039: Handyman Tools Every Apartment Dweller Should Own

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to own a house to make home improvements. There are plenty of DIY and redesign projects renters can enjoy as they personalize their living spaces. Whether you want to remodel your rental kitchen, evenly hang wall art or simply avoid calling your property manager, every apartment needs a toolbox. Beyond the absolute basics — a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, wrench and measuring tape — here are eight handy tools you need to own.

1. Laser Level
Never hang a picture crooked again. A laser level allows you to hang décor like pictures and wall shelves without the help of another person. Laser levels can be placed on the floor, put on a tripod or simply mounted on your wall. Use the laser to find an even line, and once you’re done drilling or nailing, simply step back to admire your evenly hung painting.

2. Utility Knife
A utility knife is one of the most basic and essential tools in a handyman’s kit, and it will help you avoid crooked edges or an injury from a pair of scissors or a dull blade. A utility knife makes it easy to cut heavy materials, including plastic and linoleum, as well as simpler materials like cardboard boxes. If you are thinking of updating your cabinets with contact paper, a utility knife will make it a breeze.

3. Allen Wrench Set
Also known as Allen keys or hex keys, an Allen wrench is an L-shaped tool used to secure bolts and screws with hexagonal heads. A set of Allen wrenches in different sizes is essential for repairing your bike or assembling and disassembling furniture. It can even help you pick a lock if you accidentally lock yourself out of a room.

4. Stud Finder
A stud is an important part of your apartment — it supports the framework of your home and is how your drywall is attached. There’s no easier way to lose your deposit than by drilling multiple holes in a wall because you can’t find a stud. A stud finder will help you locate a stud so you can securely nail or screw in shelves, televisions, cabinets or oversized pictures without worrying about the item ripping through drywall.

5. Crosscut Saw
A crosscut saw is a standard saw that DIYers love. It’s small, easy to store and works best for simple projects like DIY planter boxes and shelves. Make sure you use a blade guard when storing the saw to protect the blade, your other tools and yourself.

6. Garbage Disposal Wrench
Got yourself in a jam — literally? A garbage disposal wrench is a necessity for any apartment or home with a garbage disposal. With a swivel head design, you can safely dislodge garbage disposal shredder plate jams. It’s an easier and less expensive solution than hiring a plumber and possibly having to replace your disposal.

7. Vise Grip
A vise grip has a myriad of uses and is capable of doing the jobs of pliers, pipe wrenches, wire cutters, clamps and ratchets. Also called locking pliers, vice grips can remove broken or stripped screws, loosen jammed nuts, clamp items in place and open a zipper if the pull breaks off.

8. Electric Drill
An electric drill might sound like a luxury. However, once you use one, you’ll wonder how you ever completed a project with only a screwdriver. Not only does it make it quick and easy to drill holes and drive screws, but it also provides better and more accurate results than a manual drill.

Now that you have your collection of essential tools, it’s time to get started on a few DIY projects. Begin by hanging that picture you’ve been putting off for weeks or making your own bookshelf.

Credit: For Rent