Tool box 101

Discover which home-improvement gear every Domestic Diva needs

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At some point, a dime (or a fingernail) just won’t do it anymore – you need a real screwdriver to get the job done. Here’s a list of basic tools for tackling almost any fix-it project.

• A couple of screwdrivers Get ones with different heads, or one with interchangeable heads.

• A claw hammer (with a comfortable handle) It’s easier to aim with a sturdy hammer (and you can use the claw for pulling nails).

• A compact Torpedo level To get pictures and shelves straight

• A small handsaw Use this for simple wood cuts.

• A few pairs of pliers Use wire-cutting pliers if you’re into crafts; Vise-Grip locking pliers for twisting and holding nuts and bolts; and needle-nose pliers for those tricky tight spots.

• A measuring tape A 7.5-metre (25-foot) length is about right for sizing up rooms and furniture.

• An awl (a sharp point with a handle). Use it to poke holes when you’re starting to drill or drive in a screw.

• A utility knife You’ll need this for serious cutting.

• A cordless drill If you only get one power tool, this should be it. You can get a great one for about $80. And pick up a drill-accessory kit containing assorted bits and screwdriver heads.