Recommended tool list for new owner of a fixer-upper

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My son just bought his first house. It's a bit of a fixer-upper. There are a lot of small to medium projects and a couple of major ones, such as a new deck and enclosing part of an open room.
We thought we would give them a set of homeowner tools as a housewarming gift. He's lived in apartments and has a small toolbox, but not much in the way of power tools.
He is not an expert handyman, but I believe he will want to do as much of it himself as he can. A good friend of mine who is a professional cabinetmaker lives nearby and will help him.
I would appreciate suggestions for your "Top Ten" lists of the most valuable tools for a new homeowner. I am mainly looking for larger tools and tools that he might not think he needs but would be glad to have.
I plan to spend about $1,000 or so. I would like to get good quality tools that will last.
I did a little research and came up with this list.
Books Chisel Set Clamps Compressor Drill & Bits Extension Cord Gun, Nail Gun, Staple Hammers: Claw, Rubber, ??? Ladder Level Multi-Function Tool, Oscillating Pliers, Assorted Pliers, Vise Grip Sander (Air, Electric) Saw Horse Saw, Circular Saw, Chain Saw, Miter Screwdriver Set Shop Vac Socket Set Tool Box Tool Chest Trouble light Voltmeter, Tester Wire Cutter, Stripper Wrenches, Allen Wrenches, Box Wrenches, Pipe
Thanks
I will post the results.
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Books ( Priceless, get the wisdom of others.) Chisel Set Clamps Compressor (for blow gun, or for what? Power nailer?) Drill & Bits (These will come in handy. Corded is good. Cordless is more expensive, but more convenient.) Extension Cord (And some outlet strips to plug in multiple devices.) Gun, Nail (May not be needed. I've never owned one.) Gun, Staple (Really useful.) Hammers: Claw, Rubber, ??? (Need at least half dozen, different sizes and types.) Ladder (Step ladders and extension ladders, each have their purposes.) Level Multi-Function Tool, Oscillating (Maybe. I've never owned one.) Pliers, Assorted Pliers, Vise Grip (The name brand ones work much better than Harbor Freeight ones, I find.) Sander (Air, Electric) Saw Horse Saw, Circular Saw, Chain (only for outdoor tree wood.) Saw, Miter Screwdriver Set Shop Vac Socket Set Tool Box Tool Chest Trouble light Voltmeter, Tester (Good one! Free ones from HF do a reasonable job.) Wire Cutter, Stripper Wrenches, Allen Wrenches, Box Wrenches, Pipe
Thanks
I will post the results.
CY: Will you be my daddy?
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wrote:

Buy them as needed.

Not needed for most repairs. They'll likely go unused, or worse.

A few 'C' clamps, perhaps. unless he's going to get into woodworking, a minimum is really necessary.

Important. A small pancake compressor is all that's needed. PC has a nice unit with two or three nailers for a couple hundred.

Cordless. A *good* one. Bosch is my fav but some like Makita. An impact driver is also recommended.

For what? ;-)

See above.

See above.

A good straight and curved claw hammer is handy, though with a compressor, less so. Add a good cat's paw and lever.

6' class-1A is always useful. Buy any others as the need arises.

Sure.
Yes, the first one should be from HF. If it gets a lot of use, buy a good one, later.

Sure, but don't go overboard.

A few.

Not needed for most "repairs".

I like the folding plastic ones. They're light and pretty strong. A "Work Mate" is also a good idea.

Probably the most important power tool, behind a drill.

Not needed. One of the few tools I don't own.

Later. HF sells a slider good enough for a deck for $100, or so.

Billions and billions.

Sure. SWMBO get tight-jawed when their Electrolux gets used on sawdust. ;-)

Handy for driving lag screws but otherwise, not so much. Wait until they're needed.

I have a 5gal pail and canvas liner with pockets. It works great for organizing tools for a project.

Expensive. Nice. Not first priority/

I prefer the halogen stand lights. Trouble lights aren't bright enough.

Again, HF, $5-$10. If it gets used a lot, buy a better one.

Diagonal pliers, sure. Stripper, buy when needed.

Sure. Lots. The needed one is always lost.

Not generally needed.

