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Buying guide: Must have Tools for DIY

must have tools for new homeowners

Are you a beginner in the world of DIY and looking for essential tools for your household projects? Or perhaps you have a few basic DIY tools, but often find you don’t have the right kit for the task at hand? Whatever your situation, make sure you always complete your jobs stress-free by stocking up on the absolute must-have tools for your DIY plans.

Not sure what to get? Don’t worry - we’ve put together this handy DIY tools list, with 11 items every household needs. We’ll go through why you need each tool, the tasks they can be used for, how to choose the right one and the rough cost.

Toolbox

Why do I need a toolbox?

First things first, before you start building your collection of essential DIY tools, you need a safe place to store them. This is where a high-quality toolbox comes in. There’s a huge variety available in different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to consider which will best suit your needs.

Which toolbox should I choose?

If you’re a novice and buying DIY tools for beginners, then a compact carrycase may be the best option. There’s enough space to store a range of essential DIY tools, with separate storage compartments to keep everything neat and tidy. We’d recommend choosing a tool chest with a comfortable grip handle to make for easy carrying.

If you already have a range of home DIY tools and are adding some essentials to your current collection, a large heavy-duty toolbox may be ideal. Options such as our 3-in-1 toolboxes have three separate storage compartments that stack neatly on top of one another – so there’s plenty of space for all your essentials!

How much do toolboxes cost?

We have various toolboxes for sale, including organisers, tool chests and stackable toolboxes. The price will depend on the size you choose. Currently, our toolboxes start from £4.79 and go up to £339.50 – so there’s options to suit all budgets.

Tape Measure

Why do i need a tape measure?

No matter what job you’re tackling, measuring accurately is essential. Whether you’re measuring a space for a new piece of furniture, your windows for curtains, or your floor space for carpets, you’ll reach for your trusty tape measure time and time again. You’ll quickly find that your tape measure will become one of your most used DIY tools.

Which tape measure should I choose?

It’s worth investing in a sturdy tape measure with an auto-locking and retractable mechanism as well as a thumb lock. This will allow you to precisely measure from one side of a room to another, without the tape moving or needing someone else to hold it in place. Once you’ve measured up, simply push the button and your tape will quickly reel itself back into the holder. Simple!

There are different lengths available, from 3 and 5 metre options all the way up to 50 and 100 metre tape measures – but the smaller options should be long enough for most DIY projects.

How much do tape measures cost?

Our tape measures range in price from under £3 to over £50, depending on the length you require.

Hand Saw

Why do I need a handsaw?

A handsaw is another of our must-have tools for DIY. It can be used to cut a wide variety of materials, such as metal, drywall, wood and plastic. For this reason, a handsaw will come in useful for many tasks around the house, like fixing a fence or creating a wooden deck in the garden.

Which saw should I choose?

There’s a large range of handsaws on the market, from compact designs ideal for intricate jobs to large saws better suited to labour intensive tasks. For DIY, it’s worth choosing a multi-purpose handsaw that can be used for a variety of jobs. A hacksaw with an adjustable blade length is a great option, as it can be extended or reduced in line with the task at hand. For instance, the Milwaukee Adjustable Hacksaw is compact in design for use in tight spaces and can be a stored neatly in your toolbox without taking up lots of room.

How much do handsaws cost?

The price of our handsaws range from £7.99 to £24.90, with plenty of sizes and brands to choose from.

Pliers

Why do I need a set of pliers?

Pliers are one of the most important tools for DIY. They can be used to do a huge number of jobs, including pinching, straightening, bending and cutting wires, holding pins in place, loosening and removing nuts and bolts, gripping pipes and more.

Which pliers should I choose?

There are many different types of pliers on the market, each designed to do a specific job. That’s why it makes sense to invest in a set, so you have the appropriate pliers no matter what job you’re tackling. The three key types of pliers every household needs are long needle-nose, diagonal cutters and combination pliers.

Needle-nose pliers have long jaws ideal for work in tight spaces or intricate tasks, like repairing fine chains. Diagonal cutters do exactly what they say on the tin – they cut wires, screws and pins. But what makes them different from other pliers is their diagonally off-set blades, allowing you to cut wire flush to a wall or fence for a neat finish. Finally, combination pliers are the most versatile and can be used for gripping and cutting tasks.

Screwdrivers

Why do I need screwdrivers?

Many household items contain screws of some description, from clocks to kitchen units and bedroom furniture. If you need to remove screws while disassembling, insert screws while building new furniture or re-tighten a loose screw, you’ll need an appropriate screwdriver for the job. For this reason, screwdrivers are one of the most essential DIY tools that will be used time and time again.

Which screwdrivers should I choose?

There are several types of screwdrivers on the market, with different heads to suit different types of screw. The most common are flat-head, Phillips, Pozi, Torx and hex screwdrivers, each with a unique tip. It’s worth having at least one of each of these screwdrivers in your toolbox so you’re never left unable to complete a task. You can buy them individually, in a set, or opt for a multi-bit screwdriver that allows you to change the bit in line with the screws you’re working with.

How much do screwdrivers cost?

This depends on the type and brand that you choose. Our range spans from individual screwdrivers costing as little as £2.75 to extensive screwdriver sets from £19.95 to £29.95.

Cordless Drill

Why do I need a cordless drill?

Whether you regularly do projects around the house or you rarely pick up your tools, a cordless drill is one item that you’ll always turn to. Whether you need to drill a hole in a wall, fix a screw or remove a fastening, your cordless drill will be your trusted companion. Their cordless design means they’re portable, too – so you’ll never be restricted to working near a power supply.

