Few people enjoy waiting around for the repairperson and shelling out more money in labor cost than the price of the parts themselves. Yet so many people do, because the idea of home repair seems murky and intimidating. Here’s a trade secret: If you’re reading this, it’s entirely within your abilities to handle many small tasks yourself, even if you’ve never turned a wrench before in your life. All it takes is a can-do attitude, a bit of patience, the humility to know when you consult YouTube and the instructions, and the right tools.
You can save a ton of money and time if you’re willing to learn. Instructions on how to construct things can be found in manuals and YouTube videos, but there are certain tools you inevitably need, whether you live in an apartment or a single-family home. We’ve rounded up all the best tools you should have to handle all common household tasks.
Updated January 2023: We’ve updated pricing and availability, and we’ve added clamps, furniture touch-up markers, and wood repair materials.
Matt Jancer is a staff writer for WIRED who focuses on reviewing outdoor gear. Previously, he spent a decade as a freelance writer covering automobiles, motorcycles, and lifestyle stories for magazines. Some of his longest gigs were at Car and Driver, Outside, Esquire, Playboy, and Popular Mechanics.