The essential home tool kit

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  • There are just a few things any home needs if you're going to tackle all those niggly jobs – properly!

    Pencil

    Keep one with your tools – it’s essential for hanging pictures or putting up shelves, where careful marking is vital.

    Claw hammer

    There are numerous types of hammer, but go for this type, which has a claw for removing bent nails. Test the weight – if it feels too heavy for you, go for a lighter version.

    Adjustable spanner

    Used for undoing or tightening nuts and bolts, and for simple plumbing tasks like fixing a tap or replacing a washer.

    Fuses

    A quick change of fuse in a plug can bring a small appliance back to life. 3, 5 and 13-amp fuses are the most common ones.

    Nails and screws

    Always keep a box full of different sizes – there are an infinite number of jobs you might need them for.

    Combination pliers

    Look for pliers that incorporate a wire cutter and stripper (useful for changing fuses), plus a good handle grip to make pulling on loose nails or straightening bent nails easier.

    Multihead screwdriver

    Pick a design with interchangeable standard and Philips/cross heads. Older fixings will tend to have used standard screws, so having both types to hand is essential.

    Tape measure

    From hanging pictures to measuring curtains or checking a sofa will fit through the door – few tools are as useful. Buy one with a tape lock so you can do measurements on your own. For DIY, choose a metal tape; for sewing, go for heavy plastic-coated fabric as it will lie flat.

    Radiator key

    The thing you can never find when you need to bleed your radiators. Keep it safely with the rest of your tools.

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