It's Christmas and we all bang our head at this time of year trying to come up with a unique gift for the special person. If that person is now on their own, newly married - be it apartment or home owner - each of them should have the proper tools to fix (or build) what they need.
I've compiled my list of what someone should own/have before a large screen TV if they are living on their own.
1) The first one may seem odd because they are only hanging a picture or changing a light switch, etc., but I truly believe regardless of the size of the job a tool belt. You will soon realize the importance of one once you start a project and have to start searching for that pencil. Where’s my hammer now? The drill is on the other side of the room.
A tool belt will make every job a lot less strenuous. I have three: one for carpentry, one for electrical, and one for drywall. Each has different tools for each job.
Cost: $20 - $100
2) Some would say hammer - I could live with that, but I would much prefer a cordless drill. It's 2016 and not much of anything is done with hammer and nail anymore. Also, I think it's easier for a beginner to screw something together than tapping a nail in straight.
Cost: $80 - $300 (Look for a sale)
3) Tape Measure. Minimum 16 feet, but I would prefer you buy a 20 or 25 foot measuring tape. Also, I recommend you buy one that only has the imperial measurement as opposed to both inches and centimeters.
Although the metric system is more precise, most work is still done with 2x4's and 4x8 foot sheets of plywood and you buy carpet by the yard. Over the years I've learned to always check to make sure it's imperial and not a combo, but that is just a personal preference.
Cost: $5 – $30 (depending on size)
4) Utility Knife. There's nothing worse than trying to do a job at someone’s house and the knife is a old serrated steak knife. Don't go cheap here - it's worth the investment. Also, remember the blade is very sharp. I have the scars to prove it.
Cost: $10 - $30
5) I have a hard time eliminating the other items from the list. When I started writing this I included things like a speed square, level, skill saw, but for the first time home owner/apartment dweller I think the last item should be a good screw driver set. It should have the three major sizes of Standard, Phillips, and Robertson. That's slot, star and square.
Cost: $30 and up
Lastly you have to remember no one likes to lend tools but if you do need to it goes back looking exactly like you received it. If you broke it, you replace it. And Clint Eastwood was correct, standing in his garage talking to the kid next door in the movie Gran Torino(to paraphrase): “Even someone like you can understand - you acquire this over 50 years"