Manly Must-Haves: The Top Ten Tools You Need As A Man

Reviewed, fact-checked & edited by Lenny Terra.
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Every man should own at least 10 tools. Whether fixing your car, installing a sprinkler system, or tightening up screws around the house, these ten essential tools will help you accomplish any task you set out to do.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that having the right tool for a job makes all of the difference in how easy and successful it turns out. Here are my top ten favorite essentials:

A Hammer.

hammer

You can never go wrong with buying a good hammer as they’re helpful for almost every project! A hammer comes with different markings to indicate what type of material it is best for. For example, a claw hammer is perfect for driving nails in wood, while a ball-peen hammer is better used when striking metal or other rigid materials since it doesn’t mar the surface.

Try to find a hammer with a wooden handle if possible since they absorb vibration and don’t conduct electricity as metal does.

Some other types of hammers worth having:

  • Rubber mallet: great for knocking in dowels or setting up wooden areas.
  • Sledgehammer: this hammer is used for pounding beams and breaking up large pieces of concrete.
  • Tack hammer: suitable for tacking, nailing down, or drawing small metal objects like nails or machine parts.

Screwdrivers.

You will find endless uses for screwdrivers, whether taking apart the TV to figure out a problem or using them to remove a screw from an old wooden chair.

A set of basic screwdrivers is all you need for most projects around your home or office. You want to make sure that they have a rubber handle and grip tightly around the screw; this will ensure that it doesn’t slip when turning the screwdriver.

Magnetic screwdrivers are great for reaching screws that you can’t get to with your hand (like behind the computer).

Try to find a set with multiple sizes; this will make it easier when working on smaller screws.

Here are some other types of screwdrivers you may want to have:

  • Phillips – a cross-shaped or X-head screwdriver.
  • Flathead – a standard straight blade type of screwdriver.
  • Hex – hexagon-shaped, or Allen wrench used for turning screws with hexagonal sockets in them (usually found on furniture).

Pliers and Wrenches.

Besides having a good pair of pliers around the house to help you tighten up loose cabinets and hold onto small things, pliers are also great for making adjustments to plumbing pipes and even cutting wire! Depending on what you need it for, many different kinds of pliers are available on the market.

Pliers are great for gripping objects with a firm hold. They are also versatile in that they can be used in different hand positions to get the right angle when trying to reach an object; this allows you to position them in ways that aren’t possible with your bare hands.

Some pliers worth having are:

  • Standard diagonal pliers – good for gripping objects like nails or nuts.
  • Slip-joint pliers – great when needing to adjust the tightness of something.
  • Channel-lock – this is one of my favorites because they act as an adjustable wrench as well as locking down on whatever you’re trying to tighten or loosen. They grip tightly and don’t slip.
  • Needle nose pliers – these are great for getting into tiny spaces to grip items that you can’t reach with your fingers.
  • Side cutter pliers – these have a cutting mechanism built-in, so it’s easy to cut wire or metal objects.

Having a complete set of pliers will help you tackle all of those small fix-it jobs around the house and yard and will be well worth the investment!

pliers

You will also need some wrenches for turning nuts and bolts.

From tightening big nuts to changing a car’s oil filter, wrenches are the most useful tools you can have around your home. They come in different shapes and sizes, with open-ended being the most versatile as they fit both flat head and pointy head fasteners.

For automotive or plumbing needs, you’ll need to use standard combination wrenches.

Plumbers love them for their ease of size adjustment and because the short side allows them to get into tight areas and do the job quickly. When buying your wrench set, try and look for “chrome vanadium” (CV) steel, as it is more robust than regular carbon steel and doesn’t rust or corrode easily!

Here are some types of wrenches you will want to keep on hand:

  • Combination – as mentioned above, these open-ended wrenches are good for reaching into those hard-to-reach spots and turning nuts and bolts. You can also take off lug nuts with a combination wrench! They come in both standard and metric sizes.
  • Box – this type of wrench has an open end on one end and a closed box end. It is good for loosening stubborn bolts that may be rusted or painted over.
  • Allen wrench Set – this is an L-shaped wrench used for turning screws with hexagonal sockets in them. These are usually found on furniture, baby strollers, and other various types of equipment where you need to remove something smaller than a nut or bolt.
  • Universal Socket Set – this wrench style is different because it has an open-ended socket instead of a box or closed-end. A universal set can be used for many applications since you can insert whatever piece fits into the drive type. This makes changing oil filters, spark plugs, and most bolts much easier!
  • Adjustable wrench – with this wrench, you simply turn the bolt head on one side until the “jaws” are next to the object requiring tightening. It will tighten up as you continue to do this around the bolt. 

