Limited to an urban-sized toolbox? We’ve rounded up our favorite tools, including classic hammers, mini screwdrivers, and a compact tape measure, all ideal for handling everyday household tasks.
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.
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 $25 at Kaufmann Mercantile.
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 $16 at Spartan.
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.
Above: A great office companion, the Hammer Screwdriver Combination Tool is a four-in-one tool that can be configured as a hammer, a Phillips screwdriver, and two flathead screwdrivers. The handles are solid brass and the heads are tempered steel; $22 at Schoolhouse Electric.
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/four-inch size at Esslinger.
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; $20.99 at Restoration Hardware.
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; $14.41 through Amazon.
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 Bobby Berk Home.
Above: Could this be the ultimate utility knife? The Burgon & 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; £25.95 ($39.50) at Burgon & Ball.
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; $16.95 for the set of seven at Garret Wade.
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.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 8, 2014, as part of our issue called The Handywoman.
Frequently asked questions
What is Remodelista?
Remodelista is an online lifestyle magazine that provides design inspiration and practical advice for a well-lived home. They cover topics such as design, architecture, home renovation, DIY projects, and gardening.
What are the 10 must-have household tools according to Remodelista?
The 10 must-have household tools according to Remodelista are: a cordless drill, a hammer, an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver set, pliers, a level, a utility knife, a measuring tape, a stud finder, and gloves.
Why is a cordless drill necessary for a household?
A cordless drill is necessary for a household because it can be used for a variety of tasks such as hanging shelves, assembling furniture, and drilling holes in walls or wood. Its cordless feature makes it easy to use without being restricted by a power cord.
What is the purpose of a stud finder?
A stud finder is a tool used to locate the studs behind walls. It is helpful when hanging heavy items such as mirrors or shelves.
Can household tools be used for DIY projects?
Yes, many household tools can be used for DIY projects. The 10 must-have household tools recommended by Remodelista are versatile enough for many DIY projects, but specialized tools may be needed for more complex projects.
Are gloves really necessary for household tasks?
Wearing gloves for household tasks can protect your hands from injury, especially when handling sharp or rough materials. Additionally, gloves can improve your grip and prevent slips or drops.