Times have changed. Men change nappies, women tackle DIY. We all wear whatever we want, and some people identify as unicorns. But gender equality is a huge fight. Even 100 years after women were given the vote, it’s not a given. Everyday women fight for the right to do what they want. To become the people that they want to be. To get paid the same as men, and to be treated with the same kind of respect.
Owning your own toolkit isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But, it gives you a certain amount of power. We don’t need men. We can fit a shelf to the wall or make home repairs. That said, google “women’s toolkit”, and you’re bound to find plenty of pink boxes and fluffy handled hammers. These things, you don’t need. If you want to tackle basic DIY jobs safely and properly, you need some proper tools in your arsenal. Here’s a look at some of the tools that you need. Some of which, won’t actually fit in your toolbox, so you might need to make a little room in your shed as well.
The first thing on our list will most certainly not fit in your toolbox, but it’s something that you need. A safe and sturdy workbench gives you a place to measure and cut but also somewhere to keep your tools and papers while you work. You might also want to invest in trestles from Heaton Products for any hard to reach or larger jobs that might require a small scaffolding.
A good hammer is essential for many jobs and is something that no toolbox should be without. Even if you don’t plan on tackling any bigger jobs a hammer is useful for hanging pictures or securing furniture to walls to keep your children safe. A good hammer should also have a claw for when you need to remove your nails and screws later on.
It’d be lovely to think that you’d only ever need to take on small jobs with a screwdriver. But, this isn’t always possible. You’ll struggle to screw into any external walls and even through some furniture. A good drill with a selection of bits and the ability to drill pilot holes is a must. But, it doesn’t need to be expensive. A basic drill with a rechargeable battery as well as a spare is all that you need.
A Screwdriver Set
Screwdrivers are incredibly handy for all of those little jobs that crop up. Even unscrewing the back of a child’s toy to put a battery in is tough without a screwdriver but takes seconds with one. Either a full set or one screwdriver with changeable heads including Philips and flathead in a range of different sizes will be more useful than you could ever imagine.
A Tape Measure
Have you ever tried to guess the size of a space while looking at furniture? Or tried to estimate whether something will fit into your car? Most of us have, and we’re usually vastly mistaken. Estimating sizes is incredibly difficult, even when you are looking at the thing that you need to measure.
When it comes to DIY being even a few millimetres out can lead to disaster. A tape measure allows you to be precise.
A Hex Key Set
Hex keys are also known as Allen keys or Allen wrenches. You’ve probably seen them when you get them free with flatpack furniture. The ones that you get with furniture are great, but they often only fit the item that you haven’t bought. You might need a different size to take on a different job, and unless you keep hold of each key, and know what they all fit, you’ll never be able to disassemble that piece of furniture.
It’s worth buying even a cheap set to keep in your toolbox in case you ever buy furniture that comes without, or you need to take anything apart or tighten it.
A Staple Gun
You might not think of a staple gun as a tool. But, it’s much more effective than you might think. You can use them to help you to reupholster chairs and other furniture, to hold things in place before adding screws, to add a valance or to build a frame around a painting.
An Adjustable Wrench
A wrench is a handy tool. You can use it to tighten bolts and even to repair plumbing issues. An excellent adjustable wrench allows you to tackle a variety of jobs using the same tool.
You won’t use a saw for small DIY jobs, but it’s handy to have one just in case. An electric saw is ideal for bigger jobs, but if you wish to take a little off the edge of a shelf, a small hand saw and a workbench can be as effective.
Pliers are exceptionally useful. They can pull staples and nails out of walls, they can help you to bend wire, and they can give you greater purchase if you need to twist or turn anything. Most pliers also have a wire cutter, which can also be incredibly handy.
A Spirit Level
You might already have a spirit level app on your phone. These are great for small jobs, but ask yourself if you’d want to use your very expensive and precious phone up a high ladder or around power tools or paints? Or, would you rather use a cheap spirit level that’s easy to replace if damaged?
Even if your partner has plenty of tools, and is completely capable of tackling jobs around the house, having your own tools and skills can be empowering. It can help you to feel like an equal partner. You might even find that you rather enjoy getting stuck into jobs around your house, or that you’ve got a natural talent for DIY and wood or metal work.
When it comes to choosing your tools, shop around and get a feel for those that you prefer. You might find one brand suits you and your needs more than another, and many people stick to it when they find it.