I recommend you start with a good quality adjustable wrench and combination wrenches for your toolbox. Wrenches come in standard and metric sizes, so make sure you get the right size when you buy them!

If you need help determining what type of wrench to choose, try looking online for free instructions on removing rusted nuts and bolts or other items that may be stuck. It’ll give you an idea of which tools might be needed.

Many inexpensive, quality brands out there like Stanley, Sunex, and Craftsman will provide years of service if used correctly!

Tape measure.

A tape measure is a must-have tool to have around the house and office! A tape measure has many uses, whether measuring how high items need to be placed or cutting off lengths of rope. You want to get one with a sturdy metal edge so you can get accurate measurements quickly and one with a rubber grip so you can maintain a firm hold on whatever material you’re measuring.

LCD and digital measuring devices are available on the market for those who need measurements to the tenth or hundredth of an inch. A typical tape measure that is inexpensive and has a dial on the end will work just fine for basic measuring purposes.

Flashlight.

A flashlight is one of those items that you never want to be without. Whether it’s digging through the toolbox in the middle of the night looking for a screwdriver, using one when trying to fix something in your car at night, or just walking outside with one when needed, flashlights are always good to have around!

Good flashlights should emit bright light and be easy to hold and use. Today, many flashlights come equipped with LED bulbs that last much longer than traditional ones and emit a brighter light.

Look for a flashlight that is lightweight as well as durable, as you don’t want it to break down or stop working when you need it most! The batteries should also be easily accessible, so they aren’t a hassle to change when needed.

Your phone’s flashlight doesn’t count!

You want to make sure the light comes out in a straight line (no scattering of light) because it will be easier to see what you’re doing when trying to replace things in the dark.

Having an extra flashlight around is always good; if possible, try and buy one for each room or area that you may need one in.

Cordless Drill.

A cordless drill can be used for many everyday household tasks, from hanging pictures to assembling flat-pack furniture.

Some drills come with multiple heads, so you can switch between drilling and screwing easily. Cordless drills are more expensive than manual drills, but if you plan on using one heavily, it will be worth the extra money.

The most basic cordless drill can produce 0-400 rpm speeds with torque settings between 0-950 in/lb. If you use your cordless drill for heavier duty work or more extensive projects, make sure you buy a model that will suit your needs.

Cordless Drill

They come with many drill bits that you can use to bore into different types of materials. The speed at which they drill and the torque determine how far you pull the trigger back.

Be sure to buy a cordless drill kit that includes:

A charger so you can charge up your batteries quickly and easily (many grills come with more than one battery so you can have a backup charged at all times), A set of drill bits, screwdriver heads that fit the drill, and a case or bag for all your accessories and equipment so you can keep it all together.

A flexible shaft attachment is available on some cordless drills that will allow you to drill into hard-to-reach places.

You can also buy a rotary tool accessories kit that allows you to complete polishing, sanding, sawing, scraping, cutting, and cleaning tasks.

Some drills come with a hammer action, which can be handy for drilling into concrete or masonry.

A cordless drill is a worthwhile investment to make, no matter your skill level or project requirements! 

Utility knife.

A good quality utility knife is an essential tool to have around the home. It should be super sharp, lightweight, and easy to handle for all types of uses.

Utility knives can come with retractable or fixed blades that you change quickly, depending on your preference. They are also made in many different widths so that you can choose the best size for the project at hand.

You want a sturdy, weighted knife that has a secure blade-lock mechanism.

If possible, look for one that comes with multiple blades, so you always have a fresh edge ready to go when needed!

A utility knife is worth investing in, no matter what kind of projects you plan on doing around the house! It’ll save money not having to buy disposable knives over and over again! It’ll also be creating less waste!

