Of course, there are plenty of women who are DIY divas extraordinaire. I take my hat off to you all. I struggle to fix a squeaky door.
But generally, it’s the man of the house who is the proud owner of an impressive tool kit. And, if you separate, you can bet he’ll be taking it with him. Leaving you, up the creak without a hammer.
As a single mum, you’re gonna have things that need fixing, building and general DIYing, meaning you will need a tool box. But where to start and what to put in it?
Don’t panic. And don’t panic buy the whole of Bunnings. Here is our guide of what to put in your new tool box if you’ve never had one before.
WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR NEW TOOL BOX IF YOU’VE NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE
The tape measure is one of the key essentials when building your first tool box. It’s what you would use to measure most things, from entire rooms to a section of curtain. Ideally, you should have one large enough for big spaces like walls and floors and a smaller one for frames and tabletop items. If budget is tight, get an 8-meter tape like this one from Catch. The tape colour is bright yellow and easily visible even in low light conditions.
At the very least, you should have two screwdrivers: a Phillips head and a flat head in medium size. These would cover most jobs like fixing loose lamps and door handles. A set of smaller screwdrivers is also handy for taking apart electronics like computers and smart phones. This set from Amazon is lightweight and magnetic…great for unsteady hands.
High quality pliers come in handy for when you want to grip, bend or detach something. There are different types for different jobs, but you’ll probably use broad nose and needle nose pliers most of the time for cutting wires, gripping slippery metal and reaching into tight spaces. This one from Catch is ideal for both home and professional use.Pliers from Catch for $29
A medium weight hammer will cover most household needs, from putting up shelves to hanging photos on the wall. Get a high-quality hammer with a nonslip handle like this one from Bunnings. It’s perfect for general carpentry work and home use.
A spirit level takes the guesswork out of positioning and straightening objects. Whether you’re drilling multiple holes in a line, putting up hooks on the wall or straightening a wall painting, an accurate level is a must. We suggest getting the best level that you can afford. Good quality ones last for a lifetime, so treat the purchase as an investment.
NAILS AND SCREWS
Nails and screws, like needle and thread in a sewing kit, are great to have around in your tool box, even if you don’t have a current project. You never know when you’ll need them. You can buy different sizes from the hardware shop and organize them yourself or get prepackaged sets like this one from Catch, with a compartmentalised box and transparent lid.
A utility knife is a versatile tool for precision cutting and slicing. Not only for the kitchen, a sharp knife is a necessity for crafting, construction and remodeling projects. Get a heavy duty utility knife that comes with a built-in sharpener like this one from Wiltshire.
A spanner seems like an afterthought purchase when you’re building your first tool box, but it’s critical for many projects. A spanner is used for gripping and turning nuts, bolts, screws and other connectors to loosen or tighten. Standard spanners are made from steel and coated with chrome to prevent rust. We recommend an adjustable spanner like this one from Amazon (comes in two sizes).
What to put in your new tool kit (cont.)
If you’ve ever assembled IKEA furniture, you’ve probably used Allen keys. These are one of the simplest types of wrenches with a hexagonal head that fits into items specifically designed for the shape. Having a spare set in your tool box is great for emergencies. This one from Amazon comes with multiple ball driver head sizes to cover most projects.
READY MADE TOOL KIT
For busy people who don’t have time to research what to put in their tool box, a ready made tool kit is the perfect solution. All the essentials are included plus handy extras that are great to have in case of emergencies. This 39-piece kit from Amazon includes pliers, hammer, tape measure, cutters, Allen keys, screwdriver and screwdriver heads.