Which cordless drill should I choose?

There’s a huge range of efficient and powerful cordless drills to choose from, expertly designed by leading brands like Milwaukee and Ryobi. A combi drill is a great option for those wanting to complete various projects around the house, as it’s more versatile than other drill types. Combi drills offer both hammer and screwdriving capabilities and can be used on various surfaces, from concrete and metal to wood and plasterboard. Those that are purchasing a cordless drill for the first time should check out our handy drill and drivers buyer’s guide for more information.

How much do cordless drills cost?

We have a huge range of combi drills for sale to suit all budgets, starting from £41.99.

Hammer

Why do I need a hammer?

A hammer is another key item to add to your must-have DIY tools list. It can be used for any project that requires knocking something into place or breaking something apart. For instance, you may use it to tap nails into the wall to hang artwork, mirrors or photo frames.

Which hammer should I choose?

There are many different types of hammer, from club hammers to sledgehammers and a whole host of others. The most useful one for basic DIY is a claw hammer, which features a blunt end for hammering and a curved V-shaped head for extracting nails and pins. You can’t really go wrong when buying a claw hammer, but we’d choose one crafted from high quality metal like steel that will withstand the test of time. You should also look out for options with a comfortable ergonomic handle and shock-reduction to make your tasks easier.

How much do hammers cost?

You can buy a good quality hammer without breaking the bank - most of our models cost between £9.28 and £25.60.

Utility Knife

Why do I need a utility knife?

A high-quality utility knife will come in handy for many tasks around the house. It can be used to cut open packaging, trim plastic, tape and rope, cut wallpaper to size, rip up carpet and much more. It’s one of those basic DIY tools that you wouldn’t necessarily think of immediately when stocking up a toolbox, but will always come in useful.

Which utility knife should I choose?

When selecting a utility knife, the key is quality. We recommend choosing a knife from a reputable brand such as OX Tools or Milwaukee, crafted from high-quality metal that will offer the durability and reliability you need. Safety is of paramount importance – so it’s wise to go for a retractable or foldable blade which is stored inside the handle when not in use, to reduce the possibility of cutting yourself accidentally. Comfort should also be factored into your choice; one with an ergonomic handle will be easy to grip and reduce the likelihood of it slipping during tasks.

How much do utility knives cost?

Utility knives can hugely vary in price, from between £3-£5 and £30-£35, depending on the brand, material and size. For most household DIY jobs, a small to medium option will suffice.

Spirit Level

Why do I need a spirit level?

Another one of those home DIY tools that you can’t do without is a spirit level. For DIY beginners, a spirit level is a device that tests whether a surface is level or not, using a glass tube filled with liquid and an air bubble. When placed on a surface such as shelving or hanging wall art, the bubble’s position will indicate whether it’s level and allow you to adjust accordingly.

Which spirit level should I choose?

Spirit levels vary in size, from handheld devices perfect for small DIY tasks, to larger models for pieces of furniture or flooring. A standard size spirit level will be best for most household tasks and fit neatly in a toolbox with the rest of your essential DIY tools. Our range of spirit levels are expertly designed by leading brands like OX Tools and Milwaukee and are fully CE rated, with shock-absorbing end caps and high-visibility vial spirit to deliver unrivalled accuracy.

How much do spirit levels cost?

At SGS, we only stock the best – and our spirit levels offer exceptional value for money. They vary in price from around £4.99 for a mini spirit level to £221.39 for a large set.

Putty Knife/Spreaders

Why do I need a putty knife?

A putty knife is another one of those DIY hand tools that every household needs. They are hugely versatile and can be used for many household tasks – for example taking down wallpaper, filling in nail holes with putty or removing grout between tiles.

Which putty knife should I choose?

There are various shaped putty knives available which are suited to different tasks, from wide and short blades to slim and long blades. Slimmer blades are ideal for jobs that require precision, like filling in a small nail hole in a wall, while wider blades are more suited to big tasks like removing wallpaper, as they can tackle larger surface areas quickly. We recommend buying putty knives crafted from high-quality flexible materials like steel that will help you finish your task to a high standard.

How much do putty knives cost?

Putty knives vary in price depending on their size, starting from around £5.98 and up to approximately £10.40.

Adjustable Wrench

Why do I need a wrench?

A wrench (otherwise known as a spanner) is one of the most important tools for DIY, used to grip and turn a bolt or nut. They will come in handy if you need to tighten a nut on a leaky pipe or make repairs to a family member’s bike.

Which wrench should I choose?

As with screws, nuts and bolts come in various shapes and sizes. Instead of forking out for lots of different wrenches that’ll take up valuable space in your toolbox, get an adjustable wrench. Its jaw can be adjusted to suit different sized nuts and bolts, so you can complete a whole host of tasks without constantly swapping between tools. Adjustable wrenches offer great versatility, value for money and are excellent space savers.

How much do adjustable wrenches cost?

Our adjustable wrenches vary in price according to their size and brand – starting from around £13.49.

Why buy essential DIY tools from SGS?

Here at SGS Engineering, we only sell the very best tools for DIY from leading brands like Ryobi, Milwaukee and OX Tools. With over 17 years’ experience in the industry, we can offer unrivalled advice and assistance on a huge range of home DIY tools. We’re proud that our fantastic customer service has earned us an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot from more than 20,000 reviews.

If you need any help choosing your essential DIY tools, please get in touch with a member of our friendly and experienced team. You can fill out our contact form, phone us on 01322 576 850 or email us at [email protected].

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