Of course, you think of tools for that handy guy you know for Christmas. But what about those kids in their first apartment or home? Every house needs a basic set of tools for everyday fixes.
A good set of pliers are essential. Adjustable channel lock pliers are great for plumbing jobs like replacing a shower head. Needle nose pliers are good for small jobs and lineman’s pliers are great for wire work.
Crescent wrenches are also necessary for plumbing work. Get two! A large 14-inch for the most leverage and a small one for working in smaller spaces.
With a new house or apartment, you’re likely to be hanging pictures and shelves. Leveling tools come in many sizes and forms. A torpedo level is good for hanging pictures and a long spirit level works for larger jobs like shelves. With these two levels, you’ll be set for most projects.
A 16-oz rip hammer is great for driving and pulling nails. Like other tools, if you invest in a good one, it will last a lifetime. A good screwdriver set with both large and small Philips and straight heads is a great addition to your tool list.
A few other handy items include a utility knife, vise grips, and 25-foot tape measure. Utility knives are great for scoring or straight edge cutting like drywall. They will come with extra blades. A one-inch blade tape measure will extend and stay stiff; great for measuring on your own. Vise grips make great clamps for any job (like gluing).
A lithium powered drill is a little more expensive; but it’s a fantastic all-around tool. They come with a couple battery packs and you can buy just about any attachment you can think of from a reciprocating saw to a circular saw to a drill driver. Don’t go for the cheapest one here! This time of year is great for drill shopping, as the best brands are on sale for the holidays.
So if you’re still looking for gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person, consider tools! We all need them at one time or another.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO