The Best Handyman Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed

The job of the home handyman seems pretty straightforward. After all, what can’t be done with a hammer, screwdriver, and your standard hand saw? A whole lot, actually. Some of the finer touches that make the difference between a jury-rigged job and something indistinguishable from professional work are only possible with a handful of specialized tools that don’t always immediately come to mind. If you truly want to enter the ranks of the elite DIYers, there are some things that you absolutely need to have in your toolbox. After all, any job worth doing is a job worth doing right.

Without further delay, here are some tools you might not know you need:

Utility Knife

Utility knives can cut everything, from cardboard to shingles, to even some kinds of plastics. The cuts made with a proper utility knife are extremely precise. Lots of minor fixes and adjustments can be done on the spot with your trusty utility knife. If you complete a job and notice there are some pieces of material sticking out and ruining the look of whatever you were just working on, a few quick cuts might be all that’s necessary to make your work look respectable.

5-in-1 Painter’s Tool

Instead of buying all of your tools piecemeal, the average homeowner should just buy one of these 5-in-1 tools that come complete with just about everything you need to work with paint. Included is a can opener, pick, scraper, putty knife, and paint roller squeegee. This tool can save you a lot of room in your toolkit for the day, and reduces the chance that you’ll misplace any given item as it’s somewhat large and difficult to lose.

Pry Bar Set

The pry bar helps you use leverage to your advantage when removing old floors or baseboards, and can even help you pry apart pieces of material that have become stuck together. If you’ve ever been tempted to try and pry something apart using only your fingertips, then a pry bar is an investment you should absolutely be making. When it comes to removing stuck-on items with surgical precision, there are little other choices.

Socket Wrench Set

You don’t need to get a socket set with every size known to man, although whatever set you buy should have at least 10 of the most commonly found sizes available. This tool most often shows its worth when working on vehicles such as cars or bikes. That’s not to say it isn’t uncommon to find nuts and bolts that need to be tightened or loosened in other applications, which is exactly why the socket wrench set is so indispensable.

Laser Level

Our eyes can only be trusted so much. When absolute precision is required when hanging a wall or fitting pieces together, a laser level can be a godsend. Simply put, a laser level brings in much-needed precision that can save you hours of time throughout a year’s worth of projects by simplifying the leveling process.

Magnetic Pick-Up Tool

It’s pretty much impossible to consider yourself a handyman, but not have dropped a tiny screw into a hard to reach area at least once. Finding something small you’ve dropped is a chore in and of itself. Don’t make actually retrieving it something else you need to stress out about. The best magnetic pick-up tools come on telescoping handles that allows you a lot of mobility when it comes to saving your bacon.

Allen Key Set

Allen keys are required for many different jobs, from assembling snow blowers to taking apart pieces of equipment that might not have necessarily been intended to be taken apart easily. A full set of Allen keys will make short work of any hex screw you come across during your handyman time, leaving you with a lot more time to actually fix the problem at hand.

Telescoping Mirror

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate task of having to look behind your television and peer into all of the myriad of cables and wires to diagnose what’s wrong, then you’ll definitely appreciate what a telescoping mirror can do for you. It isn’t always easy to get visual confirmation of what’s going on inside of tight spaces, making the telescoping mirror worth much more than its dollar value.


Here’s another item that ties into visibility – the headlamp. If you often do work all by your lonesome, having a headlamp means you still have both of your hands free to work. This tool makes working underneath sinks or in a crawl space a lot more tolerable. You don’t want to be stuck in those kinds of places any longer than you have to.

Hook and Pick Set

When it comes to fine movements, the hook and pick set is in a class of its own. Difficult to remove snap covers, as well as pieces of debris stuck within something, can be next to impossible to work with when you’re using only your fingers. A good hook and pick set is made of strong metals while still tapering down to a small size, allowing you to use as much force as necessary as simply as possible.

Replacement fittings

Some simple fittings on the systems around your house might need to be replaced from time to time due to either wear and tear, or accidentally breaking while you were fixing an unrelated issue. We’re talking about things like O-rings, valve caps, and sealing washers. Suppliers like are an excellent source for these specialized fittings. Having lots of these fittings on hand might pay off in strange ways, such as having an immediate replacement should you misplace the original fitting or helping a friend at a later date with a similar system to yours.

Wrench Cheater Bar

Most DIY handymen are well-aware of the trick used to extend a small wrench to get more torque – simply adding another wrench to the other end and hoping it stays in place. A cheater bar is a purpose-built item meant to take advantage of this idea, allowing for a lot more torque than had you not employed one. Many of the higher-end models also have strong magnets in them to further keep the wrench in place while you’re using it. This one tool can be a godsend in that it saves you from having to buy longer wrenches in several different sizes.

Strong-Action pliers

A good pair of pliers can help you much in the same way the utility knife can, with a few extra uses that make it worth it in and of itself. Not all pliers work great for stronger materials, so action pliers can help bridge that gap. Things like the piano wire that needs to be cut or bent are all easily dealt with by a strong set of pliers. You won’t consider this tool as worthwhile as it really is until you’re in a position where you really need one, but don’t have it.

Long-Reach scraper

More so an accessory tool than anything else, a long-reach scraper is great for painting projects or anywhere you’d need a bit of scraping power. It’s one tool that can help round out your toolbox more than you’d expect. That’s for certain. The added reach can reduce your dependence on a step ladder, saving you a lot of time and stretching at the end of the day.

Magnetic Wristband

One aspect of any DIY job that takes the most time is switching between tools or materials mid-job. Usually, you have to drop everything you’re doing and repurpose yourself to complete the job at hand. With a magnetic wristband, you can attach all of your screws or nails right to your wrist and have them with you at all times. Since it’s magnetic, there’s little risk of losing them, and they’ll always be on hand.


Sometimes, using a pencil or pen is a less than desirable way to leave a noticeable mark on a particular piece you’re working on. With an awl, you’ll be able to make small marks on just about any surface you can use to guide whatever work comes next.


All of these tools are an excellent addition to any handyman’s toolbox that has just gotten started. While it isn’t impossible to complete some jobs without the use of these tools, lots of time and effort will be saved by employing them at the right times. Some of these tools also contribute to the overall neatness of a job. You might be surprised to find out that you spend more time polishing your work than you do actually getting it done in the first place. If you really aren’t sure which of these tools are necessary and which aren’t, it’s recommended you think about what kind of jobs you’ve done in the past year and what issues you had while doing them. Then, figure out which items listed here would have made that issue a walk in the park. Best of luck with all of your DIY projects!

Want to tell your strange story? Tell us about it and it could be featured on Oddee. You can remain fully anonymous.