What's a basic toolkit to keep in an apartment?
November 23, 2016 7:08 PM   Subscribe

I have more tools than I can store in my apartment. I have a storage unit in the basement (1 floor down) where I will keep most everything, but I'd like to keep a basic set of tools in my apartment so that I can fix minor things that pop up. What should I keep in my tool drawer?

Let's assume that I own everything from a full set of sockets (metric and USAian) - to a Skil saw, a pipe wrench, toilet snake, a battery drill, a thousand drill bits and a large box of extra IKEA parts. I also have stuff like Command Strip hooks and packing tape and a good tape measure in my drawer.

I live in an apartment in an old house that's on the National Register of Historic Places with amazing finishes so I can't hammer anything into the walls.

I have a motorcycle but I also have the factory toolkit that seems to cover most everything, but anything that would help with that is good.

What should I keep in my apartment to save my lazy ass as many trips downstairs as possible?
posted by bendy to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A six-in-one screwdriver, a pair of wire cutters, and a set of vise grips can fix 80% of everything. Throw in a tape measure, maybe.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:14 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I realize you can't hammer anything new into the walls but even as someone with few tools I find having a hammer handy to flatten down anything that's popped up at just the moment when I notice it is wonderful.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:24 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Unless I am working on projects I leave my tools in a shed in the backyard. What I keep in the house is a Radio Shack kit with various driver bits, small pliers, a wire stripper and a soldering iron. That plus some tape measures takes care of almost everything I need to do around the house. I used to just have tools lying around everywhere and I'd always be searching for them, now I know that the kit is in the entrance closet and everything else is in the shed or the garage room (if I'm working on something), which is a nice change.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:35 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

New idea: keep everything in storage, keep a small toolbox/drawer empty for tools and each time you use something inside the home leave it there. After a set period of time, see what made it into the drawer and is worth keeping close at hand.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:41 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Keep anything needed to turn off the gas and water in an emergency in your apartment.
posted by yohko at 8:14 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Honestly, I've found a Leatherman multitool and an adjustable spanner have covered 95% of non-hammer situations in the last few years.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:26 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Philips and regular screwdriver. Tape measure. Wire cutter. Pliers. Utility knife.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:51 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The tools I use most often for 95% of minor rental-unit stuff are:

- Hammer
- Pliers (standard slip joint, channel-lock, wire cutter, and needle-nose)
- small Vice-Grips
- Screwdrivers (small/medium/large, both standard and Philips)
- Mini screwdriver set (standard and Philips)
- Cordless screwdriver with set(s) of multi sized bits (standard, Philips, hex, etc.)
- Adjustable wrench
- Ratchet wrench set incl. extension and both metric and Standard sockets
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Scissors
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:59 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Pipe wrench. For thwacking problems.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:57 AM on November 24, 2016

a/k/a Percussive Maintenance.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:16 AM on November 24, 2016

Best answer: Along with you packing tape I would add duct, electrical, and painters tape for delicate jobs. Maybe even plumbers, for pesky drips. They don't take up much room.

toilet snake

I'd think having this as close to the problem as possible would be worth carving out a little more space.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:14 PM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

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