Basic home tool kit

What you need in a basic home tool kit

Whether you’re renting, own a home, or are somewhere in between, you’ll likely find yourself needing basic tools at some point in your life. Because of the plethora of home improvement products on the market, we wanted to put together a simple guide outlining what our recommendations for what you need in a basic home tool kit.

With these simple items, all under $20, you’ll likely be able to manage most small repairs around your house easily!

Here is what you’ll need in a basic home tool kit

 Multi-bit Screwdriver

One of the most versatile tools you can get yourself is a multi-bit screwdriver or screwdriver set. You can find many great options for very reasonable prices almost anywhere – even the dollar store! (Just remember, you usually get what you pay for when it comes to tools!) Our rule of thumb is if you’re going to buy one, it won’t hurt to spend a couple extra dollars for superior quality that you won’t need to replace too quickly. This handy tool can be used for almost any job requiring screws around the house, and it can double as a paint can opener with the flat head bit!


This is a great option and you can find it here. 

25 ft Tape Measure

Another critical essential you won’t want to be without is a tape measure. The standard that most contractors carry is 25ft, but there are definitely options available that are smaller – even key chain options! We recommend this size because it allows the extra space for larger rooms and items if and when you need it.

A tape measure will come in handy almost every time you have a home project. Calculating how much paint you’ll need to buy for a wall? Tape measure. Want to know if that piece from IKEA you want to order will actually fit in your space? Tape measure. Trying to hang a series of art on your wall evenly? Tape measure. You get it.


You can find this option for under $20 here.

Screw & nail set (with drywall plugs)

If you’re going to be using the first item on this list, you’ll probably also need some screws, nails, and plugs in your basic home tool kit. Luckily, these usually come in handy, organized cases with a variety of options under $20. Ideally, you’ll wan to pick a kit that serves multi-purpose scenarios, however you’ll likely use it to hang items up around your house. Find one that has some basic screws, drywall plugs, and nails. Extras like little hooks, picture hangers, or hanging wire are very handy additions you might want to consider.


This version is just $16 and has (almost) everything you could need.

Drywall Spackling and Spreading Knife

When you first move into a new home, you’re bound to find some holes in the walls left over from the previous owners. Whether it was where a piece of art was hanging, or a scuff from moving, it’s always great to have some drywall spackling on hand to fill in any uneven spots. Luckily, the materials are super cheap! Spackling and a small knife set will run you about $10 for a basic set of both. Bonus: we recommend picking up a small sheet of sandpaper for that finishing touch.

We like this drywall compound and this knife set from Canadian Tire. (photos from


This one almost goes without saying. A hammer like the one pictured below is the perfect tool for getting things into and out of walls, furniture, or fixtures in your home. A stubby one is great for a small, basic tool kit and can be stored away easily.

basic home tool kit


This one is fantastic, inexpensive, and easy to store!


One of the last items you’ll want to consider having in your basic home tool kit is a couple of different adhesives. We mean super glue, duct tape, or tuck tape (which is stronger than duct tape!) Trust us, whether it’s putting the handle back onto your favourite mug, or sealing a leak in an air mattress when you have guests, you’ll want to have some good sticky tape and glue around to help when you need it.

basic home tool kit

This tuck tape, duct tape, and super glue are inexpensive and easy to find.


A basic, inexpensive set of pliers is super handy when it comes to wrangling stubborn bolts in furniture, pulling out a bent screw from a fixture, or snipping a wire. They truly serve so many purposes, and you might find yourself lost without a basic set!


This set has 4 different kinds, and you’ll likely find you won’t need much beyond that!


Last but not least, get yourself a level! This items comes in handy when doing any task that requires precision, such as hanging a shelf, a set off photos for a gallery wall, and more! While most phones do have the app that can act as a level, we recommend getting an actual level for use at home because it is just more accurate.


This one will set you back about $10 and is just large enough to function well for almost any job!

You’re on your way to a functional basic home tool kit!

Hopefully with these basic items, you’ll be prepared and confident as a homeowner to handle (almost) any small job around your house, at least until you can get extra help!


Need the tools to buy or sell a home? Let’s have a conversation – about your goals and what you can except today.

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