So, you’re ready to get into the DIY game. Maybe you want to turn your home into a castle without breaking the bank. Maybe you’re itching to slap on some safety glasses and make something with your own two hands. Whatever your motivation, your DIY journey begins with assembling a toolkit that’s up to the task.

We’ve put together a list of home improvement tools covering everything both the average homeowner and a beginner-level DIYer will need to succeed.

Tools Every Homeowner Should Have in Their Toolbox

  • Tape Measure: Choose a 25-foot long tape, which is long enough for a wide range of DIY projects.
    • Average Price Range: $10-$15
  • Utility Knife: Cheaply-made knives are prone to problems such as blades that snap or won’t lock into place. Opt for a mid-range knife with a rubber grip to prevent slipping.
    • Average Price Range: $15-$30
  • Claw Hammer: Choose one with a rubber or vinyl handle for easier grip, plus shock absorption.
    • Average Price Range: $8-$25
  • Screwdriver Set: Find a set with both flat-head and Phillips-head screwdrivers in various sizes.
    • Average Price Range: $10-$30
  • Nails and Screws: Purchase an assortment of round-head, oval-head and finish nails in various sizes. Do the same for wood and drywall screws.
    • Average Price Ranges: $9-$11 (nail varieties in 1-pound packs); $12-$16 (screw varieties in 1-pound packs)
  • Adjustable Pliers: Can also function as clamps and wire cutters. Adjustable pliers are also called plier wrenches or locking pliers.
    • Average Price Range: $10-$15
  • Adjustable Crescent Wrench: At the beginner level, a set isn’t necessary. One large adjustable wrench or one larger and one smaller will do.
    • Average Price Range: $13-$30
  • Allen Wrenches: Choose a set with various sizes. Allen wrenches are also called hex keys.
    • Average Price Range: $5-$15
  • Level: Yes, there are apps for that but an actual level can double as a straightedge if you opt for a larger version.
    • Average Price Range: $5-$12
  • Stepladder: This isn’t exactly a tool, but a 6 to 10-foot step ladder will allow you to reach most areas where you might need to use your tools.
    • Average Price Range: $60-$100

A large red level, an essential tool for any homeowner.

Additional Home Improvement Tools for the DIYer

Homeowners should keep all the above tools within easy reach. But those who want to start taking on more complex DIY projects will need a few more basics in their toolkit. These are the additional must-have DIY tools for a beginner-level DIYer:

  • Stud Finder: Makes it easy to find studs for securely hanging shelves and other heavy items.
    • Average Price Range: $10-$25
  • Power Drill: Corded versions are cheaper than cordless. Whichever you choose, get the most for your money by buying one that can sand and grind in addition to drilling and driving screws.
    • Average Price Ranges: $30-$80 (corded); $60-$100 (cordless)
  • Hacksaw: Can be used to cut through both wood and metal pipes.
    • Average Price Range: $12-$20
  • Putty Knife: In addition to spreading putty, can be used for prying, scraping away residue, removing wallpaper and more.
    • Average Price Range: $1-$7
  • Heavy-Duty Extension Cord: Get a 14-gauge or 12-gauge extension cord to run your power tools when there’s no nearby outlet.
    • Average Price Range: $18-$40

A red hacksaw, a must-have DIY tool.

Basic DIY Projects for Beginners

Got the itch to start putting your toolbox to use? Below are a few awesome, yet simple DIY projects you can accomplish using only the basic home improvement tools mentioned above.

Build an outdoor bar with pallets: Sounds complicated, but the only tools you’ll need are a hammer, a hacksaw, a tape measure and some nails and screws. No carpentry skills required to enjoy a cold one at a bar you built yourself!

Update your faucets: Installing a new faucet is a great beginner DIY project that will have a major impact on the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Only tools needed: an adjustable wrench and pliers.

Install wall-mounted shelves: This easy project can transform the look of a room. All you’ll need from your toolbox is your power drill, tape measure, level and some screws.

Have your own tool tips? Share them in the comments below!

Ready to get your hands dirty updating your home? Learn the basics of painting, plumbing, carpentry and more with our Exceedingly Comprehensive Guide to DIY Home Improvement.