11 Tools Every First-Time Home Owner Should Have

If you’re buying a house for the first time, chances are you don’t own a whole lot of tools to take care of maintenance and repairs that you’re sure to run into in the future. We’ve put together this list of 11 basic tools every first-time home owner should have in their tool box.

Bear in mind these are the basics – but a good rule is not to go out and splurge thousands on an entire garage-worth of tools right at the start – get the basics, and then buy other tools as you need them. It’s easy to spend money on tools that you’re unlikely to ever need.

Our top eleven tools will enable you to do a wide variety of common DIY tasks and repairs around the house, from simply hanging a picture to mounting a TV to the wall or simply tightening that loose door handle.

We’ve provided links to reasonably priced examples from well-renowned brands – while you can buy cheap tools from the Dollar Store, we don’t recommend it. While there’s no need to buy professional-grade tools, you should try and avoid the really cheap stuff that will generally break when you need it most.

1: Hammer


You don’t ned to spend a fortune on a hammer, something like this Stanley one will be great. It’s 16oz so heavy enough to do anything you’re likely to need, and it’s a claw hammer so you can also pull nails out.
Check it out on Amazon.

2: Hex-Head Wrenches or Allen Keys


Hex or Allen screws are commonly used on things like Ikea furniture and bicycles, so they’re very handy to have around. You won’t need them every day, but when you need a hex wrench, nothing else will do.

Our choice is this 26-piece Tekton set – they’re long-armed which makes reaching awkward places easier, and you get all popular sizes in both SAE and metric so there shouldn’t be anything you encounter that you can’t undo or tighten!
Check them out on Amazon.

3: Set of Screwdrivers


The humble screwdriver is probably going to be your most-used tool. The best value way to buy a variety is typically in a set from Canadian Tire – there is every common driver type (slot, Phillips and Roberts being the most-used), plus you get a 1/4″ bit set which you can use with a power drill. Also included are insulated screw drivers for use on electrical outlets, and a few smaller-sized Allen keys.

Look out for this 100-piece set on sale at Canadian Tire – it’s regularly available for $40 on sale and can’t really be beaten for sheer value for money.
Check it out at Canadian Tire here.

4: Level


A simple small ‘torpedo’ style level will help make sure that your shelves are perfectly straight, and instantly end all arguments about whether the picture you hung is straight or not.

We’ve chosen this 9 inch Irwin one as it’s magnetic, cheap, good quality and compact.
Check it out on Amazon.

5: Tape Measure


Buy a good tape measure like this Komelon one which measures up to 25 feet in inches. This one is our choice as it has 1/8″ graduations marked on the measure, and is 1″ wide so it won’t fold up on you easily while measuring.
Check it out on Amazon.

6: Stud Finder


There are all sorts of ways to find the studs inside your walls, from sticking pins through drywall to using magnets to find screws. However, these methods won’t always tell you if there’s a live wire or pipe right where you’re about to drill a hole.

Get a stud finder like this and it helps you to not only find the centre of a stud more easily, but will also alert you to the presence of a live wire or pipe.
Check it out on Amazon.

7: Basic Socket Set


You may not use a socket set that often, but it’s a must-have in your tool kit. This set from Stanley comprises 85 pieces and contains both SAE and metric sized sockets. Easily enough to allow to perform basic maintenance on a bike or car, and around the house. A really good value set.
Check it out on Amazon.

8: Set of Pliers


Slip-joint pliers are adjustable and great for a whole variety of jobs like tightening a leaky pipe joint, or tweaking your garden hose tightly onto the spigot. You can pretty much do anything that an adjustable wrench would do, and more due to the grip that pliers provide.

The other types in this four-piece set enable you to cut, crimp, pull and tweak anything you’ll encounter in your home. This Stanley set is perfect for all home owners and great value.
Check it out on Amazon now.

9: Cordless Drill


As a homeowner, a drill is an absolute must-have for both drilling holes and also for winding in or removing screws. We’d advise going cordless simply for convenience, and these days there’s no loss of power or torque. A good quality cordless drill is easily powerful enough to cope with any job you need to do.

Our choice is to go for a drill with a hammer setting – this will enable you to drill holes in concrete and brick, when paired with a masonry drill bit. We’d recommend spending a little extra and going for a good quality brand such as DeWalt. Their 20v cordless tools offer a lot of options using the same battery if you want to add to your collection in future as well.

This top quality set includes 2 of their 5ah 20v battery packs as well, making it great value and giving you huge battery life. At the time of writing, this set is on sale at $249 on Amazon making this an absolute must-buy! Is it overkill? Yes – but you’ll own and enjoy this drill for years to come.
Check it out on Amazon.

10: Battery-Powered Work Light


A good quality battery-powered work light is worth it’s weight in gold in a variety of situations, not least inspecting dark unlit corners around your home, but also serves as a great backup light if there’s a power cut.

We’ve chosen this DeWalt one as it’s part of their 20v line, and so uses the same rechargeable battery packs as the drill set at #9. It’s also really bright, has really great battery life thanks to being LED, and an adjustable angled head.
Check it out on Amazon.

11: Set of Drill Bits


Your drill isn’t much use without drill bits! This set available from Canadian Tire gives you a great variety of drill bits, at a great price. This set is especially good value as it covers all your drilling needs, including a variety of masonry bits which enable you to drill holes in concrete and brick. As always with Canadian Tire Mastercraft products, these go on sale for around 60-70% off very regularly so keep an eye on the weekly flyers!
Check it out on Canadian Tire.

There we have it – 11 tools that every first time home buyer should have. Finally, it’s also a good idea to get some sort of toolbox or container to keep everything together and tidy. The worst thing is spending more time hunting for your hammer than it takes to hang that new picture on the wall!