Beginners Toolkit Essentials for DIY Projects

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One of the most frequently asked questions I get on my Instagram is what are a beginners toolkit essentials. Especially for DIYers and homeowners, there are some commonly used tools that are must haves in a basic toolkit.

beginners guide to tool kit essentials

Before we dive into my top tools list, if you are looking for some specific DIY projects to start for your own home here are some of my most popular tutorials:

DIY Laundry Countertop

DIY $10 Art Ledge

Painted Tile Flooring

DISCLAIMER – I am not an authority on tools, nor do I claim to be an expert. This list is based on my personal experience as a DIY-er and homeowner.

Alright! Let’s get into some beginners toolkit essentials! When I first started out I had no idea what tools I needed and had to do a LOT of research before each project. I’ve done all the research so YOU don’t have to! This list of essential tools will get you through ALL the projects I have on my blog and Instagram.

To make it easier, I’ll tell you why you need each tool and what it’s basic purpose is. I will also group the tools to make it more digestable.

beginners toolkit essentials tool guide DIY

diy beginners toolkit essentials

Some of the following tools you might already have but I’m still including all the basics along with the slightly more advanced tools:

  1. Tape Measure: a good tape measure will be your best friend. You don’t want something dinky that slaps your wrist when you let of the tape. Trust me I’ve had bad experiences with tape measures 😀
  2. Hammer: I carry two kinds of hammers in my tool bag one is a regular hammer and the other is a non-marring kind which helps avoid dents and marks on the surface you’re striking. You can get away with just a regular hammer too.
  3. Screwdrivers: Screwdrivers are the backbone of your tool kit and it’s good to have to a variety of heads. My tip would be to get a set that’s magnetized because it’s so easy to keep dropping screws without that.
  4. Level – large and small: From hanging artwork to installing moulding, you will need a level to make sure everything is straight and perfectly aligned. No one likes a crooked painting right?
  5. Woodworking Square: This is something I wish I had bought a long time ago. It comes in handy when you want to make straight lines or 90 degree lines on wood.
  6. Power Drill: This is the most versatile power tool that will get you through installing artwork to drilling into studs. It does the job of a screwdriver but much faster and can drill holes for installing screws.
  7. Drill Bits: you need a variety of drill bits for your power drill to make different sized holes.
  8. Clamps: Clamps are very useful as an extra set of hands or just to hold to pieces of wood together. I used them in my art ledge project just as an example.
  9. Brad Nailer/Nail Gun: This is probably my most favorite tool from my DIYers tool list. You’ll need a nail gun for most woodworking projects decorative or otherwise. It comes in handy for wall paneling as an example.
  10. Miter Saw: we’re getting into the slightly more advanced tool category now. My miter saw is a powerhorse and oh my god it opened the door to so many new projects when I bought it. If you think you’re going to do a lot of DIY projects around the house I highly recommend getting the 10″ Sliding Miter Saw so you can cut larger pieces of wood. I wish I had bought that instead of my regular Miter Saw. Even though it cuts wood like butter I wish I had gone up a size to be able to cut wider pieces of wood. Believe it or not, a Miter Saw is not as intimidating as it looks. Definitely a good choice for a beginners essential toolkit.
  11. Jigsaw: from craft projects to beadboard, a jigsaw will make projects so much easier. I mostly use it to make cut outs for sockets when I’m doing wall paneling or shiplap or to create jagged edges on my distressed wood projects! Obviously its useful for a bunch of other reasons too!
  12. Stud Finder: You probably have one already but if you don’t, get one immediately! It makes your life easier when putting up anything like a heavy mirror or wall sconces so you can easily detect where studs are in the wall.
  13. Assortment of Screws and Anchors: A DIYer should always have a variety of screws and anchors in your toolkit to be able to hang anything in a jiffy!
  14. Assortment of Nails: I like having picture hanging nails at hand because I’m always adding artwork to my walls!
  15. Set of Pliers: You need a good set of pliers to yank out a nail or to grip something or cut wires etc.
  16. Socket Wrench Set: I don’t use this very often but it Hasssaan swears by it and thinks every homeowner should have it around for various functions. Any bolts or sockets will require this set.
  17. Safety Goggles: If you’re working with a saw you need to be wearing one of these! You don’t want a splinter in your eye 😐
  18. Dust Mask: Other than Covid protection you need a dust mask for woodworking or spray painting.
  19. Caulking Gun: Any kind of decorative wood project like moulding or trimwork will need caulk to fill in the gaps and you definitely don’t want to do that without a caulking gun!
  20. Painters tape: Last but not least, the most humble little tool but so so useful for every project. You will go through rounds of painters tape like nobody’s business. From painting walls to visualizing projects, painters tape is a must have for your toolkit.
  21. Tool box: You need a place to store all your new tools and keep everything organized

You might have noticed I don’t have any paint brushes or rollers on here. That my friends, might be an entirely different post some day with painting essentials on a beginners guide to painting! I hope you found this beginners toolkit essentials list helpful! Now you can get started on your own DIY journey!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see what project I’m up to right now!

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