Your Essential Toolbox: The 8 Tools Everyone Should Have on Hand

While there’s little more satisfying than the sound of a great power-drill, it’s certainly not one of our tools for the “desert island” scenario. We’ve distilled our picks to the absolute essentials. So these are our top eight must-haves for every Chicago homeowner or DIY-er. We urge our customers to be proactive about protecting their homes and health!

Which tools really belong in your toolbox?

winterproof home winter winterize chicagoHex key

Also known as the Allen wrench or Allen key, you’ll always need this tool when you least expect it. Whether it’s assembling a desk or opening up a unique appliance, the hex key will make many household jobs much easier.

Tape measure

Ordering a new piece of furniture that you’re not sure will fit? Planning a big patio project? You’ll grab for that tape measure more than you ever thought once you own a home.

Screwdriver set

Choose a quality tool with a wide variety of screw drive sizes. You will appreciate a sturdy handle and heads after you need to screw in anything beyond tightening a doorknob.


A box of tools won’t be complete without one! If you ever have to deal with electrical work or wires, you’ll be glad you had this tool on hand.

Duct tape

If we could choose just one “essential”? It would be duct tape. There’s a surprising wealth of DIY information online for the seemingly infinite uses of duct tape. Picture everything from the name of the tape itself (ducts!) to quickly fixing (however temporarily) a leak or a wire.


Nails need to be hammered home. This seems obvious now, but we’ve all found ourselves without a hammer at some point when it seems like we need it most. We believe in preventative actions, in everything from water damage to mold!


Grab life by the bolts! Opt for one that’s adjustable and all one component, versus one with a separate handle material.

Utility knife

Almost as handy as that duct tape, you can plan to use this for everything from cutting drywall to cutting the duct tape itself. X-ACTO-ly as useful as you think. And better than trying to use some dull kitchen scissors.

What’s in your toolbox?

Do you have some favorite tools that you couldn’t live without?

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