Every home deserves a toolbox, and you can pick one up through any reputable online or brick-and-mortar hardware store. But what actually goes into your toolbox? That can be a surprisingly hard list to make – you don’t want to spend the Earth or feel inundated with gadgets, but neither do you want to find yourself missing the right tool for the right job.
Luckily enough, your toolbox doesn’t need to be overflowing to be fully stocked with all the essentials – in fact, any toolbox worth its salt is built around just 10 fundamental items.
Having the right equipment to hand means being able to respond to essential jobs around the home and put together your flat-pack furniture in a flash – you’ll even have all the necessaries if conducting major home improvements starts to appeal to you, but you don’t have to collect the whole hardware store to feel confident in your DIY-ing ability.
Here’s a quick rundown of your essential items. You’ll learn where to use them, how to use them, which ones to pick, and the ins and outs of storage – by the end of this post, expect to be well-versed, well-prepared, and ready to get started.
Essentially just a metal rod with a shape at its head, the humble screwdriver is used to get screws in, get screws out, and, more often than not, to lever lids away from paint pots. Screwdrivers are rarely a one-shot deal. There are differences in heads and differences in size, but you can basically break the essentials down into:
Slot Head: The head tapers to a single wedge that’s perfect for simple slotted screws. Blades are measured by fractions of inch.
Philips Head: The head fits into cross-shape-headed screws, with sizes varying between #0 and #4.
Allen Head: The head fits into a hexagonal shape and is measured in millimeters.
Stubbies are as short as possible; with a pronounced knob to hold onto instead of the customary long handle, they are tailormade for working in smaller, tighter spaces where maneuverability is compromised. In contrast, longer screwdrivers should be your go-to for reaching into gaps. Ratchet screwdrivers save you taking the head from the screw at every rotation – a good investment should extensive screwdriving be on the horizon.
Using the wrong size or shape of screwdriver could strip the screw head. Don’t do that. Rotate slowly but steadily, holding the handle with your dominant hand and the screw with your other. Remember to turn, not press – this is a screw, not a nail. When you’re done, there’s really no wrong way to store your screwdriver, but it’s nice having them lined up so you can pick out different lengths and shapes at a glance.
As for brands, you can’t go too far wrong with the extensive range available from Stanley – Bahco and Draper are also worthy choices.
Spanners, known as wrenches across the pond, provide a set grip that fits over a fastener, such as a nut or bolt, with a handle to deliver leverage for easier turning – the longer the handle, the greater the leverage. A socket set uses a single handle that can be fitted to differently sized grips; whole sets are pricy, but they’re what you need to tackle a diverse range of fastenings without hauling around a weighty trove of single spanners.
Spanners are available in plenty of sizes, with a standard ‘M-value’ of fastener corresponding to different grip sizes. Look for one made of chromium-vanadium alloy, preferably with a chrome coating to resist corrosion.
How To Choose The Right Tool Set
Having just a couple of tools is not enough for most professional mechanics, in fact, the starting investment that a mechanic should expect to invest at a bare minimum is around $11,000. Collecting all the tools you need as time goes on one by one is the best option, even though it may take a while to have all the necessary equipment that you would use frequently. If this doesn’t work for you, tool sets for mechanics are the best option for you. We will discuss everything you need to know about tool sets so that you are able to choose the most suitable for the job. If you’re starting your career in the mechanic’s industry, buy a tool set that includes various types of tools for the different jobs that you will end up working on. We have listed below some features that you need to look for in a professional-grade tool set.
1) Number of Tools Pieces
It is important to note the number of pieces that are included in the tool set as this saves you money in the long term and makes so you having matching tools. Tool sets can include 50 to hundreds of pieces. However, more pieces doesn’t always mean value or convenience; you have to make sure that the tools included are of use for your job.
If you work on the go one of the big questions to ask is “Can I take this with me easily”. If you are on the go you need to consider the options that have a carrying case with a handle that enables you to carry all of your tools wherever you go. Weight is another important factor that you should consider when choosing a tool set. The lighter the tool set is, the easier it is to carry and transport. If you want a portable option, you should choose one that is light enough for you to be able to easily move it. Ensure that the case is sturdy and heavy-duty to ensure a lifetime of use!