job, and great for anything car related. Again, I have several of these around because I just never know when I will need to crimp a hose, clamp two pieces of wood together, or hold the back side of a nut steady while I turn a screw into it.
Last but not least, is a good blade. And by blade, I mean either a utility type razor blade cutting tool or a good quality knife. Yeah, you could get away with a heavy duty pair of scissors as your blade, but a knife or a utility razor just has a bit more versatility to it. Trimming and slicing things are some of the staples of home maintenance, and I wouldn’t be caught anywhere without some type of knife in my pocket.
Now, all that said, this doesn't mean that you won't need parts or supplies for some repairs, and that's a given. And yes, there are specialty tools made for virtually every purpose that you could think of, but the reality is that a specialty tool only makes the job go faster and sometimes easier, but not necessarily better, and that’s the key.
So there you have my essential tools list, and in the business of home improvement or household maintenance, I wouldn’t be caught without them!