So what is a basic toolkit? The obvious component is a large bag of
common sense, which looks to be in short supply. Beyond that, what
should there be? There are some things you would expect, like a
selection of Standard, Philips and Pozidrive screwdrivers - but the
question is, what exactly would you get - I have lots, of which I tend
to use only about three or four. Similarly, what fixings would you
include - what type of nails, screws, rawlplugs etc. If I want
chipboard screws, all I ever seem to have is woodscrews and vice
For some, the basic toolkit is a credit card and a nearby 'shed', and
a large garden shed to store all the tools you've used only once!
I did look in the uk.d-i-y wiki (possibly not hard enough) - and I
don't think there is an article on a 'Basic Toolkit' there, so perhaps
answers to this thread could eventually make it into the Wiki as a
If you use something like twinthread screws (quicksilver from screwfix)
then they can be used for most applications.
> For some, the basic toolkit is a credit card and a nearby 'shed', and
> a large garden shed to store all the tools you've used only once!
> I did look in the uk.d-i-y wiki (possibly not hard enough) - and I
> don't think there is an article on a 'Basic Toolkit' there, so perhaps
> answers to this thread could eventually make it into the Wiki as a
> useful article?
That is a good question actually...
Much of the answer depends on who is using it, where, and what range of
tasks you expect them to take on.
You could go for something as simple as a good swiss army knife or
better still a leatherman tool. That would take care of basic screwing,
snipping, stripping, and gripping tasks.
Beyond that I would have though a small box or bag with screwdrivers,
pliers, tape measure, small torch, wire cutters and strippers, medium
sized adjustable spanner, small multimeter, hammer, box of assorted
twinthread screws, small cordless drill, and assorted multi purpose
plugs would cover a good deal of jobs.
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
Trouble is it will vary by a large amount from person to person. Some may
only want to stick up a couple of pictures and do a bit of decorating -
others may need to include plumbing. Etc.
But keep an eye on Lidl etc special offers. They often do their version
*Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?
Dave Plowman da...@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
That's great John! Given this is uk.d-i-y, I'm surprised the
ubiquitous angle grinder hasn't made it's way in there ;-) I will go
and get some twinthread screws.
The least used item of mine in that list is the hammer. I have a hard
rubber mallet used with some woodworking chisels that gets more use as
a general encouragement tool, but it's probably a bit too esoteric for
a basic toolkit.
I have a small (miniature) ratchet socket kit and ratchet screwdriver
with a selection of heads which both get used extensively. The Stanley
knife gets a lot of use as well, with curved blades rather than
This looks like quite good value for a starter kit, although you might
consider it a bit too slanted towards car maintenance:
Using Ubuntu Linux
Windows shown the door
Recently I seem to have used loads of round head screws - lots of fixing
things to walls.
Also - just been to look at my 'ready kit':
hex/allen key set
pencil (and sharpener)
Uniball write-on-anything-at-any-angle ballpoint
glue (PVA and superglue? - maybe epoxy)
abrasive (emery, sand, wet-and-dry and maybe small sanding block)
countersink bit (preferably snail-type)
hacksaw (and, if any plumbing is possible, compact pipe cutter!)
maybe a small folding saw (e.g. Bahco gardening saw)
centre punch and/or bradawl
string or cord
gloves (e.g. nitrile disposable and knitted cotton)
plastic boxes for storing all sorts of things (screws, nails, fuses, etc.)
Ikea template for marking out door/drawer handle positions (cheap orange
white lithium grease aerosol
sticky stuff remover
I'd be inclined to put in cheap a 12V cordless drill, plus set of screwdriver bits
and metric drillbits maybe a Tungstem-carbide tipped bit, too.
The cordless drill is much easier to use than handheld ones.
OK, they need charging, but that gives the user time to sits and consider
what they are actually planning to do.
I'd also include a lump hammer, retractable knife with snap-off blades and
a small "pull stroke" handsaw. An adjustable wrench and some pliers, too.
I wouldn't bother with nails (the lump hammer has other uses ;-), but a
good selection of various length X-head screws, nuts 'n' bolts, washers,
cable ties, tape-measure, small bullseye level and a torch. A small tube
of polyurethane adhesive, some araldite and a roll of tape.
Last of all would be some clamps, a pair of thick gloves and a box of plasters.
To that I'd add waterpump pliers, pointy nose pliers, duct tape,
snapoff bladed knife, sets of twist & masonry dill bits, coarse tooth
saw, assorted nails, and I'd go for a hex bit type screwdriver set
before traditional screwdrivers these days - but avoid the junk end of
the market, those are really a waste of time. Maybe add a miniature
spirit level too. And maybe add a note that eyes were currently out of
stock so goggles were included instead.
Trouble with this question is to get any more precision on it you'd
have to answer several questions:
- whats someone willing to spend
- what diy jobs will they try and what will they run & hide from
- what else will they do with the tools, other than diy
Plus ultimately it seems academic, since beginners' tool kits are
available from ok suppliers (eg draper) at peanut cost.
> I'd be inclined to put in cheap a 12V cordless drill, plus set of screwdriver bits
> and metric drillbits maybe a Tungstem-carbide tipped bit, too.
> The cordless drill is much easier to use than handheld ones.
> OK, they need charging, but that gives the user time to sits and consider
> what they are actually planning to do.
For a basic kit, a cordless drill is not a good idea IMO. With a DIY
starter, they will only be using it infrequently, so the battery will
likely be self-discharged between uses - especially a cheap one. It
won't have enough grunt to do much real work when needed. Because of
this, for basic drilling, would not a corded drill be better, especially
one with speed-control?
To mail me replace the obvious with co.uk twice
Having lived in my house for over 30 years, I have to say that this Muji set
is the most useful thing I've ever bought.
A long rectractable tapemeasure is useful when measuring up for a carpet or
A small hammer, for whacking nails, cracking nuts, killing small injured
Pliers, definitely pliers. Needle-nose and also large strong-jawed ones. A
couple of good wrenches.
Either a small hand drill and some drill-bits, or an electric drill. I've
always found the hand drill more useful for small holes.
Some files - large ones in all directions (square, round, triangular) or
small (needle-nosed things).
A bag of nails. A bit of sandpaper. A Stanley knife.
But above all, the Muji set of screwdrivers.
A chippie I once knew reckoned the sort of tool steel best for wood
chisels wasn't available at any price these days. He thought the secret
died out somewhere down the line. Sounds far fetched - but he had some
very old chisels that kept their edge far better than any modern ones. And
he knew all the good tool shops in London - wasn't talking about shed
*Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
Whats good about the mujis?
And Tiranti (sculptural supplies) sell riffler files with incredibly
hard, long-lasting teeth. Not at all sure where they are made - I always
thought Italy, but have since wondered.
I have a 'first response' bag in the van that goes with me into almost every
2 x pozi screwdrivers
2 x flat screwdrivers
1 x electrical size screwdriver
2 x stubby screwdrivers
3 x wood chisels 12, 18 & 25mm
2 x small pry bars
1 x claw hammer
1 x tacking hammer
1 x torch
1 x adjustable spanner
1 pr waterpump pliers
1 pr small mole grips
1 pr small long nose mole grips
1 pr combination pliers
2 x 'F' clamps
sml hand saw
Drill drivers, bits, plugs, screws etc in another bag, specialist plumbing
tools in another, electrical in another.
Dave - The Medway Handyman