Tool Kit Checklist

Ever wonder how much stuff (make that how little stuff) you actually need? Real Simple rallied the experts to find out. Get your trash bag: We're parin' down.

  1. Check A putty knife

    Removes old caulk or opening paint cans.

  2. Check A standard flat-nose claw hammer

    12 to 16 ounces with a steel head.

  3. Check A multihead screwdriver

    Phillips-head, flathead, and Torx (six-point star shape).

  4. Check A 12-volt cordless drill

    Meant for DIY work, like hanging curtains and mounting heavy art.

  5. Check Assorted fasteners

    A kit with nuts, bolts, washers, anchors, and nails in various sizes.

  6. Check Duct tape

    Perfect for quick fixes, like patching a torn bicycle seat.

  7. Check A metal tape measure

    Should measure at least an inch wide, so it won’t flop when extended.

  8. Check A C-clamp

    Holds together glued pieces while they dry.

  9. Check Needle-nose pliers

    Good for minor jewelry repairs and pulling out small nails.

  10. Check An adjustable wrench

    Instead of having a set with many different sizes.

  11. Check WD-40

    Right for lubing bike chains and loosening rusty hinges.

  12. Check Slip-joint pliers

    These adjust to grip items of various sizes.

  13. Check A crosscut saw

    Measure 14 to 16 inches long, for small carpentry projects.