12 Tools Every Man Should Have in His Toolbox

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Your girlfriend
needs help putting some furniture together. Your wife asks you to
install a ceiling fan. Your kid needs her bike fixed. Of course
you have the tools to take on these jobs, right? For many younger
men these days, owning a well equipped toolbox is something that
only their dads do. Often when these men have a project, they have
to go to someone else to take care of their handyman needs. But
a man should be self-reliant. He should have the tools and know-how
to tackle basic projects around the house.

If you’re
one of those younger gents who just never got around to stocking
a toolbox, below we’ve included a list 12 basic tools that
we think every toolbox should have.

Before You

A few things
to remember before you head over to the hardware store and go on
a shopping spree:

Fork over
the money for quality tools.
You can easily go to Wal-Mart and
buy an entire 102 piece, Made in China, piece of crap tool set for
$30. Fight the temptation. These chintzy tools will probably last
you a few uses before they snap or break on you. Invest your money
in quality, durable tools that will last a lifetime. If you have
no clue about which brand to go for, Craftsman tools are a pretty
safe bet. They’re durable and tough, and their hand tools come
with a lifetime warranty.

One at a
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are great
tool boxes. You don’t need to buy your complete set of tools
all at once (unless of course you have the scratch to do so). Spread
your acquisitions out so you don’t break the bank. Another
good way to build your toolbox arsenal is to ask for specific tools
for presents on different occasions. If you’re a young man
just graduating high school, ask for some tools instead of money.
That’s when I started my tool collection. I also know of a
couple of (lucky) guys whose friends threw them a “Man Shower”
before they got hitched. All of their buddies brought a tool or
piece of camping gear to bestow upon the groom-to-be. Also, Christmas,
your birthday, and Father’s Day are all great times to acquire


A good, solid
hammer can be used for driving nails into wood as well as small
demolition jobs. My old man would use his hammer for damn near everything,
much to the chagrin of my mother. Go for the classic 16 ounce hammer.
It’s heavy enough for most basic home repair needs, but light
enough for you to carry around without it being a nuisance. While
your grandpa probably used a hammer with a wooden handle, you shouldn’t.
Wood handles break easily. Go with something that has a long-lasting
synthetic handle. Also, when picking out a hammer, you want one
that has a good balance in your hand and isn’t head heavy.
It’s a lot like picking out a golf club or a baseball bat.
So go to the hardware store and try a few out before making your


A flathead
screwdriver has a single blade that fits into the single slot of
a flathead screw. Flathead screws have been around for a l o n g
time, so it’s likely your great-great grandpa had a few flathead
screwdrivers in his tool chest. While the Phillips screw has quickly
taken the place of flathead screws in most projects, it’s still
a good idea to have a few flathead drivers in your tool arsenal.
In addition to driving in screws, flatheads can also be improvised
for different uses like light prying, scrapping, and nudging. Quick
tip: make sure the electricity is turned off BEFORE you start sticking
a screwdriver in a light socket to pry out a broken bulb. Trust


Invented by
Henry F. Phillips in 1936, the Phillips head screw has quickly replaced
the flathead screw in most projects. A Phillips head screwdriver
has a four star point at the end that fits into the corresponding
screw’s shallow, cross-shaped depression. This design allows
a user to apply more torque than is possible with a flathead screwdriver.
The depression forces the blades of the Phillips screwdriver to
slip out before any damaging over-torquing can occur. As mentioned
above, Phillips screws have pretty much replaced flathead screws,
so make sure you have a good set of Phillips screwdrivers in varying


Whether you’re
building a gun cabinet or measuring to see if that flat screen TV
will fit in your den, a dependable 25′ retractable metal measuring
tape is a must. Plus, they’re fun for your kids. I remember
my brother and I would take my dad’s measuring tape and extend
the tape all the way out, lock it, and then watch it retract. It
was double fun when the end would accidently pinch my brother’s
finger, and he would start crying.


Of all your
tools, this baby will probably see the most action. It’s like
having 50 wrenches in one. The crescent wrench is an adjustable
wrench with a sliding jaw that changes the width of the wrench.
So you can use the same tool on different size nuts and bolts. Remember,
when you’re using a crescent wrench, the movable jaw is located
on the side towards which the rotation is to be performed. This
reduces the chance of backlash.

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1, 2010

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