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.

General Tools 10-inch Hawk one-hand ratcheting pipe wrench
  • A putty knife

    Removes old caulk or opening paint cans.

  • A standard flat-nose claw hammer

    12 to 16 ounces with a steel head.

  • A multihead screwdriver

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

  • A 12-volt cordless drill

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

  • Assorted fasteners

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

  • Duct tape

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

  • A metal tape measure

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

  • A C-clamp

    Holds together glued pieces while they dry.

  • Needle-nose pliers

    Good for minor jewelry repairs and pulling out small nails.

  • An adjustable wrench

    Instead of having a set with many different sizes.

  • WD-40

    Right for lubing bike chains and loosening rusty hinges.

  • Slip-joint pliers

    These adjust to grip items of various sizes.

  • A crosscut saw

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

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