You might’ve just rented your very first apartment, or you and your wife bought your very first home. Regardless there are going to be some learning curves along the way. If something breaks, who’s going to fix it? There’s no longer dad to ask to do it, no maintenance in a big apartment building; it’s up to you. That may sound terrifying; of course, if major shit hits the wall, you can call somebody, but if you call for every little thing, you’ll be eating Ramen nightly as you bleed money away. There’s no basic home maintenance in school, maybe you were lucky enough, and your dad showed you things instead of yelling at you that you get in the way. You can, of course, watch YouTube videos, but before you fall into a rabbit hole and think that you can build an entire house by yourself. Here are some things you’ll need to have before you start any project.
- A Tape Measure That Tells You Every Single Measurement
You can get a normal tape measure with every inch labeled out and then a bunch of different size lines. Sure it’s easy to tell 1/2 or 1/4, but do you know what measurement 3/8 is? If you’re like me, then no. It’s a little embarrassing if somebody is helping you who knows what they are doing, and you tell them it’s 9 inches and 6 lines. That’s why you need the dumb dumb tape measure. There’s no shame in using it, and after you’ve used it a bunch, you won’t even need the cheat sheet, and what idiot says no to a cheat sheet?
2. All In One Screwdriver
Instead of searching through 5 different screwdrivers to find the flat one, get an all-in-one screwdriver. First of all, it’s cheaper than buying an entire set of screwdrivers. Secondly, it won’t take up a lot of space. Thirdly I know your dumbass will probably lose a screwdriver, so instead of spending extra time trying to find that one screwdriver that was probably thrown out, get one that has all of the attachments. It’s easy to change out the attachments for mine. You need to pull the head off and then replace it with a different one. It really can’t get that more simple.
3. A Plain Hammer
If you’ve ever walked into the tool section with your dad, you’ll remember there are about a thousand different hammers. Nobody thinks that you’re Bob the fucking Builder, so get a plain old-fashioned hammer. It needs to have a little something on it, so you don’t get laughed at when somebody sees your hammer—size matters for hammers and other things.
4. An Adjustable Wrench
Once again, if you can get one tool and it’ll work fine, get one tool. You don’t need your garage to turn into Home Depot. You don’t have the money or space for that. Not to mention there’s nothing worse than not having right the right size and having to make a thousand trips to your garage to find the perfect size. It’s much better to spin the middle of the wrench and make sure it fits properly. If you don’t, you’ll end up stripping the bolt and fucking yourself in the long run. The negative side to an adjustable wrench is that it doesn’t come with the sockets, so it will be a lot harder to unscrew something, but that brings us to our next item.
5. Socket Set
Unfortunately, there isn’t an all-in-one tool for this. You have to buy the entire set because there will come a time that’ll you need either a large or small socket, and you thought you would be practical and get the small set. Well, now you’re trying to fit a circle in a square hole, and you’re fucked. You have to end up buying the socket anyway, so you might as well do it once. They make it, so these come in small little cases, so you shouldn’t have to worry about storage.
6. Stud Finder
Don’t be the person who goes, “I know a trick all I need to do is knock on the wall, and I can find the stud.” You’ll end up with random holes in your walls as all you wanted to do was hang a picture. Stud finders have gotten so advanced that they will tell you if there is a wire near that stud, so you don’t end up frying yourself. You have that big screen tv that you’re going to wall mount, and instead of using a stud finder, you’ll do it yourself. Well, either A) you put hundred random holes in your wall that you pray the tv will cover. Or B) you actually didn’t hit any studs, and now your thousand dollar tv is hanging on to only sheetrock, and it’s only a matter of time until that thing comes crashing down. Probably when you’re jumping up and down after your team won a big game. Nothing is a bigger mood killer than having your tv come crashing down.
7. Utility Knife
There’s a reason why they call it a utility knife. The number of things that you can use this for is endless. Wanna cut some sheetrock, rip up your rug, or cut down empty beer boxes, so they fit in the recycle bin? Well, a utility knife can do it all. Just be careful when using it, and don’t be the dumbass who slices part of their finger off. There’s a little bit of maintenance with this tool. When it stops cutting easily, just switch out the razor blades. It’s very straightforward; there’s a little screw on the back where extra blades will be stored, just get one out and wiggle the old blade, and boom, you’ve changed a blade.
8. Needle Nose Pliers
This is for when you need to get into those tight spaces. You don’t even need to be doing carpentry shit in order to use these pliers they can be used for household chores. Your buddy one of those people that rip off old beer tabs and throws them in the sink? Don’t worry if one is stuck in the drain that’s what needle nose pliers are for. There’s something stuck in your bong or pipe and you can’t get it free? Break out the needle-nose pliers.
9. Drill With Bits
For the love of God, get a cordless drill. Maybe you want to save a little bit of money and get the corded one? You’ll have to get extension cords and have a wire hanging all around you. Save yourself the headache and spend a little extra and get cordless. Not only is the drill important, but you can’t forget about the bits. There are really only 3 bits you’ll ever need star bit size 20 and 25, and a Phillips bit. There are a dozen more bits, but for basic work, those three bits will work fine. Who wants to sit around screwing shit in by hand? Instead, grab your drill and save yourself some time for other screwing.
10. Circular Saw
There’s a reason why this one is last, and it’s really for the new homeowner that wants to really start building shit. A chop saw is much easier, and you’ll probably get better cuts. Hold on, big shoot. Maybe after you’ve done a couple of weekend projects, you can treat yourself to a chop saw. For the time being, a circular saw will do just fine. You can get the same cuts and do a lot more. You can’t take a chop saw inside and cut something off, but you can with a circular saw. You need to shave off a little bit off a 2X4 but don’t own a table saw; well, a circular saw can do that. All you need is some decently steady hands and to be careful. A circular saw is more dangerous than a chop saw since you’re wielding around a blade that is spinning faster than when you first get into bed after a long night at the bar. So be careful, but nowadays, they have so many safety precautions that as long as you’re not a dumbass, you won’t be slicing fingers off.
There’s the list of the tools that you should first buy. Am I missing some stuff like a level? Sure, but until you think you’re Bob the Builder, this list will do you just fine.