What Tools does a Handyman Need?

I don’t often do handyman jobs these days but I’m just back from doing some bits & pieces for a regular customer and thought I’ve give you a quick run-down of everything I take with me on ALL handyman jobs. As well as these being tools for handyman jobs I also take this full set of tools to most joinery jobs along with all the other usual staples for carpentry work on-site such as the track saw, work bench, clamps, planes, jigsaw and a whole host of other gear. This is just my essentials.

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What sort of handyman work do you do?

For most handyman work you need to be prepared for a LOT of different scenarios and eventualities and your tool kit will largely revolve around the sort of work you do. For example I don’t do any plumbing or electrics these days but back in the day I used to do the odd smaller job if the customer couldn’t find a plumber prepared to take it on – e.g. changing tap washers, unblocking sinks and all sorts of other lovely stuff mostly revolving around removing 20 years of hair from a shower waste… mmm, nice. I had a whole separate set of gear for this sort of work.

Anyway, I’m more talking about the carpentry side of handyman work here – so for example:

  • Putting up pictures
  • Hanging mirrors
  • Fitting door trims / thresholds
  • Fitting TVs to walls
  • Fitting shelves
  • Attaching wardrobes & bookcases to walls

For many years the above were the bread and butter of my business while I built up the cabinetmaking side of things. These days 95% of what I do is finish carpentry, built-ins and bespoke stuff… but I still try to help my regular customers out if I can.

Tools for handyman jobs

The below isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, I’d view this as the bare minimum. If you work in a country that doesn’t have solid brick or concrete walls you can probably get away without the SDS drill… although it’s still a handy tools for many other jobs. You can find links to a lot of the tools & products I use here if you’re in the UK and here if you’re in the US. Here goes:

  • 25m mains extension lead
  • Working step-up platform
  • Ladders big enough to reach most ceilings
  • Dust sheets
  • Buckets (plus dustpan & brush AND BLUE ROLL!)
  • Vacuum
  • Main tool box
  • Combi drill & impact driver
  • SDS drill & bits
  • Screws
  • Wall plugs & STUFF
  • Wide selection of drill bits
  • Problem solving bag (fillers, caulks, paints etc.)

I also carry on me:

PRO TIP: ALWAYS keep keys in your pockets or somewhere on your person. If you don’t get in this habit I guarantee at some point you’ll lock yourself out of someone’s house!

There you go – hope you found that useful! As I say this is just what I view as the bare essentials for the sort of work I do. I’ll do a bit of a more detailed breakdown of what screws I use, stuff in my tool box and other stuff at a later date so don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube. Let me know what you think via Twitter or share a pic of the stuff you take on jobs via Instagram – cya next time!

Andy Mac

Andy runs a busy little bespoke joinery business making everything from custom made furniture through to commercial display systems. He's been self employed most of his life, runs various YouTube channels and is co-host of the UK's first commercial joinery podcast.
Andy Mac