*Rarely* needed.
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On Sun, 08 Apr 2012 10:50:06 -0700, Jennifer Murphy

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On 04/08/2012 02:45 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

I'd add a good strap wrench and a basin wrench to the list. I've had to use both. As an aside, most socket sets seem to be 12 points whereas 6 points are much better for working on old rusty stuff. Same goes for combination wrenches I don't know that the socket set is that useful for a homeowner although for working on vehicles they are key. I'd probably buy him a set of combination wrenches in both metric and SAE and skip the socket set. Also a couple Crescent wrenches are handy for home repair type stuff (maybe a 6" and a 10" or 12",) and also a keyhole saw for cutting drywall. If he doesn't have them, he might also appreciate a utility knife, a small carpenter's square, a framing square, stuff like that. Also where you say "level" I'd get one small level for installing switches and receptacles, and also a longer one for bigger stuff like framing, kitchen cabinets, etc.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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wrote:

(Stepping in here Nate because I don't have the original post.)
Here's my hand. All corded electric except the guns, geared to what you said will be the major projects. They'll help with minor stuff too. None of the many hand tools he'll eventually need. Not in any particular order. Close to or way over $1000 depending on your brand selection.
1. Compressor w/framing nail and finish nail guns. (picking a compressor will be your hardest task.) 2. Chop saw. 3. Circular saw. 4. Jig/scroll saw. 5. Shop vac. 6. 3/8" variable reversible drill. 7. 1/2" impact drill. (HD use like deck screws, mixing, hole sawing.) 8. Orbital sander. 9. Multi-tool. 10. Sawzall.
You can throw in some good extension cords, workbenches, locking and other sawhorses, driver and drill bit sets, or not, as you see fit.
--Vic
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If by that you mean a cordless driver/drill, I agree. A ratchet/socket set. I'd put a stud finder on the list too. A couple of good levels, one about 12", another about 3ft. A line level.
I'd also put a sabre saw and a circular saw on the list, given the deck and enclosing part of the open room projects. But, I have to say. If he has no tools, he probably has no experience either. And those two projects are among the very best classics for doing a lot of work, spending a lot on materials, and screwing it up royally. Then you wind up with something that doesn't look like it should and has all sorts of problems eg leaks in the former non-enclosed room. I've seen decks that had to be torn out and started all over. There are lots of projects you can do around the house and save a lot of money. But for bigger projects where you don't have the experience, often it's best to just contract it out.
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On Sun, 8 Apr 2012 13:05:41 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

He does not have a lot of experience, but his father in law has skills and a good friend of mine who is a retired cabinetmaker lives nearby, so I expect he'll get help on the more complicated projects.
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On 4/8/2012 10:50 AM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

The time to determine what it takes to fix up a house is before you buy it.
The next best thing to having tools is to live next door to someone who has tools.
He should get to know his new neighbors.
You have a competent friend in the biz...why not ask him?
Start with a hammer. Then go buy a Chinese ratchet wrench set. And a Chinese screwdriver set with interchangeable bits. The above two have lots of sizes, but the bits are crap. So go to sears or snap-on or somewhere you can get good tools and buy GOOD sockets in 1/4" to 5/8" range plus the few screwdriver bits you'll use frequently. FORGET BATTERY POWERED TOOLS. Get a cheaper AC drill/driver.
For each project, you have to decide what materials to get. Same for tools. Buy what you need. Get cheap stuff if it's specific to the task. Buy better tools if they'll be needed again and again. If you plan projects ahead, you can take advantage of tool sales as they happen.
Did I mention FORGET BATTERY POWERED TOOLS.!! Occasional users find the battery is always dead when you need it. Or you can leave them on continuous charge and kill the battery permanently. They're a bad investment for the typical homeowner. Buy 'em later, when you can afford expensive toys.
Your strategy is: Ask a bunch of unknown people on the web for advice. Have an inexperienced person, you, decipher all the input and spend a bunch of bucks on stuff for another inexperienced person with unspecified tasks. RETHINK THAT STRATEGY.
A better strategy: $1000 prepaid credit card and a library card.
Most tasks are much easier the second...or third time you do 'em. Home improvement is no exception.

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wrote:

Flashlight,good LED type. claw hammer good set of screwdrivers good sets of wrenches,3/8" socket set and combination open/box. Channel-lock pliers,maybe two sizes. set of pliers incl needlenose. hacksaw,10" rapid-cut pull saw. pry bar cordless drill-driver,preferably Li-ion. 18V drill bits maybe also an 18v impact driver if you can get a set with a cordless circ saw. tape measure,aluminum yardstick.(straightedge)
stepladder. maybe a B&D Workmate foldng workbench/vise.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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The last thing you need is a cheap tool. One that will frustrate you and damage your project. Good screwdrivers have a comfortable handle that allows for a good grip. They will last decades. Some of mine are over 45 years old.
Buy good tools and only cry once.

Mostly agree here. Unless you use them frequently or far away from power, the battery will be dead when you need to use it. Dead too often, they will die forever and have to be replaced.

Oh, I said that too. Worth repeating though.
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Jennifer Murphy wrote:

sources and the library, he shouldn't need to purchase any.

when needed. This would be a good start: (Amazon.com product link shortened)33916998&sr=1-1

hammer, now is the time to learn.

chuck. Cordless are nice, but let him buy his own if and when he feels the need.
As for bits, you can get a 120 piece drill/drive set for $25.

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
get a compressor/nailgun combo.

hammer would be good. Also, for demolition: - mini flat pry bar - medium flat pry bar (12") - wrecking/ripping bar (18-24")

assortment of hook and loop sanding disks.

manage or plans on cutting his own firewood. A cheap chain saw will be nothing but a headache, and you'll feel bad when he cuts his leg wide open.

tools with him around the house, not have to run to the garage every 5 minutes.

unless they know what they're doing or have a mentor who does.

Not mentioned: - Tool belt. Remember that more pockets is not always better. - A good 25' tape measure. - Carpenter pencils - Chalk line with blue chalk. (red is permanent) - 2' and 4' aluminum straight edges. - 7" speed square/rafter square - Jig saw. - safety glasses. - dust masks. Get a box of N95 masks with valves. The valve helps keep safety glasses from fogging. (If his glasses fog up, he'll remove the glasses or the respirator.) (Amazon.com product link shortened) - Utility knife. There's only one worth owning, and it's the Stanley 199: (Amazon.com product link shortened) />/
- If he's going to be doing demolition, he'll want a sawzall (aka reciprocating saw) Can't go wrong with a Milwaukee.
If you've covered the basics and still feel like you haven't spent enough, get him a gift card to the local hardware store so he can get what he needs when he needs it rather than having a tool sit unused.
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On 04/08/12 1:50 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

Rather than buying him the tools that you (or we) think he needs, give him a pre-paid credit card and let him get his own tools as he needs them for the projects as they come along. Make it a stipulation that he use the card for tools, not for dinner or ball games.
Sure, you can buy him a few small things so he has some gifts to open, but make one of those gifts a pre-paid card and let him choose his own tools.
My family knows that tools are very personal so when they ask what I want for my birthday or Christmas, I tell them that I need a new this or an accessory for that. They say how much, and then give me the cash or a credit card number. The "rule" is that I buy what I said I wanted, but I get to choose what brand/model.
I wouldn't expect my wife to actually *buy* me a dado blade for my table saw and new tires for my band saw, but that's basically what she did by giving me her credit card number when I placed the order.
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I'd been thinkign some thing along these lines. It's not possible to predict in advance, what tools are needed. And, if the new home owner has the skills, or interest. Best to leave it a bit vague.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Rather than buying him the tools that you (or we) think he needs, give him a pre-paid credit card and let him get his own tools as he needs them for the projects as they come along. Make it a stipulation that he use the card for tools, not for dinner or ball games.
Sure, you can buy him a few small things so he has some gifts to open, but make one of those gifts a pre-paid card and let him choose his own tools.
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Right! You haven't said what needs to be done, so how can we say what tool is needed. Let the job(s) dictate what tool is to be purchased.
Also, if he has little carpentry experience, let him start by building some saw horses, rather than buying. If he rarely does carpentry jobs and will unlikely do more, later, then most tools he buys will only be used once, for this one (albeit overall large) project. If he can't build a set of saw horses, he shouldn't be doing home repairs. Saw horses are cheap to build with scrap lumber, i.e., they are essentially free. I've known folks who wanted to do their own home repairs, but can't build a set of saw horses, hence their home repairs were a disaster.
Your question simply can't be answered appropriately, IMO, with an off-the-cuff listing of tools.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

I disagree;there's a BASIC set of tools that every homeowner should have.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Jennifer Murphy wrote:

One category left off your list is a set of rulers. In order, I'd suggest: * Two tape measures, one six foot, the other twenty-five. * A yardstick * A builder's square
Forget the nail gun. Get a brad nailer and a pneumatic stapler. The former will shoot a nail up to 1.5" which is sufficient for most repair and trim needs. The stapler is used to secure flimsy material: insulation, fabrics or upholstery, cardboard, etc.
Also the chain saw and miter saw should move down the list below a modest table saw. In fact, I'd substitute a reciprocating saw for the chain saw. It will do most of what a chain saw will do but is more versitle.
Don't forget a supply of WD40 and a couple of rolls of duct tape. Those, along with vice-grips and about three screwdrivers, can fix most everything.
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On Sun, 08 Apr 2012 10:50:06 -0700, Jennifer Murphy

Here ya go...... Begin here: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM5936848107P There are lots of other tools in the series that will mate with this one. These will fix any house!
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On Sun, 08 Apr 2012 10:50:06 -0700, Jennifer Murphy

Nice gesture, but I suggest that you just give him the $1k and let him buy tools as the need arises. That allows his actual work situation to dictate the tools.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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