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25 Tools Every Man Should Own

Be prepared for anything nature, temperamental pipes or a hyperactive toddler can do to your surroundings.

It's perhaps genetic: Part of being a grown man is the desire to be able to fix anything. But sometimes that's easier said than done: How many times have we been confronted with a leaking faucet, an ominously blinking dashboard, or a piece of furniture that seems easy enough to assemble, and been forced to improvise with tools that are less than optimal, before throwing in the towel? Take a cue from the Boy Scouts and be prepared for anything nature, temperamental pipes or a hyperactive toddler can do to your surroundings with these 25 essential tools every man should own.

Adjustable wrench


Adjustable Wrench Tools

After a hammer and screwdriver, this will likely be the most-used tool in your repertoire.

Allen wrench set


Allen Wrench Set Tools

The most random tool you'll ever regret not having. You'll need it to assemble (and adjust) most chain-store furniture that comes out of a box, and you can't count on it being included.


Chalk line

Chalk Line Tools

If you want to hang shelves, wallpaper, drywall or just about anything long and straight, this will save you much regret. Also known as a plumb line.

Circular saw

Circular Saw Tools

Depending on how much storage space you have, this one's a bonus, but if you ever find yourself cutting shelves or counters (and you will), it's worth its weight in gold.

Combination square


Combination Square Tools

If you need to cut a two-by-four or shelf at a 45-degree angle, this ruler with a built-in level will ensure a professional result.

Combination wrench set


Combination Wrench Set Tools

A plumber's best friend. When you have to loosen a stubborn nut, you need something steadfast and slip-proof.

Coping saw

Coping Saw Tools

In the event you need to cut wood on a curve, keep one of these on hand. It takes up minimal space, so it's worth the $7 investment.

Cordless drill

Cordless Drill Tools

Cordless drills are now as powerful as corded and allow for freedom of movement. Don't forget both drill bits and drivers.


Hacksaw Tools

For the occasional tough job, like cutting metal or pipe.


Hammer Tools

This one's a shocker, we know.


Jigsaw Tools

To make quick cuts or slice at strange angles, the jigsaw is a real time-saver. You can get a decent one for less than $40.


Level Tools

Your grandpa could eyeball just about anything. But if he's not around, keep one of these to keep everything nice and even on the first try.

Locking wrench


Locking Wrench Tools

Another carpal-tunnel-saving tool, a locking wrench will give you extra power in removing stubborn elements without having to rely on your grip strength.

Multibit screwdriver


Multibit Screwdriver Tools

Save time — and your tendons — with a ratcheting screwdriver with quickly interchangeable bits that'll maximize your wrist power.

Needlenose pliers

Meddlenose Pliers

Whether you want to join wiring or unplug the shower drain, sometimes you need to put a finer point on things.

Pipe wrench

Pipe Wrench

Be a hero — and save serious money — by making drain-trap repairs (and saving the occasional dropped wedding ring) instead of calling the plumber.

Putty knife

Putty Knife

For everything from filling nail holes with putty to scraping science-project debris off the kitchen counter.

Electric sheet sander


This economical sander (you can get one for about $30) will help you smout out furniture, shelves and drywall without getting carpal tunnel.



There's no substitute for a classic full-size saw — you won't always be able to go electric. And don't try to make do with a hacksaw for every job.

Socket wrench set

Socket Wrench Set

Tighten or loosen bolts fast — these fit into tight spaces and hold in place easily.

Stud finder

Stud Finder

Skip the unreliable apps and spring for a traditional electronic stud finder, to hang shelves, pictures and cabinetry securely.

Tape measure

Tape Measure

You won't get far without one of these babies.

Utility knife

Utility Knife

You'll need a few of these — one in your desk and one in the toolbox.



Because you'll always need another pair of hands to hold things steady.

Voltage tester

Voltage Tester

This baby will literally save your life. From replacing a light fixture to installing a ceiling fan, use this to test whether there's any errant voltage running through the metal parts you'll be handling.

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