The 22 Tools Every Woman NEEDS to Have in Their Home

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*Updated 5/11/18

Ok, I’m about to get a little freaky.

I LOVE tools.

Adore them.
There is something about the rumble of a drill under my hands that makes me excited… to take something apart.

Ask my husband.  He thinks he’s married to the demolition man.

I also like to create things, so tools are handy (get it, handy?!) for that too. But, it really blows my skirt up to destroy the ugly things around my house and yard to make way for better, prettier, not ugly things.

There is a lot of ugly stuff around here.

I wish I had a picture of the makeshift donkey pen that we tore down.  It was made of telephone poles, pallets, old plywood, old tarps, and a HIGHWAY sign. Needless to say, it was awesomely horrible.

Naturally, I gave all my kids age inappropriate tools and went out to have at it.

Through the sometimes painful course of learning the best ways to deconstruct old crap, creating new things, and learning to be useful fixing basic things around the house; I have determined that there are some tools that every woman should have on hand and be able to use. Even if you live in an apartment. Even if you have a boyfriend or husband to do most of the heavy lifting. Even if you get gorgeous manicures on a regular basis. Even if the only screwdriver you are familiar with involves vodka and orange juice.

I promise, your significant other and/or best friend, and/or pet, will think it’s pretty fabulous and downright sexy to watch you use tools. They also may get a good laugh out of it.

{I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.}

Here is my list of tools every woman needs:

  • Hammer – First things first, are you comfortable wielding a hammer? One of the first hammers I ever used was beautiful pink, floral, and petite. It was perfect for pounding small fasteners into walls and hanging pictures and other home decor. This particular hammer also has a small set of screwdrivers in the handle, making it an especially awesome and useful little gadget.



  • Screwdrivers – You should have a small set of screwdrivers in two basic head types. My favorite thing to do with screwdrivers is use them to open locked interior doors. Like the pantry that I had to lock because my constantly hungry boy cubs have started raiding it without asking.
    • Phillips Head (looks a bit like a cross)
    • Flat Head (straight across/single line)

  • Power Drill – My number one most favoritest, bestest, (those are words today), tool of all time, is my Milwaukee Drill. My husband bought this for me because I let him go on a fishing trip.  It worked, I plan to let him go on more fishing trips. (I’m a good wife, dang-it!). This lightweight little beauty is my go to for DIY crafts, house projects, and bringing down the (donkey) house. Power drills make almost every project easier. They can be found in very lightweight versions if some of the heavier versions feel a bit cumbersome. Even with my lighter drill, just like carrying a ten pound baby for a while, your arm eventually wears out. It’s science.

  • Random Orbital Hand Sander – I’m embarrassed to admit that I used only manual sanding blocks for way too long. When it was time to sand and refinish an abandoned picnic table on our property I finally broke down and purchased a small power hand sander. As I gloried in the worn top of an old picnic table going down to bare wood in seconds instead of minutes, I knew deep down inside that life really would never be the same again. I also felt really really powerful.

  • Flat Bar – Forget the heavy duty crowbar- get yourself a Super Bar. Ugh. Can I just tell you.  If I could fit this in my pocket, it would come with me everywhere. Okay, not really, but on a small homestead, with multiple demo projects, I’ve gotten many chances to use this.  I’ll admit this may not be super helpful for the average apartment dweller, but you never know when you may need to pry your husbands lazy butt out of bed. Amiright?

  • Heavy duty wire cutter – EG – not a small crafting wire cutter. A real one. Many crafts and home projects will be benefited by you having one of these babies in your arsenal. I’m a firm believer in not hoarding things, but I’m also a firm believer in “well, you just never know…”

  • Needle nose pliers – Great to have in the toolbox. Used extensively removing staples from a couch I attempted to reupholster. Let us never speak of it. Also, carry one of these in your tackle box. Obviously you don’t need a tackle box if you don’t fish. Pretty sure ninety percent of my closest friends think worms are icky and pulling fish off of hooks is traumatizing.

  • Wrenches – Wrenches in a few basic, common sizes would be ideal. Nuts come in various sizes, and if you have the basics you will likely be covered.

  • Miter box and hand saw – For those of us a little shy around the power saws (I’m still learning to be comfortable with them myself), a miter box with a hand saw is an awesome little gadget for cutting lengths of wood into specific pieces at specific angles. You could even cut trim or make picture frames with this set-up.

