Assembling a set of tools is a point of pride of many homeowners who want a certain degree of self-sufficiency. There’s nothing better than knowing that, if the faucet becomes leaky, you can get your toolbox, find the tools you need, and fix the faucet.
The same goes from fixing broken rain gutters, home appliances, and furniture. People like to be able to do things with their own hands, and that usually entails some tool usage. But what kind of tools should you have? And how much money should you spend on them? And can a multi-tool really replace a set of tools? And do you need more set of tools than just one? How many tools do you exactly need to have in a proper tool set?
The first thing to remember when assembling a set of tools is that quantity doesn’t beat quality. You can buy a cheap set of more than a hundred tools, only to find them starting to chip, dent, or downright fall apart after a use or two. You’ll find pliers that can’t really grip, saws that cannot saw, crescent wrenches that cannot maintain a grip, and flathead screwdrivers whose heads bend.
The problem with tools is that there’s just so many of them you can own, so instead of focusing on a few essential tools and getting very high quality items, you will be tempted to, for the same price, buy as many different tools of significantly lower quality as you can. And if you think about the money you’ll end up spending to repair or, more likely, replace all of your cheap broken tools, you’d be much better served by buying fewer, but better quality tools.
As for how many tools you really need for a proper tool set, it really depends on what you plan to do with them. While some people might see tools as something that’s to be collected, in their essence tools are something that we use to get some work done. And as many tools you need to get the job done is the amount of tools you need to have in a proper set. You should, however, keep in mind that tools take up space, and if you have too many of them you might have a problem storing all of them, which brings us to the next questions.
Do you need more sets than just one? For most uses, a single versatile sets, like the one made by Wilson and Miller, will be sufficient to do the job. If you want to be able to dabble a little bit in everything, you should go for a single, but versatile set. If, on the other hand, you have a plan to never call a plumber, carpenter, or electrician into your house again, then you’ll need more sets than just one. But even then, you should have a toolbox containing only the essential, versatile tools, as your go-to set.
As for multi-tools, if you’re thinking about the tools you can carry in your pocket, you should stop. They can be quite handy if you need to do some light work while away from your toolbox, but to rely on a multi-tool for your home repair needs wouldn’t be a good idea. That being said, if you fancy yourself a handyman, you will probably at some point own a multi-tool for on the spot repairs, and that’s perfectly okay as long as you know that the tools you can count on are the tools you keep in your toolbox.
That being said, tools with more function than one can be very useful. Lineman’s pliers, for example, can be used to both grip and cut wire. A claw hammer can be used to hammer nails and pull them out. A crescent wrench replaces a whole set of wrenches. An electrical drill can become a screwdriver and many more things with the right bits. Some tools are made to perform more function than one, and as long as they can perform each function well, there’s nothing wrong with that.
For the end, the main ingredient for assembling a set of tools is – patience. If you go with high-quality tools, as you should, you will need to invest a significant amount of money into assembling an awesome set of tools. The least painful way to go about spending a lot of money is to do it over a period of time, if possible. So, a tool at a time, or a specific set at a time is the most reasonable way to do it.