13 Favorites: Best of Household Tools by

Issue 18 · The Handywoman · May 8, 2014

13 Favorites: Best of Household Tools

Issue 18 · The Handywoman · May 8, 2014

Limited to an urban-sized tool box? We've rounded up our favorite tools, including classic hammers, mini screwdrivers, and a compact tape measure, all ideal for handling everyday household tasks. 

Estwing Hammer, Remodelista  

Above: Everyone home needs a hammer, and this one will last a lifetime. Made by a century-old Illinois company, the Estwing Leather Handle Claw Hammer is solid steel with a bound and lacquered leather grip. It's $32 at Kaufmann Mercantile.

Wood Handled Mini Screwdriver Set, Remodelista

Above: Mini-screwdrivers are among the most frequently used items in my urban toolkit (stowed in a presentable lidded basket in my sunroom). The Wood Handled Mini Screwdriver Set includes three Phillips and three slotted screwdrivers. Made in Michigan (with handles carved in Maine and blades forged in Massachusetts), the set is $29.95 at Kaufmann Mercantile. 

Rosewood Compact Tape Measure, Remodelista  

Above: Only two inches square, the compact Rosewood Tape Measure extends for up to 6.5 feet, and tucks easily into a handbag or a desk drawer. It's $14 at Spartan.

Every Day Carry Tools, Remodelista  

Above: A mini toolkit for those on the go, the EDC (Every Day Carry) Tool Kit features a pry bar, screwdrivers, tweezers, and lighter, all on a titanium key ring; $54 at Kaufmann Mercantile.

Hammer Screwdriver Combo, Remodelista  

Above: A great office companion, the Hammer Screwdriver Combination Tool is a four-in-one tool that can be configured as a hammer, a Philips screwdriver, and two flat-head screwdrivers. The handles are solid brass and the heads are tempered steel; $20 at Schoolhouse Electric.



Brass Calliper Gauge, Remodelista  

Above: A tool I never knew could be so useful until I borrowed one from my woodworking son: the Small Brass Calliper Gauge is great for small and precise measurements when a tape measure is too clumsy; $8 for the 100 millimeter/4-inch size at Esslinger.

Telescoping Tool Kit, Remodelista  

Above: Lengthen your reach—and your ability to find things that fell behind the washing machine—with the Telescoping Tool Set. It includes a magnetic pickup tool, a mirror tool, an alligator clip tool, and a lighted magnetic pickup tool perfect for dark corners; $19.49 at Restoration Hardware. 

Apollo Hammer Multi Tool, Remodelista

Above: The Apollo Precision Multi Hammer is a 9-in-1 multi-tool geared to household. It includes a hammer, nail puller, screwdriver, pliers, small saw blade, knife, and files; $25.53 through Amazon.

Areaware Household Tool Set, Remodelista

Above: From industrial designer Jonas Damon, the Wood Tool Set consists of a bright LED flashlight, level, ruler, and screwdriver (with interchangeable Phillips and flathead bits), all made of beechwood; $95 from A+R Store.

Burgon and Ball Lambfoot Knife at Ancient Industries, Remodelista  

Above: Could this be the ultimate utility knife? The Burgon and Ball Lambfoot Knife is a tempered, high-carbon Sheffield steel knife strong enough to trim lamb's hoofs. The four-inch blade folds into a rosewood handle; $55 at Ancient Industries. 



Gimlet Hand Drill, Remodelista  

Above: Power drills can be overkill for simple household drilling needs. As an alternative, consider French-made Gimlet Hand Drills, made from annealed metal with a sturdy machined flute that bites into wood and drywall; $13.95 for the set of four at Kaufmann Mercantile.

Sheffield Kevlar Scissor, Remodelista

Above: Are you guilty (like me) of using your good paper scissors to pry nails out of walls and as a makeshift chisel? Here's a scissor that can do it all. The Sheffield Kevlar Shear is designed in Sheffield, England, for industrial use (cutting Kevlar). It's indestructible, sharp, heavy and, best of all, nonstick (packing tape won't gum up these blades); $76 at Best Made Co. Image via Gizmodo.au.

Merchant MIlls Sewing Kit, Remodelista  

Above: An indispensable household toolkit for repairs that require stitching, the Merchant & Mills Sewing Kit contains pins, needles, measuring tape and scissors. Known as a tailor's roll, it is $65 at Ancient Industries. 

Looking for a place to stow your gear? See 10 Easy Pieces: Stylish Toolboxes. And for Garden Tools, Gardenista has you covered—urbanites, have a look at Erin's DIY: Toolbox for a City Gardener.

Have an opinion? Care to comment? We'd love to hear what you have to say.