Don’t forget the safety glasses!

By Real Simple Staff
Updated November 29, 2018
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Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or you’re retired and looking to downsize to a smaller place, no home is complete without a well-stocked tool kit. You may not like to tackle home repairs or think power tools seem a bit scary (no judgment here), but you’ll still want a basic set of tools for quick projects such as hanging a new picture frame or caulking around the bathroom sink.

Purchasing a complete tool kit can be pricey, so to help you figure out what you really need (sandpaper and a hammer are essential) and what you can leave to the home improvement pros (you probably don’t need a lathe), we rounded up 24 things every basic tool kit should have. Order these must-haves for your new home, or use this list as a guide to fill in the holes in your current toolbox—just know you’re going to be reaching for these essentials again and again.

Toolbox Essentials:

- Toolbox |To buy: Goplus 20-Inch Portable Toolbox, $46; amazon.com

- Safety glasses | To buy: 3M SecureFit Safety Glasses, $10; homedepot.com

- Electric drill | To buy: BLACK + DECKER 18v Cordless Power Drill/Driver with 30 Bonus Accessories, $35; target.com

- Drill bits | Most new drills come with bits; To buy: MilwaukeeShockwave Impact Duty Titanium Dill Bit Set (23-Piece), $20; homedepot.com

- Carpenter pencil | To buy: The Home Depot Oversized Carpenter Pencil, $0.18; homedepot.com

- Permanent marker | To buy: Sharpie Twin Tip Permanent Markers, 4 Pack, $8; amazon.com

- 6-in-1 screwdriver | To buy: Stanley All-In-One 6-Way Scredriver, $7; amazon.com

- Wrench | To buy: Husky Double-Speed Adjustable Wrench Set (3-Piece), $10; homedepot.com

- Wood glue | To buy: Gorilla 18 fl. oz. Wood Glue, $6; homedepot.com

- Extension cord | To buy: Hyper Tough 50ft Orange Extension Cord, $10; walmart.com

- Hot glue gun | To buy: Elmer's CraftBond Enhanced Safety High Temp Glue Gun, $14; michaels.com

- Hot glue sticks | To buy: Elmer's CraftBond Less Mess All-Temp Glue Sticks, $7; michaels.com

- Super glue | To buy: Gorilla Super Glue, $3; amazon.com

- Hammer | To buy: Stanley Curved Claw Fiberglass Nailing Hammer, $8; target.com

- Nails and screws | To buy: Arrow Utility Screw, Nail, and Tack Kit, $5; target.com

- Picture hangers | To buy: Hillman Medium Picture Hanging Kit, $8; lowes.com

- Painter’s tape | To buy: ScotchBlue Original Multi-Use Painter’s Tape, $7; homedepot.com

- Sand paper | To buy: 3M Pro Grade Precision Grit Fine Advanced Sanding Sheets (4-Pack), $4; homedepot.com

- Gloves | To buy: Firm Grip Large General Purpose Gloves, $10; homedepot.com

- Mini flashlight | To buy: Coast HX5 130 Lumen Focusing LED Pocket Light, $20; homedepot.com

- Level | To buy: Stanley 8 Inch Magnetic Torpedo Level, $6; target.com

- Tape measure and mini tape measure (for on the go) | To buy: Stanley PowerLock 25 ft. x 1 in. Tape Measure, $10; homedepot.com; and Stanley FatMax 6 ft. x 1/2 in. Keychain Pocket Tape Measure, $4; homedepot.com

- Metal scraper | To buy: Allway Tools 3-Inch Stiff Steel Metal Wall Scraper, $7; amazon.com

- Hex key | To buy: Husky Metric Short Arm Hex Key Set (10-Piece), $5; homedepot.com

- Paintbrush | To buy: 2 in. Flat Utility Brush, $3; homedepot.com

Styling by Blake Ramsey