The uses are endless with these bad boys. Use them to cut through anything from carpet to insulation. You can get by without one for years, but once you own one, you will wonder how you ever survived without it!

Leveler.

A leveler is a tool that measures the tilt or slope of an object to ensure it’s perfectly horizontal, vertical, or upright.

Most people have seen a level in action before when hanging up pictures on the wall. A level simply attaches to something so you can use your eyes and hands to tell whether an object is straight or not. They come in many different forms, from hand-held models to laser measuring devices.

You can always use a ruler as well if you’re having trouble seeing whether something is straight or not just by looking at it! If you’re going to be using a leveler around the home, make sure it is sturdy and lightweight enough for easy handling! It would be best to look for a comfortable grip and rubber feet on the bottom to prevent it from sliding. A magnetic stripe on the back is also helpful for holding screws or nails without dropping them!

A leveler can help ensure your pictures are straight, that shelves and furniture are perfectly vertical or horizontal, and that your flooring or countertops are all perfectly even.

You want to invest in one of these handy tools if you plan to do any home renovations! You’ll thank yourself later when everything is nice and evenly spaced out and not crooked at all!

Screws, Nuts, Bolts & Washers.

You will also need a set of screws, nuts, bolts, and washers that fit the project at hand! You can never have enough of these guys lying about.

Screws Nuts Bolts Washers

Screws come in many different sizes and shapes, so it’s essential to get a variety; you will need them for any renovation or construction project you plan on tackling! You’ll also want a set with a wide range of head types so they fit your pipe flanges. The same goes for nuts and bolts.

When shopping for these guys, try to find ones that are heat-treated with a rust-resistant coating. This will ensure they last longer and won’t break or snap when you need them most! You’ll also want ones that fit snugly together, so everything is held tight and secure!

Washers are necessary, too, because they prevent the nut from digging into the surface below it. It’s helpful to have many different kinds of washers on hand like flat, star, lock, ring, split lock, etc. These will come in handy whether you’re hanging up a picture frame or building a wooden fence!

Ladder.

If you need to do any work around the house that requires you to climb up high or reach a difficult area, invest in a ladder so you don’t have to risk your life trying to get the job done! They come in many different sizes and lengths, so you can pick one that’s right for you.

The most popular type is a stepladder, but extension ladders are also handy for getting things done high up, so definitely check those out, too! You’ll want something lightweight, sturdy, and with a wide base so it doesn’t tip over when you’re on top of it.

Check the locks and hinges.

Make sure all locks and hinges work correctly before purchasing one, though, because if the ladder falls while you’re on it, then there will be no getting out of that one! You’ll need to hold yourself accountable if any accidents happen because of neglecting to inspect a faulty product before purchase. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you buy it online, make sure you can return it easily if it’s defective or damaged!

A household ladder should easily fit through doorways, so they are lightweight and easy to carry around. Some even come with a small pouch to store the stepladder parts in when you collapse it so you can quickly put it away and not waste any space.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve highlighted ten essential tools that every man should own. We hope you found it helpful and will be able to incorporate at least a couple of these items into your life with ease.

There are more items to include in a man’s toolbox, like saws, helmets, scrapers, storage bins, etc., but we hope this list helps you get started. The next time you’re tackling a fix-it job around the house or yard, remember these handy hand tools can save a lot of frustration and headache.  Remember to take your time, use the right tool for the job and have fun getting things fixed!

Please, comment below on which one is most intriguing to you or what tool would make the most significant difference in how you live your day-to-day life!

Author

  • Matthew Mansour is a professional life coach, fitness trainer, health coach, a blogger with over 800 articles published to date. He enjoys reading and researching books that are reflective of the nature of who we are as humans, understanding the complexity of our minds, and using it as an advantage to propel us forward in life. He is a self-help enthusiast and he is not ashamed about it! He’s always looking for his next fix of inspiration, motivation, insight, and wisdom from those who have been there before him! He also does a lot of courses and research on the latest and greatest in the area of self-help, life coaching, and health. He likes to share his discoveries with anyone who is interested in listening! His personal goal is to help people achieve great results in their lives, that is why he also has a blog about self-improvement. He loves animals and he currently lives in New Jersey with his loving wife and his recently born child.

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