10 Hand Tools Every Dad Must Have
Children look up to their dads and are under the impression that he can do anything. To live up to that expectation, every dad must have certain hand tools to repair, build and make things. Not only will you look good in your kid’s eyes, you can also save money on repairs and maintenance.
You’d be really surprised how useful a roll of duct tape and some rope can be. However, if you want to repair a broken toy, put a bicycle together, stop a water leak, build a doll house or box car racer, you’ll need some more tools! While dads are human and can’t do everything, there’s no need for children to be aware of that fact!
These 10 must-have hand tools will allow dad to keep the fantasy alive and going strong for many years to come.
A claw hammer is the number one must-have hand tool for obvious reasons. This tool can hammer in a nail, then pull it back out when you need to. A good claw hammer will also enable dad to make a lot of banging noise without really doing anything. It will appear to his children that he is doing some serious work whether he is or not.
2. Screw Driver
Two different types of screw drivers are actually needed – a flat head and a Phillips. The flat head type is also called a straight head because the business head is flat or straight. The Phillips head is also called a star head because the business end is similar in shape to a star. One or the other of these tools will be needed to install and remove screws from most items around the house.
3. Adjustable Wrench
Also called a crescent wrench, this is the one wrench that must be in a dad’s toolbox. Just as its name indicates, this wrench can be easily adjusted to fit whatever you’re working on. A one-inch adjustable wrench is properly sized to take care of most jobs around the house. However, it’s always nice to have a few different sizes in the toolbox.
4. Open End Wrench
If you have enough room in your toolbox, also include a couple different sizes of open end wrenches. Also called box end wrenches, this tool can fit into tight places and won’t be as likely to strip a bolt or nut as an adjustable wrench may be. An inexpensive set of open end wrenches in various sizes is a good addition to a manly toolbox. If you plan to beat on things with an open end wrench (as many Mr. Fix-It types do) invest in a more expensive brand of box end wrenches so they can stand up to the abuse with cracking.
There are so many sizes and types of pliers to choose from that it may be a little confusing to know which pair of pliers will work best for any given task. Two types are must-haves and are usually able to tackle any job – needle nose pliers and vise grip pliers.
The needle nose type have long, semi-pointed ends that are able to fit into tight spots and get a precise grip on something. As an added bonus, a pair of needle nose pliers also has wire cutters built into their business end.
Vise grip pliers, also called locking grip pliers, can be tightened to securely hold whatever they are clamped down on. Great tool for pipe or glue work, or when you need a third hand to complete a repair job.
6. Socket Wrench
This wrench comes in handy when doing any type of automotive repair work. The straight handle wrench has many different sizes of sockets that can be used with it to get a job done. With a simple press of a button, the socket can be changed to meet the need. The socket wrench, also called a rachet, makes an interesting sound when being used and can be used like a hammer to create a lot of noise to impress your children.
As a side note – invest in a spark plug wrench of you plan to do a lot of automotive repair work. A spark plug wrench looks like a socket wrench with a deep socket. Just be sure you get the right size socket to fit the spark plugs.
7. Allen Wrench
An Allen wrench looks very different that other wrenches, it has no open end to place on a pipe, bolt or nut. This wrench resembles the letter L and comes in a wide range of sizes to accommodate screws with square openings on their heads. Purchase a set for your tool box in various sizes so you can tackle any repair job.
8. Pipe Wrench
While this tool only has one task, tightening or loosening pipes, it’s a must-have for any dad’s tool box. The size, color and weight of this tool screams ‘MACHO’ and no man’s tool box is complete without it even if you never use it.
A pipe wrench is big, heavy and fire engine red, making it impressive just to look at. The weight that it adds to your tool box will also be impressive to your young child because with a heavy pipe wrench inside, a young child won’t even be able to pick up his or her dad’s tool box. But dad will still be able to lift the tool box and if he pulls out that fire engine red pipe wrench occasionally, well it’s guaranteed to make your child’s eye light up.
9. Tape Measure
The old adage for building is – measure twice and cut once. This is a a good rule of thumb to go by. Once something is cut it’s difficult or perhaps even impossible, to put back together. Invest in at least a 16 foot-long retractable tape measure so you can measure anything (including your child’s growth) and perform ma magic show for your kids by pressing a button top make the tape measure quickly retract into its neat little carry case.
10. Cordless Drill
A cordless drill and several sizes of bits will enable you to hang sheet rock, build a deck and install new curtain rods. It’s a must-have tool for any home, garage and especially a dad’s toolbox. A 12 volt battery powered drill has enough power to get most any household job done, and a 12 volts size isn’t too heavy for most users. Weighing in at about 10 pounds, make sure your 12 volt cordless drill has various speeds and reverse.
After you cover the basics, it’s good to have more options in your toolbox. Add a few of these other items and you’ll be able to fix almost anything and be safe while doing so.
Set a good example for your kids and put safety first by wearing safety goggles and gloves while repairing or building something around the house.
Include several sizes of nails, screw, nuts, and bolts in your tool box. A level, a few wooden shims, wood glue and WD-40 are also good items to include in your tool box and take up very little space. If there is space, add a hand saw and a utility knife to the tool box too, you never know when something will need cutting or saweing. Toss in a few Band-Aids just in case you cut the wrong thing…