List of Must Have Home Repair Tools

This illustrated master list of home repair tools for homestead repair and maintenance will help you choose the right tools you need to maintain your home.

| July/August 1988

A master list of home repair tools for homestead repairs and maintenance. 

List of Must Have Home Repair Tools

Oh, sure. In theory, it's possible to have too many tools. In actual practice, though, the art of acquiring home repair tools—just like every motion other than that of antimatter-holds to Einstein's theory of special relativity. The mass of an object may appear to approach infinite as it nears the speed of light, just as someone may perceive that we have too many tools. But that's from an outside frame of reference. On board the speeding spaceship or inside the packed workshop, the situation looks copacetic. (See the tool illustrations in the image gallery.)

Take our word for it: Don't listen to those naysayers. Worry, instead, about having enough home repair tools, and get to work right away on achieving that goal!

To help you get off to a good start, we polled MOTHER'S staff—a group with considerable experience at the art of tool accumulation—for a list of 25 essential implements for homestead repair and maintenance. Initially, there was much grousing over the limitation. "What, a mere 25? Why, that won't even cover toaster repair." Eventually, though, the unruly and opinionated bunch fell into line and cast their votes. The final tally includes only those tools that received at least three votes on a total of 14 ballots.

Experienced tinkerers are probably familiar with most, if not all, of the tools on our list, but we hope you veterans will find at least a couple of inspirational new uses for your favorites when we discuss tool applications. And if you really are just starting a tool obsession (er, collection), you'll be surprised at how many jobs a few good tools can do.

One all-too-common misconception about tools is that the home mechanic can get by with inferior items because he or she won't use them often. Well, besides the often overlooked fact that good tools can help compensate for unskilled hands, there's another important reason to buy on the upper half of the price scale. Because your collection will be limited, at least for the time being, you'll sometimes be asking your tools to do work they weren't designed for. In fact, in the course of this article we're likely to suggest some uses that will make manufacturers shudder. They would call it abuse; we call it versatility. Whatever the terminology, it takes a tough tool to handle the strain.

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