Toolbox Must-Haves Buying Guide

A toolbox is only as useful as what's inside.  As many know from experience, there's nothing more frustrating than rummaging through your toolbox only to be disappointed you don't have the right tool  for the job.  Use this guide as a check-list and see what you might be missing  the next time you need to break out your tools. 

Essential Tools


Claw hammers  are great for carpentry work because you can remove nails if needed

Rubber Mallets  deliver a striking blow without the dents. 

Safety goggles  should always be worn when hammering anything to protect your eyes. 

Chisels and Punches

Chisels  come in handy for cropping, trimming, or shaving wood or metal.

 Using a punch set  instead of a Phillips screwdriver is much safer and far more effective.


Needle-nose pliers  can grab just about anything in tight spaces. 

Channel lock pliers  adjust to different widths to give you maximum grip on large or irregular objects.

Vice grip pliers  free up hands with a spring-loaded adjustable locking grip mechanism.

Screwdrivers & Hex/Torx Wrenches

Flathead screwdrivers  are an excellent toolbox must-have because they are extremely versatile. Not for use as a pry bar .

Philips screwdrivers are better than using an electric screwdriver because they won't strip the screw if it has been over-tightened.

Hex key sets  are just as important as screwdrivers.

Torx wrenches  are very  common in auto mobiles.


Combination wrenches  can withstand great amounts of torque when tightening/loosening fasteners.

Adjustable wrenches  are great because they can take the place of an entire combination wrench set if needed.  Not recommended for tightening fasteners.

Pipe wrenches  are essential for any type of pipe or plumbing work. 

Oil filter wrenches  allow you to remove an oil filter properly when doing oil changes. 

Time-Saving Equipment

Rachet and socket sets  allow you to quickly remove fasteners with less chance of stripping them.

Electric screwdrivers  remove screws and other fasteners at a safe RPM instead of using a drill with a screwdriver bit. 

Stud finders  allow you to quickly and easily locate studs in a wall.

Multi-tools can sometimes replace an entire toolbox. 

Valuable Extras

Torque wrenches  allow you to tighten fasteners to a specific amount of torque.  Highly recommended for any engine work.

Toolbox levels  are extra handy when it comes to woodwork or hanging pictures. 

An electric drill  will come in handy time and time again. Do not use as a replacement to a screwdriver or electric screwdriver. 

A heavy duty torch  will brighten up any dim work area. 

Tape measures  eliminate the guess-work.

Toolbox Tips

  • Always wipe off all tools after dirty jobs.
  • Use small Tupperware containers  to keep your tools from mixing with loose hardware inside your toolbox. 
  • Be sure to use each tool for its correct purpose.
    • This ensures the tool won't break or cause injuries.
  • Use a permanent marker  to mark your tools so you can identify them if working with others.
  • If you purchase a cordless power tool, look for one with a higher voltage (at least 18 volts).
    • This will keep you from having to constantly charge the battery.
    • Consider a corded drill for half the price

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