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The Essential Toolbox

Essential tools guide

Is one of your kids going off to college? Did you just buy your first house or sign the lease on your first apartment? Are you ready to start your first DIY project?

If your answer was yes to any of the questions, then now is the perfect time to get the necessary components for your toolbox.

First, you'll want to start with the basics.

1. A screwdriver set - You should have Phillips-head and flat-head screwdrivers in a variety of sizes.

2. A claw hammer - A hammer with a 16-inch handle, weighing about a pound should work for most projects.

3. Pliers - Locking, adjustable pliers also known as plier wrenches, lever-wrench pliers, and vise grips are very versatile. Because they lock in place, they can be used as a clamp in lieu of a wrench, wire cutter, or more.

4. Adjustable Wrench - An adjustable, crescent wrench is like having multiple wrenches in one. You'll need one to tighten nuts and bolts and loosen plumbing fixtures.

5. Tape Measure - You might have heard the saying "measure twice, cut once." Well, you need a tape measure for that and for a multitude of other measuring needs.

6. Level - A level ensures you don't hang or install anything less than horizontally perfect. For hands-free leveling, a laser level is your friend.

7. Utility Knife - For opening boxes, sharpening pencils, and more, the utility knife is a toolbox workhorse.

8. Work Light or Flashlight - You should have one of these in your home emergency kit oo.

9. Electric Drill - Cordless drills are convenient for working anywhere, but the corded kinds cost less and don't require expensive battery replacements.

10. Hacksaw - A hacksaw cuts through wood and even metal and plastic pipes. Look for the kind you can easily replace with new blades.

Other: Though not your standard tools, a well-outfitted toolbox should also include: safety goggles, work gloves, rags, pencil, superglue, and, of course, duct tape and WD-40.

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