  • Allen wrenches – Mostly you’re going to want an Allen wrench set for when your Honey says, “have you seen any Allen wrenches?” and then you get to play the hero. It’s pretty exciting.

  • Locking pliers – They lock. Do not under any circumstances put your husband’s earlobe into it.

  • Tape measure – A good tape measure is invaluable. If you are doing lots of home projects you will be reaching for the tape measure constantly.  Turns out, knowing the correct measurements of things is very very important.

  • Fasteners – Nails, staples, and screws. I like to have finish nails on hand for anchoring trim the boys rip out of the wall. I also have a kit of picture hanging nails and devices. As the primary home decorator, I rely on these types of fasteners frequently and leave the heavy duty stuff to my husband.

  • Duct Tape – You’ll need it. Sometimes you’ll need it to temporarily fix the grout lines on your poorly installed, falling apart kitchen floor until you have the means to fix it and install a new floor. Hopefully your reasons for duct tape aren’t as sad as mine.

  • Putty knife and spackling – These tools are particularly pertinent if you have kids. Kids ruin things. Kids put holes in walls. Kids are not always particularly graceful or observant. Being able to successfully patch small drywall holes will make you feel a whole/hole lot better when the inevitable dings and holes do happen.

  • Hand sanding blocks – You’ll want these for detail sanding work, or when using your random orbital sander would be overkill. For example – sanding down your spackling in the above project would use a hand sanding block.

  • Paintbrushes –  Again, with kids, or even pets, some of your paint jobs might not be holding up very well. If you already have some good quality brushes on hand, it will be no big deal to grab your extra paint and fix the blemishes.  With my kids, it’s usually best to just repaint the entire living space. You think I’m kidding.

  • Stud finder – I could make some crass joke about finding a stud, but since I’m a lady, I will let your brain do it. My favorite trick, in lieu of an actual stud finder, is to take a neodymium magnet and run it along the wall until it sticks to the drywall. Voila, you have discovered the middle of a stud! Mark it with a pencil.

  • Work gloves, eye protection, ear plugs – Safety is important. You usually only get one pair of eyes and one pair of lungs. Protect them. YOLO is not a great philosophy when working with tools.

  • Shop vac – Dust, debris, a shop vac is excellent for construction mess. Even little bitty mom project construction mess. You don’t want to muck up the filter on your regular house vacuum with that nonsense.

  • Level – Usually if I just eye something up, and then stick my level on it, I realize my head is off kilter or was never installed correctly.  Levels save lives. Too dramatic. Levels save gallery walls.

  • Toolbox – Get yourself a nice big toolbox. Nearly everything on this list will fit inside it, probably with room for more. Then stick it in your closet and know that the next time your cupboard door is getting loose, or the light switch cover needs replacing, or you really feel like demolishing a donkey pen, your tools are right there waiting for you.

*Full disclosure – When in doubt, ask someone who actually knows how to utilize a particular tool to avoid disturbances in the force.

I usually get myself in trouble when I:

A) Borrow tools and neglect to put them back in the disorganized organized mess that is my husband’s stuff.


B) When I pretend I know how to use a tool but really I’m destroying its actual functionality…  Don’t be me. Your significant other will appreciate it.*

Do you have any tools that you think should be on this list?

What tools are a must in your arsenal?


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  1. Samantha of Mother Haggard says:

    Well, clearly you missed the nail gun drill bender…just kidding. I have NO CLUE about tools, and that’s not something I’m proud of. I’m so impressed by your knowledge…and the fact that you once had a donkey pen(!!). You are an inspiration, for real.

    The tools that I use the most in my day-to-day life include…umm…the can opener. Scotch tape. The blender. Baby monitor. A tambourine. Sunscreen. Cheesecake…sorry, I think I’m just naming things now. I don’t use any tools! But I’m going to start. I’m going out and buying myself a nice Miter box and hand saw tomorrow. And maybe one of those floral hammers. I like the look of those.

    1. dirtnoisejoys says:

      I should clarify – the scary donkey pen and the scary chicken coop were left over from the previous residents. I try not to steal and build with highway signs… Ha! My husband won’t let me get donkeys. Or goats. He’s just no fun at all!

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