You can never have too many tools! I am a tool hoarder. I spend way much more money on tools than I spend on clothing. But that doesn’t mean you should run to the tool store or hardware store without a plan. If you do, we will either come back with nothing because you don’t know what you need, or you will spend way too much money (and perhaps still come home without the stuff you really need).
What tools you need depends entirely on what you want to make. It is difficult to say exactly what you need to start making things, but the list below shows some very commonly needed tools.
- Screwdrivers (a set of screw drivers, or a screwdriver that has multiple tips. You need both flat tip and philips (star) tip.)
- Diagonal cutters
- Pliers and/or Channel grips
- Box knife
- Electronics screwdrivers (if you want to build or repair electronic things, these are much smaller than regular screw drivers)
- Adjustable wrench or wrench set (be aware of the standard used in your country; most countries are using the metric system (wrenches will be labeled in millimeters), but for example the USA uses the imperial system (wrenches will be labeled in inches)).
- Files and/or sandpaper
- Electric drill (corded or cordless) and set of drill bits
- Safety glasses and work gloves (there are many kinds of gloves and the exact type is entirely up to you, but make sure they fit well. You will notice that it is hard to find gloves if you have small hands, but if you look around in different stores you will typically find something that works).
- Plastic gloves (if you are going to work with any glue, paint or other chemicals. The ones made from nitrile rubber are typically stronger than latex and vinyl and resists chemicals better. They are often blue and I refer to them as “Smurf gloves”).
- Other personal safety equipment depending on what you are planning to do – read the section about Health & Safety here.
Also, in most cases, low-cost tools are good enough. The KillaJoule is built using mostly discount-store tools, because I simply couldn’t afford high-end tools such as SnapOn™ or Kamasa™. I really like buying used tools. That way I can get high-end tools to a low cost, and it is much more environmentally friendly.