12 Things You Need In Your Tool Bag!

What's In My Tool Bag

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Here is a great resource to help get you on your DIY way. This list will include all the tools that I recommend. It has only made it to this list if I fully trust that it is a good and reliable product to work with. I have also included it because I feel that you may eventually need one the further you expand your projects.

So, let’s get started and take a peak into what’s in my tool bag!

Tool Bag1. Tool bag. Sounds redundant, right? However, you really need to have some place where you can keep everything together. In my case, it also helps to keep it out of tiny wandering hands. There are a few different ways to go.

  • You could get a bucket with an insert to put everything in. This is a great option if you have a few bigger items to keep in the actual bucket part. A couple downsides though would be that it doesn’t have a top/or close and the handle might be hard to hold if it gets too heavy.
  • Or, a tool bag. This route is nice because there are so many different styles, shapes, and sizes that they can really fit any need that you may have. Plus, having a couple handles or a long strap may be nice if it gets to be heavy. One downside would be that you are a bit more limited on the size of things that you can put in it because the bag is normally enclosed.

2. Hammer. I add this to the list because it is a necessity. Hammers come in all varieties, so it is great to try different ones out in the store. I have linked my favorite. I like this one because it is smaller (doesn’t take up much space in my bag), lighter weight, and the prongs on the back are just thin enough to open a paint can.

Screw Driver

3. Screwdriver. Automatic or manual, this is something that will come in very handy. If you plan on re-purposing furniture, you will 90% of the time. Whether it be taking the knobs off a dresser or the shelves off a bookcase, you will need a screwdriver. I have found that I like to have a few different kinds. I like my automatic one because it makes things go a lot faster and easier. Plus, you can do more things with it like drill holes and use it with a Kreg Jig (more about those on number 14). A plain manual screw driver is nice because they can be easy to just grab when you need it just for something simple. In addition to a normal sized manual screwdriver a miniature one may be helpful to fit in smaller spots that an automatic or classic sized may not fit.

4. Nails/Screws. Both nails and screws are something that you can acquire over time or buy a few different kinds and use what you have. I at first bought them as I needed them and then could use those for other projects. When purchasing these make sure you are looking at the use. There are many different kinds for woods, metals, etc.


5. Clamps. These are great to have when drilling, cutting, and gluing. I would recommend a couple of them. They come in many different sizes and materials. As you probably suspected the larger and better material will be a higher price. However, I have a couple plastic ones that I have had for about a year now that are still in pretty good shape, it just depends how you treat them and how much you plan on using them.

6. Saw. There are so many different types of saws so I will break this into a few sub categories.

  6a. Miter Saw. Price range: $80 – $200+ I personally have a 12-inch miter saw. These are more of a stationary item and not very portable. I do like it though because I can cut all angles, very thick, and very long wood pieces.

  6b. Scroll Saw. Price Range: $90 – $300+ A scroll saw is also a saw that is not very portable. This is a great item for more detailed work. With this saw the possibilities are endless.

    6c. Jig/Reciprocating Saw. Price Range: $20 – $130+ A jig saw might be a cheaper option to a scroll saw. These however are held in your hand as you cut rather than moving the wood as you would in a scroll saw. An upside to this though is that they are more portable, so you could take them with you if you are working somewhere other than your usual place.

   6d. Circular Saw. Price Range: $40 – $150+ These are a great hand held saw. You could use this as a lower cost option to a band saw. If you were to choose one of these saws this might have to be the one because it really can do almost any type of general cutting.

    6e. Band Saw. Price Range: $130 – $400+ I would say that this is more of an investment saw. If you plan on using it often, then go for it. Otherwise you may want to work your way up. This again is more of a stationary saw. It is nice to have because like the miter saw it can change angles, plus it can cut long pieces.

    6f. Oscillating Saw. Price Range: $60 – $200+ This tool is great because most of the time they come in a kit with other attachments that you can use. This would be best with small projects. If you only need a saw for a couple things and want something that is small and compact, this would be for you.

What's In My Tool Bag

7.Workbench/Sawhorse Table. I know, this is not something that will go into a tool bag, but if you have the space this would be something great to have. There are so many variations of a workbench, You could make one to fit your needs or purchase one. A sawhorse table can also be in many different forms. I personally built mine, which only took an afternoon. Or, you can have two sawhorses and then just put a board over them. It really is just that simple.

8. Level. A level is something that you need when you are building something large or small. Even if you are just putting a photo or shelf on your wall, it will make sure that it is straight. Again, they come in many forms, you could get one that has a laser in it. I find this helpful so that if I am hanging many things that need to be the same height I already have the line, there is no need to lift and move it multiple times.

What's In My Tool Bag

9. Tape Measure. This is another item that seems obvious for your tool bag, but I would hate for you to forget it, so it made the list! It really amazes me how far these have come. They now make some that have a level on top, ones that also have a digital reader, or even a notepad on the size. It is up to you what kind you get, but to be honest, any standard tape measure will get the job done.

10. Drill Bits. These normally come in a set and you would use them with an automatic screwdriver. They help drill holes into something so that you can sit the screw or nail further in. It is also helpful when attaching two things via dowels.

What's In My Tool Bag

11. Kreg Jig. A Kreg Jig is a tool that you clamp onto a piece of wood to make a pocket hole. You would want to make one of these so that your screws don’t show. Overall, it helps the item look more professional. But it is up to you if you want to use one. If you get a bigger one it would be more of an investment. I personally have a single hole one that I love. I chose the single hole for a couple reasons. One, the price wouldn’t break the bank, and two, the single hole is a lot more maneuverable and can fit in smaller places than the large.

12. Safety Gear. Last, but most definitely not least is safety gear. These items will change depending on the type of product you are doing. It might only be staining a piece of wood, in which case you would want to wear gloves. Or, it could be that you are cutting and sanding wood, for this you may need gloves, eye glasses, and possibly a mask. It all depends on the situation. I always have an extra pair of safety glasses on hand in my tool bag just in case. However, it is always better to be on the safe side when unsure.

Now there is no need to go out and buy all of these items at once. In fact, I recommend that you don’t. I would wait and see what your going to need for your projects before making any purchases. It will also make the decisions of what kind of item you will find most useful. This by no means is a complete kit. However, I think that these are a great place to start thinking of what you will need. What other tool do you find is a must have in your tool bag?

  1. Moe

    July 10, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Love this! I’ve been thinking of putting together a tool bag for my sister who’s just moved out on her own….you don’t have to be too much into DIY to need to fix things once in a while. Great list!

    1. rfolger

      July 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I think that is a great idea! You never know when something will break or you’re building something from a store and you’ll need a screwdriver!

  2. sam

    July 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Genius post! I was lucky enough to have a really handy father. Every time I move I inherit more and more tools. I think he likes to have a reason to buy more. Love your comment about the tape measure…. that thing comes in handy all the time.

    1. rfolger

      July 11, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      Oh you are lucky! I finally bought myself a miter saw so that I didn’t have to mooch of my dad’s every other weekend ha!

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