well-equipped toolbox

Tools your toolbox shouldn't be without

Home maintenance and fix-it projects can be taxing enough without finding you don't have the right tools to get the job done. A well-stocked toolbox will make your job a lot easier and keep you from making a bunch of needless trips back to the work bench for the right tool. Everyone has their favorite tool and Chip, Mike and John Frentz -- a.k.a. The Hardware Guys -- are no different. Here is a look at the tools they can't live without along with their list of what you need to have a well-stocked toolbox.

Favorite tools
Chip: 10" locking pliers, a.k.a. ViseGrips®, because its a multi-use tool that can do many things from cutting wire to clamping and holding items.

Mike: The multi-tip, 7-in-1 screwdriver, because with two sizes of Phillips and flat-head tips along with 1/4" and 5/16" hex drivers, the tool will handle nearly every job that requires a screwdriver.

John: Automatic wire strippers.

A well-stocked toolbox

Multi tip, AKA 7 in 1 screwdriver
This is one screwdriver that you can grab and always have the right tip for the screw head you may come across. Two sizes of Phillips, two sizes of slotted plus a 1/4" and 5/16" hex drives all nestled in a good heavy-duty handle.

10” or 12” Adjustable, AKA Crescent® wrench
A must for tightening the nuts on the water lines leading to the sink faucets. Snugly fits the gland nuts on your faucet stems when you need to remove them to replace a washer.

Mini Hack Saw
This is a simple handle that holds a hack saw blade allowing the blade to protrude out the end making it easy to cut off the end of bolts that are in tight places. Good for cutting away old rusted plumbing fittings that can’t be removed by conventional wrenches.

10” or 12” Slip Joint, AKA Channelock® pliers
Great for holding a variety of sizes and shapes of nuts. Also good for tightening those large hard to get to plumbing nuts under the kitchen sink.

Handy for checking things out under the sink or in the plumbing accesses behind the bathtub.

Putty Knife
Yes, you can use it to putty a window. But it’s also highly versatile. It’s great for scraping things off like old built-up crud or get one with a heavy blade and you can also use it for a good prying tool.

Tape Measurer
Accurate measurements are important when you’re measuring up that old window for a new piece of glass.

Tube of Clear Silicone
Clear silicone is great for getting things to stick that won’t stay stuck under normal means. It also is a good filler for cracks and holes.

Pad of paper and pencil
This might sound too simple, but you never know when you will need to jot down a size of something to cut, or maybe just to do some quick math.

Duct tape
Yes, you have to have a roll of duct tape, for those emergency hold-together repairs.